Red Tory v.3.0.3: Ban Political “Robocalls” Outright!

As noted by several commenters here on this subject, the number of complaints received by Elections Canada about automated phone calls increased exponentially during the last election – from a few hundred in previous years to more than 31,000 in 2011. Whatever the cause involved, something awry must have precipitated that reaction… I think it ...

Red Tory v.3.0.3: Dirty Deeds…

Apparently not done dirt cheap. In fact, as the Postmedia reporter indicates, whoever was responsible for attempting to suppress the vote for the benefit of the Conservative candidates in tightly contested ridings required money, organization and voters lists. Doesn’t exactly sound like a formula for some obscure “rogue” now does it? In addition to this ...

Progressive Proselytizing: Harper’s anti-democratic senate appointments.

Harper has appointed three senate seats from among his party. Here is the kicker: these people just lost their election campaigns to be MP’s. Opposed to supporting democratic influences it is actively rewarding loyal party members even thought they lost their democratic elections. This is one of those issues where there isn’t a constitutional barrier to ...

Progressive Proselytizing: After an election about personalities, not policies, we can and must do better

We have just witness an election which while historic in many ways was not one of any significance in terms of a discussion of actual issues or policies. The political choices of all four major leaders – and we the audience who responds to them – focused largely on personalities without a single major defining ...

Progressive Proselytizing: Electoral math II: vote splitting in the Liberal ridings the Conservatives won

While there was an enormous transfer of seats towards the NDP from the Bloc and to a lesser extent the Liberals, the Conservatives managed to move from a minority to a majority largely due to 26 seats they picked up from the Liberals. Three weeks ago, the NDP was stagnant in the polls before its ...

Progressive Proselytizing: Harper’s centralization of the democratic process: the litmus test for the next four years

Leaving all policy discussion aside, one of the most disheartening aspects of the last five years of minority government under Harper has been a consistent erosion of the adversarial process in our democracy. The list is long but includes: centralizing media control in government in the PMO opposed to ministries; defunding various watchdog agencies; multiple partisan prorogations; ...

Progressive Proselytizing: Parkdale-Highpark Riding All Candidates Debate Response

I recently attended the all candidates debate for the Parkdale-Highpark riding hosted by the BWVRA and wanted to share my thoughts on the debate, the candidates and various issues that were brought up. While this post will undoubtedly be specific to this riding, the themes are quite generalizable. On the debate itself: While it is late in the election ...

Progressive Proselytizing: The NDP surge and its consequences

The largest political story of the week has nothing to do about policies, it is about the fact that after months of poll numbers that stubbornly refused to budge the NDP has actually experienced a considerable surge in popularity confirmed by a half dozen different polls. The concept that the NDP may supplant the liberals as the ...

Progressive Proselytizing: Strategic voting depends on your ridings poll numbers.

The majority of ridings are essentially a lock before the election even happens. A minority have a good competition and a small number end up being too close for poll aggregates to predict the day before the election. There is thus a reasonable case for adjusting ones voting strategy depending on which of these cases ones riding ...