From: The office of the Prime Minister of Canada

Subject: An Outstanding Business Opportunity!

Dear Voter,

Kindly permit me to introduce myself. My name is Stephen Harper. I have a master’s degree in economics from the University of Calgary, and am currently Prime Minister of Canada. I acquired your e-mail address through the offices of my trusted colleague, Mr. Vic Toews. I have been hiding out at 24 Sussex Drive in Ottawa for some time due to crisis in my country. Rebels have repeatedly tried to hold Parliament hostage. In the past I used “prorogation” to subvert their coalition efforts, but I am now using other methods to snub them. And although I am under constant fire in our legislative buildings, I still have the opportunity to offer you an outstanding business opportunity.

ImageI am in possession of a large sum of money: $15 billion (plus or minus $10 billion). The money is being held in a suspense account and was drawn in part from your bank account, in the form of taxes. I intend to move this money abroad to a safe country (the United States) for the purchase of 65 brand new warplanes (F-35s). These magnificent fighter jets are a bonafide safe investment. However discretion and goodwill is fundamental.  This urgent project holds commensurate benefits to the parties involved, as we envisage a speedy consummation of the first batch of this transaction. The first phase, when properly consummated in trust and good faith, would enable the subsequent phases.


1.Firstly to assist me by ignoring the exaggerations made by irresponsible newsvendors and government auditors about the true costs of the warplane program. These people are troublemakers attempting to destabilize the country, and aid the rebels in Parliament.

2. To help relocate me and my family  to a friendly country (the United States) in the event of public backlash (including the threat, implied or imminent, of tarring and feathering).

3. To agree to all additional costs incurred by maintenance and parts of the aforementioned warplanes.

Upon completion of the full transaction with Lockheed Martin Corporation, you will own 65 near-state-of-the-art warplanes that will protect you and your family from airborne toxic events, plagues of locusts, rains of blood, extraterrestrial invasions, and anthrax-equipped al-Qaeda operatives in cropdusters. Downtime will be minimal: even if half of the jets are in the shop, there will still be thirty two and one-half of these death-dealing Valkyries on the tarmac, ready to defend you and your children from the aforementioned threats.

With the delivery of the warplanes in your name to the Department of National Defence, you will a gold-embossed certificate acknowledging your ownership. The certificate will be signed by my trusted colleague, Defence Minister Peter MacKay. For your assistance you will also receive a wallet-sized photo of me giving my son a one-armed hug at Christmas time. As a further token of my appreciation, users of Microsoft Vista will have the opportunity to upload a screensaver featuring F-35 jets doing barrel rolls through a cyclone of thousand-dollar bills.

As part of our agreement, my trusted colleague Mr. Vic Toews will gain remote access to your home computer, notebook, and any other of your personal telecommunication devices.  He will validate your bank account number, Facebook status and medical condition, and ensure you are not in possession of child pornography or anti-pipeline/enviroterror materials. Hewing to our post-911 standards of national insecurity will ensure this business transaction is fully honoured according to laws of the land, as defined by my office.

No response is necessary, as your approval has been indicated by the last federal election, and the mandate given me as leader of a majority government. In the event of another election (which may be in doubt with my office under constant attack), our people will contact your people by telephone.

Although you and I may never meet in person, there is always the off-chance of an awkward encounter at a pancake breakfast or a germ-free baby-holding photo op. In which case, please do not ask to shake my hand (I am deathly afraid of underclass contamination). Enjoy your magnificent new F-35 warplanes with my blessings.

Warmest Regards,

Prime Minister Stephen Harper

The Vancouver Courier, April 19



In all my reading, here’s the best sentence so far for 2012…even though it’s from 1991:

“On the other, there’s the psycho-historical outlook typified by The Psychopathic God by Robert G. L. Waite, which attempted to explicate Nazism with reference to Hitler’s fifty percent deficit in the testicle department–a new twist on the lone nut theory.”

