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  • First shut down the investigation. Next, shut down the opposition.

    Rachel Notley kicked out of legislative assembly

    Alberta New Democrat leader Rachel Notley was removed from the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday afternoon after she refused to apologize for comments she made about Bill 22.


    The bill, which was announced Monday, includes a move to "merge and consolidate the Office of the Election Commissioner into the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer,” and the termination of Election Commissioner Lorne Gibson’s contract.


    The move comes in the midst of an investigation by Gibson into allegations of illegal donations in the 2017 UCP leadership race.

    https://edmonton.ctvnews.ca/rachel-n...mbly-1.4692936

    Comment


    • i think this is important enough to read unredacted:

      Election Commissioner

      Media Release

      November 19, 2019

      Over the past 24 hours I have had numerous media requests for interviews and comments on Bill 22 which, among other very important things, eliminates the position of the Election Commissioner as an independent officer of the Legislative Assembly and transfers responsibility for election law enforcement back to Elections Alberta. There is not a lot I can say about this situation. Members of the media with whom I have spoken to in the past will know there are very strict non-disclosure provisions contained in the relevant legislation within which I must operate.

      I was surprised and disappointed with the news of this move which came to my attention by way of media reports yesterday at 3pm. My disappointment is not related to my personal role as Commissioner, now or in the future. I am concerned about the potential negative impacts on the independence of election administration and the real and perceived integrity of the election process.

      This disappointment stems from my firm belief that the citizens of Alberta must have confidence and trust in the integrity of all aspects of the provincial electoral process, not just the casting and counting of ballots on election day. This includes trust and confidence that the election laws established by the legislative assembly are being followed and that there are consequences for those who choose not to follow them.

      The purpose of election laws is to ensure fair and free competition among political parties and candidates. Sound election laws, impartial administration of these laws and effective enforcement are essential to maintain the integrity of the electoral process and the legitimacy of the outcomes of the wider processes of democratic government. Election rules approved by legislatures are intended to promote and protect fundamental democratic principles and values that are crucial to ensuring fair, free, transparent and credible elections. Democratic election processes require mechanisms for the identification of violations of election rules and the resolution of complaints regarding alleged violations. Participants who seek to violate or take unfair advantage of those rules must be held accountable for actions that cross legal and ethical lines. After thorough and fair investigations, they must be subject to penalties appropriate to the nature of the offence. Fairness requires that offenders pay a price for their wrongdoing, including negative publicity. Effective enforcement serves as a deterrent to others contemplating illegal activities and prevents the emergence of a culture of corruption within the political and electoral process.

      Inadequate enforcement of election rules can allow for inappropriate conduct to occur and that conduct can affect voter participation and election outcomes. If elections are not seen as legitimate, citizens can become discouraged from being participants in the political process as contestants in nomination contests, candidates in elections, contenders for leadership positions, volunteers on behalf of the party or candidate of their choice, or even as voters.

      If election rules are not well understood and respected by political actors, and not adequately enforced by independent and impartial election management and enforcement bodies, erosion of public confidence and trust in the election process and its outcomes can occur. This impact can, in turn, weaken public confidence in democratic institutions such as the legislative assembly and provincial government, which are designed to be regularly renewed and legitimized through the election process. More broadly, a perceived lack of integrity in any aspect of the election process can diminish the legitimacy of the outcomes of the governing process and damage public trust in democratic governance.

      As reported in our 2018/2019 annual report, the Office of the Election Commissioner received over 450 complaints in its first 9 months of operation. Since then, many additional complaints have come in to our office. The total to date is now over 800. While not all of these complaints and allegations have been dealt with, in every instance the Office of the Election Commissioner has tried to fully and fairly address the legitimate concerns of complainants. The unexpectedly high volume of complaints and allegations demonstrates to me that Albertans are interested in their electoral system, that they want to have confidence that the people involved in the political process are playing by the rules, and that they want concerns about electoral wrongdoing to be actively pursued and addressed by an impartial oversight body.

      Whatever becomes of Bill 22, it has been an honour and a privilege to have had the opportunity
      to serve as Alberta’s first Election Commissioner.

