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Two Canadian Political Parties In Hot Water Over Use Of Technology

Bob Rae
Bob Rae. Image taken on January 11, 2007 by Will Pate.

During elections, people often get a recorded message on their telephone that reminds them to vote and tells them where to go, to vote.

These messages, which use pre-recorded voices, are known as robo-calls.

Canada’s federal Conservative party is being accused of using robo-calls to mislead the public, during last year’s election.

The RCMP and Elections Canada (the group that makes the rules for elections), are looking into accusations that some robo-calls steered voters to the wrong polling station, or to polling stations that didn’t even exist, which would be illegal.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he doesn’t know anything about the illegal robo-calls.

One member of Harper’s Conservative party, Michael Sona, has been accused of setting up the calls, but he denies doing it. Sona has quit his job because of the pressure of the accusations.

Meanwhile, the Liberals are also in hot water.

They used Twitter (a “social media” website) to spread some personal information about a Conservative MP.

Bob Rae, who is the interim leader of the Liberals, apologized to the MP in the House of Commons this week.

Although it was Rae’s staff member who did the tweeting, Rae took full responsibility; he said the party’s leader is always responsible for what his staff and party members do.

By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Even though Bob Rae did not send the inappropriate tweets, he took responsibility for this mistake. The article states, “he said the party’s leader is always responsible for what his staff and party members do.” Do you agree with this statement?

Connect this statement to your own life. Do you think a teacher is always responsible for what his/her students do? Do you think a principal is always responsible for what his/her teaching staff do? Do you think parents are always responsible for what their children do? Why or why not?

Reading Prompt: Demonstrating Understanding
What is the main idea in this article? After you identify the “big idea,” summarize what this article is about. Make sure to provide details from the text to support the main idea.

Demonstrate understanding of a variety of texts by summarizing important ideas and citing supporting details (OME, Reading: 1.4).

Demonstrate understanding of increasingly complex texts by summarizing important ideas and citing a variety of details that support the main idea (OME, Reading: 1.4).

Grammar Feature: Idiom/Expression
The expression “in hot water” means to be in trouble (not to sit in a large jacuzzi or bathtub).

We often read and hear expressions that mean something other than what they say. These are called idioms.

Read the expressions below and write out what each one means. If you don’t know, look them up!
1. getting on my nerves
2. cut from the same cloth
3. dark horse
4. diamond in the rough
5. keep mum
6. keep your chin up
7. chip on your shoulder
8. New York minute
9. night owl
10. not a bed of roses