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One less provincial vote for Senate abolition

Premier Kathleen Wynne is taking the opposite position of what Dalton Mcguinty advocated: instead of abolition, she is for reform of the Senate:

Kathleen Wynne, says she sees real value in having a chamber of sober, second thought and would like to see it reformed. Wynne says the discussions of just how to reform the Senate is something she would like to have with the other provincial premiers.

It is a big blow to those who wish to kill the Senate – regardless of whether it takes 7 provinces with 50 % of the population, or unanimous consent (that issue has been referred to the Supreme Court by Harper, as […]


What a dilemma – what scandal should I follow?

There’s the Rob Ford allegedly smoking crack videotape scandal, the Mike Duffy/Nigel Wright Senate Expenses scandal, the fallout from the Federal Court Court ruling illegal robocalls to suppress vote in certain ridings occurred by “unknown persons” accessing the Conservative own database (which they seem not even remotely alarmed about, by the way – one would think if you didnt have anything to do with the robocalls, but had your CIMS hacked into and it was used for illegal calls, you’d be alarmed), and in the the background we have the news about Peter Mackay’s department apparently deleting references in a report that showed favoritism to certain individuals.

Personally, I kinda […]


On Senate Reform

Your latest poll from Forum Research on what should be done with the Senate:

“More than one third want to abolish the Senate. An additional 37% called for the Senate to become an elected body. Less than 10% felt it best to leave the Senate as is. The latest results are consistent with an earlier Forum poll on the Senate, which was conducted before the scandal gained traction. Those February results also show the majority split between abolition and reform.”

I’m in the electoral reform camp, as you may know from reading here. Consequently, I disagree with Justin Trudeau that the only thing needed to improve the Senate is to […]


The 1 question to ask Rob (or Doug) Ford I’ve not heard yet

“Mr. Ford: Is this you in the still shot of the video you claim doesn’t exist – Yes or No?”

Is this you, Mayor Ford?

Has any reporter asked Mayor Ford this (or his fill-in for questions, brother Doug)?

It would seem to me if he’s denying that he smokes crack, or that the purported video showing him smoke crack doesn’t even exist, surely that Yes-No question should elicit a definitive reply from him or his brother.

UPDATE: Monday 5/27/13, 11:50 am: Well, a caller who got through on Sunday did ask about the photo, and the Mayor demurred on it, and Doug proclaimed it racist.



Not exactly the spotlight we want in Canada

Canada sure has been in the news a lot of late. Unfortunately, it’s about the wrong reasons. The Senate expenses scandal and the subsequent resignation of Nigel Wright made the NY Times billboard in Times Square. We subsequently then have a Peruvian reporter out of the blue asking Harper on his trip to Peru during his brief news conference why the Canadian people should trust him that he knew nothing about the affair (but we’ve learned how our Canadian media can get Harper to answer difficult questions he refuse to take at home: just get their friends in the international media to ask them).

We also have the Rob Ford […]


Make voting in federal elections mandatory, but put it on a Saturday or make it an official holiday

On this Victoria Day holiday Monday, I was reading some interesting Twitter tweets from Frank Graves, the President of Ekos Research, one of the polling companies here in Canada. He was discussing in part the poor voter turnout we’ve generally had in federal and provincial elections the past few years, in part the bad polling that totally misread the BC election. The sequence of his Tweets that caught my eye reads as follows:

There is one easy solution to fixing poor polling predictions, horrid vote suppression tactics and anemic youth voting—-mandatory voting…If everybody votes parties must market policies to all; suppression is muted,pollsters focus on modelling populations (not guessing turnout)..Australia […]


On phone polling vs internet panels

An interesting article from the CBC talking with the BC Liberals internal pollster, who predicted a Liberal Majority with 48 seats, and was off by only 2 (and by 2 more – they eneded up with 50, pending any recounts).

Why was his polling better then every other public domain pollster? He says it’s because he used traditional phone polling, not these internet panels:

Pantazopoulos says where his findings differ from the other pollsters is that he relies entirely on traditional telephone polling rather than online research. He says that approach allows him to access a wider swath of the electorate. “Every resident of the province with a phone line […]


BC Libs surprise election win is a warning to pollsters – and to Justin Trudeau

Can you find anyone other then the BC Liberals who felt they were going to win a majority last night (did they even think that?). I would suspect that number is a handful. Nevertheless, when all was said and done, the BC Liberals are back in power (despite Christy Clark losing her own seat) and INCREASED their seat total. I’m not particularly thrilled with that result – I hold to my view that they are the LINO (Liberals In Name Only) Party out there for the most part – but, I congratulate them. Another observation is that I am dismayed at the voter turnout – only 48%. I wonder if […]


Ranked Ballot Initiative in Toronto survives committee – on to full vote in June.

Its been awhile since I’ve posted, so I figured why not 2 on the same day (plus it gives me something else to do besides continue lamenting last night’s tragic Maple Leafs loss).

I just wanted to say I’m very pleased to read that the ranked ballot initiative proposed for Toronto Mayoralty elections – better known by the group name that supports it – RaBIT – survived a 3-3 committee vote to indefinitely table/defer it (which would have in essence killed it) and now goes on to the full Toronto City Council for a vote on whether to recommend to the province that Toronto wishes to change the Mayor’s election […]


Labrador speaks – and rejects Conservative tactics

Prime Minister Harper called Peter Penashue the greatest MP representative Labrador has ever had. Cabinet Ministers went into that riding (though notably not Harper) declaring that a re-elected Penashue would continue to give Labrador influence – while darkly hinting a Liberal win would not.

Labrador voters rejected those claims, as well as Penashue:

Penashue quit his cabinet post and his job as MP in March after it was revealed the Conservative party had reimbursed the federal government more than $40,000, the value of ineligible contributions accepted by his campaign in the 2011 election…After his resignation, fellow Conservative MPs declared he was a “great representative” that had delivered for his constituents. […]

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