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Showing posts from October 20, 2016

How do Canadians rate the state of our democracy?

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[A major international research project reveals how citizens here view the effectiveness of our democratic institutions. HINT: It ain't a pretty picture. *RON*]

André Blais & Filip Kostelka, Policy Options, 19 October 2016 

With the debate around our electoral system still in full swing, the time is ripe to explore how Canadians perceive the performance of our democratic institutions. In a major international research project focused in Canada on citizens in Quebec and Ontario, we found that the public is anxious for democratic reform at the national and provincial levels.

But how can we measure the quality of democracy in Canada? One way is to assess how well fundamental democratic principles work in practice. In a democracy, voters should be able to sanction politicians for their performance in office, and politicians should care about what voters think and care about. When running for office, politicians should propose distinct policy…

No Escaping B.C. Governments' Pre-Election Political Programming

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["The government is well on its way to meeting -- or beating -- the $16.6 million it spent on advertising leading up to the 2013 election... Campbell banned non-essential government advertising in the four months prior to voting day... In the two-week period prior to the writ dropping in April 2009, the government issued nine news releases. What a difference four years makes." *RON*]
Dermod Travis, Huffington Post, 18 October 2016


Mute them, channel surf, hide them all you want, but there's no escaping them.

The B.C. government is in the midst of saturating television shows and social media news feeds in the province with a multimillion-dollar back-patting advertising campaign in advance of the 2017 election.

The B.C. Liberal party -- who clearly have money to burn -- is getting in on the act as well with mood-setting political ads.

Can't fault them. They did raise the funds, one $10,000 cheque at a time.

It can be tough to distingu…

Trump? Clinton? Many young Americans prefer giant meteor, poll finds

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[Note also that this poll intentionally included a large portion of people who describe themselves as unlikely to vote. Nearly one in four young Americans said "they would rather have a giant meteor destroy the Earth than see Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton in the White House." *RON*]
By Scott Malone, Reuters, 19 October 2016
Young Americans are so dissatisfied with their choices in this presidential election that nearly one in four told an opinion poll they would rather have a giant meteor destroy the Earth than see Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton in the White House.

The tongue-in-cheek question was intended to gauge young Americans' level of unhappiness about their choices in the Nov. 8 election, said Joshua Dyck, co-director of UMass Lowell’s Center for Public Opinion, which conducted the poll alongside Odyssey, a social media platform.

The choice alluded to the Twitter hashtag "#GiantMeteor2016," a reference to an imagin…

SEC fines Ernst & Young for not spotting client’s earnings manipulation

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[This is precisely what is wrong with the world. Compare this story with the information on this web site: Combined revenue of EY worldwide from 2009 to 2016, by region (in billion U.S. dollars). In other words, this fine represents less than 4 ten-thousandths of their 2016 revenues. In what way is this a meaningful deterrent for a "major accounting fraud"? *RON*]

Francine McKenna, MarketWatch, 19 October 2016

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday held auditor Ernst & Young, and two of its partners accountable for missing for more than four years what it said was a “major accounting fraud.”

The SEC said that if EY and its partners had followed auditing standards they would have likely uncovered the fraudulent scheme at Weatherford International WFT, -1.06% as early as 2007. The lead EY audit partner at Weatherford, Craig Fronckiewicz, and former tax partner Sarah Adams, have also been suspended from practicing as public …

A new survey reveals American’s top fears, showing our true selves

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[We are totally shaped in our views and, especially, fears by corporate mainstream media. *RON*]

Larry Kummer, Fabius Maximus, 18 October 2016

Summary: The Chapman University Survey reveals American’s top fears. Many of them are exaggerated; some are delusional, most are influenced by the sea of propaganda that blankets America. Here we see one reason why the reform of America is so difficult.


For the third year, the Chapman University Survey of American Fears asked 1,500+ adult Americans about their fears (details here). The slide show presentation of their results appears below, with a video at the end of the post. The top 10 things we fear the most are…

Exclusive New Photos: The B.C. Government's Frantic Push to Get Site C Dam Past 'Point of No Return'

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[BC: the land of special interests. Anyone else's views be damned, they're just going to bully their way through. Democracy? *RON*]

By Emma Gilchrist • Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Just two years ago only four in 10 British Columbians had even heard of the Site C dam. Now, the project — one of the most expensive and environmentally destructive in B.C.’s history — is making international headlines.

With construction ramping up, the high cost of the Site C dam is becoming more visible, and not just on the landscape.

Residents are being forcibly removed from their land. More than 100 kilometres of river valley — much of it agricultural land — is slated for flooding. Independent review processes, meant to ensure the project serves the public interest, have beencircumvented and indigenous rights have been trampled.

B.C. Premier Christy Clark has vowed to get the $9 billion Site C dam past the “point of no return” before the May 2017 provincial electi…