Thursday, December 24, 2009

Stephen Harper comments on death of 134 Canadian soldier in Afghanistan

SH: It's really unfortunate for his family, and we would like to send our sincere condolences.

GIR: Prime minister Harper, do you feel at all responsible for soldiers returning home dead?

SH: Not really. You know, that's part of waging a war against terrorists. There's lots of bad guys out there, and, unfortunately, the family of this last soldier has to deal with the consequences of him volunteering. Besides, this happened thousands of miles away, and, as far as I can tell, no Canadians were involved in the killing itself.

GIR: But the soldier is Canadian...

SH: yes, yes, but we feel very sorry but it's really not my problem.

GIR: Isn't that a bit insensitive?

SH: ...

GIR: Prime minister...?

SH: Sorry, I got distracted by some emails from Peter...

GIR: Peter?

SH: You know, Peter MacKay. He's asking how to mark emails as "unread", any ideas?

GIR: No, I don't. Prime Minister, don't you think that when you say that the death of a Canadian soldier is "not my problem", that such a statement can be regarded as a tad insensitive?

SH: Oh yes, of course, don't write this stuff down! This is not for publication, is it?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

NOAM CHOMSKY: “The Unipolar Moment and the Culture of Imperialism” (video)

Noam Chomsky delivers the 5th Annual Edward Said Memorial Lecture: The Unipolar Moment and the Culture of Imperialism at Columbia University School for International Affairs.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Why didn't Stephen Harper fire Richard Colvin back in 2006 when Colvin made his ludicrous allegations?

Because Steve LLOOOOVVEEEESS torture! He always did and always will! Torture is cool, as long as nobody knows about it.

Better keep Colvin quiet and don't get your hands dirty.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

More preferential treatment for Vancouver RCMP officer charged with drunk driving - yes, that's a criminal offence!

Remember this post? Well, even today RCMP officers continue to receive preferential treatment.

Here's another example:

Vancouver Mountie faces second impaired driving charge in two months

VANCOUVER, B.C. — A Mountie in Vancouver is facing his second impaired driving charge in two months.

Vancouver police say they pulled the off-duty officer over Saturday morning and breath samples showed he was over the legal limit for blood alcohol.

The 55-year-old officer, whose name has not been released, already had a court date from a previous impaired driving charge and was prohibited from driving for 90 days.

He's now been charged with driving while prohibited, impaired driving and driving with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit.

[The un-named RCMP officer] is the latest in a number of Metro Vancouver police officers who have faced impaired driving charges in the last two years, including a Mountie charged in a Delta, B.C., crash that killed a 21-year-old motorcyclist in October 2008. [...]

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

TN! of the week: Officer Todd Lappegaard of the Minneapolis Police Department (video)

Have a look at the following video. It's self-explanatory, and a lot of "fun" :)

Todd Lappegaard, you are the Taser Nazi of the Week.


H/T Excited Delirium

- Star Tribune, Minneapolis: Todd Lappegaard exposed

Monday, October 19, 2009

Tasers OK in theory, BAD IN PRACTICE

By Kris Kotarski, Calgary Herald October 19, 2009 9:18 AM

Earlier this month, just days before the second anniversary of Robert Dziekanski's death at Vancouver International Airport, Taser International posted a bulletin for law enforcement organizations instructing officers to avoid shooting people in the chest, and encouraging them to target the abdomen, legs or back.

"When possible, avoiding chest shots with electronic control devices avoids the controversy about whether ECDs do or do not affect the human heart."

Aim lower. Avoid controversy. Words to live by.

Considering the ongoing public-relations disaster that is the Braidwood Inquiry into the Oct. 14, 2007 death of Dziekanski after he was repeatedly stunned by RCMP officers with Taser International's weapons, it is not surprising that "the controversy" is a matter of grave concern for the company.

Controversy is not conducive to a healthy bottom line, and even fundraisers featuring Playboy bunnies cannot make people forget the stunning video of Dziekanski screaming on the floor before he died, with four RCMP officers standing over him with Tasers drawn.

The Braidwood Inquiry has heard a number of compelling arguments to ban the weapons completely, and Amnesty International's running tally of American fatalities that occurred shortly after a Taser discharge (presently at 351 since 2001) is enough to give anyone pause.

Yet, as Taser International and police spokespeople are quick to point out, there are also compelling reasons to continue to arm officers with the weapons, especially in light of the very real dangers faced by the police.

The second anniversary of Dziekanski's death is a good moment to reflect on this ongoing argument, and to consider what electroshock weapons have done to our society. Do Tasers make us safer? And, more importantly, do they make us a better people?

Writing at,American blogger Digby has argued that "Tasers were sold to the public as a tool for law enforcement to be used in lieu of deadly force." "Nobody wants to see more death and if police have a weapon they can employ instead of a gun, in self-defence or to stop someone from hurting others, I think we all can agree that's a good thing. But that's not what's happening."

A quick YouTube search shows a number of incidents in the United States and in Canada where officers use the weapons against people who, as Digby puts it, "have not broken any law and whose only crime is being disrespectful toward their authority or failing to understand their 'orders.' "

Here's but one example. After getting into an argument about a parking ticket with a Kelowna RCMP officer in 2007, 68-year-old John Peters was punched in the head and Tasered twice while sitting in his car next to his horrified wife. It is not difficult to imagine how the argument between Peters and the officer may have progressed, but it does require a major stretch of the imagination to see how a 68-year-old stroke survivor who is partially blind in one eye could have possibly threatened the officer in a manner that justified his treatment.

In that case, the RCMP has since admitted its mistake and the officer was disciplined by the force, but that hardly makes up for the terror of the initial situation. And that is the problem with Tasers. Anyone who has read about cases like Dziekanski's or Peters' is entitled to feel disgusted by the practical-- if not the theoretical --use of the weapons.

The basic premise underlining community support for police work is fairness. Without fairness, there is no chance for trust, and without trust, the dangers faced by police officers and ordinary citizens increase exponentially.

Weapons like Tasers continue to shock the conscience not because of how they are used in theory, but because of how they are used in practice. And, despite assurances by Taser International, aiming lower will not solve the underlying issue of fairness, or stop the very credible accusations of cruelty, negligence and abuse.

Kris Kotarski's Column Runs Every Second Monday.

- Calgary Herald: Tasers BAD in theory, BAD in practice

Thursday, October 08, 2009

TED Talks; the power of images and context

or see it here:

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Victoria's Times Colonist Sucks! (1) - The Arts section, September 26th, 2009

I read this very interesting arts-story in the Arts section of today's Times Colonist;

Martha Stewart issued an apology to Jessica Simpson on her daytime talk show Thursday after [she] made some insensitive remarks about Simpson's lost-and-presumed-dead dog, Daisy.

