The Negative Option Brotherhood

Post by Mike Klassen in

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Are NDP phonebanks calling unsuspecting Vision members thanks to "negative option billing"?

The story about Vision members getting pestered by BC NDP phone calls is getting more interesting. Yesterday reported that Vision Vancouver members who requested not to be contacted by third parties were regularly called by NDP phonebanks. We pointed out that Vision had used an underhanded "opt out" clause buried on the bottom margin of their membership form. This so-called "negative option billing" has been spurned by government privacy agencies and privacy rights groups.

Turns out that organizations with direct links to Vision have already been spanked on the practice of duping people into sharing private personal information for the benefit of the NDP. Way back in 2003 BC Citizens for Public Power (BCCCP) was admonished by a former BC ombudsman and members of the media for using the opt out practice in a misleading admail campaign. BCCCP are a bogus front group for COPE 378, the trade union behind the "Gordon Campbell Hates You" campaign, and big donors to Vision Vancouver.

And to make things just a little more cozy, Vision Councillor Geoff "Mayor" Meggs sits on the board of BC Citizens for Public Power.

The Province's Mike Smyth writing about this little sleight of hand with personal information says, "Throw this mailer in the recycle bin unless you want the NDP knocking down your door." I guess the same could be said of the Vision Vancouver membership form.

Despite the criticism over five years ago, BCCCP are still using the deceptive opt out practice on their current membership form. They're only one step better than Vision, who buried the line in microscopic type at the bottom margin of their form.

One more important link to Vision exists between these groups. Former Citizens for Public Power president John Young now runs ACORN Canada, the voter registration organization linked directly to Gregor Robertson's nomination campaign.

Old habits die hard, we suppose. There has been plenty of talk about Vision being a front for the interests of the NDP and trade unions. The fact that they dress up and play that they're a centrist coalition of NDP and Liberals starts to break down when they show their hand, and it's flush with labour ties.

Check out!

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