Friday, April 22, 2011

2011 FDA Canadian Federal Election Audit Results

Overall Background, Vision, and Incumbency Scores:

1. Green Party of Canada, Ms. Elizabeth May (87%)
2. Communist Party of Canada: Mr. Miguel Figueroa (71.5%)
3. Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada, Ms. Anna Di Carlo (69%)
4. Progressive Canadian Party, Mr. Sinclair M. Stevens (67%)
5. Liberal Party of Canada, Mr. Michael Ignatieff  (65%)
6. New Democratic Party: Mr. Layton (65%)
7. Canadian Action Party, Mr. Christopher Porter (57.5%)
8. Christian Heritage Party: Mr. James (Jim) Hnatiuk 10/20  (50%)
9. Conservative Party of Canada, Mr. Stephen Harper (43%)
10. Bloc Québécois, Mr. Gilles Duceppe (42%)
11. United Party of Canada, Mr. Brian Jedan (40%)
12. Libertarian Party of Canada, Mr. Dennis Young (31%)

Overall Policy Scores:

1. Canadian Action Party 68/110  (61.8%)
2. Liberal Party of Canada 67/110  (60.9%)
3. New Democratic Party 61/110  (55.5%)
4. Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada 48/100  (48%)
5. Bloc Québécois 50.5/110  (45.9%)
6. Communist Party of Canada 47.5/110  (43.2%)
7. Green Party of Canada 46/110  (41.8%)
8. Conservative Party of Canada 44/110  (40%)
9. Christian Heritage Party  38.5/100  (38.5%)
10. Progressive Canadian Party 30/100 (30%)
11. United Party of Canada 31.5/110 (28.6%)
 
Overall electoral audit scores: 

1. Liberal Party of Canada (61.54%)
2. Canadian Action Party (61.2%)
3. New Democratic Party (56.9%)
4. Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada (51.5%)
5. Green Party of Canada (48.8%)
6. Communist Party of Canada (47.54%)  
7. Bloc Québécois (45.3%)
8. Conservative Party of Canada (43.8%)
9. Christian Heritage Party (40.42%)
10. Progressive Canadian Party (36.7%)
11. United Party of Canada (30.4%)
12. Libertarian Party of Canada 18.2/130 (14%)

Executive Summary

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Canada Receives a Failing Grade for Electoral Fairness

The FDA's Electoral Fairness Results for Canada:

1. Research and audit results for Canadian laws and regulations on the political content of media including newspapers, broadcasters, online media, before, during, and after elections.

2.3/10

2. Research and audit results for Canadian Laws and regulations on the equality of candidates and parties influence before, during and after elections.

1/10

3. Research and audit results for Canadian laws and regulations on electoral finance.

1/10

4. Research and audit results for laws and regulations on the equality of voter say before, during, and after an election.

6/10

Total score: 10.3/40

25.75%

Analysis:

Canada received an overall failing grade for electoral fairness of 25.75%. The score means that there is significantly more electoral unfairness in Canada than electoral fairness.

Canada's only passing grade of 60% is in equality of voter say. This score is an unacceptable level whereby there is prevalent inequality of voter say (despite more equality than inequality).

Canada's scores for electoral finance and equality of candidate and party influence are 10%. This score is bordering on fully unequal electoral finance and fully unequal candidate and party influence.

Canada's score of 23% for equality of political content of the media and broadcasters means that there is significantly more inequality of political content in the Canadian media than there is equality of political content.

Conclusion:

Canada's overall score of 25.75% for electoral fairness means that Canada's electoral system is significantly more unfair than fair.

In consideration of the research and findings, the source of the electoral unfairness is severe inequality in the media and severe favoring of candidates and parties which were successful in the previous election. The success in the previous election and control of the media are mutually reinforcing forces. It should be noted that in principal, a person who wins for example a marathon, is not given a significant head start in the next marathon simply because he won the previous. He starts at the same place as the other competitors. In Canada's electoral system, candidates and parties successful in the previous election are given inexplicably a very significant head start or advantage in the next election and throughout it.

In contrast to Egypt (under Mubarak) which received a 0% overall score for electoral fairness and Tunisia (under Ben Ali) which received a 10% overall score, Canada is from 15.75% to 25.75% better. Yet Canada is still significantly in the failing zone for electoral fairness. (A passing grade is 50%.) Moreover, in Egypt and Tunisia, the source of electoral unfairness stems from state control, whereas in Canada, the source of electoral unfairness stems from media dominance and favoring of dominant parties.

To put Canada's failing score into further perspective, Finland received an overall score of 40.75% for electoral fairness. This score means that the Finish electoral system is more unfair than fair, while Canada's electoral system, as mentioned, is significantly more unfair than fair.

The source of Canada's failing grade for electoral fairness stems likely from the fact that the majority of the Parliament determines the election rules, and the majority of Canada's parliamentarians have the support of Canada's mainstream media and broadcasters. Basically and inexplicably, the majority of Canada's federal politicians are making the rules of their own game. It is a self-perpetuating system favoring particular political parties who have the support of the mainstream media, in a never ending cycle of electoral unfairness.

Recommendations:

1. The majority of federal politicians cease to determine the federal election laws.

2. An independent, non-partisan citizen based committee made up of the diverse regions of Canada determine the federal election laws, and which must be consistent with the Canadian Constitution and Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

3. The Canadian mainstream media and broadcasters three months prior to an election period and during it, are required to present an equality of non-partisan political content of all registered political parties.

4. No registered political party is given an unequal advantage prior to and during an election. All registered political parties begin an election from the same starting place in terms of finances and media access, and throughout the campaign.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Can Canadian Voters See Beyond Harper's Words?

Since the Canadian Federal election has begun, Harper, the Conservative Leader and current PM, has been repeatedly stating that the Conservatives would eliminate the federal government's subsidy of established federal political parties if it wins a majority.

The federal government's subsidy amounts to $27 million. The total expenditure in the 2008 Federal budget was $237.4 billion. The subsidy is a fraction of that amount, .01% to be exact.

So why is Harper dwelling on that issue? Is this most the important thing Harper needs to get across? Is he interested in weakening the other established parties? Is he putting the best interests of the Canadian people before the Conservative party agenda? Why isn't Harper addressing a number of more important issues that are undermining Canadian Democracy such as the systematic favoritism of dominant, established political parties in election laws, whereby for example in 2008, the Conservatives were allowed campaign expenditure of around $20 million, while the Progressive Canadian Party $.9 million, Communist Party of Canada $1.5 million, and the Libertarian Party of Canada $1.8 million?

For a democratic country, such a Canada, the current division of finances as stated above, along with the current media coverage of the various parties, or the lack thereof, seems to be showing favoritism to the Conservative party over the remainder of the Canadian political parties. Why is this the case? How is this democratic?

Harper Threatens to Cut Political Parties Subsidies

Canada's Media Monopoly

CRTC Supports Canadian Media Concentration