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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The people pushing the "robocalls" scandal have their own credibility issues

From a small office in Vancouver,  rented in a shared space with the Canadian branch of PBS station KCTS, Jamie Biggar and the people behind LeadNow.ca want to undo the decision reached by almost 15 million voters in Canada's 2011 election.

Biggar, LeadNow's Executive Director,  is a thoughtful, personable young man who was once the Chairman of the Sierra Club of British Columbia, the provincial branch of a US-based environmental group. In a talk last week,  Biggar pointed out that his organization is not partisan in that it doesn't endorse any particular political party and its goal is to hold the government, any government, to account for its potentially destructive policies. The goal, he said, is to serve the interests of democracy.

However the campaign to have democratic elections undone based on conjecture and unsubstantiated allegations would not appear to support those goals.

Biggar acknowledged that the much vaunted "31,000" number of complaints to Elections Canada were not actually people complaining about receiving calls misdirecting them to non-existent poling locations. That number, which has now grown to over 43,000 is merely automated messages of pre-written "concern" that are generated from LeadNow's website with the ease of clicking a "send" button. As we now know, the actual number of complaints to Election Canada about 700. But more significantly, not a single one of those complaints, on the basis of which LeadNow suggests new elections should be held, alleges that they did not cast their vote because of those calls.

In fact, LeadNow's campaign to delegitimize the 2011 election is based entirely on stringing together a bunch of ifs, could-haves, and maybes, without a solitary piece of solid evidence of wrongdoing by the Prime Minister of any senior Conservative Party member. One such piece of so-called support that Biggar referred me to was a report produced by Simon Fraser University Professor Anke Kessler which is based entirely on guesswork, corollaries and false postulations, such as the figure of 31,000 complaints being from people having reported receiving the robocalls rather than the actuality of that number only being LeadNow generated emails of "concern."

If one is going to make reasonable guesses based on corollaries, something more indicative of reality can be inferred from the people involved with LeadNow. Biggar was adamant that media reports of financial involvement from far-left activist funders like George Soros and the Tides Foundation were not true.

But LeadNow's Advisory Board reads like a who's who of vociferous enemies of the Conservative government, who have been known to become hysterical in their opposition to not only almost anything the Harper government does, but its very existence.

Zafar Bangash speaking at
robocalls rally in Toronto
(photo by Blazing Cat Fur)
People like Judy Rebick, who founded the fanatical website rabble.ca, which is financed almost exclusively by public service unions and NDP-linked organizations, Ian Capstick, a former top-level NDP backroom fixture, Jim Stafford, an economist in the employ of the Canadian Auto Workers union. The LeadNow-inspired rallies decrying the government over the robocalls issue went so far as to involve people like Zafar Bangash as organizers. Bangash is a Khomeinist propagandist and notorious hatemonger who advocates Sharia-Law and supports the Iranian dictatorship of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. One of the many absurd ironies that the robocalls hysterics have produced is a criticism of Canadian democracy supported by the radical left coming from one of the most brutal, undemocratic regimes on earth. That came in the form of Rebick's rabble.ca republishing a report from Iranian state-owned Press TV condemning Canada's so-called election fraud.

Whilke LeadNow may not be dishonest in any outright, planned way, their zeal and hatred of the Harper government has made their commitment to honesty highly suspect and what they purport to be facts to be false. As an investigation proceeds into the robocalls matter, LeadNow's efforts to damage the credibility and validity of the Harper government may just have the reverse effect and discredit LeadNow and those associated with it.

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