Saturday, April 16, 2011

Disturbing News About Political Campaigns

Do Any of These News Stories Make You Mad Enough to Vote?

"...political parties are exempt from Canada’s privacy rules, said David Fraser, a privacy lawyer with Halifax-based McInnes Cooper. “They can collect, use and disclose your personal information without your consent and they can use it for whatever purpose they want.” Email to MP Lands Woman in Campaign Database

"In its findings, the poll says “Canadians’ primary reaction to the English debates was annoyance. “There was none of the engagement, excitement, happiness or even interest that we have observed with more stellar political performances (also tested with this polling tool).” TV Debates Annoyed Canadians

"the Conservative Party is facing an allegation of election tampering after trying to have 700 votes cast by students earlier this week at the University of Guelph declared null and void...The Liberals say officials with Guelph Conservative candidate Marty Burke illegally filmed voters and then tried to snatch away the ballot box, a great big election no-no." Elections Canada Rejects Tory Bid to Quash Student Votes

“I was told the RCMP had done a screening and that perhaps my name was affiliated with something on Facebook or the Internet,” MacDonald told the Star. “Something that made me unfit to enter. They wouldn’t say what it was...MacDonald says she has never been affiliated with any political party. Nor has she participated in any anti-government or anti-Conservative rallies. " Another Student Barred from Conservative Party Rally ... "The Royal Canadian Mounted Police admitted Wednesday that the phalanx of officers assigned as the Prime Minister’s bodyguards overstepped their bounds to enforce Harper’s closed-to-the-public re-election bid. Their transgressions include blocking and ejecting those whose only crime is to seek out the Tory chief’s election message without advance notice or sufficient party glee." RCMP Implicated in Harper's Closed to Public Campaign

...And this posting from the Junction Triangle website :
"(Mario) Silva at Digin

I attended the DigIn meeting on Tuesday April 12. I won’t recount the whole evening here but I do think it’s important to make some observations about the behaviour of the current incumbent, Liberal MP Mario Silva. I feel it is necessary to single him out for a couple of reasons. One, he is our representative in Ottawa who currently makes $170,000 per year and I can find little evidence in the riding of how he’s earning it. Two, I was very disappointed by his behaviour and I feel he oozed the arrogance and entitlement of past Liberal governments, not to mention the current Conservative one.

Mr. Silva arrived about 20 minutes late and he used his own introduction to take a few shots at the NDP party and their candidate Andrew Cash. The first questioner from the audience asked Mr. Silva if he could please put his Blackberry away (he was reading and writing text messages while in the front of the room) and give the audience and the other candidates his full attention. Silva’s response was unapologetic. He put the device away but said he was capable of multitasking and that he was listening to what was going on. So much for respect.

My question was why, if he supports the electrification of the rail corridor that runs through the riding, was he not at the Human Train rally organized by the Clean Train Coalition. He talked for a while about meetings and so on but he didn’t answer the question. When pressed to answer, the best he could do was admit he didn’t know why he wasn’t at the rally. In a phone conversation with him last year Mr. Silva told me he didn’t know about the rally! There were only about a thousand people there who came together around the single most important issue in this riding. Gerard Kennedy was there, as was Peggy Nash, Cheri DiNovo and many other political players. What does this say of Mr. Silva’s concern for his own riding of Davenport?

When asked about his attendance and voting record in the House of Commons (67 absences I believe) Mr. Silva did not really account for the lapse but instead declared he had a very good record as it fell within the top 20% of MP’s voting records. He then went on to attack another riding’s NDP member (and by association Mr. Cash) whose record was worse than his own. As this progressed Mr. Silva got more agitated and started yelling at Mr. Cash and the woman who asked the question. It was a poor display of overblown indignation and underneath it all he revealed a “how dare you question me” attitude. This is pretty bold coming from a politician who, time and again, is pretty much invisible in the riding until an election is called. Perhaps he is too busy getting his Phd from a University in Ireland. My understanding is his thesis is about failed states. I guess he would know. How unfortunate for Davenport. But how fortunate that we have the chance to make a change."