Last week, the Star published a half dozen articles based on secret memos and a 70-page slide show about the Cons' 2015 election war room strategies anonymously leaked to them, as presented to the Conservative National Council above by Harper's former dcomm and now executive director of the CPC, Dimitri Soudas :
"Everything we do is part of the strategy to ensure we win in 2015 with another majority government"
The campaign is slated to start this spring.
"Everything" includes a "drive, disrupt, disunity" campaign targeting Justin Trudeau from within the upcoming Liberal convention, led by :
"Soudas, Industry Minister James Moore (or Heritage Minister Shelly Glover as backup), former PMO chief of staff Guy Giorno, and a “yet-to-be-determined” Conservative who will be blogging for Macleans magazine";leveraging Laureen into the public eye; and data-scraping comments under articles, Twitter and Facebook for possible supporters to add to their CIMS/CVote database.
Blurring the lines between the public service and the Con Party on our dime has been a Con specialty.
Prior to the last election one of Jason Kenney's staffers was forced to resign after sending out a Con fundraising letter to target "very ethnic" ridings on Immigration Ministry letterhead but was then rehired back and given a promotion in the same ministry three months later.
A year ago, Michael Sona, Con volunteer in the 2011 election fraud riding of Guelph who afterwards became a staffer to Dimitri Soudas' wife, MP Eve Adams, tweeted about Hill staffers building the CIMS :
And in the same month Blogging Tory founder Stephen Taylor bragged to his Enbridge and TransCanada-sponsored "Big Data" audience at the Manning Centre for Building Democracy about the Conservative Caucus Research Bureau using taxpayer dollars to micro-target voters in 2008 :
"[The party] sent out, I think, probably a hundred million pieces of mail. Paid for by the taxpayer, I should say. They were each barcoded, and they were each very issue-specific. Most people would sort of ignore it or say 'this is garbage.' But the few people who would actually send it back and say 'Hell yeah, that's what I'm all about' -- you would be able to put them in a database."The School of Practical Politics at the Manning Centre "will be training thousands of volunteers online and at the school's new campus in Calgary from now until the next election".
"The slide show points to radio station CFRA’s Lowell Green, whom it identifies as an “Ottawa based conservative leaning talk show host.” It says a “recent Facebook posting—non-issue” received 55 Facebook “likes.” The document says the party was able to “positively identify 38 constituents (70 per cent ID rate).” Of those 38, it said five “are current members/ donors."
Using a simple Facebook application to ask “Have you voted yet?”:
If a voter clicks yes, “I voted,” the party would then place a badge in their friends’ news feeds saying “I Have Voted, Have you?”
Place a badge in their friends' news feeds?
Notably, under the Fair Elections Act the Cons are in such a rush to bash through Parliament, there is no mention of such data scoping, while targeting and contacting "current members/donors" like those mentioned above will no longer count as an election campaign expense after the writ is dropped.