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Morning memo: Cast ’em if you got ’em


 

BEST PHOTO:

BEST QUOTES:

Stephen Harper, on the Manichean choice facing Canadian voters: “If you want a prime minister who will experiment with the Canadian economy, then give Mr. Dion a mandate to impose his carbon tax. If you want a prime minister who will protect the economy, then I ask you for a mandate.”

Stéphane Dion, on what he figured would be on Stephen Harper’s agenda for the last day of campaigning: “He will be mute today and he will continue to lie about the Liberal climate-change plan.”

Jack Layton, on Stéphane Dion’s last-minute appeal to voters on the left: “I hear that he is out there telling progressives to rally behind him. My question is, why wouldn’t he rally his own members of Parliament to stand up to Stephen Harper for the entire last year? It’s Harper’s policies, but it’s Dion’s responsibility.”

Gilles Duceppe, on Quebec City Conservative MP Luc Harvey, who was heckling him at an event this past Sunday: “I’ve always thought that he was an imbecile. He once asked why Canada was not in the European Union.”

Elizabeth May, on the virtues of strategic voting: “There are a handful of ridings where three federal parties split the progressive vote, and I’m not going to be so partisan as to tell people to vote Green no matter what. It’s dishonest to say voters should vote Green no matter what because the best thing in terms of the environment is for Stephen Harper not to be elected. At the same time I wouldn’t disown my own party because my candidates are great.”

GAFFE OF THE DAY:

The new identification rules passed by the House of Commons risk disenfranchising many aboriginal voters, community leaders said over the weekend. At issue is the requirement that voters show a proof of address before receiving their ballot: “If [aboriginal voters] don’t feel comfortable going to the polling station with what’s in their pocket, they’re not going to go,” warned Grand Council Chief John Beaucage with the Union of Ontario Indians. Recall that the new rules were adopted in response to an imaginary scandal portraying veiled voters as a threat to the democratic process, something the new law does nothing to redress. Instead, it may end up alienating legitimate voters. Heckuva job, Parliament.

WHERE THEY’RE AT TODAY:

Stephen Harper will vote in Calgary.

Stéphane Dion will vote in Montreal.

Jack Layton will vote in Toronto.

Elizabeth May will vote in New Glasgow, N.S.

Gilles Duceppe will vote in Montreal.


 

Morning memo: Cast ’em if you got ’em

  1. “He will be mute today and he will continue to lie about the Liberal climate-change plan.”

    How do stay mute and lie at the same time?

  2. “Recall that the new rules were adopted in response to an imaginary scandal portraying veiled voters as a threat to the democratic process, something the new law does nothing to redress. Instead, it may end up alienating legitimate voters. Heckuva job, Parliament.”

    Not quite right.

    They were not in the legislation the Conservatives presented to the House, were added by the Liberals in Committee and supported by the Conservatives there. I don’t think the original reason was veiled voting; I believe that came up later on.

    Anyways, the NDP’s Paul Dewar fought the amendments vigourously, as I believe did the Bloc members, knowing the additional barrier they would place in both the inner cities and the north (the *real* intention behind them, truth be told) to folks already less likely to vote. But his numerous entreaties were to no avail and the House passed them with both the major parties’ support. Then later on, the Liberal candidate in the Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River (Joan Beatty) blamed her loss on the changes.

    The NDP candidate in Kenora, Tania Cameron, also a Band Manager, has recently obtained a ruling from Elections Canada, by the way, that having a letter from the Band Council attesting to residence is considered acceptable proof of residence.

  3. If many aboriginals live in areas without a street number – why does the Band council not adopt the simple expedient of creating them? Is there a cultural objection to numbering plots of land? (Serious question)

    In my pocket this morning I have a drivers licence, health card (Ontario pictorial), credit card with name. I have easy access to printed bank statement, mortgage statement, income tax assessment notice, property tax assessment.

    I think there are some people out there, not Aboriginals alone but just generally, who want to have it so you march up to the polling station, completely masked and disguised, declare “civis Canadiensis sum” and pick up their ballot paper, eat it, and walk out again. Is it wrong to want a higher standard? How many more alternatives and copouts can Elections Canada provide before this is what we’re looking at?

    It might also be an idea if QC and SK followed either Ontario’s lead in picturising health cards or the other jurisdictions in producing alternative ID cards.

    Endnote – I am trusting AC (from a Saturday Night article archived on andrewcoyne.com) that the Latin spelling above is accurate…

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