Hat tip to BluntObjects for the LeadNow poll of Canadians’ views about the need to fix our broken electoral system. The poll shows massive support by Liberals, Dippers and Greens for some form of proportional representation (the key plan of the Joyce Murray fix-it-now campaign for leadership of the Liberal Party): Q: Do you support proportional representation?
Even a sizeable number of Tories think the system is broken. The Liberal Party’s pallid preferential vote system is just that: a meaningless sop to serious electoral reform.
Let’s hope that our party gets its act together and starts listening – really
. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Poll: Massive support for Proportional Representation
Michael Sona: Whom should I call?
Sona, charged with being the man behind the voter suppression robocalls in Guelph in the suspect May 2011 election, has, through his lawyer, repeated that he is not the personwho set up the voter suppression calls. His lawyer has called for a public enquiry into the mess (fat chance on that when our government is headed by a man who seems more intent on avoiding public debate of public matters). But his lawyer also said Sona now had the chance to state his say in court. Guess who I expect Sona to subpoena . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Robocon: Guess who Sona will call as witnesses?
Democracy is coming
At our last convention our party decided to throw the doors open to Canadians by inviting them to join as non-member Supporters and to vote for our next leader. The response has been stunning. Our next leader will be elected by many multiples more people than those paltry few who elected our last two leaders, Dion and Martin, as this article in the National Post points out:
Almost 300,000 members and supporters have signed up to choose the next leader of the federal Liberal party, which could be the highest number the party has ever seen.
. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Massive Win for Democracy in the Liberal Party of Canada
Justin Trudeau’s Big Enchilada?
This extract from The Vancouver Courier just about sums up the fate of electoral reform’s future right now:
Political cooperation isn’t a new concept, but University of B.C. political science professor Philip Resnick says it’s worth noting that in both the NDP and Liberal leadership campaigns, it has been the B.C. candidate who has advanced the concept of political cooperation.
“Nathan Cullen in the NDP contest, Joyce Murray in the Liberal one. Add Elizabeth May to the mix and you have three,” he told me by email.
“The idea would appeal to
. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Is Justin Trudeau trying to win the big enchilada on his own?
Trudeau vs Reformer Murray
Justin Trudeau told a crowd in Hamilton that a Liberal Party led by him would take steps to reengage Canadians in our political life: The Liberal Party’s first step in a Federal election should be reengaging people who have given up on politics, says leadership contender Justin Trudeau.
“We need to reengage citizens across this country with the idea of being citizens,” Trudeau said at an appearance at the West Town Bar and Grill in Hamilton Saturday afternoon. “Being a citizen is more than just paying your taxes and voting and obeying the law. It’s about understanding that you are responsible for the society of which you are part,” he said. While addressing a crowd of onlookers at the Locke Street restaurant, Trudeau lamented that Canadians are becoming cynical about politics. “But we’re sick and tired of being cynical about politics,” he added. (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Political disengagement in Canada: Why is Justin Trudeau ignoring the obvious?
Both are recommending to their tens of thousands of members that they join the Liberal Party as Supporters and vast votes for meaningful electoral reform when voting for the next leader. But there is one startling statistic that should impact their strategy if they really want to be effective, and it is that one third of Liberal ridings are dormant, non-existent, pining for the Norwegian fjords:
Liberals estimate that approximately 80 of their 308 riding associations across the country are now dormant: with only a handful of party members in the riding, a non-functioning or dysfunctional riding executive and little or no ability to raise funds. Some party leaders believe the number is closer to 100.
Because the rules for the election of the next Liberal leader give each and every one of the 308 ridings equal votes (100 each), the Liberal leader will be chosen by . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Liberal Leadership Race: Critical Strategy for Leadnow and Fair Vote Canada
Joyce Murray – Reformer
Tomorrow MP Joyce Murray will be given the chance to kickstart what could be the most important public discussion in Canadian politics in two decades, when she debates the other candidates for leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada. Susan Delacourt has an interesting (and must read) article in The Star on Murray and the first debate: Liberal leadership contender Joyce Murray enters the first debate this weekend with two advantages on her side.
