Monday, March 26, 2007

Lest I be accused of "spreading rumours"...

And not to defend Jason Cherniak's recent post, but still a lot of people are responding to Jason's election fraud post, which has caused such a kerfuffle, as though no one had ever mentioned any irregularities in Olivia Chow's riding until Jason brought it up last week (and many have implied that Jason is just making up the "prominent rumour" explanation to cover himself).

So, just for the record, here's a quote from the June 26th, 2006 Hill Times:

With the recent controversy in NDP MP Olivia Chow's Trinity-Spadina, Ont., riding, where more than 10,000 people registered to vote at the last minute on the Jan. 23 election day, MPs on the committee urged that photo ID with an address be required before being allowed to vote. Mr. Kingsley said he will conduct an investigation into the riding."

So not only were "rumours" circulating long before Cherniak's post, but the controversy was discussed in the Hill Times, and Elections Canada said they would be conducting an investigation into the riding.

Now, I'd guess nothing untoward really happened, especially as I admire Olivia Chow. And CERTAINLY if anything strange happened, I'm sure Ms. Chow had nothing to do with it. Nevertheless, while maybe it can still be classified a "rumour", once it's been discussed in the Hill Times, and the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada announces an investigation into the riding, surely the topic is fair game for a blogger.

On a side note, I couldn't find much more on the Elections Canada investigation. Does anyone have any more info. on this?

National Post had this story back in June stating that the audit of the over 10,000 votes in Trinity-Spadina cast by voters who registered at the last minute on Election Day was going ahead. I still can't find any mention of what the audit found though (if it's been completed) so I'd be interested to hear, if anyone knows.

Upperdate: Just FYI, I mistakenly put June 26th 2007 as the date of the Hill Times Story in my original post, not 2006. Rest assured I have no time machine... I've just gotten used to typing 2007! Also, just FYI, I also found stories on the Trinity-Spadina controversy in the Ottawa Sun, and the U of T News (a lot of U of T students vote in Trinity-Spadina). Still can't find any info on the results of the Elections Canada Audit though, so please let me know if you know anything!

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Funniest line by a Canadian Finance Minister ever???

Jim Flaherty:

"Today, Mr. Speaker, we take historic action to restore fiscal balance in our country," Mr. Flaherty said in the Commons as he presented his budget.

"The long, tiring, unproductive era of bickering between the provincial and federal governments is over."




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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Great interview with Jamey Heath...

Here's a great interview with Jamey Heath, former Research & Communications Director for the NDP and author of the new book Dead Centre: Hope, Possibility and Unity for Canadian Progressives.

Very interesting listen!

h/t to Scott Tribe.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Where's Osama???

Check Google Earth.

Cool little story in Wired. Check it out!

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Conservative's new Child Care Plan???

So, it looks like the Conservatives plan to abandon their "tax breaks for business-created childcare spaces" plan because they've realized that what everyone with half a brain has been telling them for well over a year is true. It won't work. So instead, they'll give the $250 million to the provinces to fund their institutional childcare programs.


It's like everytime you turn around these days the Conservatives are announcing their implementation of some Liberal policy (with less funding) and expecting credit for it. They scrap 3 billion dollars in Liberal money for the environment, and then crow a few months later when they introduce $1.5 billion dollars for the environment. They mock the notion that maybe we need to tax income trusts, then they anxiously await applause for their fiscally responsible plan of introducing a tax on income trusts. They decry the Liberal plan to transfer significant funds to the provinces for increases in institutional childcare (instead of just offering tax breaks to businesses and crossing our fingers) and when they realize how stupid that was, they simply transfer (less significant) funds to the provinces to MAINTAIN their CURRENT levels of childcare spaces.

Why didn't Harper just tell us back in January of 2006 that he planned to do everything the Liberals campaigned on, just on a smaller scale??? I bet he would have won more seats if he had.

That said, I just don't know how I feel about this. "Everything the Liberals promised, only less ambitious" is certainly much better than what most on the center-left would have expected from a Tory government, but then again, it's transparently a ploy to win a majority, after which I expect the Tories would stop pretending to be so moderate. I say, don't be fooled. And more importantly, don't be satisfied with WATERED DOWN Liberal policies. Canada's New Government is increasingly looking to me like a student writing an exam who reads the answers off of his neighbour's paper, but doesn't copy down every single answer exactly correctly. It's admittedly not the right-wing Tory governance I feared. But frankly, it's hardly "governance" at all.

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