There is an interesting tension underneath the robocall story, the debate about resonance, "legs", staying power, inside, outside, how much impact this scandal is truly having with the general public. Everyone will look to the next batch of polls to denote the impact, others already pointing to specific avenues of public expression, we will seek concrete reassurance to confirm what our sensibilities tell us. One caveat, as Kinsella shrewdly points out, rash judgements may not fit this particular scandal model, "tarnish" may be hard to ascertain short term.
I keep hearing the "trains on time" argument, all we care about is the economy and competence, this scandal, like many others, will simply fade as a vote motivator. I understand the logic in a certain sense, but I also see it a bit too simplistic and one dimensional in verdict. This scandal is simple at the heart, not some complicated scheme in the sense that it boils down to fairness and CHEATING. Nobody likes a cheater, when we watch a sport we leap out of our chair at a dive, when somebody butts in on a lineup we furrow our brows, tsk, tsk. The notion of fairness manifests itself everywhere, in our lives we confront it everyday, this isn't some abstract concept or complicated undertaking, it's a very elementary belief system.
If I care about the economy, it doesn't mean I absolve usurping my democratic right, it doesn't mean I condone people cheating to win an election. Whether or not the Harper government won handily anyways is utterly irrelevant, and I suspect people comprehend this fact. What matters isn't the overall outcome, but the attempt to influence any outcome using voter suppression, taking away that singular right we all have, attempting to nullify the core tenet of a democracy. To argue this issue doesn't matter is to say Canadians don't care about their individual rights, their system, the idea that we compete fairly and ethically. To date, the only people I see condoning the alleged behaviour are hopeless conbots and their media water carriers, the reality based community is largely aghast. Again, a simple digestion, people may have CHEATED during this election, people may have attempted to OBSTRUCT your democratic expression, people may have tried to STEAL an election.
This the most serious election related issue Canada has ever faced, there is no precedent for any of these allegations, it will force a re-examination of our political process. Much of the debate now is how much will stick, can the Conservatives maintain separation, can the stench be isolated down the chain, that will be important moving forward. However, admissions are already acknowledged, which means certain Conservatives have done things untoward, everyone admits CHEATING has taken place, the "who" still in question, the WHAT firm and no in dispute.
Conservatives CHEATED during the 2011 election, rogue, organized, isolated, pervasive, systematic, amateurish, whatever, Canadians merely see that one word and that it ties to a certain partisan expression. Nobody likes a cheater, simple as that...