Are The Robocall Rallies Calling To Destroy Canadian Democracy?

A sign from this weekend’s Robocall rally- are they calling for too much too soon?

When I first heard about the Robocall Scandal I was immediately compelled to join the movement to call for an inquiry. If the allegations are true, we have a very serious problem in our country- and, justice must be served. However, as I’ve shared with you before, I was quickly disillusioned my the direction of the Robocall Rallies.

The first rally was organized by members of Occupy Vancouver. The members there started off with great hopes- however, many were left unsatisfied with how it proceeded. Occupy Vancouver has, from the start, posed itself as a non-partisan organization- so, when the rally was filled with politicians and partisan organizations, people there were also disillusioned. Not to mention, after all of the Occupiers hard work, Sarah Behuler failed to mention the Occupy name when she spoke to the press that day…

Then I went to the organizational meetings of the Toronto Robocall rally and it appeared to be going the same direction. And, it seems, my assumptions are right. The rally in Toronto on Saturday turned-out to be more of an anti-Harper rally than a movement to get some truth about this scandal.

The Communist Party of Canada handing-out flyers at this weekend’s rally in Toronto.

This is disappointing on a few levels. First, as I wrote last week, had we focussed on the issues with Elections Canada we may not have seen their budget being cut. But more importantly, by taking a ‘fire the liars’ tact prior to the end of the investigation, the Robocall rallies are asking that we take action without due process. I find this to be deeply disturbing- due process is a fundamental part of our democracy…

Let’s look at some of the facts that have been reported in the media:

– 40,000+ Complaints have been made about this issue to Elections Canada.
– 800 of them allege “specific occurrences of improper or fraudulent calls”
– Complaints have come from 200 ridings.

The 40,000 complaints came through, a website that is used to create online petitions (and with deep connections to George Soros & the TIDES Foundation). I always thought that Avaaz was a non-partisan organisation- however, I was contacted by them a few weeks ago, and they appear to be taking an active roll in promoting this particular cause. Avaaz offered us “an MP or 2 from the NDP/Liberals to speak” at our rally.

(click the image to expand)

Many of the reports in the mainstream and alternative media have framed the 40K complaints in a way that have left many Canadians with the belief that there were that many calls. I polled 20 random people on Toronto’s Queen St today- there are the results of what they believed:

– 13 people believed that there were “10’s of thousands of calls”
– 4 people believed that there were “a few hundred calls”
– 3 people didn’t have a clue

Of course, this was a highly non-scientific poll. That said, my survey does give the impression that there is confusion amongst Canadians as to the number of calls made. Is this not an indication that this issue is being overblown?

More of the crowd at the Toronto rally last Saturday

Angus Reid did a more scientific poll in early March and said that 81% of Canadians want an investigation. They also said that 64% believe that the issue is more widespread than reported. So, we can assume with some confidence that there is confusion and/or doubt about what happened. Knowing this, how can we possibly be calling for the government to be annulled? This seems rather undemocratic to me…

But, with only 800 calls reported, from 200 ridings, we’re talking about an average of 4 calls per riding. So, how much of an impact could these calls have had? Let’s have a look at the infographic below for some help:

Liberated from (click image to expand)

It will be impossible to guess on the distribution of the calls that were made- and, it is quite likely that some reports were false, and that some calls were not reported. But, looking at the above numbers, one can guess(with currently available information) that they didn’t have a giant impact on the election. Perhaps they did, but more likely they didn’t.

Considering this, how is it that on Saturday’s rally that the speaker in this video says that 6 million calls were made? Is he perhaps a bit confused?

I can tell you that he is. The 6 million is the number of calls made to sell the ‘virtue’ of the Conservative party, not robocalls to tell people to change their polling place- these sorts of calls were made by all political parties. It was unnerving to hear such a blatant misrepresentation!

So, with the information we have today, and considering the rallies have started to spread misinformation, I am strongly of the belief that it is irresponsible to call for a new election right now. No matter how much I’d like to see the Harper government banished, it is vastly more important that we don’t destroy our democracy while doing it….

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