Deputy Mayor Stephen Chase Acclaimed as Liberal Candidate in Saint John

It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly four years since I worked on Stephen’s last municipal campaign!

Since then we have become good friends, which is why I am glad to hear the following news today:

Saint John Deputy Mayor Stephen Chase has been acclaimed as the Liberal Candidate for Saint John.

The Campaign Headquarters official opening will be on Saturday April 2nd at 60 Waterloo St.

Stephen will make a great candidate as he has an amazing track record on city council, and he truly cares about making things better in Saint John.

I’m looking forward to helping out on this new campaign – and I would strongly encourage any others who support him to get involved.

It’s going to be a busy few weeks!

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Wafergate – Telegraph-Journal Publisher and Editor Lose Their Jobs

Published on 2009-07-28 by in Canadian Politics, News

According to CBC News, the Telegraph-Journal has made some major changes in wake of “Wafergate”.

You may recall the front page headline in the Telegraph-Journal on July 8th, 2009 – ‘It’s a scandal’ – Catholics demand explanation for PM pocketing communion wafer at LeBlanc funeral.

The article included a ridiculous story about the Prime Minister and whether he took communion at the state funeral of former governor general Roméo LeBlanc.  The article seemed to imply that he took the wafer and kept it.  Either way, it was not news, and there was no actual proof that anything actually happened.  This is supposed to be why there are editors.

Today, the fallout could be seen on the front page of the newspaper – Telegraph-Journal apologizes to Prime Minister:

On Wednesday, July 8, 2009, the Telegraph-Journal published a story about the funeral mass celebrating the life of former Governor-General Romeo LeBlanc that was inaccurate and should not have been published. We pride ourselves in maintaining high standards of journalism and ethical reporting, and regret this was not followed in this case.

The story stated that a senior Roman Catholic priest in New Brunswick had demanded that the Prime Minister’s Office explain what happened to the communion wafer which was handed to Prime Minister Harper during the celebration of communion at the funeral mass. The story also said that during the communion celebration, the Prime Minister “slipped the thin wafer that Catholics call ‘the host’ into his jacket pocket”.

There was no credible support for these statements of fact at the time this article was published, nor is the Telegraph-Journal aware of any credible support for these statements now. Our reporters Rob Linke and Adam Huras, who wrote the story reporting on the funeral, did not include these statements in the version of the story that they wrote. In the editing process, these statements were added without the knowledge of the reporters and without any credible support for them.

The Telegraph-Journal sincerely apologizes to the Prime Minister for the harm that this inaccurate story has caused. We also apologize to reporters Rob Linke and Adam Huras and to our readers for our failure to meet our own standards of responsible journalism and accuracy in reporting.

Now tonight, as confirmed by CBC News, we find out that Jamie Irving is no longer the publisher and Shawna Richer is no longer the editor of the Telegraph-Journal.

Finally, some news worth reporting!

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Tory Support in New Brunswick Grows!

Published on 2008-10-15 by in Canadian Politics

It was an exciting election that went down to the wire.

At the end of the day, another Conservative minority government was elected.

Several of their big wins took place right here in New Brunswick.

Saint John – Conservative Rodney Weston upsets the incumbent Liberal Paul Zed in a close race.  Only 495 votes separated the two.  Weston was Progressive Conservative MLA in Lord’s first term and then his chief of staff.

Fredericton – Conservative Keith Ashfield took the riding for the Torys.  There was no incumbent in this riding, it had been left open by Liberal Andy Scot.  Ashfield is a three time Progressive Conservative MLA who also served in cabinet as the Minister of Natural Resources.

Miramichi – Conservative Tilly O’Neill-Gordon pulled off an upset against Liberal Charles Hubbard. Hubbard had been the MLA since 1993.  O’Neill-Gordon is a retired school teacher.

New Brunswick 2008 Results

Fundy Royal – Not surprisingly, this riding stayed Conservative, easily re-electing Rob Moore.  Moore has been the MLA for the riding since 2004.

New Brunswick Southwest – Another Conservative riding that easily re-elected the candidate – Greg Thompson.  Thompson has been the MLA since 1988 (with the exception of one loss in 1993).  He has also served in cabinet as the Minister of Veterans Affairs.

Tobique – Mactaquac – Conservative Mike Allen only won this riding in 2006 by 254 votes; however, he built on that success to deliver a solid win to the Conservatives this time.  He has been the MLA since 2006.

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Stéphane Dion Doesn’t Understand – ATV interview with Steve Murphy

Everyone needs to watch this video before casting their vote on Tuesday.

