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Instant Run-off voting – Toronto considers it.

There is a column in the National Post about the City of Toronto possibly considering a voting reform; implementing Instant Run-off Voting (IRV) or Ranked Balloting as in time for the elections of 2014. If you’re not a voting expert, here’s all you need to know about this system:

Rather than marking a single X on the ballot, voters rank their three favourite politicians in order of preference. At the end of voting day, the first choices of each ballot are added up. If a candidate gets 50% or more of the vote, the election is over and a winner is declared. Otherwise, the candidate with the least votes is […]

Olympics stuff

So as of the blogpost, Canada has got 1 medal so far in the London 2012 Games. We’re ahead of the pace in Beijing, where it took until Day 8 to get our first medal. I’ve been watching stuff here and there over the weekend, and I’ve actually not minded the TSN/CTV/Sportsnet coverage; they’ve done well to show events live, as well as not over play their “I Believe” theme song they regurgitated after Vancouver 2010. (I didnt see it being played at all when Canada won their first medals on Sunday, and that’s a good thing).

Compare that to the coverage NBC is doing – showing almost no live […]

Upset with Obama? Could be worse – you could get Romney.

A fair number of progressive political activists in the US and some in Canada are disappointed that Obama has not been as progressive or transformational as they like, and has turned out to be more of a cautious President. That may be true, but things could be worse: they could always end up with Mitt Romney, who has turned a trip to London England and the Olympics into a PR disaster.

Republicans and others have said and will say they don’t care what is said about Romney in London’s press or by the Prime Minister, but the major job of a US President is in the area of foreign relations, […]

A non-political blogpost – The Canadian Open should consider joining the European Tour

It’s a tad slow around here politics wise, so with the start of the “RBC Canadian Open” this week (which most people just call the Canadian Open – saying a title sponsor in front of a national open is a bit of heresy, I think), I’d like to opine that when the contract the Royal Canadian Golf Association signed with CBS/The PGA Tour ends in a couple of years, they should either play hardball with CBS/the PGA and demand they get placed in a better playing schedule – one that isn’t after a major (ie the British Open as it is now) when most of the top ranked players decide […]

The tide is perhaps turning in favor of the environment.

There are encouraging signs that groups and even politicians you wouldn’t normally think of as being pro-Environment are perhaps balking to Stephen Harper and the Conservative government’s obsession with resources at all costs. This editorial mentions the report from The Canadian Council of Chief Executives, which called for a Canadian energy policy to be “undertaken with full recognition of the environmental consequences of energy development and use.” and “a key principle of any plan has to be “a clear, nationally consistent carbon price across the economy.”

The second more unlikely source actually comes from the Senate – the Conservative-dominated one – which actually showed it does have some independent- thinking […]

Memo to Vic Toews

The gun violence in Toronto at a party that tragically ended up with 2 people being dead and being possibly gang-related did not occur because gang members saw that judges had struck down mandatory minimums in the courts… nor would it have deterred them if the courts had ruled in the Conservatives favour on it. Going after the judiciary over those rulings publicly in an attempt to link it to gang-related tragedy in Toronto is classless, tasteless, and inappropriate.

I know the temptation to politicize everything like this is overwhelming – it appears to be genetically ingrained into the current Conservatives bloodline – but surely there is a limit at […]

No shock here on the Conservative foot-dragging on Omar Khadr

A column in the Star today about how the Canadian government has been doing nothing to live up to its agreement it made with the US and Omar Khadr’s lawyers to bring Khadr home and out of the Guantanamo gulag:

Various United States officials have complained that Canada’s insolence is harming not only Omar, but U.S. interests. The United States’ credibility is damaged when it enters plea agreements that it cannot fulfill because the detainee’s own country will not hold up its end of the deal. Last week, the U.S. transferred Ibrahim al Qosi from Guantanamo to Sudan, where he arrived a free man. The U.S. can trust Sudan to […]

‘It won’t happen here’ is the likely Conservative defence for Northern Gateway pipeline

The Conservative government can’t be liking this US preliminary report too much on the Enbridge oil spill in Michigan:

Enbridge “employees performed like Keystone Kops” in addressing the spill, demonstrating “a culture of deviance,” whereby staff felt they could freely ignore company procedures and protocols. So lame was Enbridge’s response plan that staff allowed the spill to continue unabated for 17 hours, through three employee shifts. This, despite multiple alarms and a loss of pressure in the pipeline. Staff attempted two startups of the line after the oil spill had begun, pumping in yet more oil. This, of course, resulted in greater spill damage. The cause of the pipeline’s rupture […]

Fighting fire with fire

You may have heard that the NDP has released it’s own “pre-election ad” going after Stephen Harper, though I understand this is so far again an internet-only ad, as was the Conservatives ad that targeted Mulcair earlier this year:

Some critics I’ve seen (mostly media types) complain this is an ad full of half-truths, and that it puts to shame the NDP’s past pronouncements of running a high-road campaign. They’re probably right, but after seeing what ignoring ads did to the Liberal Party under Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff, and how effective they were, can anyone really blame them for wanting to fight fire with fire? I don’t.

[…]

Even a half-hearted race for LPC leader is preferable to a coronation

Chantal Hebert’s column in the Toronto Star on Justin Trudeau says that he is the frontrunner for Liberal Party leader, even as he is still not officially a candidate. It makes the point that many Liberals are putting their leadership aspirations on hold until he declares finally one way or the other whether he is running, and if he does run, they won’t be.

It would be unfortunate, in my view, if there is no real competition to him if he does decide to run, whether he ends up being the “best” candidate for the job or not. Another coronation at this point for the LPC leadership wouldn’t be a […]

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