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.
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)
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...
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."
"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?
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.
"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."
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.
"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."
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)
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.
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.
The CBA says: Harper should clarify publicly that McLachlin acted appropriately.
The 92-year-old anti-austerity campaigner, a UK sensation, sets his sights on Canada.
''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.
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.
"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?
NDP MP Craig Scott explains why the NDP would move to a system of mixed-member proportional representation for future federal elections
"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!
Largest private sector union says it will urge its members to vote strategically to prevent Tories from cruising to victory.
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.”
Brent Rathgeber’s book reveals how Conservative backbenchers have little say and are punished for stepping out of line
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.”
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.
"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."
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 ...
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
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.
A peak inside the inner workings of three of the federal parties...
The tripartite relationship between Parliament, the executive, and the courts is essential to the well-being of our democracy.
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.
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
“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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