"(Simpson) should have been more careful," Stewart, 68, had told Us Weekly at the 25 Most Stylish New Yorkers gala on Sept. 15, adding that Simpson should "get another dog."

Simpson has reportedly been inconsolable since Daisy was abducted by a coyote less than two weeks ago. [...]

The owner of multiple dogs herself, Stewart admitted that she regretted her comments about Simpson's beloved Maltipoo.

"I said that she should have been watching her dog more closely, but I feel very, very sorry for anybody that loses a pet," Stewart said yesterday on The Martha Stewart Show. "Jessica, I hope you find your pet, but if you don't, I'm really sorry that you lost one."

That's the Arts section for you, brought to you by "the Vitoria Times Colonist Sucks!" Very interesting Art news indeed!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Braidwood Inquiry Resumes - How to actualy hear something???

They seem to have some trouble with the sound; the audio is way too soft!!

Here's how to solve it;

1. download and install VLC player
2. Open program.
3. Select "Media >> Open Network Stream" (from the top menu bar)
4.* Use "protocol http" and copy/paste the following media stream below
5. Once it opens, you can turn up the volume up to 400% by using your mouse wheel. That's right, 4 times as loud!

Good luck.

* PS; in case the media stream address changes (it might as well with each session), then open the Braidwood Inquiry stream (get it at the web page; click the image under "live video"; it will open in Windows Media player embedded in the page), right-click the streaming image and select properties. In the menu that opens you can find the address needed for the VLC player (as described above om step 4).

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tar Sands = Climate Crime (video) - STOP THEM!

Greenpeace video.

Wanna know what Royal Dutch Shell has been doing in the Albian Tar Sands? Have a look for yourself:

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Watch today's Fair Voting BC meeting video stream online, right now! (video)

Live stream of Fair Voting BC below:

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fox News; distorting, not reporting (video)

As HuffPost's Jason Linkins reported earlier today, Fox News took out a full-page ad in the Friday addition of the Washington Post to boast about its coverage of the Tea Party protests last weekend in D.C. and also to goad its rivals by asking "How Did ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, and CNN Miss This Story?"

A number of these networks didn't take the Fox News ad lying down, and fired back, saying the ad was "just false." CNN's Rick Sanchez gave an even more colorful response (watch here) in which he said, "Let me address the Fox News Network now perhaps the most current way that I can, by quoting somebody who recently used a very pithy phrase, two words. It's all I need: You lie," the AP reports.

Now, Media Matters reports, Sanchez's network aired an ad this evening that strikes back at Fox News' claim. The ad's slogan: "Fox News: Distorting, Not Reporting."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Best comment of the day: Ipsos-Reid lavishes marginal error onto Cons, CanWest spreads the news

It's always good to read the comments section; surprisingly enough many people get-it-right, even after (or should I say thanks to?) years of mis-information spread by ConWest. Which brings me automatically to... Norman Spector.....

Exactly, who cares about such an asshole? I don't. Norman thinks he can win souls by using rigged polling results to prop up an argument....yawn.

Yes, it's always the Conservative Party of Canada who miraculously get better results in Ispos-Reid polls, and it's always Ipsos-Reid push-polls that get lot's of front page attention in ConWest media.

Fortunately the comment section of this propaganda article was quite informing, and it's where I found the "Best Comment of the Day":

David Gay:

"This seems like a monthly ritual. Ipsos-Reid publishes a poll that lavishes the statistical margin of error on the Conservative party: plus five points. The proprietors of Canwest newspapers order the good news to be spread across the front page. More temperate, responsible polls will follow in a few days showing what the real lead is. Darrell Bricker should look for a real job."
Thanks David, you have been nominated for "Best Comment of the Day"!

- Norman Spector uses rigged polling numbers to prop up his ridiculous propositions
- I believe that Norman Spector is an overpaid bigot; or is he just one of many hired by CanWest to spread the ConWest propaganda?

Monday, August 31, 2009

No-deficit 'Gordon Campbell is a sociopath', oh, and a liar too.

Best comment of the day, regarding Gordon Campbell's sudden arts funding cuts :


"The Campbell liberals lied their way into power. they have consistently lied and mislead about things. there is money for bridges and olympics, tax cuts for the rich and corporations but the regular guy is screwed.
Buddies of Campbell keep getting deals under the table: BC rail, rivers, whatever they like in droves.

Still he smiles for the camera.

[Gordon Campbell] is a sociopathic person.

He is destroying the very inner fabric of society.

He has to go. He is a liar and thief living in luxury. [Colin Hansen] is no better and a mere yes man.

When is health care, education going to be cut. you have lied about everything so far....with a nice smile!"
Well said, Jay! Let's see how the idea of Gordon Campbell being a sociopath holds water when compared to Wikipedia's definition of Sociopath:
Three or more of the following are required:
  1. Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest;

  2. Deceitfulness, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure;
  3. Reckless disregard for safety of self or others;
  4. Consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations;

  5. Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another.
Wow, that's a significant match.

Congratulations, jay 1237, I couldn't agree more.

Premier Gordon Campbell has been creating room over the past few days for the possibility of a provincial deficit.

While Campbell continues to say he wants to avoid deficits at all costs, the certainty of just a few weeks is clearly gone.

I've written a little about this already, but here are two exchanges that shed some light on the shifting position.

January 27, 2009
Phone interview

Vancouver Sun: Can you clarify your position on the provincial deficit? It seems like for a while you've said there will absolutely be no deficit and I'm not hearing that as strongly from you now.

Premier Gordon Campbell: I think that's fair to say. We've got twin commitments: one is to a balanced budget, which is critical, but a balanced budget where we protect healthcare and education spending the things that are critical for British Columbians.

So when you have economies that are effectively falling off, when you have revenues that are in free fall it's very difficult to see how you make that equation work... 

VS: So it is possible we will run a deficit?

GC: I'm not saying that. We're trying to do our best to see how we can handle all of this, with all of the information. Every piece is moving right now and it's a big challenge to find a way to make this work to protect healthcare and education.

October 22, 2008
Meeting with a group of reporters after the economic update

Lindsay Kines, Victoria Times Colonist: If things get even worse globally, are you willing to ever run a deficit?

Premier Gordon Campbell: Let me be very clear, we are not going to run a deficit in the province of British Columbia.

