UPDATED AGAIN: If Sun Tzu had access to a demon dialer …

… this is totally the kind of thing he’d include in the second edition of Art of War. otherwise, I can’t imagine who could possibly come up with an election eve strategy as evilly brilliant – or brilliantly evil – as the one that apparently played out in the race underway in Saanich-Gulf Islands on Thanksgiving Monday – spotted by the force of nature that is National Newswatch, of course:

A number of residents in the Saanich-Gulf Islands riding received recorded telephone messages Monday, urging them to vote for NDP candidate Julian West – who left the race after controversy over a public-nudity incident 12 years ago.

Irene Wright, executive member of the NDP’s federal riding association for Saanich-Gulf Islands, said Monday night people started phoning her around 5 p.m. to say they had received an automated call encouraging them to vote for West in Tuesday’s election.

A woman’s voice in the recording said the call was endorsed by Bill Graham, president of the NDP Saanich-Gulf Islands riding association, and from the “Progressive Voters Association of Saanich-Gulf Islands.”

By using caller identification information, the call’s origin appeared to be the fax number at Graham’s address.

“It’s not coming from our fax machine,” said Graham. “Somebody is fraudulently using our name and our fax number to send out a misleading message.”

UPDATE: Is it just me, or does anyone else find it odd that nowhere in this story does it mention the fact that this is Gary Lunn’s riding?

AND EVEN UPPERDATED: The Tyee has more, including an on-the-record denial from Lunn’s campaign chair, Byng Giraud.

NOTE: Reposted from the comments, just to make it clear what I’m saying here: This has nothing to do with the use of a demon dialer – which, while obnoxious, is a perfectly legitimate campaign strategy. But this appears to be a deliberate attempt to frame the NDP for making calls supporting West’s candidacy, which the local NDP organizer – whose number apparently appeared on the calls  –categorically denies having done.

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