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One of our members received a copy of this letter sent to the Vancouver Sun newspaper:

—- Original Message —–

From: John Fryer

To: sunletters@vancouversun.com

Sent: Saturday, March 03, 2012 2:14 PM

Subject: Letter to the editor

Dear Editor,

In January 2010 my UVic inbox had an e-mail invite from the Manning Centre for Democracy to a Campaign School. Intrigued,I signed up for the 3 day event. Topics covered included voter identification. Discussion ensued about suppression techniques. Instructors explained voter suppression tactics were borrowed  from those used by the U.S. Republican Party.

Many kinds of suppression calls were canvassed. Another instructor gave detailed explanations of how robo calls worked, techniques for recording messages plus costs involved. He distributed his business card upon request. Instructors made clear that robo calling and voter suppression were perfectly acceptable and a normal part of winning political campaigns.

The denials now expressed by the Prime Minister and his Parliamentary associates thus ring hollow if not something worse. Having attended this Campaign School it’s obvious that for Conservatives voter suppression strategies are standard in their playbook on how to conduct elections. Having thus lowered their standard of election ethics to that of their Republican cousins it is hardly surprising that the result is a so-called majority government that was voted for by 39% of the 61% who managed to get to their proper polling station. A majority government supported by a mere 26 percent of Canadians.

A more compelling case for changing to a system of proportional representation where each and every vote counts is hard to imagine.

Sincerely yours,

John Fryer C.M.

Adjunct Professor,

School of Public Administration,

University of Victoria.

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