LK: Ever?

GC: Let's just be clear, Lindsay, when we talk about, when you talk about a deficit, or anyone talks about a deficit, they're talking about turning their back on the next generation and sending our problems forward to them.

I think one of the things that British Columbians are very clear on is they expect us to think about the generations that will follow us. We've just spent seven years digging ourselves out of an enormous debt hole that was created by deficit after deficit after deficit. I do not accept that we should have deficits. We don't need to run deficits, we actually need to run a strong healthy economy and government should always live within its means.

Friday, August 28, 2009

iPods and iPhones explode; Enjoy!

Apple is getting worried about exploding iPhones and iPods. Read this:

Apple attempted to silence a father and daughter with a gagging order after the child’s iPod exploded and the family sought a refund from the company.

The Times has learnt that the company would offer the family a full refund only if they were willing to sign a settlement form. The proposed agreement left them open to legal action if they ever disclosed the terms of the settlement.

Nice one, Apple!

And this one about an iPhone:

A 15-year old Belgian by the name of Salvatore is the latest victim in a series of mysterious iPhone explosions that have captured the attention of France’s and the European Commissions’ consumer affair watchdogs.

[The] teenager was holding his iPhone in his hand, about to make a call, when the iPhone suddenly ‘imploded’. The incident didn’t cause any serious injuries but reportedly gave Salvatore a headache for a couple of days.


Apple is more concerned than ever. Look who was visiting this blog:

IP Address 17.246.49.# (APPLE COMPUTER)
Continent : North America
Country : United States (Facts)
State : California
City : Cupertino
Lat/Long : 37.3042, -122.0946 (Map)
Language English (U.S.)
Operating System Macintosh MacOSX
Browser Safari 1.3
Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10_5_8; en-us) AppleWebKit/531.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.3 Safari/531.9
Javascript version 1.5
Resolution : 1440 x 900


- TechCrunch: iPhone explodes; fun!
- TimesOnline: iPod explodes; fun!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

TN!s of the Week: Bob and Mike Wasylyshen, Edmonton Police

It took almost seven years, but there seems to be some movement in the 2002 Bob and Mike Wasylyshen Taser Kids for fun case:

[Mike Wasylyshen, the] Edmonton police constable who Tasered a passed-out teen in 2002 and avoided punishment from the police chief of the day--his father [Bob Wasylyshen] --will likely now have to face a disciplinary hearing.
Great, well done, Mike. And you too, Bob, for supporting taser use on drunk kids. What a hell of father you make!

In a ruling last week, the Law Enforcement Review Board ordered Police Chief Mike Boyd to lay several charges against Const. Mike Wasylyshen related to the Oct. 5, 2002, incident in which 16-year-old Randy Fryingpan was Tasered eight times in about one minute.

Fryingpan was passed out drunk in the back of a car that police were called to investigate. Everyone in the vehicle, except Fryingpan, got out when police ordered them, and Fryingpan was Tasered.

Not so cool, Mike, but let's not forget who thought that what Mike was doing was "all fine": indeed, his own father Bob Wasylyshen.

The then Edmonton Chief Bob Wasylyshen had plenty of reason for disciplining his son; the Law Enforcement Review Board:
1. Mike deployed his Taser on (Fryingpan) eight times in the span of 68 seconds, in what appeared to be an effort to remove the passed-out youth from the vehicle

2. No evidence was presented to justify the use of a Taser; nor was any evidence presented to explain why the Taser was deployed eight times in just over a minute
Congrats, Bob and Mike Wasylyshen, you both are Taser Nazis of the Week!


Mike Wasylyshen doesn't only Taser 16-year old kids, oh no, he also loves beating up people on crutches:
[Mike] Wasylyshen had been out drinking with some other officers at a bar on Whyte Avenue (Edmonton) in December 2005 and had become very drunk.

At about 2:30 in the morning, he left the club and spotted Devin Stacey, who was hailing a cab across the street. Stacey had just had knee surgery and was using crutches to get around.

Crown prosecutor Marta Juzwiak told the court [Mike] Wasylyshen started yelling and berating the 22-year-old man, and called him a "cripple". He then ran across the street and punched Stacey in the ear, and moments later struck a security guard who was trying to stop the altercation that had broken out.

Wow! And this jerk is still working for the police? What's wrong with the Edmonton Police?

In an interview with CBC News on Thursday afternoon, [Devin] Stacey said he thinks Wasylyshen should no longer be a member of the force.

"If you're a cop and you assault someone, especially on Whyte Avenue, you shouldn't be able to be a cop anymore," he said.

Well said, Devin!


- Edmonton Sun
- Calgary Herald
- CBC: When Mike has been drinking he will beat up crippled people too.

Former Israeli head of Shin Beth, Ami Ayalon, charged of torture practises.

The former head of the Israeli security service Shin Beth is being prosecuted on charges of torture in the Netherlands. The case is in front of the The Hague courts tomorrow. That is the commitment of a case tomorrow, when the Court in Den Haag.

The indictment comes from Palestinian Chalid Al Shami after his torture charges were considered unfounded by an Israeli court. Human Rights Lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld is taking on the case for Chalid Al Shami. The Israeli Ami Ayalon was at this time head of the Israeli secret service Shin Beth and would be responsible for the torture.


- NOVA: Nederland moet Israelische oudminister vervolgen (dutch)

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Best comment of the day: BC HST is good for corporations, bad for the rest of us

This from "blurredbyitall":

What Hansen should have said was that $1.9 billion of the corporate sector's share of paying for public services and infrastructure (that they use too) will be loaded onto already-overburdened BC citizens/taxpayers. The Liberal's communications machine will be cranking out spin til we drown in it.
Yes, that's the best way to sum the BC HST up. Read all the comments here:

- CBC: Gordon Campbell's BC Liberals are flirting with the rich and fucking the rest of us, again.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Braidwood Taser Inquiry missed opportunity

At least someone got it right on the Braidwood Taser Inquiry, and this time it's nobody less than Emile Therien, past president of the Canada Safety Council. In short, he argues that there currently are no standards when it comes to the use of tasers in Canada, and that this is inexcusable. Emile suggests that a moratorium should be put on the purchase of new tasers.

