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Globe editorial: Does Ottawa have a plan to keep our elections safe from meddling? - The Globe and Mail
There is scant evidence that narrow-cast propaganda delivered via Facebook has a decisive effect at the ballot box. But that’s not the same as saying it can’t condition electoral, political and social environments. And that’s a real problem.

There is no easy way for users to sort through and identify millions of micro-targeted ads, messages and “news” items on Facebook. To rely on Silicon Valley’s public-spiritedness is to be in a very bad place. Plus, technology makes it simple for would-be propagandists to set up shop under a new, anonymous guise. Pick your metaphor for trying to stop them: Sisyphus’s stone or Whack-a-Mole.

And social networks create hothouse conditions for the spread of pernicious disinformation. The now-shuttered political consultancy Cambridge Analytica needed only 270,000 Facebook users to gain access to 50-million profiles......Here at home, the intelligence community has issued repeated warnings over the past year that malign foreign actors could attempt to influence our elections. Elections Canada has announced it is shoring up cybersecurity and preparing a public awareness campaign.

But given the latest Facebook revelations, Ottawa needs a more comprehensive plan to safeguard the 2019 federal vote. Now would be a good time to tell Canadians about it.
cyber_security  disinformation  elections  Elections_Canada  Facebook  narrow-framing  political_influence  propaganda  rogue_actors 
august 2018 by jerryking
Why the electoral surprises keep on rolling in
June 16, 2017 | Financial Times | Gillian Tett.

...."I offer up the acronym “FUCU” — not simply because this summarises what many voters think about their leaders (with apologies to anyone who is offended), but because the letters F, U, C and U point to four important trends."

The first letter, “F”, stands for “Fragmentation”. Modern voters are deeply fragmented and polarised in a social, economic and political sense....But what is fascinating about the 21st century is that while our digital technologies create the illusion that humans are hyper-connected, in fact they divide us in subtle ways....Twitter, Facebook and other social platforms enable us to connect — but only with people we actively select.... Furthermore, since these cyber platforms supply news and information, they tend to fuel tunnel vision and polarisation, as extensive research from data scientists shows.

“U”, the acronym’s second letter, stands for “Untrusting”. ...popular trust in mainstream western institutions has crumbled. But what is more interesting is to look at who people do still actively trust.

‘While our digital platforms create the illusion that humans are hyper-connected, in fact they divide us in subtle ways’....A survey conducted by the public relations firm Edelman, for example, shows that public trust in tech companies has stayed sky-high in recent years. And while trust in leaders and “experts” has fallen, it remains high for our peer groups, suggesting that trust is moving from a vertical axis to a horizontal one. So while only 37 per cent of people trust chief executive officers, 53 per cent trust employees; and while only 29 per cent trust government officials, 60 per cent trust “a person like me”.....The third letter in the acronym stands for “Customisation”. This trend is not widely discussed, but it is crucial. As digital technologies have taken hold in recent years, consumers have started to see it as a God-given right that they should be able to organise the world around their personal needs and views, instead of quietly accepting pre-packaged offerings..... these three trends produce an environment that creates an environment that is the last part of the acronym: “Unstable”. A world with a FUCU culture is a place of political cyber flash mobs, in which passion suddenly explodes around a single issue or person, then dies away. It is a place where it is hard to have a sustained conversation about political trade-offs, and where voters and politicians jump across traditional boundaries with dizzying speed, defying labels as they go.
Gillian_Tett  elections  surprises  fragmentation  customization  instability  unpredictability  trustworthiness 
august 2017 by jerryking
After High-Profile Shootings, Blacks Seek Prosecutor Seats - The New York Times
By YAMICHE ALCINDORNOV. 5, 2016

African-American lawyers, racial justice groups and the liberal hedge fund billionaire George Soros are combining forces to try to elect more black prosecutors in response to what they see as an insufficient response by incumbent district attorneys to the killings of black people by the police.

The effort faces steep demographic and institutional obstacles that have kept the offices of elected prosecutors — those deciding whether to seek criminal charges against the officers responsible — among the whitest reserves in American politics.
African-Americans  strategic_thinking  law  lawyers  George_Soros  Benjamin_Crump  justice_system  police_shootings  elections  prosecutors  district_attorneys  race  prosecutorial_bias 
november 2016 by jerryking
Why Stephen Harper is toast - The Globe and Mail
MARGARET WENTE
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Sep. 10, 2015

At its heart, this election isn’t really about policies. It’s about change, and leadership, and tone. It is above all a referendum on Mr. Harper, a man who has been around for long enough and whose personal deficits are striking. The electorate’s centre of gravity hasn’t really shifted. People just want someone new.

