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the disgruntled democrat: Congratulations Ontario For Having Successfully Outsourced the Governance Function

Way to go Ontario!  When it comes to thwarting democratic rule in Canada, you continue to lead the way.

Not only did Ontarians peviously vote in a province-wide referendum against the notion of changing the anarchistic voting system (first-past-the-post) that allows a political party to form a majority government with less than 50% of the popular vote, they were able to elect a new government with the participation of about half the eligible voters in last week’s general election.

Talk about efficiency!

In Ontario, depending on how the vote is distributed, a political party can go on to rule the province as if it had the (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: That Was Predictable

Way back in 2003 when the United States invaded Iraq (long before the Afghanistan mess had been anything close to resolved), I remember having a conversation in which I said that within 5 years of the US withdrawal from Iraq, that the country would founder in civil war.  (I believe much the same thing will inevitably happen in Afghanistan as well)

This week, we have seen the “insurgency” in Iraq transform from a few disorganized groups into a coherent military force not to be trifled with.

Anybody who is surprised by this hasn’t been paying close attention since 2001.  The (Read more…)

Democracy Under Fire: Election Stories

With the Ontario election now history and a slight uptick in the voter turn out I will relate a few of the problems various voters have encountered whilst trying to vote in an effort to make both the voters and those that run the system aware of impediments to voting during said election. Most of these stories are specific to rural areas and related to poll location and rural addressing issues, it may be that in urban areas such things are not such a problem and it would seem that Elections Ontario either is unaware of such problems or considers (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Ontario Election: Polling Fails Again!

After spectacular failures during the Alberta and BC elections, polling, as an industry struggling for credibility, lost yesterday’s election in Ontario along with the neoliberal, anti-social Hudak.

308.com reviewed the polling as of the day before the election. Polls indicated that there would most likely be a Liberal minority government. Those polls missed the extra 10 seats the Liberals earned at the expense of the PC’s, and had the PC’s 4 points higher than what they really earned.

What’s wrong with polling?

Random sampling is necessary to make inferences for all of the population. When people block calls, use (Read more…)

Eh Types: Why Do We Vote?

In a democracy there are almost as many reasons to vote as their are voters. Some vote out a sense of civic obligation, others vote so they can still feel entitled to complain about the results. For some one issue not only dictates why they vote but how they vote. Others still will vote out […]

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: #PCloadLetter The Ontario PCs Send Misdirecting Mail #VoteOn

.@kady @KrankyKanuck @Mary_OGrady @1223Chuck Wouldn't you rather unmarked envelopes tell you where? twitter.com/LibPressSec/st… #PCloadLetter— Saskboy K. (@saskboy) June 11, 2014

(PC Load Letter is from printer displays of the past, and the comedy Office Space. It indicates the paper tray is empty. It was the best pun I could come up with on short notice.)

@AshleyCsanady front and back of London PC letter and envelope. No PC identifier. Hudak was flat wrong. http://t.co/GtGel61DSb— Press Office (@LibPressSec) June 11, 2014

Looks like a blatant vote misdirection scheme, akin to RoboCon used (Read more…)

Democracy Under Fire: Elections Ontario Struggling……

Elections Ontario is struggling to find enough staff to fill the positions required to process your vote, this is not a particular surprise to those who have worked the polls before, it always tough to find responsible folks available for a one day 12 to 1`4hr shift with no breaks! I am not sure how Elections Canada gets away with it but poll clerks and others who work the polls are expected to be at their station the entire time that the polls are open and then some must remain to count ballots or forfill other duties related to closing (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: ConCalls: Trial Begins for Sona in #RoboCon #elxnfraud

An important trial in Canadian history is underway in Guelph, Ontario. Michael Sona, the only person accused by prosecutors of carrying out the illegall robocalls in Guelph to redirect people to the “Old Quebec St. Mall”, faces jail and fines. However, he could not have carried out this crime by himself, calling into question the accuracy of the investigation by Al Mathews.

