An official recount has confirmed that the Conservatives won the riding of Etobicoke Centre. Departing Liberal Borys Wrzesnewskyj conceded gracefully but then bizarrely said that hand counting of ballots is outdated and that we should move to voting over the internet. Wow – because electronic voting has worked so well in places such as the US. And the thing that people seem to forget is the sheer accountability of hand-counted ballots: cast ballots leave a concrete trail that can't be tampered with and can be checked and rechecked. Also, election officials can make sure that you’re not being coerced or intimidated because you have to be physically present to cast your ballot. It’s simply the most accountable and transparent voting system. I’m sure that internet voting sounds convenient (you won’t have to get off your ass and schlep a couple of blocks to your local polling station – you poor little bunny), and it sounds modern, but all the wonderful ways that our system ensures fairness and accountability would be lost. Think about it. Things exist the way they do for a reason, and we need to remember what those reasons are before we start thinking about monkeying around with them. For example, take the proposals for “democratic reform” that are being bandied about. While they may sound like good ideas, we must first think about why we need change and what the result of reform would be.
Some of the helicopters that we sent to Haiti during the relief effort sat on the tarmac because of critical parts shortages. And we're not talking about Sea Kings.
Newly minted Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is off to France with Harper for the G8 this week. We can expect that his first challenge is going to be the question about imposing sanctions on Syria after it brutally started cracking down on its citizens.
Harper’s plan to eliminate the per-vote subsidy for political parties is going to hurt everyone, but it's unlikely to cripple anyone other than the Bloc.
And The Globe and Mail reminds us of the six great things that are part of Queen Victoria’s legacy and why we should pay tribute to her for them.