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2 New Canadian Political websites I’ve been working on

I am excited to announce two new and exciting Canadian political websites I’ve been working on all summer. Both are focused on increasing peoples engagement with politics and promoting open government.

http://politwitter.ca is a non-partisan service that strives to connect elected MP’s & MLA’s with the Canadian people via Twitter. From one easy location keep track what politicians are saying and doing and what regular Canadians have to say about current politics. politwitter does the searching for you, maintaining a list of politicians and political hash tags on Twitter.

“Twitter is a micro-blogging, social messaging service that can assist MPs in promoting themselves, talking to their constituents, promoting issues and increasing transparency in government. Twitter features brief, to-the-point messages and is accessible by computers and Mobile phones. It can be a valuable tool to get re-elected, creating that personal connection with the public.”

You can view federal & provincial tweets narrowed down by partisan affiliation, province, MPs and more. The site also has a list of MP’s not currently using twitter and allows the visitor to send communications to these MP’s, encouraging them to use twitter. Politwitter wants to see more MP’s using twitter to connect with the Canadian public, promote causes and increase transparency in government.

This service stands as the initial Canadian domestic Twitter site as well as it intends to have a broader range than alternative countries’ domestic Twitter mashups (tweetcongress.com, tweetmp.org.au). In addition to gathering together all the relevant tweets, Politwitter doubles as a complete Twitter.com replacement, since those who visit the site are able to tweet, retweet, post pics, shorten URLs & more directly from the site. The site also allows real-time updates of tweets, which is very useful during active events like elections.

The site launched right before the BC Provincial election and received a surge of traffic and interest, even being linked to on the BC NDP website. The federal Liberal.ca website is also linking to the site and politwitter has a new customizable widget which allows anyone to place political tweets on their website or blog. This is particularly useful for MP’s websites, they can add a widget showing other MP tweets from the same political party.

Politwitter archives all political tweets, so there is a permanent record that can be used for statistics, trending and a public record. There is a detailed statistics page, which breaks down many partisan and regional twitter stats. The site also tracks photos and links posted by political tweeters & MP’s.

I think Twitter is a valuable political tool and Politwitter a valuable tool to bring together everything in the Canadian political Twitter world.

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I also want to announce the brand new http://parliament2.ca, based off http://whitehouse2.org/ in the US. Parliament 2 is where anyone can set the nation’s priorities. Imagining how the parliament might work if it was run completely democratically through the internet.

Visitors can add their top priorities for Canada and endorse or oppose the priorities added by others. Users can then add arguments for or against each issue and discuss them. Hopefully many Canadians will join including elected MP’s. It would be exciting to see what the results of an open internet democracy would bring.

The site is only a week old and already over 400 Canadians have joined adding over 60 priorities and hundreds of discussions. k29dt3fcei

Vancouver Coalition for Canada Rally

So I was thinking the last 3 days about going to the pro-coalition rally tonight in Vancouver, I has somewhat hesitant as I am not really the protest or rally type. I was kind of worried it would just be a smallish group on the side of the street and it might be somewhat uncomfortable. But after the events of today, I felt compelled. Boy was I wrong, the rally was Huge, it was at the Canada Place the Vancouver convention building, inside the huge ballrooms. The rooms were packed and had reached capacity so hundreds were left outside when the speeches started. The rally was also very well organized, with huge video screens, big “Coalition for Canada” banners, a huge Canada flag and a band playing. Lot of people wearing Canada flags and other stuff. And everyone was given “Coalition Yes/Qui” signs.

I was also surprised as to the makeup of the crowd, I kind of expected a bunch of young people, it was anything but. I was standing with a group of people over 60. There were speeches from Vancouver councillors, and people from the Liberal and NDP parties as well as recorded speeches from Layton and Dion.

The crowd was very lively and all the speakers brought up Harpers tactics of divisive politics, trying to pit groups vs each other. vs Quebec, east vs west and so on. Whenever this was brought up it was the thing that got the crowd the most vocal, I could tell that one lady near me was from Quebec, she was really upset.

It was defiantly an interesting experience and nothing what I had expected.

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Tory Times are Tough Times

Latest CPAC-Nanos Daily Election Tracking:
CP 34, LP 31, NDP 18, BQ 11, GP 6

The conservative support has slipped the last few days and the Liberals has risen, Liberals are now within striking distance of beating the Conservatives. But the main thing is to stop a Tory majority and in most cases this means voting Liberal.

I encourage all progressive voters to check out this website, it recomments which progressive party to vote for to stop a conservative majority.

http://www.voteforenvironment.ca/

If the progressives vote strategically, it will not only result in a Liberal government, but more seats for the NDP and Greens.

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This is pasted from Hedy Fry's blog

8 years of Brian Mulroney management: $42 billion deficit (doubled in his term of office). 3rd world status debt… double digit unemployment.

Under 33 months of Stephen Harper's economic stewardship, Canada has fallen from being the # 1 economic performer in the G8 to being the worst.

Some suggest that under Liberals the economy was booming because of luck.

10 balanced budgets, the lowest employment rates in 30 years and a rise from #6 in R&D to # 1. An aggressive debt repayment and a $3 billion contingency fund… it’s not luck. It is good fiscal management and prudent investment in social basics and economic restructuring.

Compare with 7 years under Conservative Mike Harris in Ontario — same finance minister (Jim Flaherty) same economic ideology. Total disaster. Cutbacks in public health services, health care, housing and schools. After the Walkerton tragedy, Harris left Ontario in a $5.6 billion dollar hole.

Who do you want in your corner when the chips are down?

Tory times are tough times.

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Canadian Federal Election Poll

Cast your virtual vote for the 2008 federal election over at the CKA election poll – round 1. http://www.canadaka.net/elections

Results will be shown at the end of the week. A second poll will be held at the end of the election campaign, to see if the numbers have changed.

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