The Harper government has mounted a classic bucket defence* against charges it illegally steered opposition voters to faraway, fake polling stations in a deliberate attempt to discourage them from voting. Their defenders say: 1. Nothing serious happened. 2. It happened to us too. 3. There's no proof we did it. 4. In fact, it was the Liberals who did it. 5. The calls didn't work anyway. 6. Voters don't care about it. 7. It'll blow over in a day or two. Some of this commentary is just the predictable party-line pandering from pro-Harper media, but a Globe and Mail story purporting to show...

Richard Colvin's testimony will test the mettle of Canada's national reporters. Will they treat this as an issue that goes to the nation's soul, or as just another he-said, she-said episode in the partisan gamesmanship of Parliament Hill? So far, Paul Wells of Maclean's is passing the test with flying colors. Within hours, Wells refuted one element of the "bucket defence" Conservative MPs put up against Colvin's testimony. Conservative MPs are arguing that these prisoners were, after all, trained to tell tall tales about horrible treatment to attract sympathy. This is a standard argument made by torture apologists. It is probably true...