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Stephen Harper wasn’t obsessed with data. Here’s why Justin Trudeau is

Tuesday, April 4th, 2023

This whole fixation on data is, first and foremost, a big product of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the realm of health care. Trudeau has talked often about how the government learned in the early days of the pandemic just how little information it had at its fingertips… The data deficit in the current public service has also been cited as one reason the government has needed to lean so heavily on outside consulting firms

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Look out Conservatives — big government is back, and Canadians like it

Wednesday, March 30th, 2022

Sean Speer, former economic adviser to Stephen Harper, wrote in The Hub in February, “We’ve gone from every major political party supportive of balanced budgets as recently as 10 years ago to today’s new multi-partisan consensus in favour of larger and longer deficits. Something obviously changed.”… historians may point to the moment last week when Canada’s social-safety net was significantly, and quite possibly, permanently expanded.

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Trudeau government throws travel ban back into Ford’s lap as Ottawa-Ontario pandemic split widens

Tuesday, May 11th, 2021

… if Ford wants to lock down his province at the borders, he has to shoulder his own responsibility for those measures.“… Doug Ford asked me to restrict international students. There’s been about 30,000 international students come into Ontario over the past months because they were approved by the Ontario government,” Trudeau said.

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Canada’s federal leaders will defend your right to wear a poppy, Just don’t ask them to stick up for your freedom of religion

Thursday, November 12th, 2020

No one in politics wants to be associated with billion-dollar companies, tech giants or overpriced food these days, so it was simply a matter of hearing about the poppy ban and pressing “play” on the outrage tape. It’s a little harder, apparently, to work up the nerve to say that Bill 21 is a flagrant slap in the face of freedom of expression and, worse yet, that it is inflicting real, not symbolic damage on real citizens… No one wants to get on the wrong side of that majority opinion in Quebec…

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Stephen Harper still favours business over big government. So how did that work out after 2008?

Thursday, May 14th, 2020

Day by day, week by week, Trudeau’s government is increasingly making clear that its approach to bailouts will not follow the path taken more than a decade ago, when much of the aid to corporate giants never did filter down as promised to economically devastated citizens. The Occupy movement and its cries against the “one per cent” were a direct result of the frustration and fallout of the 2008 crash and the income inequality it exposed.

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Want to know which political parties are targeting you on Facebook?

Tuesday, September 10th, 2019

If you are on Facebook… chances are you’ve already given some thought to why certain ads are appearing in your newsfeed… Who Targets Me… [is] an Internet-based effort to help voters see which political parties are trying to catch their interest on Facebook… you’ll be able to learn whether you’ve been targeted because of your age, gender, your geography or maybe even your interests.

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Mandatory voting: turning Canadians’ democratic ‘choice’ into ‘duty’

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

17 August 2012
… voting is probably viewed more as a choice than a duty these days and… like shopping — not fun when the store is busy, “due to higher-than-expected turnout.”… In Australia, voting is mandatory… all the frenzied get-out-the-vote efforts by parties in Canada simply don’t exist in Australia… Mandatory voting wouldn’t end dirty tricks in elections. Nor would it put an end to the databases and the robocalls… But… if voting was compulsory, it would be a little more difficult to steer [Canadians] away from their democratic duty.

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Is it time for tougher standards on political marketing and advertising in Canada?

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

Apr 13 2012
It’s a case of double standards or, more to the point, one standard for the private sector, none for politics. Canada’s political parties don’t have to adhere to the advertising code that protects Canadians from false, misleading or offensive pitches in the private sector. Give someone a black eye in commercial advertising, in other words, and face formal sanction. Give your political opponent a black eye, though, and you could just end up with more votes.

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Canadian pollsters facing greater scrutiny

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Dec 30 2011
The call for stricter measures on how polls are conducted and reported is coming from some leading pollsters, who worry that the credibility of their business is getting dragged down by lax or controversial standards in Canada… “We are distorting our democracy, confusing voters, and destroying what should be a source of truth in election campaigns — the unbiased, truly scientific public opinion poll”… But unlike its U.S. counterpart, the American Association for Public Opinion Research, the MRIA has yet to censure or discipline any of its members since it was established.

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Middle class is key to economic recovery, Rae says

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Nov 09 2011
“The Occupy movement is a powerful reflection of what happens when trust breaks down. But it’s more,” Rae says in his speech. “While it’s often seen as just a protest movement of the marginalized, it’s also speaking to a clear sense among the middle-class people around the world that the government is not in their corner; that it has stopped fighting for them.”

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