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September 11, 2009 Weblog:

Afghanistan's Troubled Election

The Afghan Election Complaints Commission (ECC), with Canadian UN appointee Grant Kippen at it's helm, has published the first results of it's investigation into fraud in the presidential election, held on August 20th. On Thursday the commission announced it would throw out the ballots from 83 Afghan polling stations, where there is definite evidence of fraud. 51 of the problem stations were in Kandahar, 27 in Ghazni, and five in Paktika, according to ECC press releases. Of the 2300 complaints the ECC has received, the largest group concern irregularities at the polls, including ballot box stuffing. Other common complaints include allegations of intimidation, and lack of access to the polls, particularly for women. The ECC investigation is ongoing and could result in a fresh election.

Currently, as vote tallying continues, the three front runners in the presidential election are the incumbent Hamed Karzai with 54.1%, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah with 28 %, and Ramazan Bashardost with 9.2 %. 91.6% of polling stations have been tallied, so the counting is almost done, but further investigations into fraud could change things significantly. According to electoral law, if Karzai doesn't receive at least 50% of the valid votes, there will have to be a run-off election this fall. If enough ballots are invalidated as a result of the ECC investigation, Karzai could lose his current winning position, and fall below the necessary 50%.

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September 23, 2008 Weblog:

Missing Election Issues: Housing

The Liberals released their election spending plan on Monday with promises on health care, education, infrastructure, environment and aboriginal affairs.

But what about housing?

Though housing concerns have been major in certain parts of the country, the Grit plan was mum on the word.

But surprisingly this might be the norm. According to Howard Tessler of the Federation of Metro Tenants Associations (of which this author is an employee) none of the parties have released any sort of housing plan to date.

"It's one of the most important issues for all Canadians", he said. "There's nothing."

September 6, 2008 Weblog:

Conservative Image Problem

An anonymous "award-winning Canadian documentary filmmaker and screenwriter" shows the Conservative Party of Canada why it might be a problem to cut $44 million in arts funding before an election.

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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