Politics
2 min

Making excuses

What’s that? A study by Elections Canada
shows that people who claim they’re too busy to vote are just making excuses for not caring enough about democratic engagement? You don’t say! But remember: gimmicks invented for the sole purpose of making it easier to vote won’t
actually solve the underlying problem, and that is largely about the way in
which we engage with our democratic system. People don’t engage because we don’t
teach them about it. Simply telling them that we vote every few years
says nothing about the system. Instead, we need to teach them about getting
involved at the riding level, getting involved with nomination races and policy
discussions, about the confluence between democracy and accountability, and that
yes, democracy means more than marking an X on a ballot every four years. And
that’s something you can’t simply come up with a gimmicky solution for.

Health ministers from across the country
met in Halifax to lay the groundwork for future health-accord negotiations.
Apparently this meeting was just to discuss what worked and what didn’t work
from the last round. Like how the federal government abrogated its leadership
role on the homecare and pharmacare portions of the last accord?

The government spent yesterday announcing reshuffled immigration settlement funding – shuffled away from Ontario to other
provinces.

The NDP spent its opposition day
yesterday debating a motion to curtail the government’s use of closure and time
allocation by putting the decision on the Speaker upon sufficient justification
by a minister, meaning the Speaker would decide if the justification outweighed
the need for debate in the Commons. Too bad it’ll have no chance of passing the
vote next week.

Senator Pierrette Ringuette says that
Harper’s current Senate reform plans are illegal because they try to circumvent
the constitutional amendment process. The comments come after the premier of
New Brunswick – the province Ringuette represents – said in his throne speech that he
plans to support the notion of “Senate nominee elections.”

Poor Charmaine Borg. Her Quebec
constituents are complaining because the holiday greeting she sent out to them
in French contains more than a dozen grammatical errors. But this is the “new face
of politics,” everyone!

Canadian researchers have come up with
low-risk drinking guidelines: two drinks most days, up to 10 drinks per week
for women; and three drinks most days, up to 15 a week for men, with plans for
non-drinking days. They are also talking about social responsibility when it
comes to the dangers of alcoholism.

The CBC will not be appealing the Federal
Court’s decision on their access-to-information obligations.

And because some of them were quite good, a recounting of the #stuffMPslike meme that went around the Twitter Machine
today.

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