Albertans didn’t elect NDP Premier Rachel Notley because they suddenly wanted to shut down the oil sands and invest in windmills. They elected her because they were fed up with the old boys, and she was a fresh and credible alternative, and it was past time for a change. Canadians don’t want a radical change of course, either. They want a fresh leader with fresh energy, fresh ideas, and a heart.
Margaret_Wente  Stephen_Harper  elections  predictions  Syrian_refugee_crisis  Federal_Election_2015 
september 2015 by jerryking
Conservatives can only win if they own up to their weaknesses - The Globe and Mail
BRUCE ANDERSON
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jul. 09, 2015

Losing political campaigns. They are, the cup half-full people say, learning moments.

Each campaign has its own dynamics; losers lose for different reasons. The lessons from a defeat aren’t always portable. But if there’s one lesson that should only be learned once it is this: If there’s a chance you’re going to lose, lose with your eyes open. Get a handle on what’s going wrong, and try everything you can to turn things around.

It sounds obvious. Shouldn’t have to be said. But you’d be amazed.

Political parties are prisoners of hierarchy. Leaders lay down a strategy, and everyone else is encouraged to acknowledge that it is perfectly formed.
political_campaigns  Conservative_Party  pundits  elections  Stephen_Harper  weaknesses  truth-telling  Canadian  delusions  self-delusions  Bruce_Anderson  Federal_Election_2015 
july 2015 by jerryking
Notley can weather the storm in Alberta - The Globe and Mail
BOB RAE
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, May. 07 2015

But 1990 in Ontario is not 2015 in Alberta. The economy truly cratered in Ontario: 300,000 jobs lost in just a few months; collapsing real estate prices; high interest rates and a strong dollar high; and a new free-trade agreement creating a “structural adjustment” that saw an avalanche of plant closings. It became clear that the reason for the early election was to get back in before the recession really started to bite. The downturn was the worst since 1930, and worse than anything faced in 2008-2009....Ms. Notley’s fiscal challenge is real, but does not compare to Ontario’s in those days...Her risks are pressures from within to push ahead with an ambitious agenda, and dealing with a business community and broader electorate that have their own preoccupations. But by being completely transparent about choices, and tempering unrealistic expectations and fears (as she is already doing), she can weather the storm.

Finding allies in the business community is key. There will be the diehards – and the blowhards – but beyond that, there are leaders who care about the province, who have deep roots in their communities, and who recognize that in Ms. Notley they have someone whose popularity and competence do not seem ephemeral. That process of reaching out is both public and private, and will require all her skills. But it can be done.

The harder task is dealing with expectations from the many groups and supporters whose connections to the NDP run deep....It ain’t easy.
Bob_Rae  Rachel_Notley  NDP  Ontario  '90s  expectations  Alberta  provincial_governments  elections 
may 2015 by jerryking
NDP win fits historic pattern - The Globe and Mail
JEFFREY SIMPSON
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, May. 07 2015,

Alberta was growing fast until recently. Having so much money, PC governments siphoned much of it into public services. On a per capita basis, for example, Alberta spends the most on health care (along with Newfoundland), and yet demands for even more spending never relented. The province needed more schools, more university and college places, more police, more roads, more of everything. As these services expanded, so did the number and clout of public-sector unions, who formed the spine of the NDP’s victory on Tuesday and to which the new Premier, Rachel Notley, will now be beholden. They will expect some degree of munificence from her, and she will be hard-pressed, given the province’s straitened fiscal circumstances, to accede to all of their demands.
Jeffrey_Simpson  Alberta  elections  NDP  Preston_Manning  public_service  public_sector  unions  history  reform  provincial_governments  Wildrose  Rachel_Notley  creeping_normality  complacency  Ralph_Klein  dynasties  populism 
may 2015 by jerryking
Anti-austerity looks less cartoonish by the day - The Globe and Mail
DOUG SAUNDERS
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Jan. 31 2015

