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July-August 2014

Dot com stone age

Tyler HellardWebsite@poploser

Why the Canadian government needs to hit refresh on its digital strategies When former Public Safety Minister Vic Toews stood in the House of Commons and proclaimed that anyone who didn’t support the government’s new Lawful Access legislation was standing with the child pornographers, the Internet collectively decided he was being ridiculous. When MP Dean […] More »

Reopen the abortion debate?

Kyle Dupont

On May 10, the annual anti-abortion rally was held on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. This year’s event has come at a very interesting time in the Canadian abortion debate. Only weeks earlier, Stephen Harper denounced fellow Tory Stephen Woodworth’s bid to reopen the debate in the House of Commons. Woodworth, a Conservative backbencher, recently proposed […] More »
July-August 2011

Four rookie “Orange Wave” NDP MPs to watch in the new Parliament

Herb Mathisen

By now, the media has turned Ruth Ellen Brosseau’s name into a punch line. Brosseau is, of course, the Ottawa-pub-managing, Las Vegas-visiting, limited-French-speaking 27-year-old single mom who rode the NDP’s wave through Quebec into an MP job in Ottawa, despite having never visited her primarily francophone riding. But Brosseau isn’t the only NDP rookie surprised […] More »
May-June 2011

This45: Andrew Potter on democracy researcher Alison Loat

Andrew Potter with Victoria Salvas

Canadians are giving up on their political system. Voting participation is at historic lows; the number of people who vote for the winning party is now routinely outpaced by the number who don’t vote at all. Most young people don’t vote—63 percent of people under age 24 didn’t cast a ballot in 2008—and that bodes […] More »
May-June 2011

This45: Graham F. Scott on NDP health critic Megan Leslie

Graham F. ScottWebsite

For this special anniversary issue, we asked 45 alumni of This Magazine to tell us about the individuals and organizations who are doing the most exciting, creative, and important work in politics, activism, art, and more. Many chose young up-and-comers; others chose seasoned vets who never lost their passion for new ideas and approaches. But […] More »
July-August 2010

Harper’s parliamentary reforms could solve some problems—and cause others

Bruce M. Hicks

The Harper government has placed a bill before Parliament that would alter the formula for how seats are redistributed following the census. It would give Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia more seats in the House of Commons; naturally, Quebec and the Atlantic Canadian provinces are upset with this change as it diminishes their relative influence […] More »
July-August 2010

3 alternative voting systems in use today around the world

Graham F. Scott

Proportional representation comes in, well, not quite 31 flavours, but it’s a lot. There’s more than one way to elect an MP! Party List System In list systems, parties put forward a list of candidates, and voters cast a ballot for one party and its slate of individuals. Seats are allocated to parties based on […] More »
July-August 2010

Q&A with Judy Rebick: “We have one of the least democratic systems in the world”

Paul McLaughlinWebsite

The recent U.K. election has raised the issue of electoral reform there, as the Liberal Democratic party made it a condition for propping up the Conservative government. This spoke to social activist Judy Rebick, who is a member of Fair Vote Canada, about her group’s campaign to bring some form of proportional representation to Canada. […] More »
July-August 2010

Another reason for voting reform: Parliament needs women

Katie Addleman

Canada has shockingly few female legislators. Our electoral system is broken. Voting reform could fix both problems at once. One Thursday last spring, an Angolan MP named Faustina Fernandes Inglês de Almeida Alves addressed an assembly at United Nations Headquarters in New York City. Those present—members of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the UN Division for […] More »
May-June 2010

What Stephen Harper should really do to support global maternal health

Graham F. Scott

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced on January 26 that he was going to use Canada’s Group of Eight presidency to push for an annual G8 summit agenda focused on women’s and children’s health. Former UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa Stephen Lewis said it best when he called the announcement an act of “chutzpah.” […] More »
May-June 2010

Parliamentary coalition is calling wolf on anti-Semitism

Scott WeinsteinWebsite

One group’s feeble witch-hunt won’t deter legitimate criticism of Israel’s actions It started out on a hopeful note. To kick off the second hearing of the Canadian Parliamentary Inquiry into Anti-Semitism, Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, director of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, flew to Ottawa at the committee’s request to testify [PDF]that Canada is a […] More »