Monday, September 3, 2012

Could allegations of robocalls help Québec Liberals?

The Québec Liberal party is alleging that robocalls have been made in the Québec City area, as well as in Laval near Montreal.

It is being reported that the calls are being made exclusively in English, targeting predominantly French speaking areas.  Voters are being asked to call a phone number, and calling that number results in an answering machine message which basically says, 'thank you for calling the Liberal Party of Quebec...please leave a message.

You can read about here HERE on the Montreal Gazette's site.

Of course robocalls were allegedly used by Conservative supporters during the last federal election.  To say Harper and the Conservatives aren't thought of too kindly in Québec would be grossly understating things.  As Québec Solidaire's Françoise David put it during the first leader's debate. 

"Attacking Harper is easy.  Just about everyone in Québec can't stand him".

Anyone using a strategy linked with the federal conservatives is treading on dangerous ground if you ask me.  Assuming the calls are being generated by opponents of Charest's Liberals, then the most obvious suspects would be supporters of François Legault's Coalition Avenir Québec party as I see it.  The CAQ is generally perceived to be a right wing party, although only barely given the heavy tilt to the left of Québec politics.  

I have trouble envisioning it being the PQ, they would have little to gain from my perspective.  Turning voters inclined to vote Liberal  away would only drive them to the CAQ, and Monsieur Legault's party is the only one with any degree of momentum.

It is interesting that the calls are said to be only in English.  With protection and promotion of la langue française being such a hot issue during this campaign, I can see some French speakers being very alarmed at a party using automated calls only in English.

I am wondering though, if the reporting of these calls will generate some sympathy for the embattled Jean Charest and his floundering Liberal Party?  And I don't discount the possibility that perhaps they were employed for that very purpose.  Elections are becoming more and more like wars, and in war the first casualty is often the truth.  

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