Maybe tomorrow, I'll wanna settle down. Until tomorrow I'll just keep movin' on...
Monday, January 30, 2006
Now that I've scared away the competition, I'd like to announce my candidacy for the Liberal Leadership.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
The Man Behind Stephen Harper, from The Walrus
Excellent article from after the last election on the intellectual base of Harper Conservatism. I wish I didn't know so many of the people mentioned...
Monday, January 16, 2006
Campus voting sites axed
Campus voting sites axed
After Liberals complain, Elections Canada prohibits residence voting stations
By: Sarah Barmak
Issue date: 1/16/06 Section: News, U of T Varsity
|U of T students and members of student government were shocked to learn this weekend that students would no longer be able to vote on campus.|
The special voting stations were planned by the Students' Administrative Council to allow students living on residence to vote in or near their own buildings. Elections Canada nixed the stations in a phone call to SAC Saturday night, citing legal issues.
"We are shocked and angered by the irresponsibility and unprofessionalism of Elections Canada," said SAC president Paul Bretscher in a statement. "There are 4,000 students living in residence who were expecting to be able to cast their ballot today. Causing this kind of confusion for first-time voters will have a terrible impact on youth voting."
Because concerns about the legality of the special stations were first expressed by members of Liberal Tony Ianno's campaign, and not Elections Canada, canceling the campus stations may have had a clear political motivation. Ianno is running for re-election in Trinity-Spadina (the larger of U of T's two St. George ridings).
There is some feeling in the riding that NDP candidate Olivia Chow stands to gain from higher student turnout, as there is sizeable NDP support on campus. (In the last election, held after students returned home in the spring, she lost by only about 800 votes.)
Tom Allison, campaign manager for Ianno, confirmed that he called a party lawyer on Friday, who called Elections Canada to raise the possibility that the special stations were not legal. He said that Elections Canada was not aware of the stations, and decided to cancel them. He insists that he was just trying to make sure everything was done by the book.
"There are no provisions in [elections law] for [this special voting] to take place," he insisted.
"We only asked the question, 'Is this legal?' And Elections Canada said 'No.'"
SAC arranged the special vote with the returning officer for Trinity-Spadina, Nick Ranieri.
Allison claims that they were kept in the dark about the special vote, and that at its highest level, Elections Canada in Ottawa was also unaware of it.
"We were never informed about this. We only heard this was happening when we saw posters put up by SAC about the stations," said Allison. "I spoke to (Conservative candidate) Sam Goldstein's campaign office and I can tell you, they didn't know either.
"It strikes me that there was a secret deal made here between SAC and Elections Canada," he said.
In fact, a fax sent to SAC from Olivia Chow's campaign headquarters, supplied by SAC, shows that both her office and Elections Canada knew about the special stations. The fax is a copy of a fax sent to Chow's campaign from Elections Canada on Wednesday that lists the addresses where each special poll was to be located on campus.
Further, Bretscher said he had been in contact with Derrick Barnes, director of operations of Elections Canada. Barnes had originally complained about the accountability of residence voter's lists last week. SAC drew up lists from the deans of each college and sent them to Barnes. After that, they thought the issue was settled.
"We've been working on this for weeks. It's not a particularly big secret," said Bretscher.
Although this is first time SAC has had on-campus voting in a federal election, it has done so for provincial elections in the past.
Finally, a Varsity reporter asked specific questions about the on-campus polls in a telephone interview with Elections Canada last Monday, meaning they have known about the stations at least since then.
"I've never been able to vote before, so this election is a big deal for me. Now I have no idea what I am supposed to do," said first-year residence student Jonathan Dickson, who was planning to cast his first ballot yesterday.
Students in Trinity-Spadina may call their returning officer at 1-866-281-5088 for information on their nearest poll and on how to vote without the residence stations. Elections Canada has been going through the residences since yesterday, registering students to vote, and will continue until tomorrow.
SAC is currently attempting to set up a polling station on campus for election day. But according to Bretscher, this will still be inadequate.
"Policy states that there must be one polling station for every 250-350 livable units. That means we should have 10-16 polls," he said.
"This is either gross incompetence on Election Canada's part, or it's political interference," he said.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Nail in the coffin?
If you thought the Prime Ministesr nonchalantly dropping that he will open up the constitution and ammend the Charter was surprising, take a look at this ad: Click here, . Then scroll down and click on "Liberal attack ad about Harper and military presence" Wow.
I didn't make this up. I'm not allowed to make stuff up.
For more amusement: Duffy vs. Duffy.