First, the event is being held on the home turf of the Vancouver MP, the only candidate who makes her home west of Ontario. As well, the nine candidates are due to discuss electoral cooperation with other parties — an issue on which Murray has already staked out some clear ground in favour of strategic, progressive alliances. In a field crowded with candidates making appeals to the centre-right of the . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: MP Joyce Murray to kickstart the Canadian debate on electoral reform tomorrow
Joyce Murray – Progressive Reformer
MP Murray’s position on pre-election cooperation between the Liberal, NDP, Green and Blog parties in order to remove Harper’s right wing government from power, and her commitment to serious electoral reform, bears repeating in full:
Our principal challenge is to give Canada the 21st century electoral system it deserves.
• One that will be responsive to the urgent and long term issues facing the country.• One that will produce rational and thoughtful debate.• One that will encourage the input of diverse perspectives.• One that will enable the best progressive policies to
. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Liberal Leadership Race: Joyce Murray’s Electoral Reforms Promise
Only in Britain, you say. Pity: I only ask because a few days ago the government released a transparently self-serving “response” to a request from its own MPs, showing that it costs as much as $150,000 to respond to a question tabled by an opposition politician in Parliament, and therefore that opposition politicians should not be permitted to ask questions of the government.
This is yet more evidence of the fantastic fiscal competence of “Canada’s responsible majority government,” I must say. The British government says that the average written response to a question costs just £164.
Oh the fun
. . . → Read More: Impolitical: Only in Britain?
The Undemocratic Democracy
Recent byelections have once more proved that The Power Trap has the leaders of two of the opposition parties firmly in its grip. The State of Play post Calgary Centre Byelection Some recent reflections on the divided opposition parties:
Yet most Liberals here still see other parties joining them rather than the other way around.As for the Greens, they are enjoying a surge of support, particularly in B.C., where they came close to winning the byelection in Victoria. Combining forces with one of the old-line parties — the NDP or the Liberals — would
. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: The Joyce Murray Cooperate First, Reform Later Plan’s advantages
Joyce Murray: Targeting our democratic deficitAndrew Coyne has supported Murray’s idea of removing the Harper Tories from power and reforming the electoral system.This is a brief report of what Joyce Murray said, by Joan Bryden:But her proposal for co-… . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Joyce Murray is right: Our electoral sytem is broken and needs fixing
Andrew CoyneAt last we have some candidates for leadership of the Liberal Party who – unlike Justin Trudeau – are prepared to deal with the reality of Canadian politics: our democratic deficit. And journalist Coyne does us all a favour by dis… . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Andrew Coyne gives a good reason for choosing Joyce Murray as Liberal Party leader
As national polls and recent federal elections have shown time after time, our antiquated first past the post system of electing MPs results in a party with a minority of total votes cast being able to win a majority of seats in Parliament and act as i… . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Calgary Centre Byelection: Liberal leaders who cannot count give Stephen Harper a belated thanksgiving gift
Justin Trudeau – realpolitiek practitionerJohn Ibbitson in the Globe & Mail comments on the plans of the Trudeau team to use the changed constitution of the Liberal Party of Canada to enhance the chances of Trudeau not only winning the leadership c… . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Justin Trudeau really really gets what the new Supporters class means
The decline in the quality of public life in our province over the past decade is matched by a decline in other places across Canada and in Ottawa.
For those who may not have noticed some of the commentary on this here are three pieces worth considering:
Allen Gregg: 1984 in 2012 – the assault on reason Susan Delacourt: a lesson in the art of political debate Chantal Hebert: House of Commons no longer a source of wonder for a journalist
If you have a few minutes to spare, flip through the provincial government’s 2012 budget.
Look for the work “donation”.
You won’t find it. Nor will you find any amount of money set aside in the health department budget that would cover a donation by the provincial government to health care foundations operated in some communities on the west coast earlier this year.
