Saturday, March 18, 2023

Today's News: Temper Tantrums

Here's how I see it: 
First of all, Canadian voters haven't turfed Trudeau in three elections and chances are they won't in the 2025 either. 
The opinion polls are back and forth a bit - and who knows now what might be an issue in BC and Quebec and the Maritimes in two years - but the Golden Horseshoe is basically still Liberal territory and likely to remain so.  The CPC and the small-c conservative media in Canada know this. 
So they thought maybe they could find some big scandal or controversy that would force Trudeau to resign. But its been seven years now and nothing has worked - not JWR and SNC-Lavalin, not the WE Charity, not the Convoy, not the Emergencies Act, not the Rouleau report. The smaller stuff they keep trashing at him is just silly (remember the Indian outfits? the family beach walk in Tofino? the blackface 20 years ago? the Star Wars socks?) 
So finally, they started thinking that maybe China China China could do it. 
But today they realized that ain't gonna happen. China China China is a problem for Elections Canada, CSIS, RCMP and Canadian political parties (both Liberal and Conservative) but the David Johnston report, whenever it comes out, likely won't tarnish Trudeau personally.
Cue today's temper tantrums. They really went crazy:
Scrimshaw wrote an amazing post yesterday outlining how convoluted and messy the story has become: Tonight there is a big article in the Globe and Mail from a CSIS "whistleblower" -- or maybe "leaker" is more accurate? Intelligence expert Jessica Davis writes this tweet thread: Here's the link to that 48-page CSIS public report published in 2021 - in the chapter on Election Security the report informs us that their inter-agency conference discussed how its work to keep elections secure would include: 
 • Regular security intelligence briefings to key senior government decision makers and political party representatives; 
• Reviewing and conducting appropriate measures to reduce the threat from specific hostile state proxies or agents; 
• Increased reporting and transparency on electoral security matters through interagency personnel exchanges; and 
• Assessing sources of disinformation (defined as entities that wittingly publish false information to deliberately mislead Canadians) 
Hmmm -- so the whistleblower didn't think that was good enough? 
Scrimshaw thinks this may actually be an inter-agency dispute now, between CSIS and the RCMP, and with CSIS trying to seize the upper hand: Finally, this sums up the reason for the hysteria:


Cap said...

PP would like Tamara Lich, Jamie SalΓ© or Theo Fleury appointed rapporteur. Too bad none has the required security clearance. The pool of suitable candidates is quite small. The Cons bashing Johnstone tells me they have something to hide and are looking to discredit the inquiry from the start. It's no secret that Ontario PC MPP Vincent Ke was the first casualty of "Chinagate."

My sense is that the inquiry will find that China tries to get first-generation Chinese-Canadians elected regardless of party affiliation. New immigrants still have strong ties to the homeland, and their families in China can be threatened or rewarded. It's much harder to do that with Canadian-born candidates who have no ties to China and may not even speak the language. I think we'll also find that a lot of disinformation is circulated on WeChat, a Chinese messaging app widely used in Chinese-speaking communities. This has been reported in several elections. None of this is new, and China isn't the only country that uses its diaspora to influence elections.

Cathie from Canada said...

Hi Cap
Interesting comment -- I had never considered whether the Johnston bashing is a tip-off about Conservative guilt, but that makes sense - the volume of hysteria has really been off the charts, and Poilievre is loudest