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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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Posted in Equality Debates | No Comments »

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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Madmen politics

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

March 24, 2011
I’m wondering if this whole business of negative ads, in between elections, could be a sleeper issue for a political party… Apparently the TV networks used to have a rule against running political ads between elections — a rule that’s obviously been abandoned… Any outright ban on negative ads would probably collide with Charter rights over freedom of expression. Senator Dawson’s bill doesn’t propose a ban — he just wants those outside-campaign ads to be included in the legislated limits on advertising during election campaigns.

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For female politicians, equality is hard work

Sunday, February 6th, 2011

Feb 04 2011
Women make up only 22 per cent of the House of Commons, but they account for a larger share of membership in cabinet (26 per cent) and in the Senate (35 per cent)… In terms of Commons committee chairs in the current Parliament… Only three women serve at the top of committees, where, it’s often said, the real work of Parliament is done… For the past several elections, roughly 15 per cent of the women who ran for office ended up winning. In the 1970s and 1980s, that figure was closer to six per cent.

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Posted in Equality Debates | 1 Comment »

Liberals promise child-care revival

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Jan. 3,2011
Federal Liberals are vowing to revive the national child-care program that Prime Minister Stephen Harper scrapped exactly five years ago this week… Dryden said that the $100 payments don’t even come close to meeting the child-care costs of the average Canadian family, which he put at roughly $8,000 a year… Though the party has unveiled a $1-billion program to help families caring for sick and elderly relatives – the so-called Family Care proposal – all the Liberals’ promises in the realm of education are being held back for announcement during a campaign.

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Posted in Child & Family Debates | No Comments »

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