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CBC Asks: Is politics broken? Yes, says Alison Loat

CBC Asks: Is politics broken? Yes, says Alison Loat | 1CalgaryVote | Scoop.it
Canada’s democracy isn’t working nearly as well as it should, writes Alison Loat.
1CalgaryVote's insight:

On March 25, Samara Canada, the charity Loat co-founded, will release Democracy 360, a benchmark report card on the state of Canada’s democracy.


There will be a live debate event at 9 p.m. MT streamed on CBC.

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What would a coalition government mean for progressive politics in Canada? | The Council of Canadians

What would a coalition government mean for progressive politics in Canada? | The Council of Canadians | 1CalgaryVote | Scoop.it
While the federal election is still ten months away, there is already speculation that a likely outcome of the vote on October 19, 2015 is a Conservative minority government that could be displaced by a Liberal-NDP coalition government. Both NDP leader Thomas Mulcair and Green Party leader Elizabeth May appear to be open to forming a coalition government with the Liberals to unseat a Conservative minority government, but Liberal leader Justin Trudeau is ruling it out - for now.
1CalgaryVote's insight:

The Council of Canadians: Canadians appear ready for the political moment of a Liberal-NDP coalition government. The National Post reports, "A recent EKOS Research poll suggests Canadians are now open to the idea of coalition government too, with 54% supporting a hypothetical Liberal-NDP coalition over a Conservative minority government."


(an interesting comparison of party positions - similarities and differences are discussed)

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Poilievre Shrugs Off Criticism Of Latest Voting Law Changes

Poilievre Shrugs Off Criticism Of Latest Voting Law Changes | 1CalgaryVote | Scoop.it
OTTAWA — Democratic Reform Minister Pierre Poilievre defended his changes to the election law Thursday by saying that he is not aware of any data suggesting that Canadians living abroad tend to vote for parties other than the Conservatives in s...
1CalgaryVote's insight:

The article is a bit confusing but essentially, the changes require an expat to produce government ID showing their last address - a passport is no longer good enough. 

 

"The bill would also force non-residents to apply to vote, providing that photo identification, at each and every federal election after the writ is dropped. Currently, they can apply to be on an international registry at any time and automatically receive a ballot in subsequent elections."

 

"The bill also limits the choice of riding where a non-resident’s vote will be counted. Currently, non-residents can select their last place of residency, their spouse or partner’s last place of residence, their parents’ address, or the address of someone with whom they might ordinarily live. The new rules would limit the riding chosen to only the last place of actual residency."

 

 

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Never mind the polls, Tories will win | Opinion | Toronto Sun

Never mind the polls, Tories will win | Opinion | Toronto Sun | 1CalgaryVote | Scoop.it
1CalgaryVote's insight:

"In the coming election, the NDP will have competition from the Liberals for seats in Quebec unlike what they had in 2011. The two left-of-centre parties will also battle for seats in Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver."

 

"Outside of those centres, though – in rural Ontario, on the Prairies and in the B.C. Interior and Vancouver suburbs, they will split the vote to the benefit of Tory candidates."

 

Overconfidence on the part of the left of centre parties will ensure a Harper win - what can the majority of us who are non-partisan progressives - do to prevent this?

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University prof surprised panel discussion ended up in RCMP report | Toronto Star

University prof surprised panel discussion ended up in RCMP report | Toronto Star | 1CalgaryVote | Scoop.it
Ottawa has been keeping tabs on hundreds of public events and demonstrations both at home and around the world, including a public panel discussion at a Montreal university last year organized by Halifax professor Darryl Leroux.
1CalgaryVote's insight:

"Most of the reports on public events appear to focus on First Nations and environmental movements, including the Idle No More movement and anti-oilsands activism."

 

Oh, Canada. We hardly recognize you.

