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Question: When should a free vote not be allowed on a private members bill?

Answer: When the governing party in power decides to put out a 10%’er ad and radio blitz to try and pressure opposition MP’s in rural ridings to vote to kill the long gun registry:

Ahead of a vote that could bring an end to the hotly debated federal gun registry, the governing Conservatives are running radio advertisements in select ridings, hoping to put pressure on potential swing votes. The ads, running predominantly in rural ridings, encourage citizens to call and e-mail opposition MP’s whose support would help the government pass a private member’s bill that calls for the gun registry to be discontinued.

Let’s be clear: this is a private […]

The TV Broadcasters have the better ads

This is an interesting post from Jeff about the battle being played over the airwaves between the Canadian brodcasters (“make cable companies put some of their profits towards local TV programming”) and the cable companies (“the broadcasters want us to impose a TV tax on you”).

At the moment, it appears the Broadcasters ads on this are winning over more people, by a sizable margin:

A majority of Canadians believe local television stations should receive a portion of what consumers pay monthly to their cable companies, according to a new poll. Seventy-two per cent of those who took part in a Nanos Research study agreed, when asked whether “the […]

Classless Conservatives

A young teenage boy just died of H1N1 in Toronto, and here we have Conservative MP’s (and apparently cabinet ministers – led apparently and not surprisingly by the classless John Baird) laughing and heckling Dr. Carloyn Bennett as she tried to ask a question about H1N1 and the vaccine as it related to pregnant women.

Bennett is right – there isnt anything funny about this – but if you listen to the hecklers, you’d think it was a laugh a minute. I’m sure the parents of Evan Frustaglio find this behaviour disgraceful.

Pot calling the kettle black

I don’t know if the NDP had a hand in helping those protesters interrupt the Commons the other day or not, but I find it pretty rich that Conservative Government House Leader Jay Hill and the Conservatives would try to have Jack Layton found in contempt of Parliament, when they’re the party that came up with the secret manual on how to disrupt/stall/filibuster Parliamentary committees to avoid having measures voted on and potentially passed that they didn’t like.

Physician, heal thyself.

More Tony Clement hilarity.

A hat tip to Steve V on his excellent blogpost on this new bit of partisan pork barrel hilarity and hi-jinks from Industry Minister Tony Clement. After reading this and finding out that Clement has engaged in more pork barrel partisan shenanigans for his riding, I really want to know – did Clement secretly get named by Stephen Harper to a new portfolio called The Minister for Conservative Pork Barrelling? I mean, Clement barely tried hiding this as legitimate spending efforts:

A $50-million fund to build infrastructure for next June’s G-8 summit is being spent partly on projects that are far from the summit site and have tenuous links to […]

Tony Clement & Conservatives still can't get their stimulus stories straight.

It’s been said by some political observers that the Conservative Party and Harper are most effective when they can say and do stuff from scripted moments. When they get into unexpected crises and trouble that crops up unexpectedly however, they go off-message and make blunders. That appears to be the case here with the Conservative government trying to deflect criticism of themselves favoring Conservative held ridings over opposition party ridings when doling out stimulus funds. You see another example of that today, with cabinet minister Tony Clement getting his “facts” just plain wrong:

Last week, Industry Minister Tony Clement attempted to deflect questions about the amount of spending on hockey […]

The US comes 1 tiny step closer to meaningful healthcare reform.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced this afternoon that the Health Care Reform Bill he will put forth in the Senate to be voted on will indeed include a public option – one that contains an “opt-out” clause if certain states don’t want to use it, but a public option nonetheless. Part of Reid’s statement reads:

“Under this concept, states will be able to determine whether the public option works well for them and will have the ability to opt-out…I believe that a public option can achieve the goal of bringing meaningful reform to our broken system. It will protect consumers, keep insurers honest and ensure competition and that’s […]

Monday Bits and Bytes.

– Would you like some water with your bacteria?

Bacteria resistant to some antibiotics have been found in Toronto tap water, a University of Michigan scientist says. The water remains safe to drink, he said, but the finding raises the possibility that disease-causing bacteria will pick up the resistance genes. The researchers don’t know what kinds of bacteria they’ve found, just that they can’t be killed by antibiotics. But most bacteria in the environment are not the kinds that cause human disease, so the water is safe to drink, the researchers said.

I’m not sure I’d be particularly reassured by that. I wonder whether other city and municipal drinking water […]

Wow. I usually never win anything..

So what an honour for me and my blog to win recognition in a fake blog awards (I think).

That said.. I wonder how I won – is it because the person who runs the site has seen my photo and I remind them of “a favorite social studies teacher”, or else because my occasional emails to them do so.

Regardless.. some very amusing tongue-in-cheek categories. I’ve sent Bionic Liberal a personal invite from Facebook to show up in Toronto in November at our Progressive Blogger gathering there… hopefully they can make it.

H1N1 vaccine not tested on Canadians before release? And where's the data?

There have been several polls out there which indicate a reluctance on the part of the Canadian public to get the H1N1 flu vaccine once it is mass released. This particular story isn’t going to exactly inspire confidence on the public’s part to change their views:

Health Canada approved this country’s H1N1 vaccine without evaluating its safety and effectiveness on a single Canadian, the Ottawa Citizen has learned. Instead, the federal drug regulator approved the pandemic vaccine based on the results of a small clinical trial in Belgium.

Not only that, it appears the data/evidence for the decision to release the vaccine to the general public hasn’t been forthcoming yet […]

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