Greece has overwhelmingly elected a government run by the left-wing, anti-austerity coalition Syriza. New Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras tellingly described the country’s bailout program, which directs the devastated Greek economy entirely toward debt repayment at any cost, as “fiscal waterboarding” and said he will demand a writedown of the debt.
Greece  elections  austerity  Doug_Saunders  Greek  stimulus  debt  debt_foregiveness  structural_change 
february 2015 by jerryking
Why I’m voting for John Tory: James | Toronto Star
Royson James Toronto Politics, Published on Tue Oct 21 2014
politics  Toronto  elections  mayoral  John_Tory 
october 2014 by jerryking
Doug Ford should boast about real achievements instead of resorting to untruths - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Oct. 14 2014
The Ford administration had some real achievements, from contracting out garbage collection in part of the city to hammering out new contracts with city unions. Those should be enough for Mr. Ford to boast about.
Marcus_Gee  Doug_Ford  Rob_Ford  elections  Toronto  political_campaigns 
october 2014 by jerryking
How everything went wrong for Olivia Chow - The Globe and Mail
ELIZABETH CHURCH AND ADRIAN MORROW
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Sep. 19 2014
Olivia_Chow  mayoral  elections  political_campaigns  Toronto 
september 2014 by jerryking
Fed up with politics? Stop venting and get off the couch - The Globe and Mail
DENISE BALKISSOON
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Sep. 04 2014

Walking up and down driveways is boring and tiring, and a lot of people get pretty angry when sharing their opinions on government. It’s also one of my favourite things to do, because it’s about the realest way I can think of to figure out where people are at and where they’re coming from, what’s important in their lives and what they expect their public servants to do about it.

It’s always a downer when after a busy season of door-knocking, voter turnout stays stalled at Canadian lows. The highest turnout in a federal election in the last century was in 1963, when it almost hit 80 per cent. Municipal elections are even more depressing – about 40 per cent of eligible voters usually show up at the polls, which is why Toronto got so excited at our last go-round, in 2010, when a big fat half of the city turned up to mark a ballot.
Toronto  elections  mayoral  voter_turnout  political_campaigns  disengagement  apathy  politics 
september 2014 by jerryking
Rob Ford only a few points behind Tory in new mayoral poll - The Globe and Mail
JILL MAHONEY
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Aug. 28 2014,

Mr. Ford’s support was highest among men, those aged 18-34, residents of Etobicoke and Scarborough, people with a household income between $60,000 and $80,000 and those with a high school education or less.

By contrast, support for Mr. Tory was highest among senior citizens, North York residents, voters with household incomes over $250,000 and those who have gone to graduate school. His support is almost evenly split between men and women.

Ms. Chow’s support is concentrated among women, those aged 35 to 44, those who live in the old city of Toronto or East York, voters with household incomes under $20,000 and those with at least some college or university education.
John_Tory  Rob_Ford  Olivia_Chow  elections  political_campaigns  Etobicoke  North_York  Scarborough  Toronto  mayoral  opinion_polls_&_surveys 
august 2014 by jerryking
How the Democrats Can Avoid Going Down in the 2014 Midterm Election
APRIL 27, 2014 | New Republic | By Sasha Issenberg.

How the Democrats Can Avoid Going Down This November
The new science of Democratic survival.
Democrats  elections  midterms  infographics  Newt_Gingrich 
august 2014 by jerryking
When it comes to the arts, here’s what Toronto needs in a mayor - The Globe and Mail
KATE TAYLOR
The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Jun. 30 2014

In their statement, they say they want a Toronto that is ambitious, creative, accessible, forward-thinking, responsive, collaborative and imaginative.

They say the city needs a mayor who has a strategic vision, consensus-building leadership skills and a passion for Toronto; who embodies inclusiveness in all interactions; and who balances the budget.

They also identify five things Toronto needs in order to thrive: a creative and innovative economy, healthy and productive citizens, a vibrant cultural sector, affordable and accessible transportation, and beautiful and connected neighbourhoods and green spaces.
cultural_institutions  art  museums  Toronto  elections  mayoral  ROM  AGO  TIFF  neighbourhoods  parks  public_spaces  forward-thinking  green_spaces 
july 2014 by jerryking
From one pollster to another: Stop trying to predict elections - The Globe and Mail
BRUCE ANDERSON
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jun. 11 2014

To me, excellence in this profession is more about eternal curiosity, less about being convinced that you can predict tomorrow based on what you know about yesterday.

