Most recent entries for March 2014

Yesterday we asked: Afghanistan: Was it worth it? Here are the results: Yes: 409 votes (87%) No: 1238 votes (73%) Not Sure: 45 votes (3%)
He may not be able to claim smash hit status on Youtube just yet but the prime minister's web video series "24 Seven" definitely seems to have piqued the curiosity of his political competitors.

Hit the jump for the full post. 

In an effort to hear from as many witnesses as possible before the May 1st deadline comes due, the House committee charged with going over the fine print of the Conservative proposal to rewrite the country's election laws will hold a special super-sized session this evening.

Tonight's after hours invite list includes academics from both sides of the border, including Carleton University professor Ian Lee, University of Manitoba professor emeritus Paul Thomas and, from the University of Delaware, US voter ID expert Jason Mycoff, as well as representatives from the Canadian Disability Policy Alliance, the Council of Canadians with Disabilities and the Forum for Young Canadians.

Hit the jump for the full post. 

We asked: Should non-financial measures be included in a budget bill?

Here are the results:

Yes: 64 votes (2%)
No: 3033 votes (98%)
Not sure: 10 votes (0%)

As the skeleton crew of MPs stuck on Friday House duty count down the hours until the Commons shuts down for the weekend, the one potentially noteworthy bit of parliamentary business that may or may not be on the agenda for today is the introduction of the spring omnibudget bill, which popped up on the Notice Paper yesterday, leaving open the possibility that it may be tabled during routine proceedings today.

Then again, it may not.

Tune in after Question Period -- which is at 11am ET this morning -- to find out.

Hit the jump for the full post. 

We asked: How concerned are you about voter fraud?

Here are the results:

Very: 200 votes  (7%)
Somewhat: 57 votes (2%)
Not very: 2433 votes (90%)
Not sure: 12 votes (0%)

Just days after former chief electoral officer Jean Pierre Kingsley delivered a blistering review of the government's bid to rewrite Canada's election laws, the committee studying the bill in question will hear from the man behind the report on vouching irregularities that has been a staple of the current Conservative talking points in its defence: former BC electoral chief Harry Neufeld, now styled as an "electoral management consultant," who is expected to elaborate on his contention that his findings have been misrepresented in support of claims of widespread fraud.

Also set to testify today, although not, as yet, named on the witness list: sitting Conservative MP Laurie Hawn, who is expected to elaborate on his eyebrow-raising reminiscences of being offered a stack of voter information cards, presumably for nefarious purposes, during the 2006 election.

UPDATE: Despite Conservative MP Scott Reid's statement on what sounded, at least, like Hawn's intention to expand on his claim at today's meeting, it appears that the affable Tory will not be making a formal presentation, although he's expected to be at the committee table. 

In theory, this could provide him with the opportunity to put his claims on the record by repeating his story during his allotted speaking slot, although that wouldn't allow opposition members to pose questions in response.

Other electoral experts due to take the stand today include youth vote evangelist Taylor Gunn, Fair Vote Canada board member Nathalie Des Rosiers, Institute for Research on Public Policy president Graham Fox and Samara executive director Alison Loat.

Back in the Chamber, despite going to procedurally extreme lengths to impose a one-day deadline on the suddenly resurfaced online surveillance bill, the government is set to switch its legislative focus to a bill to amend offshore health and safety regulations, which is currently at committee stage.

This evening, New Democrat MP Anne Minh-Thu Quach will get her first opportunity to sell the House on her proposal to ensure full federal promotion of local foods.

Hit the jump for the full post.

We asked: Should the government reopen the debate over assisted suicide?

Here are the results:

Yes: 1232 votes (87%)
No: 160 votes (11%)
Not sure: 25 votes (2%)

MPs will spend much of the morning cloistered between the walls of their respective caucus rooms, but when the Chamber reopens for regular parliamentary business this afternoon, the first order of business on the agenda will be a vote on newly minted Finance Minister Joe Oliver's first ways and means motion, which will likely take place shortly after Question Period.

Once that bit of House-keeping business has been settled, Government House Leader Peter Van Loan is expected to drop the time allocation hammer on his party's ostensible bid to crack down on cyberbullying and other "online crimes", which has been languishing on the Order Paper since November, but has apparently suddenly become such a high priority item that a deadline for a second reading vote is now required. 

It's worth noting that, despite its seemingly benign title, the bill includes provisions similar to those contained in the much maligned and now defunct internet surveillance legislation, including measures that would, according to critics, greatly expand the power of police to harvest personal usage data.  

Hit the jump for the full post. 

We asked: What should the federal government do with the Fair Elections Act?

Here are the results:

Pass it: 223 votes (5%)
Amend it: 73 votes (2%)
Scrap it: 4235 votes (93%)
Not sure: 9 votes (0%)
View all March 2014 posts »