      Lorne Gibson Election Commissioner
      Last edited by kcantor; 19-11-2019, 04:04 PM.
      "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

      Comment


      • But what if this is what the government actually wants to happen? I've said before that Alberta is essentially a one party state and the majority of voters are fine with that.


        If elections are not seen as legitimate, citizens can become discouraged from being participants in the political process as contestants in nomination contests, candidates in elections, contenders for leadership positions, volunteers on behalf of the party or candidate of their choice, or even as voters. If election rules are not well understood and respected by political actors, and not adequately enforced by independent and impartial election management and enforcement bodies, erosion of public confidence and trust in the election process and its outcomes can occur. This impact can, in turn, weaken public confidence in democratic institutions such as the legislative assembly and provincial government, which are designed to be regularly renewed and legitimized through the election process.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by overoceans View Post
          Originally posted by noodle View Post
          Originally posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
          Coddling bigots and racists and attempting to tame the dragon of resentment is only going to lead to more of the same, and an ugly reckoning at some point down the road.
          Looks like you're picking up what Popper is putting down. Tolerating the intolerant only leads to intolerance taking over.
          Might you be thinking of Marcuse and not Popper? I thought Popper was the Open Society guy, who would've thought even undemocratic ideas should be tolerated(if only in the negative sense of don't prosectute people who hold them) in the name of democracy itself. Whereas Marcuse was the whole "tolerance of the intolerant leads to fascism" thing.

          Caveat that I've never read Popper directly, and my direct reading of Marcuse didn't include that Critique Of Pure Tolerance book.
          Nope, Popper.


          Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Drumbones View Post
            Notley kicked out of qp
            ballsy.
            The world is full of kings and queens, who blind your eyes then steal your dreams.
            It's heaven and hell!

            Comment


            • Originally posted by kkozoriz View Post
              But what if this is what the government actually wants to happen? I've said before that Alberta is essentially a one party state and the majority of voters are fine with that.


              If elections are not seen as legitimate, citizens can become discouraged from being participants in the political process as contestants in nomination contests, candidates in elections, contenders for leadership positions, volunteers on behalf of the party or candidate of their choice, or even as voters. If election rules are not well understood and respected by political actors, and not adequately enforced by independent and impartial election management and enforcement bodies, erosion of public confidence and trust in the election process and its outcomes can occur. This impact can, in turn, weaken public confidence in democratic institutions such as the legislative assembly and provincial government, which are designed to be regularly renewed and legitimized through the election process.
              A few questions: First, did the majority of voters get what they voted for, or were they sold something and got something else? Second, is a democracy just about doing what the majority supposedly wants and trampling on everyone else, or is there more to it than that?

              I would argue that Alberta has been a one party petro state for a number of years, largely because the government has generally had enough money to buy its way out of trouble in the past. I don't see that working as well in the future.

              Comment


              • The majority of voters, if not all of them, were aware of Kenney's "kamikaze candidate" and what went on with that. Fines had already been levied and e-mails showing the close connection between the two candidates had been released.

                Kenney had also spoken of the need to cut spending, even though the deficit is now up by $2 billion over the NDPs projections. He was also very clear on the cuts to the business tax that have blown a hole in the budget.

                He had said "his government", which is generally taken to mean the premier and the cabinet, would not reopen debate on settled social issues. As we have seen, he's got no problem with letting backbenchers do that for him.

                People just weren't paying attention.

                Comment


                • Hmm, so Gibson was fired before. Why did Notley hire him back,????? Why. And now, he's fired again
                  Why is it, JT can shut down committees coming too close, and wow, that's all alright,
                  Notley booted from the house today, want to garner attention I suppose. All these worried people, only 200( it didn't look like 200) came out against this..
                  I guess we'll see what happens, but anyone happy with JT shutting everything up, can now grumble about this.

                  https://edmontonjournal.com/opinion/...troversial-job


                  Grrr?!!!!
                  Animals are my passion.

                  Comment


                  • Why was he fired in the first place? Let's see.....