I like to go one step further. Given all the "un-explainable" deaths soon after being tasered, Braidwood should have put a moratorium on the use of tasers until country-wide standards are in place, and that ALL tasers (those in use and those scheduled to be acquired) proof to comply to these standards:

Taser inquiry missed opportunity
Jul 31, 2009 04:30 AM

Re: Lessons learned in Taser tragedy, Editorial July 27

In failing to recommend that standards be developed for Tasers, the Braidwood inquiry, unfortunately, has squandered an outstanding opportunity to move this agenda that much more forward. The federal government, as recommended in an RCMP report, must now take the initiative and set standards for Tasers used by all police services in Canada, under its power in the Criminal Code to regulate firearms. Standards for their efficacy and use must be developed.

The fact, acknowledged by the manufacturer, is that one in 20 of these devices fail. This failure rate defies all logic, is inexcusable and smacks of shoddy manufacturing and quality control. No other electrical product can be legally sold in Canada unless it is tested and certified by a recognized national standards organization.

Until these standards are in place, police services should place a moratorium on the purchase of these electrical devices. Establishing minimum standards would further ensure police accountability and allay public fears and concerns.

Emile Therien, Past President, Canada Safety Council, Ottawa

- Toronto Star: Taser inquiry missed opportunity
- Canada Safety Council

Friday, July 24, 2009

Two German nuclear power plants have been shut down due to safety concerns

Nuclear safety problems in Germany:

The nuclear power in Lingen Emsland and Phillipsburg 2 in Baden-Wuerttemberg (Germany) are due to technical problems have been turned off. [..] The plants in Krümmel and Biblis A and B in Hesse are also inoperative.
- Google Translate: The nuclear power plants in Lingen Emsland and Phillipsburg 2 in Baden-Wuerttemberg (Germany) have been turned off
- Focus Online (Original Item, German): Atomkraft: Werke Lingen und Phillipsburg 2 abgeschaltet

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Filesharing 2.0 (video)

RepRap from Adrian Bowyer on Vimeo.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Noam Chomsky on “Crisis and Hope: Theirs and Ours” (video)

Watch this fascinating view on "the crises". Noam Chomsky at his best:

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Economic Meltdown 101 - Peter Schiff explains the credit crunch in plain English (video)

Grab a beer and watch this to learn about bubbles, dot com crash, credit crunch, the World's biggest Ponzi scheme, and more:

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The unholy Ipsos Reid + CanWest alliance; junk-polls and media bias shaping Canadian opinion.

Paul from Paulitics has revealed that Ipsos Reid has been releasing numbers with a pro-Conservative bias. Well, I hate to say it, but bias stemming from illegitimate polling practises and media bias is everywhere. Take one of the latest Ipsos Reid polls, just as an example. Respondents were asked the following question:

(a) Stephen Harper and the Conservatives are doing a good job of managing the issues that are most important to Canadians (b) and should continue to govern.

1. Junk Poll: Misleading question (read it here).

The above is a classic misleading question (actually, it's not even a question...). The technical term for a such a misleading polling question is double-barreled question, one of the "Top 10 Ways to Get Misleading Poll Results"

How it works

John Wright - Ipsos Reid CanadaJohn Wright and his conservative buddies (a.k.a Ipsos Reid Canada) know quite well that Canadians “don't want an election” (68% of respondents don't want an election, June 2-4 Ipsos Reid poll). It appears that Ipsos Reid Canada used this information to craft a double-barrelled question in order to confuse respondents and get a more positive result on an on itself perfectly legitimate question (that should have been asked in the first place):

Do you agree that Stephen Harper and the Conservatives are doing a good job of managing the issues that are most important to Canadians?

But by adding the b part ("and should continue to govern" = avert an election) Ipsos Reid seems to have been aiming at those 68% of respondents that don't want an election, hoping that at least some of them would respond more positive to the question as a whole

“I don't want an election (b) so therefore I still “somewhat agree” with the question as a whole (a+b).”

And by putting this part into the latter half of the question, Ipsos Reid is giving the b part some extra weight too. Bruce Grundy explains:

If you ask a double barrelled question [..] you will almost certainly not get answers to all the matters raised. Usually, only the last point will be dealt with.
- Bruce Grundy, "So you want to be a journalist?".


2. Junk-results: Misleading, again, and again.

The results of the misleading poll question were as follows:

Strongly agrees (20%)
Somewhat agrees (34%)

I don't have access to the full results of the poll (update below) but given the likeliness that this poll was in the 'Strongly Agree', 'Somewhat Agree/Somewhat Disagree', 'Strongly Disagree' format, it's probably safe to assume that the rest of the respondents (46%) either strongly disagreed with the statement or has no opinion (or were offended by the biased question and therefore not answering).

Let's assume the following:

31% strongly disagree
15% no opinion/offended

Logic also teaches us that if a person somewhat agrees (34%), they also somewhat disagree, right?

Then we can conclude that also the presentation of the results is misleading. From the results above, it would be just as well to conclude that an overwhelming majority of Canadians agree (strongly 31%, somewhat 34% - totalling 65% !!) that Stephen Harper is doing a bad job, right?

3. Junk-Journalism: Misleading, again, and again, and again.

While Ipsos Reid is happy to supply misleading results from a flawed polling practise, CanWest uses these faulty results to push an even more positive image onto Conservative Party.

Here's a good example how CanWest misrepresents the already flawed poll:

(1) Harper has the edge, however, with half (54%) of those polled saying he should continue to govern. (2) Five in 10 (54%) Canadians agreed Harper is doing a good job of managing the country while four in 10 Canadians agreed Ignatieff would do better. - italic inserts mine

Indeed, both (1) and (2) are first order fallacies because one cannot make these assumptions based on a single double-barrelled polling question.

Fallacy explained
Let me explain this with a simple example:

Jan (15) was asked to respond to the following statement:

(a) I dislike my current math teacher and (b) she can drop dead.

Yes, you've got it right, this is also a double-barrelled statement!

Let's assume that Jan doesn't like her math teacher. Let's also assume that Jan is not the hateful type either (even towards her math teacher that she really dislikes); then what is she supposed to answer?

Obviously she's NOT going to choose "strongly agree" because she doesn't dislike people in that (b) way . She's also NOT going to choose "strongly disagree" because she really dislikes her teacher. It's therefore quite likely she will choose "Somewhat agree" given the fact she really dislikes the teacher (a).

The example above shows that, although Jan does not have a deathwish for her math teacher, she might as well have chosen "somewhat agree". So how could someone take the "somewhat agree" as evidence that she has a deathwish for her teacher?

What we are dealing with here is fallacy of distribution. Jan's "somewhat agree" to the full answer can not be translated to a "somewhat agree" to the single parts (in this case the death-wish) of the statement, as shown above.

