The chances are excellent that when you go about marking your ballot in the upcoming federal election, something quirky and quintessentially Canadian will happen without you even knowing it. Some votes are going to be substantially more powerful than others, especially those cast in the most remote rural ridings. And if you live in a city — especially one growing as rapidly as Greater Toronto — your vote is more likely to register as less than equal. Take the electoral district of Labrador, for example. Only 27,197 live there, according to Elections Canada. Yes it is vast — you could fit all of the United Kingdom inside Labrador and still have room for Costa Rica. But compared to a typical riding in Brampton or Scarborough, where riding populations exceed the national average, and the numerical disparity is glaring: it will take about four times as many Toronto-area voters to get the same result, electing a single representative to Parliament. How is that even … [Read more...] about One person, one vote? In Canada, it’s not even close
Proposes one change to our electoral system
What is Leni Robredo afraid of?WHILE the public is eagerly awaiting the decision of the Supreme Court sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo’s camp and followers are busy prematurely celebrating the alleged ponencia of Associate Justice Benjamin Caguioa who they claim is recommending the outright dismissal of the election protest of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., allegedly for lack of basis. They crow that based on the results of the manual ballot recount for the three pilot provinces identified by Marcos, Robredo’s lead has even increased. They anchor their arguments on the technicality of Rule 65 of the PET which, as constructed, directs a dismissal of a protest if there is no evidence of a substantial recovery of votes in the pilot areas. In an earlier article in this space, I argued that deciding a protest solely on the sole basis of a manual ballot recount is insufficient … [Read more...] about What is Leni Robredo afraid of?
SINGAPORE: Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat spoke on Saturday (Jun 15) at a REACH-CNA dialogue session on how the country's fourth generation of leaders intends to have a new social compact with its citizens. In the dialogue session, Mr Heng also said the Government wanted to draw on the diversity of passions and expertise among Singaporeans to improve policies and programmes to better meet needs.Here is the full text of his speech: Thank you for joining me today.We are here to discuss how we can build our future together. At the heart of this topic lies the biggest challenge we will face in the coming decades, which is how our politics will evolve. Singapore has enjoyed more than fifty years of constructive politics. This has helped keep us cohesive and united, grow our economy, and build our nation. But how do we remain united despite our diversities; one though we are many? As in previous leadership transitions, three sets of questions uppermost in … [Read more...] about In full: DPM Heng Swee Keat’s speech at the REACH-CNA dialogue
Duterte tightens grip on power in Philippine polls (Agence France-Presse) - May 22, 2019 - 7:23pm MANILA, Philippines — Allies of President Rodrigo Duterte stormed to a landslide victory in midterm polls, final results showed Wednesday, dissolving a last check on his controversial rule. Loyalists won both houses of the legislature, shutting out all opposition candidates in the Senate, which had served as a buffer against Duterte's most contentious plans. The results open a path for Duterte -- who has remarkably high approval ratings -- to make good on his call to bring back the death penalty and advance his project to re-write the constitution. "It's a clear signal that the people will be behind him as he pushes bills and processes that went nowhere previously," political analyst Ramon Casiple told AFP. With nine Duterte backers and three nominally unaligned politicians taking the 12 seats at stake in the 24-member … [Read more...] about Duterte tightens grip on power in Philippine polls
MANILA, Philippines — The results of the 2019 Senate elections are the public's stamp of approval of President Rodrigo Duterte and the bloody "war on drugs", Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Wednesday. Locsin said on his Twitter account that the government's vigorous campaign against illegal drugs was the main election issue of the midterm polls. "The Senatorial elections were not a referendum in favor of Charter Change either, the death penalty, and jailing minors," Locsin said. “[Duterte] and the war just won. So shut the fuck up on that subject everybody. The war goes on,” the top diplomat added. In his 2018 State of the Nation Address, Duterte listed charter change as one of the measures he wanted to pass. The firebrand leader has also often mentioned that he wants to bring back capital punishment, especially for drug offenders, and to lower the age of criminal liability. The two proposals were not included in the … [Read more...] about Duterte and ‘drug war’ won midterm polls, Locsin tweets