Dr. Dawg

Conservative bluff called

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poker dogs.jpg

…and the Harperites are in trouble now.

Release phone records? Hey, no problem, say the Liberals. OK, we’re showing you ours. Will you show us yours?

Er…gosh…maybe not, says the Comical Ali of Canadian politics, the hapless, sweaty Dean Del Mastro.

[W]hen asked later by reporters if the Conservatives were prepared to release their own records, Mr. Del Mastro said: “No, because obviously our party is not behind the calls. We know that.”

Good God. From sinister fascist conspirators to the Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight. Perhaps history doesn’t have to repeat itself after all, turning so quickly from tragedy to farce.

[H/t Alison at Creekside, via DAMMIT JANET!. And Robert Muhlbeier]

ADDENDUM: Reader Nathan Levesque and blogger Saskboy note the very last sentence of the article to which I linked:

“Mr. Del Mastro clarified later in the day that the Conservatives will give Elections Canada any documents the agency requests.”

I don’t see this as a reversal of his earlier statements. Rather, Del Mastro was likely asked if the government would cooperate with Elections Canada, and he simply said yes. That’s a different matter from putting records squarely before the public. The government’s position in the House for days, in fact, has been to challenge the opposition parties to bring any evidence they might have to Elections Canada.

Or perhaps Del Mastro is doing better on his second hand, knowing, or at least suspecting, that Elections Canada will not be making any such request.

At the risk of incurring another belabouring by Alice Funke of Pundits’ Guide, let me rephrase a pointed question from Saskboy here: why has Elections Canada not yet requested those “documents” from the Conservatives?

What is needed—pronto—is access to the Conservatives’ Constituency Information Management System (CIMS) database, from which the identity of “Pierre Poutine” could very likely be gleaned. (I’m giving Del Mastro the benefit of the doubt here: he’s just not swift enough to set up a future parsing session in which his government can argue that CIMS isn’t a “document.”)

As of this writing, in any case, the Elections Commissioner just hasn’t gotten around to it:

No one believes that a coordinated voter suppression campaign could be carried out without CIMS - the last thing anyone seeking to boost the Conservative turnout would want to do is call its own supporters and misdirect them.

So a detailed inventory of who was using the CIMS database in the ridings allegedly hit by robocalls should narrow down the search for the culprit considerably.

A spokesman for the Conservative party said the Elections Commissioner, who is investigating the issue, has not yet asked for this information. [emphasis added]

And that’s John Ibbitson, for heaven’s sake.

By the time the EC “investigation” finally moseys over there, can we expect a few Rose Mary Woods-like gaps in the record? Assuming, of course, that CIMS is even on EC’s investigatory radar.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on March 5, 2012 9:10 PM.

Conservatives on the defensive: squirrels and bright shiny objects was the previous entry in this blog.

Harper's Speakerâ„¢ delivers again is the next entry in this blog.

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