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Robocalls issue keeps bloggers, tweeters active over weekend

Long after last May's federal election, the "robocalls" scandal suddenly returned to public attention late this week. It has stirred responses from bloggers, tweeters, and most political parties -- but not from the Conservative Party of Canada.

The Liberal Party's website featured a news release, published on February 25, calling on the Conservatives to "come clean on vote suppression scandal." The release quoted interim party leader Bob Rae:

"If they don't come forward with what they know then they are complicit with electoral fraud that, certainly in my mind, is on the scale of ballot box stuffing. It is hard to believe that in a scheme this widespread and elaborate, there are not a large number of people who would have knowledge of some of the things that took place and who directed it all."

Less formally, the New Democrats' release (dated February 23), said: RCMP, Elections Commish must find and charge those responsible.

The CPC's news releases, however, had nothing more recent than February 17, and nothing about the robocalls issue.

Conservative bloggers like BC Blue dismissed the scandal as "the latest flip-out by the Ottawa Press Gallery ... hyper-shrillness." Another Conservative blogger, Just Right, picked up another BC Blue post on columnist Andrew Coyne's attack on the CPC:

It apparently hasn't occurred to Coyne that the "conspiracy" here is that first Liberals and now NDP partisans are coming out of the woodwork to claim they've been Robocalled by Conservatives. It's a convenient, risk-free smear they can perpetuate till the cows come home.

An Ontario blog, A CAW Worker's Voice of Reason, claimed that the Liberals had broken election laws in Guelph.

Meanwhile, #robocalls was an active hashtag in the twittersphere. So was #cdnpoli, with many tweets dealing with the robocalls issue.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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