Lately, some in the polling industry have been indulging in an unhealthy, feverish competition to predict the outcome and seat distribution of every election. I think it’s a bit of a fool’s errand.

I’m personally enjoying the fact that the race for Ontario is down to the wire and the outcome is more uncertain than ever.

It’s a great time to remind ourselves that the suspense of a big unknown is more interesting than endless over-confident predictions about the chemistry of turnout rates and the implications of same for a handful of swing ridings.....the best value lies in the big picture, the context and the general reactions to parties, leaders and ideas.
elections  political_campaigns  predictions  opinion_polls_&_surveys  public_opinion  Bruce_Anderson  the_big_picture  contextual 
june 2014 by jerryking
Ontario PCs offer a bit of doable, a lot of dreamland - The Globe and Mail
JEFFREY SIMPSON
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 30 2014

Conversely, there are two very doable and sensible ideas in the Conservative arsenal. Private clinics of the kind that operate in other public health systems, authorized, regulated and reimbursed by the state, should be allowed to do routine, repetitive surgeries. And arbitrators, when settling public-sector disputes, must take into account the “ability to pay,” instead of just ratcheting up settlements based on comparisons with other groups of workers.
Jeffrey_Simpson  elections  myths  Ontario  Tim_Hudak  transit  provincial  Progressive_Conservatives  Queen’s_Park 
june 2014 by jerryking
Why the Ontario election campaign is a mystery, even to those involved - The Globe and Mail
ADAM RADWANSKI
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 23 2014

reports from candidates and their teams who are out knocking on doors indicate that even fewer voters than usual are aware there is an election on, let alone have strong impressions of how it’s playing out.

That’s especially the case in the suburban ridings of the Greater Toronto Area, generally considered Ontario’s most important electoral battleground, where the commuter-heavy population is particularly difficult to make contact with. ...Then there are the uncertainties about what campaign Ontarians will see the rest of the way. Just as the pollsters are trying to adjust to the difficulty of reaching people the way they used to, so too are the parties. Amid experimentation with online and other less traditional forms of advertising, nobody is quite sure what will break through; neither is it obvious whose efforts to use data to micro-target voters in ground campaigns will work.
Ontario  elections  data  political_campaigns  GTA  microtargeting  open_data 
may 2014 by jerryking
Ontario’s ‘none of the above’ election - The Globe and Mail
JEFFREY SIMPSON
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, May. 24 2014

Start with economic growth after inflation. From 1982 to 2013, it averaged 2.6 per cent. From 2014 to 2035, it will be 2.1 per cent. Roughly speaking, therefore, growth will be about 20 per cent slower.

The labour force will grow more slowly largely because of an aging population, a change being felt throughout Canada. Labour productivity will be flat at best, and quite likely lower than from 1985 to 2000. In the meantime, global competition will intensify.

Manufacturing has been declining as a share of the economy in North America and Western Europe. Ontario’s decline was halted temporarily back when the Canadian dollar plunged to nearly 60 cents, but those days are long gone.

The province’s cost competitiveness – this is one of the two or three central challenges – has been poor. Unit labour costs have gone up by a little over 5 per cent per year over the last 13 years, compared with just over 2 per cent in the United States.

When a province’s unit labour costs rise more than twice as fast as the country where it does 78 per cent of its trade, the results are obvious: plant shutdowns, unemployment and not enough new capacity added. Automobiles are the classic case: plant openings in Mexico and the U.S., but none recently in Ontario.

Business investment in machinery and equipment has lagged the Canadian average and is far below the United States. Research and development, a pathway to innovation, also lags. It’s better than the very poor Canadian average, but far below the U.S. Take away the healthy financial sector and the Toronto’s overheated housing market, and what do you have?

In Toronto and Ottawa, where prosperity is sustained, it’s easy to forget the swaths of the province in the southwest, north and east, where very little new economic activity has been taking place. The old industrial cities – Hamilton, Windsor, St. Catharines, Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie – and smaller cities, such as Leamington, are nearly all suffering in one form or another.