Back to our Ipsos Reid/CanWest poll and "analysis"
All that we can know for sure is that only 20 percent agreed to the full a+b question: we can only speculate on the other 80% due to the confusing and misleading double barrelled question.

It's very likely there are many people like Jan among the respondents of the Ipsos Reid poll who fully agreed with one part of the question (b part, to avert an election) , but not so much with the other part (a part, Harper and Cons do a "good job").

4. Conclusion
The unholy alliance of Ispos Reid and CanWest is good for some good laughs, but their polling (Ipsos Reid) and journalism (CanWest) practises presented in my examples are clearly and severely flawed. The confusing polling question (Ipsos Reid) in combination with the flawed analysis (CanWest) appear to have been designed to inflate support for the Conservative Party and deflate criticism of the current government: hard to fully proof, but I'll let you decide.

5. Recommendation
You think this example is an exception to the rule? Think again. I see this kind of junk polling in combination with junk-journalism EVERYWHERE in the Canadian press.

The best thing to do is to ignore all polls and stop reading the corporate media/press: it's junk. I've given up cable TV and newspaper subscription a long time ago, and I advice you to do the same. Please support the CBC for a more objective and unbiased presentation of Canadian news.


I noticed this post which is helping me out with the missing date:
A majority (53%) of Canadians ‘agree’ (20% strongly/34% somewhat) that ‘Stephen Harper and the Conservatives are doing a good job of managing the issues that are most important to Canadians and should continue to govern’. On the other hand, four in ten (43%) ‘disagree’ (23% strongly/21% somewhat) that this is the case.
It now looks like the poll was in the following format, and the numbers read as follows:

'Strongly Agree' (20%), 'Somewhat Agree (34%), Somewhat Disagree' (21%), 'Strongly Disagree' (23%)

Even if we accept these latest poll numbers as being legit results, then one can only conclude (and even this can be questioned) that there are more people disagreeing (23%) with both parts of the statement than agreeing (20%) ! All others respondents appear to be highly confused how to answer the question.

Furthermore, if Ipsos-Reid/CanWest is allowed to misrepresent the facts, then Getting it Right (GIR) feels fully entitled to do the same. The actual results with an explanation by GIR:
Strongly Agree (20%) - Okay, these people seem to support the Conservatives regardless of the stupid question.

Somewhat Agree (34%) - Logic will explain that people who somewhat agree (opposed to those who "strongly agree") also "somewhat disagree" with the statement, right? Right!

Somewhat Disagree (21%) - These bunch are as confused as the ones above, but they surely "somewhat disagree" too.

Strongly Disagree (23%) - The ones that clearly don't support the Cons and really don't mind election either.

6. Do the math and make your own headline:
20% agree, 78% disagree (23% strongly disagree, 52% somewhat disagree)

Large majority (78%) of Canadians disapprove of Stephen Harper and his cronies and want elections now!
I feel great being so creative with flawed polling numbers!

Q: What's more flawed than an Ipsos Reid Poll?
A: Tons of them!

- What is John Wright reading when he's not blogging, or, double-barrelled polling questions are misleading and should be avoided
- Ipsos junk poll using double-barrelled polling question - so much for credible polling
- Be warned if you dare to critisize us, because John Wright (vice president Ipsos) is ready to sue you too.
- National Post + Ipsos alliance: Canadians don't want an election right now
- Paulitics: "I'm John Wright from Ipsos Reid", or "why the recession has given me more time to piss off other bloggers"
- We at CanWest love the polls from Ipsos. They are so well crafted. We especially love results from double-barrelled question since those numbers can be used so easily to mislead our reader
- Wikipedia: Fallacy of distribution


OTTAWA — Conservative and Liberal MPs united Friday to pass a government confidence vote — averting a tight summer election, which a new poll shows very few Canadians wanted.

Conservative and Liberal MPs voted 214-82 against the New Democratic Party and Bloc Quebecois to ensure passage of government budgetary spending estimates, and to set the stage for a Liberal confidence motion during the week of Sept. 28 that could trigger a November election.

An Ipsos Reid poll for Canwest News Service and Global National found 60 per cent of Canadians do not want a summer election, though half agree Parliament is not working. It found a statistical tie of 35 per cent for the Liberals and 34 per cent for the Conservatives, but a large gap in favour of Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper over Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff in who can best manage the issues facing the country.

After a week of high political drama, ending with NDP and Bloc MPs accusing the Liberals of propping up Harper's government and abandoning the unemployed, MPs headed back to their constituencies for a three-month recess and preparations for a potential fall campaign.

The poll of 1,000 adults found a tie in vote-rich Ontario, too, with the Liberals at 40 per cent and the Conservatives at 38 per cent.

Harper has the edge, however, with half of those polled saying he should continue to govern. Five in 10 Canadians agreed Harper is doing a good job of managing the country, while four in 10 Canadians agreed Ignatieff would do better.

The survey was taken June 16-18 as Harper negotiated an agreement with Ignatieff to allay a Liberal threat to defeat the government Friday if he did not respond to concerns about unemployment, stimulus spending, the deficit and the isotopes shortage. The poll is accurate to within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The poll found 53 per cent of Canadians agree Parliament is not working.

At the same time, Quebec stands as the only province where a slight majority of 52 per cent wants an election to clear the air.

In Quebec, the Bloc maintains a lead of 38 per cent, followed by 33 per cent for the Liberals, 16 per cent for the Conservatives, seven per cent for the New Democratic Party and four per cent for the Green Party.

The Harper-Ignatieff deal established a working group of Conservative and Liberal MPs and officials to study two potential employment-insurance reforms. One would allow self-employed Canadians to participate in the program. The other would establish a uniform eligibility rule to collect benefits, replacing a patchwork of requirements that are linked to regional unemployment rates.

During debate before the votes, NDP and Bloc Quebecois MPs blasted the Liberals for withdrawing their support for a long-standing NDP-Bloc call to lower the minimum number of hours required for EI benefits to 360 from 420. Ignatieff pulled that from the table on the eve of talks with Harper.

"I know we're going to meet people who've now run out of their EI insurance and are going to fall off into extreme poverty this summer, and the unemployment rates seem to be still rising, so it's going to be a tough summer," NDP Leader Jack Layton told reporters.

Friday, June 19, 2009

TN! of the week: Helen Roberts, Federal Government Lawyer at the Braidwood Inquiry

Who would have thought the Braidwood inquiry would take such a major turn "before" closing arguments ?

Today it was revealed that a crucial email was "overlooked" by the legal team representing the Government of Canada.

