What the NDP should do....

By David McGrane on Sep 22, 2008

 First of all, why are the Liberals putting out  a platform ahead of the NDP? When Layton puts out a platform in the future it will look he is the official opposition leader and he will continue to look stronger compared to Dion.

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If this is what Jed Bartlett would say to Barak Obama, imagine what he'd say to Canadians

By Melanee Thomas on Sep 22, 2008

Admittedly, this is a pretty good way to start a Monday at the office.

What I appreciate most about the West Wing in general and Jed Bartlett's character in particular is the no-nonsense way in which things are called for what they are. I think this assessment of recent events in the US election cycle is spot on. 

After reading this, I thought (not for the first time) that what I really wanted to see south of the border was Barlett for America. 

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Vengence is not a victim's right.

By Melanee Thomas on Sep 22, 2008

If elected, Stephen Harper announced today that protections within the Youth Criminal Justice Act are history.

I'll make no bones about this one: this proposed policy change isn't about making anyone more safe. It is very unclear to me how naming a child who's done something terrible increases public safety or provides deterrence. It seems more likely to me that this feeds society's darker penchants for voyeurism and vengence. 

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NDP Leader Layton talks about Coalition Government with Liberals

By Greg Farries on Sep 22, 2008

According to the Hamilton Spectator, New Democratic Party Leader, Jack Layton, is not ruling out a coalition government with the Stéphane Dion's Liberal Party of Canada.

NDP Leader Jack Layton is refusing to rule out a coalition government with Stéphane Dion's Liberals if that's what it takes to oust Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

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The Voluntary Sacking of Chris Reid

By Royce Koop on Sep 22, 2008

The latest lame gotcha moment of this campaign comes courtesy of a former Conservative candidate from Toronto who suggested on his blog that allowing Canadians to carry concealed firearms might be a good way to combat violent crime, along with some other spicy opinions. Mr. Reid graciously *volunteered* to resign his candidacy after a Liberal blogger resurrected and published his online musings.

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(Not So) Permanent Memory: The Impact of the Internet on Political Research

By Jared Wesley on Sep 21, 2008

Harold Jansen is right:  The Web is a treasure trove for politicos and campaign junkies.  From a research perspective, though, there's one major drawback to the Internet age... 

As someone who's spent the last three years collecting political party platforms (from archives, attics, basements, car trunks, etc.), the internet has been both a godsend, and a source of worry.

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Permanent memory: The impact of the Internet on elections

By Harold Jansen on Sep 20, 2008

Over the last decade or so, there's been a lot of speculation (and even some solid empirical research) about the impact of the Internet on the political process. Much of it has been about grandiose claims over whether the Internet is going to usher in a new golden era of citizen participation and engagement. Short answer: probably not. Jared Wesley's post on Facebook is right on the money.

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The Choice that Saskatchewan voters make will matter...

By David McGrane on Sep 19, 2008

 This article appears as  "Choice by voters in Sask. Will hold significant sway", Saskatoon StarPhoenix, September 18th, 2008, A11. 

When the Prime Minister called the federal election, the response of many people in Saskatchewan was undoubtedly: "What! Another election!" With two federal elections and one provincial election during last four years, a little voter fatigue is understandable. Nonetheless, we should not let our weariness allow us to fall prey to old, cynical arguments that we should not bother to vote because ‘all politicians are the same' and ‘your vote doesn't make a difference anyway.'  The votes cast in Saskatchewan on October 14th will be very important for the future of province and our country. The choice we make will make a difference.

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Is Religion Fair Game in Canadian Politics?

By Royce Koop on Sep 19, 2008

We were subjected in the 2000 election campaign to constant mockery of Alliance leader Stockwell Day's evangelical faith and beliefs. We got a glimpse of this tendency in the present campaign, this time from Gilles Duceppe:

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Who Framed Stephen Harper?

By Jared Wesley on Sep 18, 2008

Let's recap:  In the first ten days of the campaign, the Conservatives have managed to offend the families of fallen soldiers, victims of the Listeriosis outbreak, "sober" Aboriginals, sweater-vest manufacturers, and incontinent puffins.  My prediction:  The list won't end there.  The reason: the Tories have fallen victim to their own campaign frame.

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Dumbing it down... just how simplistic are Canadians?

By Tammy McCausland on Sep 18, 2008

In response to the slate of announcements by the Liberals and the NDP in recent days, Prime Minister Harper has questioned how the parties are going to pay for their promises. On one hand, it's an ironic comment from the PM considering he made several spending announcements in the days leading up to the election. On another level, it's a rather clever ploy, in my opinion, to appeal to Canadians by scaring them. It may prove to be an effective tool given what is happening in the US with its imploding financial system, the persistent hangover from the credit crisis and the shaky economy (not as sound as John McCain would have us all believe). There is talk of a spillover effect into Canada, which means spending announcements might not translate into votes.

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Let Politicians be Politicians

By Royce Koop on Sep 18, 2008

Election campaigns are great opportunities to express outrage and rain sanctimony down on politicians. But I'm a fan of politicians being politicians. I wish that we could allow them to exist in their natural environments and behave in the ways that nature intended them to.

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Facebook Politics: Some Misconceptions

By Jared Wesley on Sep 18, 2008

We've heard a lot about the impact of Faceboook on this year's campaign.  Some of the reports are valid, while others deserve a closer look.  Here's a list of what I consider to be some major misconceptions about the political side of the social networking site.

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Income Splitting from the Greens?

By Harold Jansen on Sep 18, 2008

Green leader Elizabeth May unveiled her party's platform yesterday and besides the expected range of environmental policies, there is a promise to bring in income-splitting. For those happy people who don't follow the nuances of tax policy, income-splitting would allow families to pool their income and report it jointly for tax purposes. If a person makes more than her spouse, she could transfer that money over to him, where it would be taxed at a lower rate. This would mean significant tax savings, expecially for families where one person does not earn any income.

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What do Farmers Want this Election?

By Melanee Thomas on Sep 18, 2008

How about a Minister who isn't incompetent?

Admittedly, when I relayed the "death by a thousand cold cuts" idiocy to my roommate this morning, he almost spat out his coffee for laughing. What really irks me as a farm kid is that farmers get stuck with moronic Ministers of Agriculture who, among other things, don't know when to tell, or not tell, gross jokes. It seems to me that avoiding such quips on a conference call with non-political, non-partisan staff would be a no brainer.

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