Sunday, April 01, 2012

Sunday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your weekend.

- Karl Nerenberg reported on Marc Mayrand's Robocon testimony, featuring some much-needed discussion of what can be done to improve the Canada Elections Act to ensure fair elections rather than creating an incentive for electoral fraud:
Mayrand fretted to the Committee that there are too many grey areas in the current legislation, and he promised to propose changes to the electoral law before the next election.
Committee members repeatedly asked Mayrand about the threshold for nullifying the results of an election, and he had to repeat more than once that Elections Canada does not do that.

It may be one of the lacunae in the law that Mayrand will try to have fixed, but for now citizens who believe they were cheated out of their vote, and that the election in their riding should be rendered null and void, have to go to court.
Meanwhile, the Guelph Mercury reported that the infamous Michael Sona was merely following orders in tampering with a ballot box at the University of Guelph - raising plenty of questions as to who actually gave those orders.

- In further commentary on the federal budget, Carol Goar nicely summarized the budget as an attack on the "economically diversified, socially progressive Canada" that Stephen Harper has loathed for so long, while Thomas Walkom looked in more detail at how it earned the title. Iglika Ivanova pointed out that Canadians fully support higher taxes, including reversing most of the Cons' moves to slash federal fiscal capacity. Murray Dobbin wondered why Jim Flaherty seems eager to bring on another recession. The Globe and Mail slammed the Cons' gratuitous attacks on the environmental movement, while Gloria Galloway wrote about how the budget will further restrict the flow about accurate information about what the Harper Cons are up to. Peter Thurley concluded that the first fully-formed majority budget should serve as the ultimate disproof the Cons have any clue what they're doing managing public finances. Tim Harper tried to minimize the damage. Paul Wells pointed out the final elimination of the Public Appointments Commission which was once hyped as the Cons' big idea to take patronage out of civil-service hiring, while Sixth Estate charted just how much political hiring is going on. Steve compared the Cons' cuts to the CBC to the hundreds of millions allocated for further propaganda. And Jim Stanford crunched the numbers as to how much Canadians will lose from the Cons' cuts to OAS.

- And in a point which deserves at least a separate bullet, APTN noted that part of the attack on environmental reviews includes trying to fold constitutional obligations to consult with First Nations into the same time-limited processes being set up to wave through development without any serious review - which looks like a rather promising ground for challenge.

- Finally, Tabatha Southey set a high bar for due mockery of Mitt Romney. But David Javerbaum easily cleared it.

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