Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Robert Cross and Glen McGregor point out how "Pierre Poutine" covered his tracks in the course of sending out fraudulent robocalls to direct voters away from the correct polls. And it's particularly worth noting how blatantly the entire scheme was planned to conceal the Cons' misdeeds even before the robocalls themselves were recorded.

- Dan Gardner rightly recognizes that the output of a political system often has much more to do with broad agreement among multiple parties rather than the choices of any "great man" at the centre of it. But I'm surprised he doesn't point out today's Canada as a rather glaring counterexample (even if "great" isn't the word many would use to describe Stephen Harper): would anybody outside the Cons' propaganda department claim that the current government's policy direction has anything in particular to do with following a national consensus, rather than trying to wrench the country as far from it as they can get away with?

- Heather Mallick takes aim at Jim Flaherty's belief that Canadian workers should have no choice but to accept any job they can get.

- Alexis Stoymenoff reports on what may be one of the more interesting consequences of the Cons' obsession with pipelines: namely, will the seizure and destruction of citizens' property prove as controversial on the federal level as it did (say) in propelling the Wildrose Party to its gains in Alberta?

- Finally, Alice comments on the political calculations which figure to go into any by-election in Etobicoke Centre. But perhaps more interesting than a close race for a single seat is this choice facing the Cons:
A risk for the (Cons) in pursuing the appeal is that it will further commit them to the position taken by Mr. Opitz's legal counsel before the Ontario Superior Court that it is not necessary for every procedural detail of the Elections Act to be followed in order to have a vote counted. This is the exact opposite of the strategy being pursued by the Republican Party south of the border, where very strict voting rules are being promulgated in Republican-controlled states apparently in order to curtail voting by certain groups and in areas less favourably disposed to their party.

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