The latest robocall case is alarming, but not for the obvious reasons. The fact the Conservatives were push polling over electoral boundaries is unseemly, but hardly surprising given historical tactics. However, the real "story" to my mind is the sequence of events that led to the ultimate admission by Fred DeLorey, that YES the Conservative Party were behind the calls:
On Tuesday, after the voice analysis, Meier failed to respond to repeated calls and emails to himself, his company and his lawyer, R. Justin Matthews, seeking comment.
Matthews told Postmedia he “has not been retained to respond to your inquiries.”
Saskatchewan Conservative MP Tom Lukiwski told the Regina Leader Post last week that Saskatchewan Tory MPs were not responsible for the calls.
“Certainly polling is not something I’m doing and I’m pretty sure I’d know if any of my colleagues was doing something like that and I haven’t heard a thing. That’s just something I wouldn’t have done anyway.”
Conservative Party spokesman Fred DeLorey also originally denied the party was involved, writing in an email Friday, “We are not polling.”
On Tuesday, however, after Postmedia and The Citizen received the forensic analysis, and sent emails to the party and Meier, DeLorey sent a release to the parliamentary press gallery saying that the party did make the calls.
“There was an internal miscommunication on the matter, and the calls should have been identified as coming from the Conservative Party,” said DeLorey We get cryptic replies, we get denials of any involvement by Conservatives. Only when the voice is analyzed, a match made do we get the lamest of admissions, akin to being caught with your hand in the cookie jar. To keep it real, this means the Conservative Party of Canada were prepared to deny they were behind the calls, despite knowing full well they are required to identify themselves. Further, it is astonishing that our political system requires journalists hiring voice recognition experts to unravel the mystery, rather than a more formal response from authorities who are supposed to ensure rules are followed. If not for good reporting, Canadians would never know the true nature of these calls.
Clearly, the Conservatives were prepared to hide their involvement, only forthcoming when cornered, concerning is a kind characterization. What is a fair observation, the Conservative Party of Canada seems to have a "catch me if you can" mentality, which does a disservice to our democratic process.
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