We've all heard by now of the Robocalls, fraudulent calls pretending to be from Elections Canada sending voters most likely to pick Liberal representatives to the wrong polling station. More absurdly was the discovery that the calls were ordered by a Pierre Poutine, a "fast-food inspired pseudonym [used to] register the prepaid cellphones and telecom services needed for the stunt."
An investigation by CBC News has turned up voters all over Canada who say the reason they got robocalls sending them to fictitious polling stations was that they'd revealed they would not vote Conservative.
Although the Conservative Party has denied any involvement in the calls, these new details suggest that the misleading calls relied on data gathered by, and carefully guarded by, the Conservative Party.
Francisco Toro of The New York Times is quite amused by this, and -- probably due to watching politics in the United States unfold -- doesn't sound surprised in the least:
Much of this is about regional differences: the ascendancy of Harper Conservatives since 2006 has also meant the rise of a political culture heavily tinged with the values of the province of Alberta, where Harper built much of his political career.
With its cowboys and its oil wells, Alberta is Canada's Texas, and the brand of politics practiced out there is as far removed from the genteel tones of Ontario and Quebec politics as a Dallas N.R.A. meeting is from a Boston Rotary Club luncheon. Indeed, while the Eastern Establishment howls at the criminality seemingly involved in the robocalls, the Conservatives' response has been a bemused what's-the-big-deal? shrug of the shoulders.