Mathews is accompanied by Chris Crawford, a former CPC staffer and former Guelph campaign worker. http://t.co/ZKDBAihkwQ— Robocalls trial (@robocallstrial) June 02, 2014

From #robocalls trial via @stphnmaher: "Agreed statement of facts: No record of (Read more…)

Democracy Under Fire: Its Silly Season in Ontario

With advanced polls opening for the Ontario Election today its definitely silly season in Ontario, we are inundated with totally meaningless TV ads from 3 of the Partys telling us how bad the other guys are and failing to give us any real idea of what their plan is. There is Andrea of the NDP who forced the election by turning down the most NDP friendly budget proposed in years, there is Kathleen of the Liberals who continues to wear the cynical decision of the previous premier to move a power pant to gain votes, then there is little Timmy (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Why only politics when we think of democracy?

Conversations about democracy tend to revolve overwhelmingly about politics and government. These topics are rightly at the centre of democratic dialogue as they are the overarching institutions of our society. But if we are to have a thoroughly democratic society, we cannot limit ourselves to democratic government. We need to consider all our institutions.

The workplace, for example, is to

PostArctica: Citizen’s Party Growing In Spain – Podemos (We Can)

“It’s citizens doing politics. If the citizens don’t get involved in politics, others will. And that opens the door to them robbing you of democracy, your rights and your wallet.”

Pablo Iglesias, Podemos

Podemos hopes to cement rise of citizen politics in Spain after election success

 

PostArctica: Citizen’s Party Growing In Spain – Podemos (We Can)

“It’s citizens doing politics. If the citizens don’t get involved in politics, others will. And that opens the door to them robbing you of democracy, your rights and your wallet.”

Pablo Iglesias, Podemos

Podemos hopes to cement rise of citizen politics in Spain after election success

 

Melissa Fong: Ricochet: An invitation to our party and to meet me and the team

As some of you may already know I am on the editorial collective at Ricochet, a new independent media project for progressive voices. For those who know me personally or […]

Democracy Under Fire: Ontario Election = Identification & Vouching

With all the publicity around the Federal ‘Fair’ Elections Act and the issue of vouching it is important to know that for the Ontario Provincial Election VOUCHING IS NOT PERMITTED. You must have proper identification in order to vote, if you are not on the voters list, do not receive a registration card indicating the poll location or do not have identification with your name and municipal address on it you may have a problem.

If you DO have the registration card you just need the card that was mailed to you with your name and address on it and (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Voting—the opiate of the people?

A letter to the Deseret News, a Salt Lake City, Utah, daily paper, suggested rather unkindly that the rite of voting in the U.S. is nothing more than “the opiate of the masses.” I was rather surprised to find a quote from Marx in a newspaper owned by the Mormon Church.

The author of the letter was commenting on a recent in-depth study by two political scientists from Princeton and

Bill Longstaff: Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and déjà vu

That Egyptian general Abdel Fattah el-Sisi intends to return the country to military rule becomes increasingly clear. Leader of the July 2013 coup against then President Mohamed Morsi, Sisi is running in the May 26-27 presidential election which he is expected to win in a landslide. He is highly popular and is systematically eliminating the military’s major opposition, the Muslim Brotherhood.

Democracy Under Fire: Election Act, Election Ont, Election Incentives

So the flawed “fair” Elections Act has now passed final reading with a few amendments that public pressure made the Cons include but without the dozens of amendments proposed by the opposition and without even considering the 75 amendments that the Greens were not permitted to table.

The Speaker upheld the decision of the House committee tasked with studying Bill C-23 to deny the Green Leader the right to present her amendments.  “I am profoundly disappointed by today’s ruling,” said the MP for Saanich–Gulf Islands. “This decision undermines the ability of MPs from smaller parties and independent MPs to move amendments, (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Hundreds of protesters arrested in Brussels as business leaders debate ‘maintaining citizen’s trust’ | EurActiv

Hundreds of protesters arrested in Brussels as business leaders debate ‘maintaining citizen’s trust’ | EurActiv.

