In the wake of accusations of Canadians in Liberal ridings receiving misleading robocalls directing them to phony voting booths just before last May’s election, Stephen Harper certainly has a mess to deal with.
Canadians are telling stories of being called at inappropriate times, such as late at night or during the Sabbath, and being subjected to long and “arrogant” scripted calls claiming to be from their local Liberal party candidate. These calls were designed to cast the Liberal candidate in to a bad light specifically, and in some cases they worked. Some voters are now even coming forward to say that the robocall “definitely” changed their vote, which could imply significant impact on election results in several ridings which were decided by as few as 19 votes.
The Conservative government is also under attack for revelations that callers in many ridings received last-minute phone calls telling voters that their voting locations had changed at the last minute, redirecting them to fictional polling stations, stations far away from their homes or traditionally very busy stations. Currently one riding is under “official” investigation, but plenty of complaints have come forward from ridings across Canada, and particularly in Ontario where Stephen Harper longed to make inroads in the last election.
While Harper claims there was “absolutely” no wrongdoing on the part of the Conservative party, as the investigation proceeds voters appear unconvinced. At the very least, the party with the most to gain by turning voters away from the Liberal party was indeed the Conservative party of Canada. And as a result, this is a scandal that might stick, much to the Prime Minister’s irritation.