By Aaron Wherry - Saturday, January 19, 2013 - 0 Comments
Jim Flaherty blames an “oversight” for the fact that his ministerial title was included in his letter to the CRTC. The Globe finds two parliamentary secretaries who wrote to the CRTC with their titles noted and, with various backbench and opposition MPs writing to the CRTC, Duff Conacher wonders why any MPs are allowed to write such letters.
Public interest advocate Duff Conacher of Democracy Watch argues that section is ill-defined. He says MPs should not be picking and choosing which local companies they will help.
“I don’t think it’s proper for MPs to become lobbyists for individuals with specific interests,” said Mr. Conacher, who praised Ms. Dawson’s decision Friday but added that it calls for more clarity around the proper role of an MP. As it stands, Mr. Conacher said there is nothing to prevent MPs from giving favourable treatment to constituents who are friends or political supporters. “That’s trading favours,” he said. “They give preferential treatment to those who do more for them – either vote for them, raise money for them or work on their campaigns – and I don’t think that is the proper role of a member of Parliament.”
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 11:38 AM - 55 Comments
The per-vote annual funding for federal political parties is the most democratic part of the federal political finance system because the funding is handed out based on the actual support from voters each party receives in the election.
Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Québec all have per-vote funding of political parties for this reason.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at 2:50 PM - 3 Comments
Before tonight’s debates, here is last night’s discussion on The Agenda. It’s a good thing they kept Ned Franks and I in separate cities, otherwise we would’ve come to blows around the two and a half minute mark here.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 2:15 PM - 90 Comments
Duff Conacher suggests the vote subsidy needn’t be eliminated, merely reduced.
Cutting the subsidy in half (instead of eliminating it as Harper proposes) would give all parties a solid, democratically determined funding base, but still require them to reach out and regularly address the concerns of voters in order to attract their annual donations.
The subsidy should also be reduced even more (for example, cut by 75 per cent) for any party that operates only in one province or region, such as the Bloc Quebecois, because they have lower travel and operating costs than parties with riding associations and candidates across the country.
Meanwhile, Adam Radwanski finds various revelations in the current range of political donations from the public.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 9:30 AM - 17 Comments
The Federal Court ruling today dodged the issue of the legality of the Conservatives’ 2006 federal election ad spending scheme issue even more than Aaron hints at, as the ruling went in favour of the candidates only because the basis of the “balance of convenience” principle means that they should be reimbursed for their full expenses now because the legality of the scheme is yet to be determined.
So, in order to have the issue of the legality of the scheme ruled upon by the courts, Elections Canada must proceed with a prosecution through the Director of Public Prosecutions, and/or an appeal of today’s ruling to the Federal Court of Appeal.
By John Geddes - Friday, May 8, 2009 at 7:05 PM - 27 Comments
Ruby Dhalla and her lawyer suggest new layers of complexity and even conspiracy in the story of allegations about caregivers her family employed. But don’t hold your breath waiting for the federal Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner to step in to settle the matter.
At her news conference today, Dhalla’s lawyer again referred to her request for the commissioner to review the allegations against her. It certainly sounds like the sort of thing that would make sense. The problem is that MPs took steps last year to make sure the commissioner doesn’t have any clear mandate to look into this sort of affair.
By kadyomalley - Wednesday, October 1, 2008 at 11:26 AM - 64 Comments
Okay, Democracy Watch: ten out of ten for style, but minus several million for tardiness after waiting more than three weeks into the campaign before actually filing an application for an expedited hearing on that whole fixed-election-date-law-violating thing:
OTTAWA – Today, Democracy Watch released details about the application it has filed in the Federal Court of Canada challenging the legality of the recent federal election call. (To see the Notice of Application, click here; To see Democracy Watch’s legal arguments, click here; To see Democracy Watch Coordinator Duff Conacher’s Affidavit, Part I - click here; Part II - click here)
Democracy Watch has filed a motion to have a hearing of its application before the October 14th voting day. The motion will be considered by the Federal Court on Thursday, October 2, 2008 at The D’Arcy McGee Building, 90 Sparks St. in Ottawa after 9:30 am. (To see the motion, click here)
Democracy Watch has applied for an order that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s advice to the Governor General of Canada on September 7, 2008 to dissolve Parliament and call an election violated the fixed election date measures that Bill C-16 added to the Canada Elections Act because a vote of non-confidence in the Conservative government had not yet occurred in the House of Commons, and therefore the dissolution of Parliament and the calling of the election was illegal.
Don’t worry, ITQ will be there – although it’s unlikely I’ll be able to liveblog it in realtime, since the federal court is awfully fussy about BlackBerries, which is downright medieval, but that’s another rant for a different time.