In the now partly disclosed email, Supt. Dick Bent writes to an RCMP Assistant Commissioner that the four officers responsible for the killing of Dziekanski "had discussed [their] response en route [to the airport,] that if [Dziekanski] did not comply that they would go to [use the taser]".

This appears to contradict earlier made statements by the four officers; they all testified in court that no discussion on how to respond had taken place prior to entering the airport.

Sounds like signs of cover-up to me.

Helen Roberts apologized today for the "overlooked" email from Bent, but, for someone who has been following this inquiry closely, I find it very hard to believe that such a damning email can so easily be overlooked; of course this legal team wanted to protect the government and its subsidiaries from blame, and given they were the single collector of government dossiers they had the intend, means and the opportunity.

Taser-Nazi of the Week
However appalling the above might read to you, it's not the sole reason why Helen Roberts got nominated for being the Taser-Nazi of the Week. After all, my explanation is still nothing more than speculation on WHY she and her team "overlooked" such a crucial email.

Neither did she get nominated for breaking out in tears: these are stressful times for everyone involved, including Helen Roberts and her Mounties.

What got her nominated was the content of her tearful explanation. She simply kept in line with her "old" narrative, propping up the cops's version of the truth that they never had any conversation about how to respond before getting to the airport, and that Bent was, how did she put that again, simply "mistaken."

A mistake, that explains it, right?

Helen Roberts, dismissing crucial evidence as a "mistake" while withholding this highly contradictory evidence coming from a top RCMP brass has gotten you nominated for Taser-Nazi of the week.


UPDATE 1: This post called "Canada: Cover-up of RCMP murder of immigrant worker unravels" on the World Socialist website should not be missed

UPDATE 2: I agree with Vancouver Sun's conclusion of the column Mounties in Tasering should face prosecution: "That was not an "oversight." It was professional incompetence or a cover-up."

Thursday, June 18, 2009

More Police Brutality in Victoria "the best place to live" British Columbia

The Victoria Police Department is at it again: police brutality rocks!

A Victoria police rookie constable used excessive force against two intoxicated people held in police cells, an internal investigation found.

[An] internal investigation launched by the department found the officer abused his authority and neglected his duty under the B.C. Police Act. He was suspended for five days without pay and is now back to work.
Sure, excessive force is fine, let's get back to work, Arbeit macht frei, nicht?
The officer's [use of excessive force was] not deemed criminal, [...] and neither of the two people roughed up in the cells suffered permanent injury.
There we go again, the police policing themselves, of course then it's not "criminal".
This was the third allegation of police [brutality] in police cells made public in the last two years.
I told you, Victoria really is the best place to live! Join the force, beat up some people, and get away with it!

Victoria teen Willow Kinloch successfully sued the department last year after she was tethered and restrained while drunk in a police cell in 2005. The complaint commissioner recently announced a full public inquiry into the matter.

Victoria Police Constable Greg SmithA police complaint hearing determined Victoria police Const. Greg Smith used unnecessary force when he pushed handcuffed Camosun college student Thomas McKay head-first to a concrete floor. McKay struck his head and was permanently brain-damaged after the April 2004 incident.

That's unfortunate, not everybody seems to get away with it. I'm sure Greg feels very sorry about it all.
The abuse-of-force cases led to changes in police cells, including upgrading cameras and posting a sergeant to provide full-time supervision of prisoners.
Yeah, that obviously helped a lot.

- We beat up people for a living

Internal probe finds cop used excessive force

Two intoxicated people roughed up by rookie in Victoria police cells

By Katie Derosa, Times ColonistJune 18, 2009

A Victoria police rookie constable used excessive force against two intoxicated people held in police cells, an internal investigation found.

Police have released few details about the October incident but an internal investigation launched by the department found the officer abused his authority and neglected his duty under the B.C. Police Act. He was suspended for five days without pay and is now back to work.

The officer's actions were not deemed criminal, however, and neither of the two people roughed up in the cells suffered permanent injury. Police would not identify the officer but said he has been with the force for two years.

Victoria police Chief Jamie Graham announced the investigation in January after reviewing the video surveillance footage and discussing the matter with the police complaint commissioner.

Victoria police spokesman Sgt. Grant Hamilton would not return calls for comment.

This was the third allegation of police wrongdoing in police cells made public in the last two years.

Victoria teen Willow Kinloch successfully sued the department last year after she was tethered and restrained while drunk in a police cell in 2005. The complaint commissioner recently announced a full public inquiry into the matter.

A police complaint hearing determined Victoria police Const. Greg Smith used unnecessary force when he pushed handcuffed Camosun college student Thomas McKay head-first to a concrete floor. McKay struck his head and was permanently brain-damaged after the April 2004 incident.

McKay settled a lawsuit with the city for an undisclosed amount.

The abuse-of-force cases led to changes in police cells, including upgrading cameras and posting a sergeant to provide full-time supervision of prisoners.

© Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist

Friday, June 05, 2009

Geert Wilders' anti-EU party biggest election winner in Dutch European Elections

Radio Netherlands

The biggest winners in Thursday's European Parliament elections in the Netherlands are the two most outspoken parties: Geert Wilders' nationalist anti-EU party and the firmly pro-EU social-liberal party D66.

Fielding candidates for the first time, Mr Wilders' staunchly anti-European party will be returning four of the 25 Dutch MEPs. The other winners are social-liberal D66 and Green Left, both of whom are firm advocates of the European Union; each will send three MEPs to Brussels.

The Freedom Party MEPs will be headed by Barry Madlener; Mr Wilders will remain an MP in The Hague. The Freedom Party has ruled out joining any of the existing multi-party factions in the EP. In his victory speech, Mr Madlener repeated he will go for "less Europe, more Netherlands, Turkey never an EU member".

Listen to the reactions of senior Dutch politicians and party leaders to the European parliamentary election results (See below for details of the politicians featured in the report*)

Given the size of the European Parliament - it has 736 seats - it remains doubtful whether the Freedom Party will manage to make its mark, all by itself. That's a worrying scenario, Amsterdam politicologist André Krouwel told RNW's Perro de Jong:

"I'm afraid that all the people who pinned their hopes on Wilders and who did so in earnest may once again get the feeling that they are not being understood, and that their problems are not being taken seriously. It may cause them to become disillusioned with the political system forever."

"Yes" to EU wins too
Voters rejected the other parties' two-faced approach of a "no" to the Brussels bureaucracy, but a "yes" to the European ideals. They voted either for the Freedom Party's "no", or for the outspoken "yes" of the other outright winner, social-liberal D66. The rejuvenated liberals even centred their campaign around their pro-European position, and tripled their following. EU-friendly ecology party Green Left, too, managed to gain an extra seat.

