So, for my non-canadian readers, there is a significant scandal brewing up here in Canadaland, regarding a senator, who claimed certain expenses he was not allowed to (to the tune of $90,000) and then had that debt paid for by the Prime Minister’s chief of staff (who has now resigned).
This short paragraph in an article by the star captures the dark nature of the exchange:
…once the repayment was made, Duffy stopped cooperating with independent auditors examining his expense claims. When a Senate committee met behind closed doors in early May to write the final report on the results (Read more…)
* We are living in interesting times, as the saying goes. Here in Canada, the house of cards that is the federal Conservative government of Stephen Harper is starting to self-destruct; the only surprising thing to me is that it took this long to happen. The Harper government is throwing bodies overboard as fast as […]
On this Victoria Day holiday Monday, I was reading some interesting Twitter tweets from Frank Graves, the President of Ekos Research, one of the polling companies here in Canada. He was discussing in part the poor voter turnout we’ve generally had in federal and provincial elections the past few years, in part the bad polling that totally misread the BC election. The sequence of his Tweets that caught my eye reads as follows:
There is one easy solution to fixing poor polling predictions, horrid vote suppression tactics and anemic youth voting—-mandatory voting…If everybody votes parties must market policies to all; (Read more…)
The home of Canada’s Parliament, held in contempt by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Reform Party, doing business under the name of the Conservative Party of Canada. Below: former chief of staff Nigel Wright, Mr. Harper and Senator Mike Duffy.
Surely the wrong man has quit!
Nigel Wright, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s chief of staff, resigned yesterday in the imbroglio that followed the revelation he gave disgraced Senator Mike Duffy $90,172 to pay back the Parliamentary expenses the supposed representative for Prince Edward Island in the Upper House had improperly claimed.
The purpose of the controversial payment, obviously, was (Read more…)
An interesting article from the CBC talking with the BC Liberals internal pollster, who predicted a Liberal Majority with 48 seats, and was off by only 2 (and by 2 more – they eneded up with 50, pending any recounts).
Why was his polling better then every other public domain pollster? He says it’s because he used traditional phone polling, not these internet panels:
Pantazopoulos says where his findings differ from the other pollsters is that he relies entirely on traditional telephone polling rather than online research. He says that approach allows him to access a wider swath of the (Read more…)
If nothing else, the BC Liberals’ entirely unexpected and dominating win in BC last night will be a useful lesson in humility for pollsters and those that rely on them to prognosticate about elections. All the polls showed a strong (and possibly growing) lead for the NDP, and poll aggregators like threehundredeight.com were predicting a 98.3% chance of winning the popular vote and the actual results were outside of the predicted likely seat range. Clearly the polls (and thus any model based off the polls) were horribly wrong. Yet on the flip side with the last US Presidential (Read more…)
Can you find anyone other then the BC Liberals who felt they were going to win a majority last night (did they even think that?). I would suspect that number is a handful. Nevertheless, when all was said and done, the BC Liberals are back in power (despite Christy Clark losing her own seat) and INCREASED their seat total. I’m not particularly thrilled with that result – I hold to my view that they are the LINO Party out there for the most part – but, I congratulate them. I am dismayed at the voter turnout – only 48%. (Read more…)
Its been awhile since I’ve posted, so I figured why not 2 on the same day (plus it gives me something else to do besides continue lamenting last night’s tragic Maple Leafs loss).
I just wanted to say I’m very pleased to read that the ranked ballot initiative proposed for Toronto Mayoralty elections – better known by the group name that supports it – RaBIT – survived a 3-3 committee vote to indefinitely table/defer it (which would have in essence killed it) and now goes on to the full Toronto City Council for a vote on whether to recommend to (Read more…)
Prime Minister Harper called Peter Penashue the greatest MP representative Labrador has ever had. Cabinet Ministers went into that riding (though notably not Harper) declaring that a re-elected Penashue would continue to give Labrador influence – while darkly hinting a Liberal win would not.
Labrador voters rejected those claims, as well as Penashue:
Penashue quit his cabinet post and his job as MP in March after it was revealed the Conservative party had reimbursed the federal government more than $40,000, the value of ineligible contributions accepted by his campaign in the 2011 election…After his resignation, fellow Conservative MPs declared he (Read more…)
This morning I saw a few minutes of a CBC Newsworld political panel and again concluded that Canada must abolish its senate immediately. Abolish it now! There is no time for messing about.
The dishonourable, fraud-committing senate serves no legitimate purpose in this day and age, and it’s debatable whether it ever did. The unelected, patronage-appointed, archaic institution is an insult to democracy; costs us an obscene amount of tax money; and provides a bad example to young Canadians that crime does pay. It is nothing but a den of Liberal and Conservative crooks and liars living high on the (Read more…)
Here’s my take on the May Day CUPE Sponsored Workshops in Ottawa on Saturday, the 27th of April: It was an interesting affair for its lamentations and the myriad problems it laid forth with little emerging by way of tactics, however, and certainly no overall strategy. Unions can’t even wrestle concentrated concern from their members, it would seem, let alone solidarity – which means that, even though they’re already in a knife fight in a phone booth, they can’t even dream of organizational solidarity across unions lets alone with other progressive organizations of the left. And, when you think about it, all the unions really have left as (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Politics and Entertainment: organized labour is the only potential political force with enough critical mass & enough organizational capability to get things moving.
Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath has a decision to make soon on whether or not to support the Ontario Liberal government’s budget; failure to support it (or at least an actual vote against versus an abstain) plunges the province back into an election campaign.
She’s been given competing advice on what to do: on the one hand, you’ve got Toronto Mayor Rob Ford urging his ideological foes to oppose the Budget and go back to an election campaign, because according to Ford, that’s what taxpayers want.
An opinion poll just released today, however, would show that unsurprisingly, Rob Ford is (Read more…)
Toronto Mayday 2013 – Photo set 2
Two current issues that were emphasized at the 2013 International Workers Day rally in Toronto were the deaths of hundreds of garment workers in a recent factory collapse in Bangladesh (and the continuing systematic exploitation of all sweatshop workers in that country) and the Porter Airlines fueller strike, which has been going on since January 10.
One company that has a contract with the Bangladeshi factory that collapsed is Joe Fresh, which is owned by Loblaw, which is owned by the Weston family, which is one of the richest families in the world. (Read more…)
Canadian diplomats, as seen in the public’s imagination and doubtless as they will soon be portrayed by the Harper Government. Actual Canadian diplomats abroad do not appear quite as illustrated, even when dressed casually for picket line duty. Below: Gary Doer, Canada’s Ambassador to the United States; Treasury Board President Tony Clement.
The working stiffs of Canadian diplomacy, members of the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers, were walking a picket line in Washington, D.C., yesterday – which raised some eyebrows in the Imperial Capital and must have created some minor discomfort for the Canadian ambassador, a (Read more…)
This is a post that some (but not all) of my BC Liberal acquaintances may not like, but as the BC Election draws near and the polls tighten, I’ll say without apology that to me, it would not be a bad thing if the provincial BC Liberal Party gets dumped out of office and the NDP led by Adrian Dix takes over the reins of power.
I’ve made it rather publicly known that I consider the BC Liberals LINO’s (Liberals In Name Only) who should be returning the name “Liberal” back to us as the party stands in its current (Read more…)
I find the revelations that several Conservative MP’s are uneasy and not willing to participate in the “10 percent’er” mass mail attack ad campaign that the Conservative Party plan against Justin Trudeau to be rather fascinating (privately as well, apparently). I’m curious of course why there is unease now at this, when there certainly wasn’t or wouldn’t be if this was Stephane Dion or Michael Ignatieff, and this mailing was planned for Conservative-held ridings – mostly friendly territory you would think, for the usual smear stuff like this.
Are individual MP’s getting more flack from their riding’s voters then we (Read more…)
From Citizens Climate Lobby Canada: MAY 1, 2013 – “For the first time in 3 million years , the average daily concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, as recorded at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, is about to exceed 400 parts per million (PPM), a strong indication that the Canada and other nations [...]
A couple of old guys born just before the last King passed on, one of them your blogger, the other the pollster and former Tory strategist Allan Gregg. Below: Mr. Gregg in his iconoclastically Conservative heyday.
Long-time Tory pollster and strategist Allan Gregg ripped into the Harper Government on Saturday for what he termed its “systematic attack on evidence-based research.”
But since Mr. Gregg was speaking to the annual convention of the Alberta Federation of Labour, his startling comments went completely unremarked by Alberta’s mainstream media – notwithstanding the readily available “local angle” of an Edmonton native who did (Read more…)
From the War Resisters Support Campaign:
Iraq War Resister Kimberly Rivera sentenced to 14 months in military prison after deportation by Harper government
On Monday afternoon, during a court-martial hearing at Fort Carson, Colorado, Kimberly Rivera was sentenced to 14 months in military prison and a dishonourable discharge after publicly expressing her conscientious objection to the Iraq War while in Canada.
A pre-trial agreement capped the sentence at 10 months of confinement and a bad conduct discharge.
Kimberly Rivera with her husband Mario
Private First Class Kimberly Rivera deployed to Iraq in 2006 and sought asylum in Canada in (Read more…)
We expect Kimberly Rivera to be sentenced today. War resister, prisoner of conscience, peace activist, artist, mother, friend, Kim Rivera is in the hearts of all who know her, all her supporters who stand by her in this time of need.
Kim is being punished for choosing peace over war, light over darkness, love over hate.
She is being punished by the US military, but that punishment was made possible by Stephen Harper, Jason Kenney, and their so-called majority government.
Shame on them. Shame, shame, shame.
A new poll out this morning that should cheer the Ontario Liberal Party and the Premier, Kathleen Wynne:
The Liberals and Conservatives are each at 36 per cent while the NDP has slipped further behind to 24 per cent, with Mike Schreiner’s Green Party at 4 per cent, according to the Forum Research survey for the Star
The key to that poll is that with concentration of voters, if it were to hold on an election day vote, the Ontario Liberals would be likely to win a majority government, despite the “tie” – one of the faults of a First (Read more…)