Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Yes, there was huge news in Robocon yesterday, with Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand rightly declaring the Cons' fraudulent vote suppression to be "absolutely outrageous" while sharing the news that reports of wrongdoing have now come in from two-thirds of all of Canada's federal ridings. And Mayrand also noted how the reported numbers relate to the abuses known to have taken place:
Conservative MP Tom Lukiwski suggested to Mayrand that the 800 complaints worked out to only a few in each of Canada's 308 ridings.

But Mayrand said only a small percentage of people complain about receiving calls, noting that the Pierre Poutine calls sent with a disposable cellphone with a Quebec area code, resulted in only 70 complaints on or after election day.

"We know 6,700 calls were placed from the famous 450 number," he said. "We know that many people don't complain, obviously."
Meanwhile, Kady live-blogged the proceedings. And Gregory Beatty pointed out the Harper government's highly suspicious decision to start de-funding Elections Canada just as it's trying to investigate the Cons' own election fraud.

- But it's also well worth discussing the federal budget released yesterday - with a few pieces that haven't received much attention including the declaration that anybody concerned about being lied to by big business can take it up alone against their friendly neighbourhood corporate conglomerate, and the new money being poured into attacking charities in what's otherwise supposed to be an austerity budget (with absolutely no expectation of any return on the investment other than to silence environmental groups). Meanwhile, John Ibbitson discussed the Cons' goal of getting Canadians to expect less public service from government. Pogge aptly described the Cons and their short-sighted resource-sector cronies as "looters in suits and ties". And Dr. Dawg, Erin Weir, Boris, Susan Riley, Andrew Jackson, Paul Wells, Marc Lee, Leftdog, David Macdonald and Mike McNair weighed in as well.

- And a couple of commentators also focused on Thomas Mulcair's role responding to the budget, with Wells nicely framing Mulcair's substantive line of criticism of the Cons while David Climenhaga pointing to Mulcair's fighting spirit.

- Finally, Sharon Kirkey reports on how prescription drug shortages are hurting patients across Canada. And no, handing more free money to the same drug companies both causing and profiting from the shortages doesn't figure to improve matters any.

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