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Andrew Coyne on the Reform Act's lesson: Party leaders have made Canadian democracy unreformable

Andrew Coyne on the Reform Act's lesson: Party leaders have made Canadian democracy unreformable | 1CalgaryVote | Scoop.it
This is greatly clarifying. It isn’t only one party or its leader who stands in the way of Parliament’s reform. They all do
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Brent Rathgeber: From an ex-Tory MP, confessions of a former trained seal

Brent Rathgeber: From an ex-Tory MP, confessions of a former trained seal | 1CalgaryVote | Scoop.it
In a new book, former Tory MP Brent Rathgeber lays bare the heavy-handed methods that Canadian political leaders use to enforce party discipline.
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When Harper Killed the Census He Robbed Canadians

When Harper Killed the Census He Robbed Canadians | 1CalgaryVote | Scoop.it
An ad in the Globe and Mail reveals the extent of harm the Harper Conservatives have inflicted on Statistics Canada. Because of poor quality, Statistics Canada is not releasing data at finer spatial scales because the Harper Conservatives killed the mandatory long-form Census and replaced it with a voluntary survey of dubious quality.
1CalgaryVote's insight:

"The Conservative government's decision has cost millions more to taxpayers to collect poor quality data. Even worse, now Canadians have to pay even more to private vendors to get the same or better data."

 

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How Stephen Harper's inner circle has changed

How Stephen Harper's inner circle has changed | 1CalgaryVote | Scoop.it
Harper's inner circle is shrinking, not in terms of size, but in age, life experience and links to the professions, some critical observers say.
1CalgaryVote's insight:

“We’ve blurred opponent with enemy,” Ignatieff said, in a speech last year to a law school audience. “Belonging matters more than confidence, expertise or trustworthiness.”

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Law-school deans join critics of Harper’s attack on top judge

Law-school deans join critics of Harper’s attack on top judge | 1CalgaryVote | Scoop.it
Leading legal academics say Conservative attack on Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin could undermine Supreme Court’s independence (RT @stephenlautens: And now *all* Canada's law school deans say Harper is a jerk (or legal words to that effect)
1CalgaryVote's insight:

The council, representing all 23 deans of the country’s law schools, said it is gravely concerned that criticism from Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Justice Minister Peter MacKay could harm the independence of the country’s top court.

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Attempt to smear Chief Justice an affront to our constitutional system - The Globe and Mail

Attempt to smear Chief Justice an affront to our constitutional system - The Globe and Mail | 1CalgaryVote | Scoop.it
RT @BillTieleman: Attempt to smear Chief Justice an affront to our constitutional system. http://t.co/Lg9rlqRTux #cdnpoli #onpoli #bcpoli #…
1CalgaryVote's insight:

"...even this level of extreme anti-democratic behaviour has been surpassed with the current attempted smear against the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, Beverly McLachlin." 

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Bar Association: Deeply Concerned About Spat

Bar Association: Deeply Concerned About Spat | 1CalgaryVote | Scoop.it
OTTAWA - The association that represents lawyers in Canada is calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to acknowledge the chief justice of the Supreme Court has done nothing wrong.

 

The Canadian Bar Association says it's deeply concerned about the public spat between Harper and Beverely McLachlin.

 

Harper has accused McLachlin of acting improperly last July when she advised his office that Marc Nadon, a Federal Court of Appeal judge, might not fit the legal criteria set for Quebec appointees to the Supreme Court.

1CalgaryVote's insight:

The CBA says: Harper should clarify publicly that McLachlin acted appropriately.

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LOWTHER NAMED EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF ROCKY VIEW 2020 - Rocky View 2020

LOWTHER NAMED EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF ROCKY VIEW 2020 - Rocky View 2020 | 1CalgaryVote | Scoop.it
Landowner Group Committed To Bringing Fresh Thinking, New Ideas to County ROCKY VIEW COUNTY, Alberta – Landowners have hired long-term resident Eric Lowthe
1CalgaryVote's insight:

Lowther ran unsuccessfully for Rocky View County Council in October of 2014. At the time he told the Rocky View Weekly: 

 

