Remember that court challenge to the results of the 2011 federal election in six ridings? A number of electors, with the financial support of the Council of Canadians, felt that fraudulent robocalls may have sufficiently affected the results in six ridings where the Conservatives won by a slim margin that the results should be thrown . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Campaign Capers: Judge Mosley rules and the results stand
Following up on the release of a new book called The Big Shift by John Ibbitson and Darrell Bricker, Gerry Nicholls is in The Hill Times this morning to boil it down for us:
Harper’s majority victory in 2011 was no fluke.
Rather, the Conservative Party won because its emphasis on low taxes, balanced budgets, . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: The Big Shift? Or Wishful Thinking?
The headline on John Ivison’s column in the National Post today is almost perfect.
Expect a lot of noise about union dues disclosure bill
…Mr. Hiebert’s financial transparency bill – which, among other things, would require unions to disclose how much money they spend on political activities – could shatter the union business . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Expect a lot of noise? Very well put!
This is from the final paragraph of a Toronto Sun story reporting on a poll that reveals Canadians really don’t want Omar Khadr back in the country.
As the survey respondents were not selected randomly but were drawn from an online panel of more than 150,000 Canadians, a margin of error could not be calculated. . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: A margin of error could not be calculated. Do tell?
Tory MP Del Mastro hounded on the Hill
OTTAWA – Election spending questions are hounding a Tory MP on Parliament Hill.
The Liberals are calling on Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro to appear before a the ethics committee to explain news reports alleging that he signed a $21,000 personal cheque for election spending in 2008 . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Journamalism: Leave poor Dean alooooooone!
Gwyn Morgan in the Globe and Mail a month ago:
Germany has given away $130-billion, mostly to solar-power companies. Yet solar power makes up a minuscule 0.3 per cent of German power supply, while doing almost nothing toward the original objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Reported by Reuters yesterday afternoon:
German solar power plants . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: And this is where we juxtapose
This op-ed in the Globe and Mail depends in large part on the uncritical acceptance of the conclusions of a Fraser Institute report. So it might have been nice if the Globe had disclosed that the column’s author, Gwyn Morgan, is both a serious financial donor to the Fraser Institute and a member of its . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Disclosure for thee but not for me?
The other day I asked whether the Globe and Mail has a published policy about the use of anonymous sources. Now I would ask the same question regarding both the Toronto Star and the National Post. And I don’t even particularly like Thomas Mulcair.
John Ivison’s column in the National Post discussing Mulcair’s NDP leadership . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Journamalism: Broken Record Edition
The sources for the first half of this Globe and Mail update on the robocall controversy are “Tories, in private conversations Monday”, “one Tory source” and “Conservatives who worked on the 2011 election campaign.” A quick read through the rest suggests that those affiliated with other parties and those who are coming forward to say . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Apparently the Conservatives have their own Anonymous
To all those who think that Bill C30, Vic Toews’ new legislation, represents an invasion of your privacy, Robert Fulford would like you all to know that you’re being naive. There is really no such thing as privacy online anymore. And Fulford knows because he’s been paying close attention.
Experience tells us that just about . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Journamalism: The Death of Privacy Edition
Lorne Gunter, whose National Post column on the census is thoroughly dissected at Calgary Grit.
Incidentally, should Tony Clement pop up to claim vindication since Statistics Canada has released the first set of results from the recent census today, feel free to remind him that the population data we’re getting right now is based on . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Wanker of the day
One of the hot topics of discussion right now involves the speculation that the Harper Government™ intends to raise the eligibility age for Old Age Security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) from 65 to 67. And here’s Brian Lee Crowley to argue that the real reason for doing so is that so many . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Fun with figures
Surgery wait times longest in 18 years
Wait times to receive medical treatment in Canada are the highest they’ve been in 18 years, according to a new report.
And it may or not be true. The new report comes from the Fraser Institute and all the CBC does here is repeat the report’s conclusions and . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Journamalism
About a year ago at this time there was an astonishing coincidence. At exactly the same time as Conservative MP Kelly Block was introducing a bill concerning the need for transparency on the salaries of First Nations band chiefs and councillors, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation released a report that indicated 82 of those band chiefs . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: How zombie lies are born. And never die.
