Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- The Star recognizes the danger facing anybody who tries to convince a Con MP to listen to constituents' concerns - as the Cons don't care enough to respond to specific appeals, but will be happy to use whatever information they can gather for future marketing purposes.

- Meanwhile, Don Lenihan suggests we should be more concerned with properly regulating location-based data generally than the comparatively small amount of personal information collected by political parties. But I'm not sure how he draws a distinction between location information and other personal information - and if anything, the argument to regulate political parties' use of data looks even stronger to me if there's a real possibility that location-based data might allow them to anticipate or determine where any voter is at any given time.

- The Harper Cons may have decided to axe the National Council on Welfare. But thanks to Sixth Estate, the Council's work won't be similarly disappeared.

- Finally, Joan Bryden reports on the current state of statements by members in the House of Commons. But I'm particularly skeptical of the proposed reform by one former Harper staffer:
Beardsley said the Speaker should formulate strict, new guidelines for members' statements or "do away with them altogether."
Of course, that wouldn't stop the Cons from being as abusive as they like during ongoing debates in Parliament. But it would severely restrict the range of subjects discussed, as statements by members and question period are effectively the only two times when MPs can choose their topic rather than being bound by a schedule that's mostly imposed by the Cons.

Which means that Beardsley's proposal really looks to be just one more attempt to declare that the Cons' abuses should limit other parties' MPs in making use of a valuable tool to raise topics of interest which don't figure in the Harper agenda.

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