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Friday, March 2, 2012

Voter Suppression

Posted by David Nash

Voter suppression is not just done with telephone calls. 

Another major factor in it is negative advertising.  Nobody denies the CPC used negative advertising. And anyone who thinks that character assassination directed at Ignatieff did not have the effect of voter suppression has to be very naive.  (By the way, I am not a Liberal.)

Half-truths and lies are part of it too.  If an opponent says something correct and you simply deny it, you introduce doubts into people's minds.  Del Mastro gave us a perfect example of this when he denied the existence of the Edmonton East Constituency on Evan Solomon's CBC TV show.  It made this Liberal and NDP co-panelists look as if they had not done their homework.  Thank you, Evan, for correcting Del Mastro on air, although I think he should have been scolded for this kind of gamesmanship.

So my point is this:  We may never be able to prove that telephone calls swung the election to Harper and resulted in his majority.  However this kind of approach is part and parcel of the spectrum of activities and approaches that are known to be used in the dirtiest of political situations.  We know the CPC were using some of the associated techniques openly.  Since the covert illegal telephone calls, part of the same spectrum, were certainly used in 2011 election, there is little reason to suppose that the CPC was not using them, rather than some massive body of mavericks.  Don't forget, most times they are used they are done covertly, behind a smoke screen of deniability.

The Harper Government is not likely to do anything that will in the long run hurt its own interests, even if they ultimately bring in “measures” to “deal with” the “problem,” so it is up to the majority of people in this country to take the matter into there own hands hands. I profoundly hope that we can do so with intelligence, civility and persistence.

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