Brian Lilley. Go see Glen McGregor take Lilley’s latest column apart.
With Libyan liberation, a political victory for Harper Stephen Harper’s first war victory was clinched in a few sudden hours when Moammar Gadhafi was captured and killed and his last bastion of Sirte fell. Excuse me? The countries in the most powerful military alliance on the planet combined forces to defeat a single, relatively minor power and this is a war victory for Stephen Harper? Wow. Just…wow. Next on the list is to figure out how to give Harper credit for winning the War of 1812. But at least we’ve dropped any pretense that it was strictly about enforcing a no-fly zone. It was a war declared by Stephen Harper. I wonder how he managed to get the Americans involved. Or to get the French to be the first to attack so it wouldn’t look like we were trying to hog all the glory…. . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Today in WTF? moments
by matttbastard Johann Hari, September 2011: “If I had asked the many experienced colleagues I have here at The Independent… they would have explained just how wrong I was. It was arrogant and stupid of me not to ask.” Indeed … Continue reading → . . . → Read More: bastard.logic: Johann Hari Vs. Johann Hari On The Ethics Of Making Sh!t Up
Since the title of Lawrence Martin’s column of yesterday is Pushing the limits of state surveillance, I would imagine he was going to go on to discuss the continuing assaults on civil liberties and privacy that have been part of the so-called War on Terror™. But I got disgusted at the end of the second paragraph and stopped reading. Ten years on, we are still presented with the insanity that sees a ragtag collection of terrorist twirps, pissants or whatever you want to call them holding hostage the world’s greatest military power. Washington got sucked right into their trap, colossally overspending on defence and driving the treasury into dire debt; starting a war with a non-guilty party on the basis of bogus information at an appalling cost of almost 5,000 American lives; building a surveillance state that erodes if not ravages once-cherished American freedoms. In the war on terror, is there any doubt who the loser has been? I’d say the losers are the Iraqis, who just got written out of the story completely. As a result of that "war with a non-guilty party", hundreds of thousands of them are dead and millions more were wounded, injured or displaced. If… . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: This is where I stopped reading
Prosecuting freedom of speech If pricking an elitist balloon is all it takes to face the punishment of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, then the Sun News Network is in trouble. But then so is our constitutionally-guaranteed right to freedom of speech, the right to vigourous debate, divergent opinion as well as the right to choose channels. This is in anticipation of a decision by the CBSC on the matter of complaints — lots and lots of complaints — about an interview of a dancer named Margie Gillis by Sun TV’s Krista Erickson. You may have already heard something about it but if not, and you’re that curious, you can see Part 1 and Part 2 at YouTube. The good people at the Sun network are obviously shaking in their boots at the severe punishment they expect to receive…. . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Leave Sun TV aloooooooone!
Quebec NDP MPs stay silent on their political past The Star emailed every Quebec MP in the NDP caucus — excluding Interim Leader Nycole Turmel — a short questionnaire last week soliciting their opinions on the political future of the province and whether they had changed over time. They were also asked if they had ever held a membership in another political party at the provincial or federal level, how they voted in the Quebec referendums, whether they ever cast a ballot for the Bloc Québécois and whether they considered themselves federalists, sovereigntists or believed another term would best describe their beliefs. … One week later, not a single NDP MP from Quebec had agreed to participate. If this exercise was all about "sparking a greater discussion" as the article claims, why not prepare a questionnaire that could be sent to all 308 MPs? If the focus was to be on the opinions of those from Quebec, why not send it to Quebec MPs from all the parties? Why limit it to the NDP caucus unless the hoped for discussion was about the failure of Dippers to respond or to pass a purity test?… . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: "in the hope of sparking a greater discussion"
Every year or two I find a reason to point to Declan’s post on the Media Failure Two-Step. (And actually I could find a reason much more often than that.) To review, the Two-Step looks like this: Step 1) Cause something (bad) to happen through your reporting. Step 2) Report on this (bad) thing from the perspective of an innocent bystander. And then you just repeat indefinitely. Our latest example? With the Globe and Mail leading the charge, since yesterday many in the media have been having a great old time implying that a Quebec politician who has previously been involved with the BQ is somehow unfit for her position as an interim leader for the NDP. That in turn would imply that about half the voters of Quebec are illegitimate participants in the democratic process until they somehow redeem themselves to the satisfaction of the Globe’s editorial board. And in case it isn’t obvious, deserting the BQ in droves to vote for the NDP isn’t sufficient for the purpose. And today, right on cue, we have John Ibbitson lamenting the fact that Quebec has become politically isolated from the rest of Canada. He cites a number of reasons for… . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: I guess some dances never go out of style