                    Graham Thomson: Controversial former chief electoral officer returns to new, and controversial, job
                    Call it political irony. When Alberta’s Progressive Conservative government effectively fired the province’s chief electoral officer in 2009, the PCs hoped they’d never see Lorne Gibson again. Almost a decade later, the PCs are gone -- and Gibson is on his way back.

                    The Alberta government has put spending limits on PACs during an election campaign and in the run-up to the campaign. And it wants the election commissioner to ensure the law is obeyed.


                    Enter Lorne Gibson, arguably Alberta’s most controversial chief electoral officer.


                    He held the job from June 2006 to March 2009, during which time he doggedly fought to improve Alberta’s electoral process despite opposition from the government.


                    He poked, prodded and embarrassed the PC government-of–the-day by pointing out serious shortcomings in the 2008 general election, where 27 per cent of voters were left off the list and some people waited hours to vote.


                    Gibson complained he couldn’t conduct a proper enumeration of voters because of Alberta’s bizarre, antiquated and unfair practice where the PCs controlled the system of nominating returning officers for each riding. Yes, you read that right. The PCs, through cabinet, controlled who would be the chief ballot-counter in every constituency. It was the stuff of banana republics.


                    Gibson made 182 recommendations to improve the system, including allowing the chief electoral officer to appoint returning officers. The government eventually adopted many of his suggestions a few years later, but Gibson had proven to be such a thorn in the government’s side that in 2009 PC MLAs voted not to renew his contract, effectively firing him.

                    https://edmontonjournal.com/opinion/...troversial-job

                    Comment


                    • ^

                      heaven knows i'm not a fan of justin trudeau but this isn't the same thing...

                      committees are creatures of parliament (or the legislature) and that's who they are accountable to. they are made up of elected members accountable to their respective caucuses so it's no surprise, even if it is disappointing, when they are overtly overly partisan and directed to toe the party line.

                      i think shutting down what is meant to be a completely independent commission is a completely different matter. even if the commissioner is appointed by the legislature (or parliament) and can presumably be fired at whim, the work of the commission's office would still be expected to continue. it is the dissolution of the very office and the role it was meant to fulfil that is of concern here.

                      if you want a federal comparable, even though trudeau was twice deemed to be in conflict of interest by the federal ethics commission, he didn't have the chutzpah to try and shut down the commission itself (which is a good thing) simply because he was being investigated.
                      "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by kkozoriz View Post
                        The majority of voters, if not all of them, were aware of Kenney's "kamikaze candidate" and what went on with that. Fines had already been levied and e-mails showing the close connection between the two candidates had been released.

                        Kenney had also spoken of the need to cut spending, even though the deficit is now up by $2 billion over the NDPs projections. He was also very clear on the cuts to the business tax that have blown a hole in the budget.

                        He had said "his government", which is generally taken to mean the premier and the cabinet, would not reopen debate on settled social issues. As we have seen, he's got no problem with letting backbenchers do that for him.

                        People just weren't paying attention.
                        Watergate happened before the 1972 election and was in the news then too, so people were aware of it then also yet they still voted for Nixon in great numbers. There were some fines before our election, but much more happened after and more information has also come out since. However, nothing directly linking Kenney so far. Nixon also fired people after his election to try stop investigations and information from coming out. It's not that just that people weren't paying attention, it is that it takes a lot of time and effort to dig up exactly what happened that people have gone to some lengths to conceal. Arguably the firing may be another attempt to keep some things concealed. Is there more to come out? Stay tuned.

                        Kenney mostly talked about modest spending restraint, but some areas are being cut by 10% to 30% which is more than modest. He also promised tax cuts would generate job growth and economic recovery. I don't think that's happening. Did people vote for school fees and university tuition to go up? For personal taxes to go up, through brackets being de indexed? I don't think so. I think it will come to be seen as a bait and switch.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by kkozoriz View Post
                          Why was he fired in the first place? Let's see.....