Filed under: Capitalism, Democracy, Europe Tagged: Eurozone, TTIP

Parchment in the Fire: EU officials plotted IMF attack to bring rebellious Italy to its knees – Telegraph Blogs

EU officials plotted IMF attack to bring rebellious Italy to its knees – Telegraph Blogs.

The revelations about EMU skulduggery are coming thick and fast. Tim Geithner recounts in his book Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises just how far the EU elites are willing to go to save the euro, even if it means toppling elected leaders and eviscerating Europe’s sovereign parliaments.

Filed under: Austerity, Crisis, Democracy, Europe Tagged: Democracy, Eurozone Crisis, Italy, neoliberalism

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: ConCalls: Insufficient Investigation for #RoboCon

A lawyer central to the Federal Court challenge of election fraud in 2011, has made a list of deficiencies in the Elections Canada Commish’s report.

#cdnpoli #MUSTread Dancing with Mr. Côté over the Fair Elections Act & PDF assessment of #robocalls case. rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers… #muckreads— Judyth Mermelstein (@GadflyQuebec) May 10, 2014

What led the Commish Cote to ignore obvious evidence and conclusions. Hopefully it’s not a factor of being appointed by Stephen Harper, but any reason still leaves Canadians with an unsolved crime. The Commish failed to carry out his duty to protect Canadian elections from crime.

The Commissioner (Read more…)

Democracy Under Fire: Garbage in, Garbage out?

Having publicly available information on the well-being of our local communities and national numbers on employment, business viability, population etc etc is essential not only to keep the government ‘honest’ but to make local and governmental decisions affecting these things. At first glance then it would seem that the ongoing project to make such government data more readily available is a good thing, is it as Tony Clement would have us believe “proof of the governments openness and transparency”. Or, is it proof of the Harper Regimes inability to do anything right and a further coverup of the real data. (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Occupy, For Democracy

Journalists protest the erosion of freedom of expression in Canada on Feb. 27 in Toronto. Photo Credit: Hiba Zayadin

When I write about soft fascism, I sometimes feel too Canadian. I don’t want to be impolite and talk about hard or old school or 20th century fascism because frankly, when people read that word, they think, “hey, is he talking about Hitler kinda stuff? Ok, then, so it’s not fascism.”

It is though. You don’t have to start a genocide for someone to consider your actions fascist.

It’s a kind, gentler, Canadian-style fascism with a hit of Tom Horton’s (Read more…)

Democracy Under Fire: This and That – Distractions and Obfuscations

The ongoing Elections act cluster fk has successfully distracted from the latest omnibus budget from the Harper Regime, hardy a word has been seen about the 350 page “Harper Government Creating Jobs & Growth While Returning to Balanced Budgets With Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1.”. Yep, we are back to that H*&^%$# Government thing again to describe our Canada Government as run by the Harper Oligarchy and hardly a word about all the hidden things about food safety, rail safety, the appointment of judges and altering military ranks, and other stuff which has nothing to do with (Read more…)

Democracy Under Fire: Ignorance is Bliss?

Its old news that the Harper Regime eliminated the long form Census thus also eliminating reliable information on the economic and social status of various areas and communities across the country. Nor should it be news that like many other departments (with the notable exception of the PMO) their budget has beencut. Statscan’s budget has fallen by $29.3-million in the past two years, and its staffing has fallen by 767 people, or 18.5 per cent, in the same period, excluding the census and surveys paid for by outside clients. Its been hard enough in the past (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Don’t give up on the Senate, Mr. Harper

It wouldn’t be surprising if Prime Minister Harper was in a bit of a funk over the Supreme Court’s decision on the Senate this week. The Court unanimously rejected his government’s attempt to transform the Senate into an elected body and to set term limits, saying that such basic changes require the consent of at least seven provinces and half of Canadians. For Mr. Harper, this was fifth straight