You’ll remember the Conservative Party MPs called for the nine individual applicants to put up a total of $260,409 as a security deposit – an outrageous 3620 per cent increase above the $1,000 per application required under the Canada Elections Act.
“The respondent MPs have failed to raise grounds or bring to bear evidence that would justify any further payment of security for costs, let alone in the amount requested,” Madam Prothonotary Roza Aronovitch wrote in her ruling.
The Federal Court has nuked the Conservatives effort to stop the courts from hearing a legal challenge to some of the results of the 2011 federal election. With the support of The Council of Canadians, individuals in seven of the more than 40 affected ridings legally challenged the results under the Canada Elections Act. In June, the Conservatives petitioned the court to dismiss the challenge.
There’s no better way to characterize the agency’s role in the high-stakes Etobicoke Centre by-election appeal heard by the Supreme Court of Canada earlier this week. The “independent” and “non-partisan” agency responsible for conducting federal elections and referendums in Canada is unequivocally siding with Ted Opitz, the Conservative MP who filed the appeal.
Opitz is seeking to stop the by-election, which the Ontario Superior Court ordered in the spring. Should the Supreme Court allow the Conservative Party of Canada and Elections Canada to prevail, Canadians might as well abandon their quest for voter justice on the robocalls election scandal.
The case is complicated. Very.
In a new Ipsos Reid poll on the robo-calls scandal, conducted for Postmedia News and Global TV, Canadians are uncompromising about the way forward. A whopping 68% want new by-elections in all affected ridings. Elections Canada has confirmed receiving more than 31,000 complaints and is investigating.
As the world celebrates women’s achievements, Naomi Klein stands out among the many gifts Canada has given to the world. Her work and passion around globalization, capitalism, human rights and, recently, the Keystone XL pipeline, has given the world a better understanding of the inequalities, prejudices and issues we should all reflect on today, the International Women’s Day.
And work on all year round.
The Vancouver Observer on Klein and her eye-opening work:
In her first book, No Logo, she took readers inside sweatshops, creating a powerful image of human rights abuses and the frightening realities of commercialism and globalization. In Shock Doctrine, another international bestseller, she explored the economics of disaster with compelling, on-the-ground accounts of exploitation in the face of catastrophe.
Klein tops my list of Canada’s top 100 women.
And yet Canada still has a staggering women-problem. A gender deficit kind of problem. In politics. If I’m wrong, how come we’ve had only female prime minister, Kim Campbell, since Confederation (1867)?
On the world scale of women’s participation in politics, Canada ranked 39th as of November 2011. We trail democratizing and developing countries, including Bolivia, Rwanda, South Africa and Pakistan. In fact Rwanda shames us with 57 per cent.
We’re yet to elect a female Prime Minister in a general election. Campbell became PM via winning the leadership of the Progressive Conservatives in June 1993. And then, she lost the November general election, barely six months after coming to power.
Kathryn Cholette was the first woman ever to lead federal political party, the Green Party. In 1989, the New Democratic Party’s Audrey McLaughlin was the first woman to lead a party represented in the House of Commons. Elizabeth May currently leads the Greens. Nycole Turmel is currently the leader of the Official Opposition.
So near, and yet so far.
That a record 76 women (24.6%) were elected to the House of Commons during the 2011 federal election is no consolation. Women are over 50% of Canada’s population. Countries less democratic, less free, are competing to embrace female leadership at the highest level. Liberia. Argentina. Trinidad and Tobago. Costa Rica. Brazil.Etc.
What exactly is our problem? Canadian women themselves are to blame? Their “fear” of stepping onto the limelight, that is?
It’s sexism, stupid. Our anti-democratic electoral system too. And our “broken democracy”. Without a genuine partnership between men and women, real democracy is impossible. Equal Voice is a national, bilingual, non-profit, multi-partisan organization dedicated to electing more women to all levels of political office in Canada agrees:
How can a democracy be deemed legitimate if it fails to represent half its population?
Jack Harris, the NDP MP for St. John’s East, spoke for three hours today against the Conservatives omnibus crime Bill C-10. He resumes his speech on Wednesday as he tries to filibuster the bill and reiterate the position of the Official Opposition.
Hundreds of people, including members of parliament, rights activists and average citizens, are expected on Parliament Hill at noon tomorrow to protest the unfolding Robo-calls election scandal. Renowned activist Brigette Depape (pictured) and MPs Pat Martin (NDP, Winnipeg Centre) and Elizabeth May (Green Party Leader, Saanich-Gulf Islands), are expected to speak at the event.
The scandal emerged ten days ago after Postmedia News and the Ottawa Citizen reported that scores of Canadians had received questionable automated calls during the May 2011 federal election.
The demonstrators are expected to demand an independent public inquiry. And possible nullification of the results in at least 65 affected ridings across Canada. Elections Canada has so far receiced more than 31,000 complaints.
The New Democratic Party (NDP) suggested in a press conference today that the Conservatives rigged the May 2011 federal election against the Bloc Quebecois, NDP and Liberals. Call it election rigging western style. Apparently, RackNine Inc, a Conservative Party-linked firm called 18 key swing ridings and sent opposition voters to false voting stations or incorrectly advised them of changed polling locations.
Outspoken Winnipeg NDP Member of Parliament Pat Martin (pictured) is understandably furious. This is a naked assault on Canadian democracy.
A total of 76 women were elected to the House of Commons during Monday’s federal election, up from 68 in 2008. Elizabeth May mad history by being elected on the Green Party ticket. Progressives, under the NDP banner elected 102 MPs.
But we’ve Albertan Emily Murphy and the Famous Five to thank for these milestones. They started it all in 1929.