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Friday Mar 9th - 2012
March 9th, 2012
Some people are telling me not to get involved with commenting on this issue, but it directly affects Guelph. And Guelph is the best city EVER! So especially since Guelph is the epicenter of a national story, a terrible national story of voter suppression, I want to comment.
So let me be clear:
Whoever did this, I hope they're caught quickly, dragged out to the street and made known to all. To mislead and take people's opportunity away to vote is disgusting.
There's a big difference between "voter suppression phone calls" and "nuisance" calls by all political parties. Yet the opposition, most far-left groups and even some of the hyper-media are grouping all calls into the same pile. And that's wrong.
I too received many "nuisance" calls throughout the Federal election last year. In fact three days before the election, my wife and I arrived home to this message on my machine:
This message wasn't really what I wanted to hear when I arrived home that night. I didn't like it, but I didn't start crying in a corner about it either.
I was interviewed today by the Guelph Mercury to comment on these types of calls and how best to address the situation about Guelph now being in the spotlight. While I listened to the message a few times today, I gathered some thoughts on the issue:
Although the message doesn’t say who authorized it, or who they were trying to promote, (although certainly not Marty Burke), I find it interesting that the woman specifically says to make sure you “vote strategically”. This is the most common Liberal statement throughout any campaign. They have the same typical game-plan, or recipe, no matter what election it is:
The Four Step Process:
Step 1. Right near the end of a campaign instill fear into all voters telling them “how close of a race it is”, between the Liberals and Conservatives.
Step 2. Extend an olive branch out to the Green Party and The NDP Party campaign managers and their supporters to make them understand that they need to be martyrs to their own ideals and that they need to tell their voters to switch to the Liberal Candidate, or the evil Conservatives will reign. “And you wouldn’t want that would you?”
Step 3. Send out media releases to all outlets telling them of the “urgency” to vote strategically or the Conservatives will become more evil then they already are. And don't worry the media will promote this message for you.
Step 4. Make sure the centre left – to far left voters understand that if election reform had happened by now, or proportional representation, that they wouldn’t have to vote strategically and leave the party they’ve just worked so hard for over the last 5 weeks, and now vote for the Liberal candidate.
So although this voicemail doesn’t say that it was endorsed by Frank Valeriote, or came from Frank Valeriote, it screams "Liberal Red" to me.
Either way, no matter who sent it, it's an annoying call to me, but not one I'm going to call Elections Canada about.
***Update March 9th, 2012 at 8:06pm***
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UPDATE: Frank Valeriotte, Liberal MP for Guelph, has responded to the National Post Newspaper:
“This was an issue based call, not a voter suppression call. It was paid for by our campaign.”
He said the fact it was not identified as coming from the Liberal Party was an “oversight” and that his office had been “completely open” with Elections Canada.