Self Inflicted Wounds
In scheme of things, the Vickileaks saga is fairly minor. It wasn't illegal, and Rae handled the situation appropriately, issuing a complete apology. But the damage is still done - it gives the NDP higher ground as Robocon develops and it makes today's story about dirty tricks in politics (say it with me - "they're all the same") rather than about what could very well turn into the largest scandal to hit Stephen Harper's government.
Bear in mind, I used the word "could" there, because Robocon is still a work in progress, and it will take time to cut through the reports and accusations to make sense of what actually happened. Take for instance, this morning's Toronto Star story about live calls that may have directed voters to the wrong polling stations. Although it fits into the scandal's overall narrative, I don't think this one passes the sniff test. For starters, it sounds like the scripts may have instructed interviewers to identify themselves as calling from the Conservative Party - and even if they didn't, using live interviewers from their regular phone bank to commit electoral fraud just sounds too sloppy to me. And of all the adjectives I'd use to describe the Conservative Party, "sloppy" isn't one of them.
Of course, we keep hearing more about the actual robocalls, but it's still imposible to fully grasp who was involved and to what extent. That's why the NDP's call for by elections in affected ridings is incredibly premature. It's clear an investigation is needed, but until all the facts come out, there's no way to judge how many ridings were affected and how high this went.
But safe to say, this story isn't going away anytime soon, no matter how much the NDP overeaches or how many self inflicted wounds the Liberals hand themselves.