Fact-checking the refugee crisis: Chris Alexander calls Canada 'model of humanitarian action'
Canada is no longer a welcome nation for refugees. Many Canadians are now realizing just how bad it's become.

Chris Alexander, speaking in his role as Immigration Minister, told Rosemary Barton that Canada is “a model of humanitarian action” and that the number of refugees we are accepting is going up dramatically. He would not say how many Syrian refugees were accepted in 2015.

This morning, news broke that the family of the dead toddler [fycp: the children’s names are Ghalib and Alan Kurdi, their mother’s name is Rehenna, and their father who survived is Abdullah) who washed up on a beach in Turkey had their refugee claim rejected by Canada. Alexander has suspended his election campaign.

Harper defended his government’s record and Alexander admitted that this humanitarian crisis, the most significant since the Second World War, has been going on for two years. So: what have they done to respond?

More than four million refugees have fled Syria since 2011. 350,000 refugees have come to Europe this year alone and that number is expected to rise to 800,000 before the year is over.

In 2013, Canada accepted 1,063 Syrian refugees. The Conservatives insisted that refugees be prioritized based on religious or ethnic grounds, a policy that many have calleddiscriminatory. The government failed to meet their commitment to accept 1,300 refugees in 2014. In January 2015, Alexander promised that Canada would accept 3,300 Syrian refugees per year for three years. Between January 1 and June 10, 2014, only 58 private sponsorship applications had been approved.

The Conservatives have drastically changed how Canada accepts refugees. They have relied more on private sponsorships than government sponsorships, and the bureaucratic measures that have been added to the application process are slowing the speed with which claimants are accepted. Under the Conservatives, in 2014 Canada fell from fifth place to 16th in the list of top refugee-receiving countries.

The Harper Conservatives tried to eliminate access to healthcare for refugees, they placed billboards in countries warning people to not seek asylum in Canada, and border agents have been placed in airports around the world to stop refugees from boarding planes to Canada. Canada doesn’t even accept refugees who arrive from our principle border: an agreement signed in 2004 allows Canada to turn all refugee claimants from the U.S. back to the U.S.

Since the Conservatives took office, 87,000 migrants have been jailed in Canada as they waited to be processed, including nearly 1,000 children. Canada is the only Western country that jails migrants in the same facilities as people serving criminal sentences.

To deflect from these numbers, Harper and Alexander have preferred to comment about they say is the root problem of the migrant crisis: ISIS. Refugees are fleeing a number for a number of reasons: military action against ISIS by the U.S.-led coalition, the civil war in Syria, and Turkey’s bombing of Kurdish areas.

Canada has already been involved in two bombing campaigns in September.

The former Minister of National Defense Jason Kenney has denied reports of casualties caused by the coalition strikes.
Who Increased the Debt?
Chart compares changes in the U.S. national debt over the last several presidencies.

Origins:   Debt is typically a major campaign issue in elections from the municipal level all the way up to the office of the President of the United States. Candidates tout their accomplishments in balancing budgets or reducing government debt as examples of fiscal prudence while pointing to increased debts during their opponents’ administrations as indicators of profligate and wasteful spending of taxpayers’ money. The chart reproduced above, which was posted to the Flickr account of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, attempts to reverse conventional political stereotypes by portraying recent Republican presidents as
responsible for huge increases in the national debt, while showing recent Democratic presidents as responsible for much lower increases in the level of debt. (The chart shown above is a revised version of one prepared two weeks earlier, so we’ll work the numbers from the more recent version.)

As a first step in evaluating this chart, we have to determine the applicable definition of “debt.” In general, the term “public debt” (or “debt held by the public”) refers to money borrowed by the government through the issuance and sale of securities, government bonds, and bills. It includes federal debt held by all investors outside of the federal government, including individuals, corporations, state or local governments, the Federal Reserve banking system, and foreign governments. Another form of debt is “intragovernmental debt” (or “debt held by government accounts”), which refers to money that the government has borrowed from itself, such as when the U.S. government invests money from federal savings programs such as Medicare and the Social Security trust fund by buying up its own treasury securities. A variety of names have been applied to the total of these two forms of debt, including “gross federal debt,” “total public debt,” and “national debt.”

Although this chart is labeled as presenting a “percent increase in public debt,” it actually uses figures corresponding to the total described as “gross federal debt” above (i.e., a combination of debt held by the public and debt held by government accounts, rather than just the former). We checked the numbers in this chart by using (for pre-1993 years) the U.S. Treasury’s Monthly Statement of the Public Debt (MSPD), noting the total debt reported as of January 31 of each relevant year, and (for 1993 onwards) the Treasury’s The Debt to the Penny and Who Holds It application, noting the total debt reported as of Inauguration Day of each relevant year.

From these records, we gleaned the following information:

Ronald Reagan:
Took office January 1981. Total debt: $848 billion
Left office January 1989. Total debt: $2,698 billion
Percent change in total debt: +218%

George H.W. Bush:
Took office January 1989. Total debt: $2,698 billion
Left office 20 January 1993. Total debt: $4,188 billion
Percent change in total debt: +55%

Bill Clinton:
Took office 20 January 1993. Total debt: $4,188 billion
Left office 20 January 2001. Total debt: $5,728 billion
Percent change in total debt: +37%

George W. Bush:
Took office 20 January 2001. Total debt: $5,728 billion
Left office 20 January 2009. Total debt: $10,627 billion
Percent change in total debt: +86%

Barack Obama:
Took office 20 January 2009. Total debt: $10,627 billion
Total debt (as of the end of April 2011): $14,288 billion
Percent change in total debt: +34%

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People-power and the 'Guatemalan Spring'
Fed up young people using social media have galvanised Guatemalans angry at corruption - and helped oust a president.