                          Graham Thomson: Controversial former chief electoral officer returns to new, and controversial, job
                          Call it political irony. When Alberta’s Progressive Conservative government effectively fired the province’s chief electoral officer in 2009, the PCs hoped they’d never see Lorne Gibson again. Almost a decade later, the PCs are gone -- and Gibson is on his way back.

                          The Alberta government has put spending limits on PACs during an election campaign and in the run-up to the campaign. And it wants the election commissioner to ensure the law is obeyed.


                          Enter Lorne Gibson, arguably Alberta’s most controversial chief electoral officer.


                          He held the job from June 2006 to March 2009, during which time he doggedly fought to improve Alberta’s electoral process despite opposition from the government.


                          He poked, prodded and embarrassed the PC government-of–the-day by pointing out serious shortcomings in the 2008 general election, where 27 per cent of voters were left off the list and some people waited hours to vote.


                          Gibson complained he couldn’t conduct a proper enumeration of voters because of Alberta’s bizarre, antiquated and unfair practice where the PCs controlled the system of nominating returning officers for each riding. Yes, you read that right. The PCs, through cabinet, controlled who would be the chief ballot-counter in every constituency. It was the stuff of banana republics.


                          Gibson made 182 recommendations to improve the system, including allowing the chief electoral officer to appoint returning officers. The government eventually adopted many of his suggestions a few years later, but Gibson had proven to be such a thorn in the government’s side that in 2009 PC MLAs voted not to renew his contract, effectively firing him.

                          https://edmontonjournal.com/opinion/...troversial-job
                          Good point - contract not being renewed is not exactly the same as contract being terminated.

                          Comment


                          • As the investigation south of the border shows, you don't start your investigation at the top. You work your way up the ladder, often times following parallel investigations until you get to the nexus of it all. So, the kamikaze investigation wouldn't just come out and say "Kenney was involved". You'd show how it worked at the lowest level and follow it upwards. Who gave the orders. Where did the directives come from. How did this come to be.

                            That process has now been disrupted and we have no way of knowing what the status of the investigation now is. What happens to the incomplete investigations? Which reports were in the process of being written but not yet released? What's happening to the evidence thus far collected? And just how close is the investigation the Mr. Kenney?

                            Right now, there's a very good chance we'll never know.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by kkozoriz View Post
                              First shut down the investigation. Next, shut down the opposition.

                              Rachel Notley kicked out of legislative assembly

                              Alberta New Democrat leader Rachel Notley was removed from the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday afternoon after she refused to apologize for comments she made about Bill 22.


                              The bill, which was announced Monday, includes a move to "merge and consolidate the Office of the Election Commissioner into the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer,” and the termination of Election Commissioner Lorne Gibson’s contract.


                              The move comes in the midst of an investigation by Gibson into allegations of illegal donations in the 2017 UCP leadership race.

                              https://edmonton.ctvnews.ca/rachel-n...mbly-1.4692936
                              Its probably easier to terminate the contract of the Commissioner than it is to shut down the opposition. Attempts to do that make the government look even worse and more heavy handed. The pin is now out of the grenade and this could get messier.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by kcantor View Post
                                ^

                                heaven knows i'm not a fan of justin trudeau but this isn't the same thing...

                                committees are creatures of parliament (or the legislature) and that's who they are accountable to. they are made up of elected members accountable to their respective caucuses so it's no surprise, even if it is disappointing, when they are overtly overly partisan and directed to toe the party line.

                                i think shutting down what is meant to be a completely independent commission is a completely different matter. even if the commissioner is appointed by the legislature (or parliament) and can presumably be fired at whim, the work of the commission's office would still be expected to continue. it is the dissolution of the very office and the role it was meant to fulfil that is of concern here.

                                if you want a federal comparable, even though trudeau was twice deemed to be in conflict of interest by the federal ethics commission, he didn't have the chutzpah to try and shut down the commission itself (which is a good thing) simply because he was being investigated.
                                Gibson can still be back and it's not shut down.

                                The optics aren't good, but I suspect most people are more upset our grain being is held up to rot and our oil. Come on CN, move your collective @sses!
                                Animals are my passion.

                                Comment

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