A favourite strategy of the Conservatives is to deflect discussion of the issues and instead try to make it look as though even an opponent’s participation in the conversation is somehow illegitimate. The best example was the focus on Michael Ignatieff’s years abroad but it’s a ploy they’ll use whenever the opportunity presents itself. It’s interesting to see the Globe and Mail doing it’s part by blasting the news that interim NDP leader Nycole Turmel was a member of the BQ for several years — as if it was a closely guarded secret that somehow implies something deeply significant. And it will be equally interesting to see how many other media players are quite happy to reinforce the frame while indulging in their favourite game: speculating about all the possible negative consequences for the opposition. It must be a slow news day. Of course, as Greg Fingas points out, the force of this shocking revelation would be somewhat blunted by the fact that prior to 2006, Turmel was deeply involved in NDP politics over a much longer period. So while the Globe story provides a brief history of her career with the PSAC, her previous association with the NDP is… . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Aaaaaand they’re off!
Yesterday the Calgary Herald published the kind of story that’s become all too familiar in Canada in recent years. This time it involves a scientist working for the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Dr. Kristi Miller heads up a project created to investigate the abrupt decrease in the size of salmon stocks on the west coast and she made a discovery significant enough that when her findings were published in Science this past January, the magazine contacted over 7,400 journalists around the world to draw it to their attention. And it worked — according to the Herald "major media outlets were soon lining up to speak with Miller." And the next clause in that sentence is: but the Privy Council Office said no to the interviews. At that point the government stepped in and issued a muzzle order. The Privy Council Office also nixed a Fisheries Department news release about Miller’s study, saying the release "was not very good, focused on salmon dying and not on the new science aspect," according to documents obtained by Postmedia News under the Access to Information Act. So the dying salmon are important enough to justify a $6 million project but not important… . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Media Fail
I think it’s safe to add this one to the list of lies that refuse to die: that Stephen Harper confounded his critics on the left by showing himself willing to embrace Keynesian economics and use government funds to stimulate the economy during an economic downturn. Today it’s Bruce Anderson in the Globe and Mail. Mr. Harper spent massively during the recession — hard to square with the idea that he’s a fiscal radical. As if Harper surveyed the situation, determined that stimulus was the right thing to do and got down to business to do it. There is no acknowledgement in this column that the economic statement that led to the creation of the (short-lived) Liberal-NDP coalition — and the controversial prorogation of parliament in late 2008 — made no mention of economic stimulus and barely acknowledged the recession. The fact that the Economic! Action! Plan! was originally born under duress keeps getting written out of the story. A few months ago it was this same paper’s editorial board indulging in historical revisionism in support of the claim that Harper’s Conservatives could be counted on to provide principled and competent economic leadership. Here it’s in support of the thesis… . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Zombie lies
Sun Media pulls out of press council, citing issues with political correctness Sun Media is pulling out of the Ontario Press Council, saying it can’t adhere to the media watchdog’s "politically correct" standards. Glenn Garnett, vice-president of editorial at Sun Media, sent a letter this week saying that effective immediately the company’s newspapers are withdrawing their membership. … Garnett writes that Sun Media can’t be "bound by the interpretations" of its competitors on its journalistic obligations and objectives. I’m having a little difficulty seeing how Sun Media was "bound" by anything. This is from the the Press Council’s About page: A Press Council adjudication represents the collective opinion of a newspaper’s conduct shared by people from a broad cross-section of Ontario society and from the newspaper field. It is an opinion that the newspaper undertakes to publish, not an order that the newspaper must obey. So the burden that membership imposes is that the member newspaper agrees to report it when that broad cross-section agrees with a complaint registered about the newspaper’s reporting. So what are we talking about? A paragraph or two?… . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Standards? We don’t need no stinkin’ standards!