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SCC Crookes Hyperlinking Ruling Set for Tomorrow

Is merely having a hyperlink to material deemed libelous enough to be found guilty of disseminating libel? The Supreme Court of Canada will release its ruling on this case tomorrow!

I suspect p2pnet will have the first analysis up.

Kinsella Agrees With Me

I had argued here that the campaign themes used by all except the Ontario Liberal Party were off the mark. People, in uncertain economic times, don't vote for change. They don't vote for a party with a poor reputation in Ontario for running things (fair, or not fair, that's the NDP), or for a party with a reputation of controversy and which runs on a platform of killing jobs (that be the PCs).

They vote for a steady hand at the wheel.

Warren Kinsella made the same point in his Sun column yesterday.

Rob Ford: We're Great Because He Is

There's much to discuss in this article, but I thought I'd amaze you with this tidbit concerning Mayor Ford's deep affection for the City of Toronto:
...asked what he loves about Toronto, the mayor said: “This is a great city. We’ve cleaned it up, there’s less graffiti, we’ve made it a safer city.”
or, by analogy
... asked what he loves about his wife, the mayor said: “She's a great wife. I’ve got her to to be neater, cleaner, and less violent.”

Meanwhile, Federally, the Shenanigans Continue

Want to learn more about the Auditor General's investigations into the Harper Government's military cost overruns? The Harper Government's former do-nothing 'integrity' commissioner's half-million dollar severance package? The Harper Government's mismanaged renovations on Parliament Hill?

Too bad.

The Harper Government *majority* on the public accounts committee forced the committee to go in-camera, and voted to not review those reports. How convenient. As a result, opposition members can't even comment on what was discussed.

Yes, we can read those reports, but Parliament will be acting on them, as the committee won't. How convenient.

Federally, transparency and accountability is getting worse and worse. The Harper Government figures the less we know, the less we will criticize.

We know the result. As we've already seen with gravy train gazebo Clement, jet-setter MacKay, and gold-embossed Baird, the Harper Government is very capable of the worse of excesses.

The more we tolerate this secrecy, the worse it will become.

Oh, as you may have noticed, I am constantly calling this government The Harper Government, just as his Prime Ministerialness likes it.

Might as well make him wear it.

And the winner is...

So, which pollster had it right?

I recorded the last polls of the election here.

Here they are compared to the results.

Source Liberal PC NDP Green Dates Details

37.6% 35.4% 22.7% 2.9% Oct 6 THE ELECTION!

Angus Reid
33% 36% 26% 5% Oct 2-4 Online; Sample: 2223; 2.1% 19/20
Ipsos-Reid 41% 31% 25%
Sep 30-Oct3 Sample 1020; 3.1% 19/20
Abacus 37% 34% 24% 4% Oct 3-4 Sample 1001; 3.1% 19/20

Abacus has the best call, perhaps because their sample was concentrated closest to election day.

The huge Forum Research Poll, also under that link, didn't report percentages, but did make a seat call of 45/45/17, which was damn close, and nailed the NDP count. Given that that poll Forum conducted the poll over the weekend, days away from the election, the reason for the discrepancy is clear.

Ipsos-Reid was way off, but also was working with the oldest data, and a smaller data set sprawled over many days.

For those who don't know, the final count was 53/37/17, the largest minority possible.

Toronto's Sacred Blue Cow

Toronto's entire budget deficit can be explained by its bloated police force budget.

For all of the incompetence of the brothers Ford, going after the Toronto police budget is the one thing I can support.

To be clear, Ford did not get elected with such a mandate. He promised to scrape the alleged gravy without cutting a single service. This time last year he was promising to hire 100 additional police officers.

Then, shortly after gaining office, Ford granted, without argument, a gravy-dripping pay increase of eleven per cent over four years, making them the highest paid force in Ontario, if not Canada.

Now he is seeking to cut police spending by ten per cent. This is a difficult task given that nearly nine tenths of the police budget is spent on wages and benefits.

For years, the police budget has been untouchable. As Marcus Gee points out, since 1957 Toronto's population has doubled, while the size of the police force has nearly quadrupled. The original budget back then was $12.4 million.

Adjusted for inflation, that budget would be just shy of $102 million today.

The size of the current force is about 8,000. To support a police force of 8,000 at the 1957 rate would cost $43 million in 1957 dollars, or $353 million in today's dollars.

We are looking at a police budget this year of nearly one billion dollars. That over $600 million dollar difference is more than enough to wipe out the entire budget deficit the City is staring at this year.

I don't beget paying our officers decently, and giving them reasonable benefits; but, adjusted for inflation, we're paying nearly three times per officer what we did 50 years ago.

For all things, there are opportunity costs. The cost of paying police this much means there's so much less for other budgets.

A Canadian Armed Forces private faces a far higher mortality and injury rate than any police officer in this country. They are subject to extreme conditions, and a lack of stability in their lives as they are moved from posting to posting. Their starting salary?


The starting pay for a police cadet in Toronto, not counting overtime? 


That's what a basic corporal makes in the military.

I know there's no going back to an equivalent 1950s level of spending.

Going forward, trimming the force size, and pulling back on benefits and pay, is a must.

More on the Flogs Issue

BCL has more on the M THIRTY enviro flogs issue.

Also, I've heard that PB is removing identified flogs.


Polls, polls, polls. The last ones are out for the Ontario election, and predictions range from a Hudak technical win giving way to a likely Liberal minority, to a Liberal majority.

Don't look at me.

For posterity, here they are:

Source Liberal PC NDP Green Dates Details
Angus Reid 33% 36% 26% 5% Oct 2-4 Online; Sample: 2223; 2.1% 19/20
Ipsos-Reid 41% 31% 25%
Sep 30-Oct3 Sample 1020; 3.1% 19/20
Abacus 37% 34% 24% 4% Oct 3-4 Sample 1001; 3.1% 19/20

I'm doubting the Ipsos-Reid poll the most as it's older. The Angus Reid has the best sample size, and contains the most recent data; but it's an online poll, which are still subject to much criticism.

To add to the noise, a huge Toronto Star poll of ridings 'too close to call' is predicting a hung legislature. The poll was conducted by Forum Research.

The Liberals and PC are predicted to get 45 seats each, the NDP 17. Fifty-four seats are needed for a majority.

The poll has a sample size of 23,000, and looked at 23 key ridings where the leader spread was under 5% in the last poll (done two weeks back). The poll was conducted Oct 1 and 2. If you're wondering about all the other ridings, know that most elections involve fighting over a minority of seats, with the remainder being so secure to almost not matter except in rare occasions.

With such a larger swing of numbers over such a short date span (Sept 30-Oct 4), and with the NDP showing strong numbers, many ridings are going to be determined by a sliver of the vote. Such small movements in ridings can't be caught by normal polling, so it seems safe to use the Forum Research poll as the best indicator.

Much like the last federal election, though, voting intentions firming up during the last few days are really going to matter.

This election was Hudak's to lose. I think he has, though McGuinty having a majority is quite uncertain. If McGuinty does get a majority, it looks likely to be with a heavily divided electorate, and I hope he governs accordingly.

Not here, Over There!

Looking for me? This blog has been dead for quite a while. You can find my latest blog at My other social m...