In Corner Brook and Stephenville, cabinet ministers and local government backbenchers announced a total of $250,000 in provincial government “donations” to the local charities that support the hospitals in Corner Brook and Stephenville.
. . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Another sign of the democratic deficit #nlpoli
Lawrence Martin in today’s Globe & Mail raises a very important question about what Justin Trudeau might do to change the system:
Idealism is the currency of the young and, if Justin Trudeau is to succeed and the Liberal Party to have new life, a new sense of it is essential. His appeal should be one of broad scope.
It should be nothing less than an appeal to “change the system.” Lawrence Martin: Change the system, Justin
The young are so turned off by how Ottawa operates that only a sweeping reform will suffice. Pierre Trudeau’s vision for
. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Justin Trudeau: A Political Tinkerer or a man with a Bold Vision for Canada?
Now that the dust is settling, a PQ minority government will take over in Quebec with roughly one-third of the vote, while the Legault Coalition party will end up with far fewer seats than its roughly 27% of the votes should grant it. However, Legault’s Coalition party now holds the balance of power, and sooner or later both the PQ and the Liberal Party will come cap in hand, asking for its support. What should Legault do? He can introduce a more democratic system of electing representatives through a modified proportional representation system to replace the undemocratic first past the . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Quebec election: What Francois Legault should do
The Ottawa Citizen published an op-ed by former Saanich-Gulf Islands Liberal candidate Briony Penn on Tuesday: “I was the first robocalls victim.” It tells the story of the 2008 federal election in that riding and the strange robocalls urging people to vote for an NDP candidate who had withdrawn from the race, thereby splitting the vote to the Conservative Gary Lunn’s advantage.
The funny thing is, the Citizen – home of McMaher – published the same op-ed when this story first broke back in early March, as an astute reader points out to me. She thinks that Penn’s piece
. . . → Read More: Impolitical: The first robocalls victim – again
Just like Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Dalton McGuinty is cramming major changes into a bloated budget document, hoping to force the NDP into supporting his budget rather than risk another election so soon after the last one. The Premier is trying ramrod substantial changes to the way Ontario runs its government through by including major changes in the budget, and the NDP is calling him on it. Now McGuinty is crying foul, claiming he has been double crossed by the NDP, and trying to fudge the issues, while threatening to dissolve the Legislature. Amongst the major changes McGuinty is trying . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Premier McGuinty tries a fast one with his questionable budget
From a second rebuttal to justice minister Felix Collins, right (not exactly as illustrated) from the Center for Law and Democracy:
In a speech to the House of Assembly on 14 June 2012, Collins used derogatory terms to refer to CLD, and claimed we had financial motives in publicising our research. CLD is no stranger to working in difficult political environments. Over the past year, we have conducted projects in Kazakhstan, Myanmar, Somalia and many other countries that are known for being particularly hostile to democratising forces. However, this is the first time that the integrity and professionalism of
. . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Collins beats Kazakhstan #nlpoli
Key point on Scheer’s ruling and the ongoing discussion over C-38, the government’s monstrous omnibus bill that jams unrelated and consequential bills into the budget process: “It’s something that clearly means we’re going to have to change the way Parliament does business,” Rae said. “If we can’t succeed in doing that under this government, we’ll have to succeed in doing it under a government in the future.”
This is not an inside the Queensway argument after all that should be diminished as something people don’t care about. Good government is one of our constitutional hallmarks (section 91)
. . . → Read More: Impolitical: C-38 Speaker’s ruling reaction
Kudos to all the non-Tory MPs in the House for fighting to preserve our democratic traditions, by tabling amendments to the draconian Budget bill. The Harper government clearly does not really believe in the correct functioning of our Parliamentary committees and the House itself, as we have seen in many cases. Their bundling together of seventy different laws, many of which have anything to do with the budget, in order to fast track their program is yet the latest example of the contempt the Conservatives have for the messiness that a real democracy has. However, the chances are better than . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Opposition Budget Tactics probably will be frustrated
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