Friday, March 09, 2012

Not just a pattern. A strategy.

As Dawg says, a pattern is emerging. It is more than that however.

The discovery that phone calls directing voters to non-existent polling places was targeted to a specific age group, in this case voters over aged 60, reveals a strategy.
Most of those who received an automated phone call telling them their polling station had been changed say they were previously contacted by the Conservative Party and indicated that they would not be supporting their local Tory candidate.

Now federal elections officials say that the fraudulent phone calls targeted older voters.

“Every single person I’ve contacted has been (born) between 1947 and 1949,” said one unidentified Elections Canada employee who was following up on the complaints Friday morning.
That's strategic targeting.
The revelation suggests that whoever was behind the fraudulent robocalls that are now the subject of a massive investigation may have been working off of a more sophisticated list of electors than the barebones voter information provided by Elections Canada.

Enright said that the list of voters that all political parties and local candidates receive during an election period contains only the names and addresses of electors. Combined, parties spend millions of dollars during a campaign to identify likely supporters as well as non-supporters and target them for donations and other forms of support.
It also suggests that the Conservatives have done some deep data-mining beyond what the they told their own ridings in their CIMS presentation. The Conservative CIMS, designed to track voters, uses the federal voters list and many other sources to create an accurate database. In the Power-Point presentation the central campaign made to riding campaigns none of the displays, offered as examples, shows any information which reveals the age or date of birth of the voter. If the CIMS training given to riding campaign workers is accurate, the riding had no access to voters' ages.

That raises three questions:
1. Where did they get the information?
2. What is actually stored on the CIMS database and has the CPoC collected information on Canadians which infringes on privacy rights?
3. Where is it stored and who had/has access? This outfit?


Boris said...

This is an organization which has shared veterans personal medical information with members of parliament, had its own MPs interrogate Canadians in foreign prisons, creeped facebook pages for evidence political leanings. They do not likely see a distinction between their identity as a political party and their identity and duty as part of the Government of Canada. The Party is the Government and it will be of no surprise, in fact we should probably expect it, that they used their access as government to gain information about individual Canadians that will help them win elections - and much worse when the time comes.

Beijing York said...

I worked for an RMG competitor back in the dinosaur age (early 90s before telephone marketing became the rage and direct mail was king). We did work for various charities and the LPC in fundraising.

We bought the lists necessary to do the demographic research to target the elderly crowd because they were known to be more reliable and generous donors. RMG does the federal Conservative's fundraising and would definitely have figured out who are the most generous donors.

There are list brokers who sell to these firms. There are survey companies that collect the data to sell to list brokers. Every phone survey I have ever done always asks for certain demographic markers like age group and household income.

Alison said...

Elections Canada : National Register of Electors

"The National Register of Electors is a database containing the personal information of Canadians who are qualified to vote. It contains the name, address, sex and date of birth of each elector, as well as a unique identifier assigned to each elector to help track changes in his or her personal information. Elections Canada uses the information in the Register to create voters lists for electoral events, and Canadian electors may choose whether or not to have their names listed in the Register.

The National Register of Electors is used to produce the preliminary lists of electors for federal general elections, by-elections and referendums. These lists are shared with election officers for electoral purposes. They are also shared with provincial, territorial and municipal electoral agencies that have signed data-sharing agreements with Elections Canada, for uses permitted under their respective legislation. These data-sharing agreements must include conditions regarding the use and protection of personal information."