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Ontario TV debate did nothing to move poll #’s.

That’s not good news if you’re John Tory with less then 2 weeks to go during the campaign. The Liberals actually marginally increased their lead to 8 points over the PC’s. I did find the statement from the Ottawa Sun kind of interesting where they asserted these numbers indicate that McGuinty and the Liberals will be in a minority government situation. Greg Morrow hasn’t updated his election predictions yet, but this is what his predictor currently reads as of Sept 19th:

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As you can see, a bare majority government for the Liberals. If on the other hand you go to Hill & Knowlton’s site and key in […]

John Tory running into critics from his own party.

And you think Dion has problems with supposed grumblings behind his back? Check out John Tory’s, who has party members openly questioning him on the hustings:

Bill Murdoch, the member for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, became the first Tory MPP to say he could not support the controversial promise… “I didn’t realize how sensitive and divisive the issue would be when it was first introduced,” Murdoch said today.. “Should this come before the legislature, as it stands today, with the majority of my riding opposed, I will vote against it.”

And of course, Tory didn’t help matters by openly dismissing Murdoch as a live wire:

“When you look up maverick in the […]

Provincial Greens getting its share of coverage.

For a “minor party” that didn’t get invited to the debates, Frank De Jong and his Green Party are still getting ample coverage in the press. Here’s another story that starts off with the premise that the Greens are more then just about bicycle riding.

The thing is, if you look at the Ontario Greens, their platform would indicate they are not in the mold of a typical liberal/lefty based party;  this version of the Greens tend to emphasize “market solutions” over governmental controls to helping the environment, and if they had their way, they would completely do away with Catholic school board funding. De Jong would also not support building subsidized housing. On the other hand, they support a 10$ minimum wage, they want to bring welfare rates up to the poverty line, and they support a crackdown on employers who exploit temporary or contract workers.

It’s a very intriguing party platform, and as the article says, it was a shame he wasn’t included in the debate last week. People have a right to know about their views and stands.

New isn’t always better.

Straying off the politics talk for a brief minute, I’m a bit of a computer geek, and I always like to upgrade to something better when I can for hardware, .but I tend to wait to see how new software releases seem to be working before I take the plunge. That is particularly true with Operating Systems, and as this article shows, I think I’m justified in not having fallen to the Microsoft PR blitz on Windows Vista. Windows XP works just fine, thank you.

(H/T to Carson’s Post)

What the blogs have been talking about this past week.

Some of the academia out there are interested in what bloggers are saying during the Ontario Provincial Election – interested enough that they’re researching it and posting their findings. One group in particular that is doing this is Infoscape Research Lab, which originates from Ryerson University and is led by Professor Greg Elmer, who I had the pleasure of meeting at the Liberal Convention last December in the “Blog Room”.

They’ve released their report for what occurred this past week here; what interests me is that they based their findings on the Top 100 blogs as “determined by Google”. I’m kind of curious how they used Google to determine that. […]

A couple of conservatives make their pitch for MMP

It’s kind of interesting if you look at this list (accurate as of Sept 19th) that’s been compiled of the MPP’s who are asked whether they support MMP or not. The Liberals have slightly more favoured then opposed, and an equal # who are neutral. The NDP’ers (those who have been asked) and the Green’s are unsurprisingly unanimous so far in their endorsement of MMP. Take a look at the PC’s, however – so far, not a single Progressive Conservative MPP has come out in favour of supporting mixed-member proportional; which may be the reason John Tory is trying to invoke fear into the electorate of “appointed mpp’s” (a falsehood – they are elected), and “party hacks will control them” (when he as a party leader would be able to make sure that doesn’t happen by publicly committing to democratic methods to pick them).

There are conservative supporters or conservative columnists however who are trying their best to change that. Andrew Coyne makes the conservative case for MMP in his National Post columns today – an excerpt:

This is how bad the Conservatives environmental plan is..

Another organization criticized it. Yes, yes, nothing new – the conservative right-wing will say the environmentalists are always taking us to task. Except this time, the body criticizing the government’s plans was none other then Environment Canada itself:

Stephen Harper’s climate-change plan was shredded by his own government’s environment watchdog just as the prime minister prepared to trumpet it at a United Nations conference next week…The report comes at a less-than-ideal moment for the prime minister, who heads to New York on Monday to deliver a speech before 80 world leaders about his approach to climate change.

Ha, ha. That must burn Steve between the ears. How dare someone inconveniently […]

WordPress 2.3 RC 1 being tested.

…just testing the Release Candidate 1 version of WordPress 2.3. The formal release is next week. If you see any “bugs”, let me know

Another Liberal blog endorses MMP.

Jason Morris over at Gauntlet.ca has been a bit skeptical of MMP and if it was really the electoral reform Ontario needed (he actually prefers STV, which I didn’t know), and I’ve had a few mild arguments with him on the topic.

So, I’m really pleased to see that he has taken a look at how the Citizen’s Assembly formed their decision, and he has come out and endorsed MMP and hopes Ontario will as well.  Unofficially, as he hasn’t got his  blog on the site yet, that brings to 22 Liberal blogs that have endorsed MMP at the Liberals For MMP blogsite – better then I expected at this point, to be honest.

More media, academics come out in support of MMP.

A hat-tip to Liberals For MMP for pointing out this article by David Docherty, the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and a professor of Political Science at Wilfrid Laurier University, in which he endorses MMP. One particular excerpt caught my eye:

The actual individuals who will represent the party in Queen’s Park will be chosen from a list created by the party. The method of choosing the list will be made public prior to election day so voters will know if the list was determined democratically or “in the backrooms” as some opponents have suggested. This provides voters with the opportunity to pass judgment not only on a party’s platform, but on how they came up with their list of candidates, which is hardly undemocratic.

A very good read – I recommend it. The other news which is related to my post that not all Toronto-based media are against MMP, is that Rick Salutin of the Globe has endorsed MMP:

I consider a “Yes” in Ontario’s coming referendum on voting reform to be a no-brainer. That’s because the process we have isn’t very democratic.. But what a reaction there has been! The Globe‘s normally sober columnist, Murray Campbell, calls it “a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.” I’m afraid some of us think an undemocratic voting system is a problem in a democracy.

That puts by my count 4 columnists from the Toronto media in the pro-MMP side: Salutin, Antonia Zerbisias and Linda McQuaig of the Toronto Star, and Andrew Coyne of the National Post.

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