For most of the past quarter-century, Ontario provincial governments have run deficits. Slowly, the debt has risen. Such is the situation that Ontario now receives yearly small payments from the country’s equalization scheme. (And such is the absurdity of the scheme that Ontario taxpayers remain net contributors to Ottawa, which then turns around and gives a small portion of the revenues back in equalization.)

The Ontario government has reached far, but failed to execute: clean energy, gas plants, e-health, Ornge air ambulance, nuclear cost overruns. No wonder trust in government is low. For almost a decade, the Liberal government let health-care spending rip – 7-per-cent yearly increases without commensurate improvements in the system. (Spending increases are now down to 2.5 per cent a year.)

Very, very powerful – and very, very conservative – public-sector unions and associations in schools, universities, health care, policing, firefighting and municipal government make change very, very difficult.
Ontario  elections  turnout  Jeffrey_Simpson  challenges  long-term  slow_growth  low_growth  Queen’s_Park 
may 2014 by jerryking
Ontario's Hudak promises more subways, while NDP takes aim at hydro bills - The Globe and Mail
ADRIAN MORROW AND KALEIGH ROGERS
Toronto and Sarnia — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 16 2014
Tim_Hudak  Toronto  transit  elections  provincial  Progressive_Conservatives  Queen’s_Park 
may 2014 by jerryking
India votes: Will the real Narendra Modi step forward? - The Globe and Mail
IAIN MARLOW

AHMEDABAD, INDIA — The Globe and Mail

Published
Saturday, Apr. 19 2014
elections  India  nationalism  Narendra_Modi  Gujarat  BJP 
april 2014 by jerryking
Tory MPs opt for safer GTA ridings amid heated nomination races
Mar. 15 2014 | The Globe and Mail | JOSH WINGROVE.

The new electoral map will add 15 seats to Ontario, many of them in the GTA, where boundaries were extensively redrawn.
GTA  Conservative_Party  elections 
march 2014 by jerryking
An online revolution - How new digital technologies will change the Canadian political landscape    
Mar 28 2012 | | Campaigns & Elections | by Geoff Sharpe.

Part of the problem is that money plays less of a role in Canadian politics than American politics. Donation and spending limits mean campaigns must use funds cautiously. Innovation is often stifled in favor of the status quo. Campaigns create a website, tweet to their followers and call it digital strategy. South of the border, campaigns and professional consultants invest heavily in client relationship management (CRM) software, data infrastructure and sophisticated outreach tools. Only major parties and well-financed campaigns can afford these technologies; smaller municipal and advocacy campaigns lack advanced tools to capitalize on the emerging and increasingly important digital landscape....Upstart campaign technologies are easy to use, cost very little and can be extraordinary powerful. One such platform is NationBuilder, which provides a number of cutting-edge digital tools including a free website, a social CRM system, fundraising software, campaign database and email service all in one integrated package. Prices start at $20 a month and rise depending on the size of the database....

Geoff Sharpe is an experienced digital and online organizer and currently works for Navigator Ltd. as a digital strategy consultant. He can be reached at gsharpe@navltd.com
Canada  political_campaigns  CRM  Canadian  SaaS  elections  tools  NationBuilder  campaigns 
january 2014 by jerryking
Q&A: Turning a non-voter into a voter - The Globe and Mail
ADAM RADWANSKI

The Globe and Mail

Published Monday, Nov. 26 2012

There is a body of experiments that shows person-to-person contact does something to turn a non-voter into a voter that no television ad can. Smart campaigns, and Barack Obama’s is the best example of this, are making the investments to create these types of interactions.
voting  elections  political_campaigns  massive_data_sets  microtargeting  Campaign_2012 
january 2014 by jerryking
When targeting online, make sure your data is up to snuff
When targeting online, make sure your data is up to snuff
Author(s): Jordan Lieberman
Source: Campaigns & Elections (2010). 34.5 (September-October 2013): p6.
Document Type: Article
Copyright : CO...
microtargeting  political_campaigns  data  elections 
january 2014 by jerryking
Q: What is the difference between analytics and microtargeting and can I afford either in a city council race?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

A: According to Tom Bonier of Clarity Campaign Labs, the nomenclature of analytics vs. microtargeting is not settled, reflecting the relative newness of the field. "Analy...
analytics  political_campaigns  microtargeting  cities  local  municipalities  elections 
january 2014 by jerryking
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