National effect
Formally the elections have no repercussions on national politics, but the vote is generally seen as a nationwide opinion poll on the performance of the Dutch government and opposition in The Hague. Emphasising that his party was now the country's second biggest in terms of voter share, Geert Wilders was quick to claim that the results are a call on the government to step down.

Opinion polls had been predicting that Mr Wilders' PVV would become the country's biggest party if general elections were held now. As it happens, in Thursday's EU elections the party narrowly failed to dethrone the Christian Democrats as the country's largest party.

The three parties that form the governing coalition together lost 6 of their 16 MEPs. The biggest blow was administered to Labour, the big loser in the contest, which was more than halved, from 7 to 3 seats. The Christian Democrats lost 2 of their 7 seats.

The third coalition partner, small Christian Union, remained stable at two seats, as did opposition Socialist Party. Opposition conservative VVD, which had feared being leeched by Mr Wilders' party, lost just one of its four seats.

Wait till Sunday
The final results of the Europe-wide elections will not be known until Sunday evening, when voting has been completed in all EU member states. Contravening Brussels' preferences, the Netherlands is not witholding the election results until Sunday. The tradition is for the outcome to be published as soon as the votes have been counted.

*Senior Dutch politicians and party leaders responding to the European election results, in the order they feature in the report:

  • Femke Halsema, leader of the Green Left party in the Dutch parliament
  • Jack de Vries, deputy defence minister and prominent Christian Democrat
  • Hans van Balen, Conservative VVD leader for the European election
  • Harrry van Bommel, Socialist Party MP
  • Wim van de Camp, Christian Democrat leader for the European election
  • Femke Halsema
  • Geert Wilders, Freedom Party leader
  • Barry Madlener, Freedom Party leader for the European election
  • Hero Brinkman, Freedom Party MP

The table below summarises the Dutch results, with 92 percent of the votes counted.
Turnout was at 36 percent, slightly below the 40 percent mark of 2004.

EP 2009 election results (old seat count in brackets)
Christian Democrats 5 (7)
Labour 3 (7)
Conservative VVD 3 (4)
Social-liberal D66 3 (1)
GreenLeft 3 (2)
Socialist Party 2 (2)
Christian Union/Dutch Reformed Party 2 (2)
Freedom Party 4 (0)

- Geert Wilders winner
- Wikipedia: Geert Wilders

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Bill O'Reilly "The Tiller Killer" should be jailed for hate-speech on grounds of inciting violence

Anyone who's been following my blog knows I'm pretty reluctant to pull the "hate speech" card. Simplified, I believe one only crosses the line when one incites acts of violence. But that's exactly why Bill O'Reilly should be jailed.

I'm not alone:

O'Reilly is being incredibly disingenuous when he claims that he bears no responsibility for others' actions in the killing of Dr. George Tiller on Sunday. When you tell an audience of millions over and over again that someone is an executioner, you cannot feign surprise when someone executes that person.

You cannot claim to hold no responsibility for what other people do when you call for people to besiege Tiller's clinic, as O'Reilly did in January 2008. And this was after Tiller had been shot in both arms and after his clinic had been bombed.

O'Reilly knew that people wanted Tiller dead, and he knew full well that many of those people were avid viewers of his show. Still, he fanned the flames. Every time I appeared on his show, I received vitriolic and hate-filled e-mails. And if I received those messages directly, I can only imagine what type of feedback O'Reilly receives. He knows that his words incite violence.
Thank you, Mary Alice Carr, well said.

PS1: More shocking news about how authorities (including FBI) responded to recent violent acts by Scott Roeder here.

PS2: Old but relevant "news" below:

PS3: More old "news":

PS4: O'Reilly falsely claimed he only "reported what groups" were calling Tiller

PS5: O'Reilly: "If I could get my hands on Tiller [the baby killer]....well, you know....

PS6: Mary Alice Carr in "conversation" with O'Reilly the Tiller Killer

PS7: Bill O'Reilly lying about HOW he used "tiller the baby killer":

- Mary Alice Carr - Why I turned down O'Reilly
- O'Reilly's campaign against murdered doctor Tiller
- Democracy Now! More shocking news about Scott Roeder
- Tiller the baby killer

Monday, June 01, 2009

Bill O'Reilly has blood on his hands (video)

No question [Bill O'Reilly] has blood on his hands.

- Bill O'Reilly killed George Tiller
- Tiller the baby Killer


Liberal bloggers point finger at Bill O'Reilly in George Tiller's death

It's no secret that Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly was instrumental in publicizing the activities of George Tiller, the 67-year-old Kansas doctor who was one of the few physicians in the country to perform late-term abortions in the face of protests, bombings at Tiller's clinic and death threats.

Tiller was slain over the weekend, as he stood in his church in Wichita, Kan., serving as an usher. President Obama decried the killing, saying, "However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence." Scott Roeder, an anti-abortion activist and former member of a right-wing militia group, has been arrested.

Now, liberal bloggers are speculating that what one called O'Reilly's "jihad against Tiller" may have contributed to the doctor's death.

"There's no other person who bears as much responsibility for the characterization of Tiller as a savage on the loose," said's Gabriel Winant. Tiller has been vilified in 29 episodes of O'Reilly's "The Factor," Winant reports, usually described as "Tiller the Baby Killer" and often as a doctor who "destroys fetuses for just about any reason right up until the birth date for $5,000."

On March 15, 2006, O'Reilly said Tiller was the moral equivalent of Al Qaeda. On Nov. 9, 2006, he likened the physician who gave women legal abortions to China's Mao, Germany's Hitler or the Soviet Union's Stalin. And on Dec. 12, 2006, he unleashed all his hatred in this episode. See what you think.

The right-wing blogosphere is defending O'Reilly by blaming ... the Obama administration.

John Aravosis, who blogs for, wrote that this was all the president's fault, because the administration withdrew a report warning about abortion protest violence.

Thank God that the Obama administration caved last month to religious right and GOP demands that it withdraw a new domestic terrorism report that indicated, among other things, that radicals might use abortion as a justification for committing acts of domestic terrorism. Now a man is dead, and an American church has been shot up during services. Which leads to the question as to whether the Obama administration plans to do anything about the terrorist threat posed by religious right extremists, or whether typical Democratic spinelessness will lead us to now ignore this brutal murder, since that is the message that was sent last month, just weeks before this act of terror.