An extraordinary groundswell of people-power driving historic political and social changes in Guatemala is making the “Guatemalan Spring” look increasingly irresistible.

The audacious theft of millions of dollars of public money by politicians and businessmen while poor patients died in public hospitals has triggered an unprecedented collective political awakening among Guatemala’s historically divided society.

Communities have united for the first time in the country’s 194-year modern history to demand sweeping reforms amid a wave of jaw-dropping corruption scandals implicating the country’s political elites.

In a few short months, President Otto Perez Molina resigned after being stripped of his immunity and an arrest warrant issued. The vice president is among dozens jailed, and the widespread infiltration of organised crime in party politics and election campaigns has been exposed.
Justin Trudeau on the defensive after Quebec City photo op in front of 14 male Liberal candidates
A spokesperson said Marie-Josée Normand, a candidate in Quebec riding Montmagny-L’Islet-Kamouraska-Riviere-du-Loup, was not able to join the media availability

Human backdrops at the party leaders’ photo ops have come to characterize the 2015 election campaign, designed carefully to personify the daily policy announcements the politicians dole out.

But Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau was on the defensive in Quebec City on Wednesday for the makeup of his backdrop, as he stood in front of a wall of 14 male candidates from the region.

Trudeau had wanted to focus on reforming the relationship between Ottawa and the provinces. But instead, he wound up explaining his party’s system to recruit female candidates.

Continue Reading.

Apparently 'Deez Nuts' was accepted on the Iowa and North Carolina ballot because literally anyone can submit a declaration of candidacy, and no one checks to see if it's authentic. It's only after a candidate raises over $5,000 in campaign funds that they ask for a legal name and other verifiable information. Any lower than that and no one even checks to see if the given address even exists. And that's how a 15-year-old won nearly 10% of the North Carolina polls with a prank.

Jeb Bush is getting all the millionaires, and Bernie Sanders is getting the small donors — those have been two prominent storylines in the 2016 money race for the presidency.

But what about everyone in between? The Washington, D.C.-based Campaign Finance Institute released data on campaign fundraising, and it paints a fascinating picture — which we decided to make into a literal picture. Here’s how the different candidates’ donation patterns stack up to each other.

How The 2016 Candidates Are Getting Their Money, In 1 Infographic

Image: Alyson Hurt and Danielle Kurtzleben/NPR


He stands with people of all color and culture. He stands with our students in debt. He stands with our vets who have risked their lives for our country and have been overlooked and forgotten. He stands with women. He stands with homosexuals, bisexuals, asexuals, transexuals, and openly speaks about the issues transgendered people face. He cares about the lower and middle class income gap. He cares about our planet, and the state it will be left in for future generations. He cares. And he cares genuinely, much more than any other candidate in the race. PLEASE do your research. Do your studying and pay close attention. If you truly care, get involved. Donate. Vote. HE is doing his entire campaign through grassroots. AKA, no donations or help from major corporations, SUPER PACs, or massive media stations. He stays away from corporate greed and profit. Please open your eyes. This is not about conservatism or liberalism. This is not about democrats or republicans. This is about helping fix our nation from the inside out. We can do this!
First Saudi women register to vote
Dozens of women are expected to contest Saudi Arabia's municipal elections for the first time in the country's history.

“Safinaz Abu al-Shamat and Jamal al-Saadi made history last Sunday by becoming the first Saudi women to register to vote.

For the first time in the kingdom’s history, women will be able to vote, register as candidates and run for office in the municipal elections to be held on December 12. These will be the first polls since the 2011 decision by late Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud to grant women the right to vote and run for office.

An estimated 70 women are planning to register as candidates, and an additional 80 as campaign managers, according to local media. Neither male nor female candidates will be allowed to use pictures of themselves in campaign advertising, and on election day, there will be separate polling centres for men and women.

Women’s rights activists had long fought for the right to vote in the oil-rich Gulf kingdom, whose legal code applies a strict interpretation of Sunni Islam that bans females from driving and travelling without the consent of a male guardian.

Female participation in December’s elections “is an important step towards creating greater inclusion within society”, said Nouf al-Sadiq, a Saudi citizen and graduate student in Middle East studies at George Washington University. “It is also a vital step towards moderation, and for reaching a better understanding of our own society.”

Read the full piece here

Some Presidential Candidates

Chris Christie said “If you’re getting high in Colorado today, enjoy it. As of January 2017, I will enforce the federal laws.”

Hillary Clinton, seems not too long so she was AGAINST gay marriage, an had changed her views (like many politicians) to keep up with the times an gain popularity.

Donald Trump is a racist, sexist, pathetic, excuse for a human being. How he’s even running for president I’m not sure, he’s a glorified reality tv star.

Now, Bernie Sanders?
Supports the decriminalization of marijuana.
Has been supporting gay marriage since 1995.
Believes women be the ones to have control their own bodies.

Here, check it out. Don’t let this be where your research stops.
Lou Aronson's interview with Campaigns & Election magazine

For Lou Aronson, inspiration struck four years ago during the heat of the 2008 campaign. He listened as his neighbors traded complaints about the overwhelming number of robocalls streaming into their phones—all except one who proudly proclaimed that since he no longer had a landline, he hadn’t endured a single political call all year.

“I turned to one of my neighbors, who’s a political consultant, and suggested he open a mobile phone based polling company,” recalls Aronson. “He laughed and told me it was the dumbest idea he’d ever heard.”

Four years later, Aronson has left behind a career as an attorney to launch Votifi—a company he hopes will eventually fill a void left by traditional survey research as smartphone use continues to soar. [READ MORE]