...he thinks municipal politics is “often a more challenging political road (than federal politics) … because you’re closer to where people live and don’t have the coverings of a political party.”


http://www.rockyviewweekly.com/article/20131014/RVW0806/310149972/second-rocky-view-candidate-seeks-election-in-bearspaw

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Harry Smith Is Coming for Stephen Harper | The Tyee

Harry Smith Is Coming for Stephen Harper | The Tyee | 1CalgaryVote | Scoop.it
The 92-year-old anti-austerity campaigner, a UK sensation, sets his sights on Canada.
1CalgaryVote's insight:

''He is really, to me, the worst prime minister that ever existed,'' Smith said over the phone from Manchester, pausing for a drink of water. ''Since Harper has come into power, everything has gone downhill. He has one consideration, and that is to let the rich get richer and the poor fend for themselves.''

 

Smith said the ''epidemic'' of child poverty in Toronto, government service cutbacks, and tax loopholes used by corporations are some of the most concerning threats facing the country today.

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Conservatives quietly nominate 60 per cent of their 2015 slate of candidates

Conservatives quietly nominate 60 per cent of their 2015 slate of candidates | 1CalgaryVote | Scoop.it
With ten months to go until the next scheduled federal election, political parties are busy building the teams of candidates who'll run for them in each of the country's 338 ridings.
1CalgaryVote's insight:

"Many are giving up successful careers to carry the flags of their preferred political parties in 338 ridings across the country in next year's federal election. Some fought long, hard nomination battles for the right to have their names on the ballot; hundreds more are still in the process of nomination contests."

 

"And that's the easy part. Once nominated, they'll spend the next 10 months fending off attacks from their political rivals and slogging door to door in their ridings, where they'll have to defend their choice of party and profession to cynical voters."

 

We salute those who are stepping forward but can't help but wonder if our current system of first-past-the-post democracy isn't to blame for a lot of the cynicism?

 

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Pundits' Guide sur Twitter

Pundits' Guide sur Twitter | 1CalgaryVote | Scoop.it
#elxn42 candidate totals: #CPC 195/338 (58% of slate) | #LPC 182 (54%) | #NDP 104 (31%) | #GPC 15 (4%), 9 Oth, 3 Ind pic.twitter.com/LNShYIGN5H
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The case for mixed-member proportional representation - Macleans.ca

The case for mixed-member proportional representation - Macleans.ca | 1CalgaryVote | Scoop.it
NDP MP Craig Scott explains why the NDP would move to a system of mixed-member proportional representation for future federal elections
1CalgaryVote's insight:

"A mixed-proportional system—like the ones used in Scotland, New Zealand and Germany—is often described as a “best of both worlds” electoral system because it upholds two principles simultaneously. It allows Canadians to continue to directly elect local MPs in single-member constituencies where they live, and it simultaneously ensures that the number of seats each party wins in the House of Commons reflects the percentage of the popular vote that they received, i.e., it ends 'false majorities.'"


It's disappointing that Trudeau voted against this bill but nonetheless, a growing number of Liberals are supporting it.  Sixteen of 31 Liberal party MPs voted with the NDP in favour! This is progress!

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Unifor puts defeat of Harper above loyalty to NDP | Toronto Star

Unifor puts defeat of Harper above loyalty to NDP | Toronto Star | 1CalgaryVote | Scoop.it
Largest private sector union says it will urge its members to vote strategically to prevent Tories from cruising to victory.
1CalgaryVote's insight:

For us, we know that another four years of Harper will be disastrous for working-class people in Canada, period. So that in itself trumps going out there and putting support in a riding where we know that the New Democrats have no chance,” Dias said in an interview.

“If the New Democrats have a legitimate, good shot at winning, absolutely that’s where we’re going, no question about it. But if there’s not a hope in hell, why would I waste resources? It doesn’t make a stitch of sense.”