For the most part, both pro-choice and anti-abortion groups of the mainstream variety were careful to condemn Tiller's slaying.

But Operation Rescue, which ran a Tiller Watch on its website, called Tiller "a mass murderer." In a statement, the group's founder, Randall Terry, said, “We grieve for him that he did not have time to properly prepare his soul to face God.”

Maybe, as MSNBC's political team suggested this morning, the culture wars are about to return big time.

-- Johanna Neuman

Monday, May 25, 2009

UBC President Stephen Toope and his buddies plagiarized report on "internet piracy"

Do you support filesharing? Well I do, because I consider filesharing "fair use".

Not so much support is coming from UBC President Stephen Toope, oh no, he and his buddies actually don't like files sharers. That's why he teamed up with the Conference Board of Canada, cooked up a plagiarized report originating from the IIPA ("the primary movie, music, and software lobby group in the U.S."), charged tax payers $15,000.00, and simply put it out there.

And when they got caught plagiarizing, they put out another post (costs, who knows?) full with more cooked up disinformation. But Micheal Geist, a Canada Research Chair at the University of Ottawa, struck back.

And so did his readers.

Some comments were made on the sites mentioned, that I'm happy :) to reproduce:

The sweet irony
"How deliciously ironic: they are presenting a plagiarized paper at a conference devoted to Intellectual Property."
Indeed, it's only illegal of course when students do it. When Stephen and his buddies do it, you defend plagiarism to the bitter end.

Sarcasm, I LOVE sarcasm:
"Is it really plagiarism, given that these backgrounders/"studies" exist specifically for the purpose of being lightly rewritten and stuffed into reports? It's intellectually dishonest, morally repugnant, lazy, and self-serving, sure... but let's give them the benefit of the doubt and consider this a collaboration, a partnership, a mutually-beneficial self-serving relationship, rather than plagiarism, which is such an ugly word with that hard "g" and that long "a". Of course, in that case the lobby group's name really should be on the report as co-author, which I daresay would more accurately reflect reality anyway..."
Good point. There's little chance that the US lobby group will be complaining about this type of "file sharing"; that's what the IIPA's report is supposed to be used for. Oh, and what about ripping off governments ($15,000) for "recycling" some repugnantly outdated ideologies; isn't that what governments are for?

Last one:
Who, not how
"Let's not forget the real issue here, Darryl et al. It's not just the fact that they plagiarized another's work (changing someone else's words to sound like your own IS plagiarism). Look at WHO they plagiarized: the IIPA - a giant lobby for American big-business copyright interests.

Even ignoring the fact that the report they plagiarized has been highly discredited, thus destroying the credibility of their own paper, how can they possibly claim to be non-partisan while spouting IIPA garbage in their "own words"?"
Excellent point. Copying IIPA propaganda isn't independent: it's garbage.

You don't know Stephen? Here's an introduction:


This blog post on "the deceitful Conference Board of Canada report on the Digital Economy" (did you note the quotation marks, Mr. Toope?) should not be missed: Good for you, Mark!

Also the (Vancouver) got some nasty comments on publishing the findings of the now exposed board of Toope and his buddies.

Read their great "journalism" here, but find some of the enlightening comments below:
Seth: More BS from the neocons that brought us Bush, Harpo, and now for the third time Gordo. This is such plain flaming disinformation that I'm surprised it can be printed without setting the paper on fire.

These dudes come up with their numbers assuming all p2p or torrent is illegal and then figure out the value assuming every downloader would buy the product he "stole".

The piracy watch list is more neocon protectionist nonsense out the US and has been debunked in numerous studies.
And Mark got it right:
This report turns out to be just an unquestioning repetition, and in some cases an outright plagiarism, of material by US lobby groups. That's right - a "non-partisan" group that wants us to take it seriously on intellectual property, plagiarizes the material for its own report

And so did jeff:
The Conference Board of Canada's Deceptive, Plagiarized Digital Economy Report:
No word from Stephen "Junk-reports" Toope yet.

- Michael Geist is my hero - Stephen Toope? Not so much
- Who will teach Stephen Toope about plagiarism? Bad boy! (pdf)
- In the category "you really can't make this stuff up": Anti File sharing report plagiarized
- My name is Stephen Toope, and I approve this not-so independent report (press release).
- Torrent: Intellectual Property Rights in the Digital Economy - from the Conference Board of Canada

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

CBC ignores fact that FPTP is the main contributor to the disenfranchised-voters phenomena

from the CBC BC website:

Voter turnout in B.C.'s provincial election hit a record low on Tuesday, with only 50 per cent of eligible voters bothering to vote, a full eight percentage points less than the 58 per cent that voted in 2005.


Neufeld told CBC News he'll be looking to find out why only half of eligible voters showed up at the polls.

"We're going to be doing a survey," he said Wednesday. "We did a survey after the 2005 election, and a significant number of people, about 44 per cent, the last time we surveyed them, were simply disengaged with the political process and just didn't have an interest in following politics, being involved and being part of the voting process."

Voter turnout has been dropping for years in B.C. In the 1983 provincial election, 70 per cent of eligible voters cast ballots.

UBC political science professor Fred Cutler said there were other factors at play [...]

"We didn't have people able to separate the two parties easily or separate their leaders," said Cutler.

For instance, the NDP was criticized by many of its traditional environmentalist supporters for wanting to axe the B.C. Liberals' carbon tax, sending a mixed message to voters about where the party stood in the traditional political landscape.

"For a voter who is having that kind of pressure on both sides and can't quite make up his or her mind, it's going to be that little bit harder to get up and make the walk and tick the ballot," said Cutler.
1) CBC ignores fact that FPTP is the main contributor to the disenfranchised-voters phenomena; even the Fraser Institute knows that!

Don't believe it? Check this out:

2) FPTP wasted the majority of votes in the following ridings: Boundary-Similkameen, Burnaby-Deer Lake (52% wasted), Burnaby-Lougheed (51% wasted), Burnaby North (51% wasted), Cariboo-Chilcotin (52% wasted), Cariboo North (51% wasted), and so on, and so on, and so on, and so on.

In all the ridings mentioned above (and many, many more) the majority of voters who casted their ballots wasted their time showing up; their vote had no effect, nada, niente, nix, noppes - what a great voting system the FPTP is.

- CBC: Voters disenfranchised by FPTP but we at the CBC will need a Neufeld to tell us that a survey is needed to explain why people stay home
- Fraser Institute: Let's fix FPTP with a system that's right for us (hint; it's not the most PR friendly STV)