Monday, February 27, 2012

Harper strategy unfolds

Having just watched Question Period, we can see a bit of the Harper strategy in dealing with this election cheating scandal unfold. Recall that this is the Prime Minister who ran away from a confidence vote that was sure to defeat his government, in late fall of 2008, and who shamelessly and recklessly tried to whip up separatist sentiment in doing so. So we knew he wouldn't exactly roll over today. Some of the elements...

Insist that the calls that were made were done to Conservative voters. Maybe picking up on a point in the Star article, in which it is noted that the phone operators may not be able to affirm that very point: "Desgagné indicated it was unclear to her and her colleagues whether those being called did or didn’t support any particular party." So, the Conservatives in Question Period, following Delorey in the article, who may have been provided with the phone operator evidence, say they were calling their own voters. The script may be neutral on that point but we haven't seen it. Canadians watching at home say, huh, maybe they were just calling their own voters.

Gamble on the investigation not being able to prove a case and put the public onus on the opposition. The latter is a nice trick given that it is the governing party's actions who are in the spotlight and as Bob Rae pointed out in the Commons, it is the Conservatives who have the relevant information which would provide answers. Harper claimed that they would be providing their information to Elections Canada and he encouraged the opposition parties to do the same. A motion passed in the Commons to that effect.

Throw some statistics into the mix to undermine the elections cheating allegations. If this was about voter suppression, how come voter turnout went up, said Del Mastro. Gee. Give people a global mind bender of sorts. The turnout stats are a sideshow, the May 2011 election saw just a 2% increase in turnout and it doesn't answer the specific charges of phone calls to voters in the ridings that have been enumerated. Overall turnout may have slightly upticked but it doesn't discount the possibility that maybe enough calls were made to suppress opposition voters in targeted ridings.

Still with the statistics, talk about how many polling stations were moved during the course of the election. Again, sow confusion. I suspect this one will be debunked too. There is a list here of polling stations that were moved, for starters.

Have pliable allies, unelected ones at that, point the finger at some unknown "third parties."

Fight like hell, that's clear...