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Harper's caucus control described in book by MP, a former Tory

Harper's caucus control described in book by MP, a former Tory | 1CalgaryVote | Scoop.it
Brent Rathgeber’s book reveals how Conservative backbenchers have little say and are punished for stepping out of line
1CalgaryVote's insight:

The book makes specific recommendations for improving the function of the House of Commons, including disallowing backbench softballs; breaking up omnibus bills; bringing in MP recall rights, allowing voters to turf a representative between elections; and giving the Speaker, not government, say over when to limit debate on a bill.


Rathgeber: ...there’s no silver-bullet for reversing the long, steady decline of Canada’s democratic institutions. “This is about the long game. This is about contributing to the debate to try to fix things.”

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PEN Canada hit with political-activities tax audit

PEN Canada hit with political-activities tax audit | 1CalgaryVote | Scoop.it
The Canada Revenue Agency has launched a political-activities audit of PEN Canada, a small charity promoting freedom of expression that has criticized the Harper government in the past.
1CalgaryVote's insight:

"This latest political-activity audit is among more than 50 that the agency has begun since 2012, which some critics have said creates an "advocacy chill" as charities self-censor for fear of losing their ability to raise funds through tax-deductible donations.

 

The wave of audits was announced by the federal government in the 2012 budget, and some groups have been under threat of losing their charitable status for more than two years.

 

The list of targets includes Amnesty International Canada, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Canada Without Poverty, and the David Suzuki Foundation."

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FFWD - Calgary Life & Style - Urban Living - Knocking on doors

FFWD - Calgary Life & Style - Urban Living - Knocking on doors | 1CalgaryVote | Scoop.it
Since I turned 18, I’ve voted in every election I could — and never for a Conservative candidate. Consequently, driving up to northwest Calgary to go door-knocking with Michelle Rempel, a Conservative Member of Parliament, feels… strange. I arrive at an average-looking house on a cul-de-sac; I guess I thought ...
1CalgaryVote's insight:

An insightful experience from Mark Hopkins. And this quote is particularly illuminating: "I ask a nagging question: why are we door-knocking today? We’re 19 months out from the next federal election and, besides, nobody else is running for the Conservative nomination in Calgary Nose Hill." This is a question that should be asked of all progressive candidates who are looking to run in 2015. The Conservatives are going to be out all summer. Let hope we see some progressive candidates out there too. #1CV

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Want to run for a party? Fill out this form

Want to run for a party? Fill out this form | 1CalgaryVote | Scoop.it
Prospective candidates wanting to run for Canada’s three main political parties in upcoming byelections and in the 2015 federal campaign must disclose highly sensitive personal information as part of an exhaustive vetting process.
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A peak inside the inner workings of three of the federal parties...

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Conversations with Chief Justice are normal

Conversations with Chief Justice are normal | 1CalgaryVote | Scoop.it
The tripartite relationship between Parliament, the executive, and the courts is essential to the well-being of our democracy.
1CalgaryVote's insight:

Irwin Cotler: The Chief Justice is a perfectly appropriate person to provide the minister with input on a range of subjects, particularly on the administration of justice. In this regard we have seen the Chief Justice champion issues of access to justice and the rising cost of litigation. It would of course be inappropriate for either a minister or the Chief Justice to discuss matters before or likely to be before the Court, which was not the case here as no nominee had been announced. However, it is important and indeed necessary that dialogue exist between the branches, directly and indirectly.

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Conservatives question acclamation of Tory MP Devinder Shory

Conservatives question acclamation of Tory MP Devinder Shory | 1CalgaryVote | Scoop.it
Buta Singh Rehill, left, and Puma Banwait, centre, were not allowed to seek Conservative nomination in the newly-formed riding of Calgary Skyview by the Conservative Party against two-term Conservati
1CalgaryVote's insight:

“Justin Trudeau is focusing on this riding big time. This is a riding where they can penetrate into Calgary politics because they haven’t won any seat since 1968, I understand and they’re going to hurt Conservative Party big time in this riding and tons of these people who are disappointed may not listen to me in voting for Devinder."

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