– Jonathan Vankin (From “Conspiracies, Cover-ups and Crimes.” New York: Paragon House, 1991)


ImageIt’s more surreal than Salvador Dali’s lobster landline  telephone.

Last Saturday a small group of demonstrators with signs, banners, and the inevitable Guy Fawkes masks marched through the rain, from the Vancouver Art Gallery to the central library and back. It was the latest round of local protests over the robocall scandal.

One speaker pointed to the absurd fact that Canada now joins two other countries currently embroiled in claims of election fraud: Kenya and Senegal.

Past national scandals that have consumed so much press attention, from the Quebec Sponsorship program to the Airbus affair, all pale in comparison. Yet within weeks of the first robocall revelations, the media attention began to wane, even as the evidence mounted of a coordinated, nation-wide scheme of vote suppression.

As Elections Canada quietly conducts its investigation, it’s all so “early March” now. Even when the scandal was still front-page news, Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente insisted that “it’s ridiculous to think there was some massive cheating scheme engineered by higher-ups” in our “boring little democracy.” Sun media fixture Michel Coren dismissed it as “a few silly phone calls.” Kelly McParland in The National Post mused over “a scandalous absence of scandal in robocalls scandal.”

Are some of Canada’s pundits wearing mittens to consult Braille editions of their own newspapers? The Globe and Mail reported that Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand has testified that complaints of bogus election calls were received from 200 of Canada’s 308 ridings. That’s all 10 provinces plus one territory. There have been reports of live and automated calls falsely claiming to be from the Liberal Party; abusive calls, racist calls mimicking ethnic accents, and/or late-night phone calls from live callers, were all part of the mix.

What do we need here, flashing highway signs pointing due east?

Edmonton-based ISP RackNine, the company linked to some robocalls in Quebec and Ontario, had a contract with the Conservative Party to do business with no other party. (RackNine itself has been cleared of wrongdoing; it’s the identities of those who used its services that’s under investigation.) In Guelph, the Conservative campaign of Marty Burke was found to have used, a subsidiary of RackNine, to phone in and record messages. In this riding alone, Elections Canada has noted 7,600 robocalls misdirecting voters to the wrong voting station, and is reportedly close to identifying the name attached to the Guelph robocall account, through records obtained from Rogers Communications.

“History doesn’t repeat itself- at best it sometimes rhymes,” Mark Twain insisted. The votesuppression scandal may be unprecedented in Canada, but not in North America. Cast your mind back to the Bush/Gore debacle of 2000, and the documented evidence of federal vote fraud during that year’s presidential election, including the purging of 94,000 voters (half of them African-American) from Florida election rolls. After the U.S. Supreme Court terminated a recount of paper ballots from Miami-Dade, giving the state to the Republicans, George W. Bush was swept into office with a 537-vote lead over Al Gore.

And the rest is history: a phony war based on fictitious WMDs, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, Katrina, further deregulation of Wall Street, the gutting of the American middle class, warrantless surveillance, and all the rest.

From hemlines to headlines, virtually every meme in the U.S.- “cradle of the best and the worst” in Leonard Cohen’s words-catches on across the border. So we’d be naïve to think Canada would be immune to Republican-style dirty tricks. In any case, the WHO behind the robocalls, whether its Tory political operatives, democracy-deterring spooks, or Keebler elves, is less pressing than the WHAT and the HOW. In many ridings across the nation, Harper’s majority hinged on victories of less than 1,000 votes. Ergo, the robocall scandal seriously calls into question the legitimacy of the last federal election and Harper’s majority government.

A few faces looked familiar at the Vancouver March robocall protests. I took the crossover with the local Occupy movement as a measure of our messed-up times. While a number of our national pundits do their best to minimize the robocall scandal, so-called “radical activists” and “professional protesters” are the ones visibly agitating for the bedrock democratic value of one person, one vote.

Remember that next time our wise leaders and their media-based apologists lecture you about warring for “free elections” and “democracy” in Afghanistan or anywhere else.