The Liberal leader Stéphane Dion is asked a SIMPLE question around the economy, and he fails to understand it.

Too bad that 67% of our population only speaks English.

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Three ways to increase voter turnout without resorting to mandatory voting

As I watched a CBC show around mandatory voting, I came to the conclusion that it’s not a matter of forcing people to vote; but, the ultimate issue is with our current electoral system.

While the country has changed a great deal since 1867, our electoral system has not.  Obviously, changes such as allowing women to vote have occurred; however, the fundamental system is still the same.

I’ve been thinking about this all week, and I would like to put out some ideas for people to think about themselves.  I think there are three ways we can increase voter turnout with resorting to mandatory voting:

1) Proportional Representation

Proportional RepresentationCanada’s has a first past the post system, which means that the person with the most votes wins; however, this is also the root of the decline in voter participation.  Living in a riding that is almost guaranteed to go for a certain party’s candidate makes your vote pointless.  For example, someone voting for the Green party in an Alberta riding has very little change of electing a candidate, and in effect this makes it more likely for these people to not even show up to vote.

I believe that this problem can be addressed by implementing Proportional representation.

Proportional Representation is a system that tries to balance the results (seats won) based on percentages of votes received.  With this system, the Green party supporter in Alberta could vote for the Green party and know that their vote would matter, as it would be combined with all other Green party votes across the country.  Having 5% of the support across the country would roughly translate into 15 seats for the Greens.  On the flip side, the Bloc (with 10% support) would only receive 30 seats instead of the 75 that they currently have.

While there are disadvantages with this system (like all systems), I feel that it encourages people to get out and vote for the party that they support (without having to resort to vote swapping).  When people are voting for what they believe, and they know their vote counts, they will vote.

2) Lower the Voting Age

Down ArrowAt the age of 16 you are able to do a lot of things (legally) such as getting a permit to drive a car.  I also believe that this is the age at which you should be allowed to start voting.

Currently the voting age is 18.  The problem is that by the time you are 18, you are likely finished high school, or are finishing it.  You may be in college or university dealing with tuition increases (or university closures) brought on by cuts made by the current government – one you were not allowed to vote for.  I just can’t understand how this is acceptable.

I strongly believe that these students are more then able to make a informed decision.  Also, the younger you start voting, the more likely you will keep voting throughout your live.

Check out for more information!

3) Online Voting

Vote OnlineThere are a lot of amazing things happening online today.

People are shopping, banking, investing, and gambling.  All of these are secure activities that many of us do everyday.

I believe that voting is one more thing that will be commonly performed online.  Currently in Canada, it is the municipalities that are leading the way.  Markham, Ontario is a great example.  In 2006, they allowed people to vote online, check out that website for more information on how it worked.

With this option, you no longer have to worry about getting there before or after work, finding a place to park, or standing in long lines – simply log on and vote.  When it’s that simple, it’s much more likely even an apathetic person will take the time to vote.

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Politics in Canada Update

As you may remember, I launched a Facebook application earlier this year called Politics in Canada.

Since the launch, the number of people using it has grown to over five hundred!

With a new Federal Election on the way, I’ve decided to start making some updates to the application.

One of the changes includes new charts.  These new charts are much easier to read!

Country Support Graph

Provincial Support Percentages

The interactive support maps are also filling up as more users specify their location.

Support Map

Be sure to check out the Politics in Canada application.

Look forward to seeing new parties being added and new features as they are requested!

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Politics in Canada Review

Politics in CanadaToday, the first review of my Facebook Application, Politics in Canada, was published. It was reviewed on the Facebook Applications Review blog.

I am quite happy to see people taking an interest, and I will be taking all of the great feedback and suggestions in to account when I release the next update to the application.

Remember to send me your comments, and keep spreading the word!

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Politics in Canada Facebook Application is launched!

Politics in CanadaLast night, I launched my Politics in Canada Facebook application.

My goal is to provide a way for people to show support for political parties. I really want people to see the various choices available and to have the ability to make an informed decision. I believe, by raising awareness, we can get more people involved in the political process.

One main feature of my application is that by entering your postal code, an icon can be placed on a map of the country or province showing the party you support. Eventually, as more people add the application you will be able to see areas of support for a party across the country. The map is integrated with Google Maps, allowing you to zoom in and around.

Oh and speaking of awareness, did you know:

  • Canada has a Community Party and a Marijuana Party.
  • New Brunswick and the Yukon only have three politics parties.
  • Alberta has a Separation Party.

Check out the application here and find out more today! Remember to send me any comments or feedback.

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