November is right around the corner, and befitting the monotonous return of a least loved season, this year it means too another turn of the civic election cycle. It’s also time for our neighbours south to head to the polls for mid-term elections; and, as with all things it seems, America’s November contest has outshone us again, with the big time fraud and election-fixing Stephen Harper and his insipid robo-callers can only envy.
Reporting investigator, Greg Palast is just returned to New York after a trip into the heart of Republican America, where he and his crack team of researchers recently wrapped a year-long investigation for Al Jazeera America; obtaining among other things the first-ever copies of the lists of targeted voters, that is; voters subject to being “scrubbed” from voter rolls. And surprise surprise, the list lurches heavily towards Blacks, Hispanics, and Asian-Americans. Who could be behind such skullduggery? Stay tuned…
Greg Palast has been on the trail of ballot bandits for a long time now; breaking the story on George W. Bush’s 2000 election win assist by orange juice heiress Katherine Harris’ mass purgative of Florida’s voter rolls.
Then, as an elections official, Harris disallowed thousands of Black “felons” access to the voter’s booth. Small problem: they were innocent. Palast is also the author of several books, including New York Times bestsellers: ‘Billionaires & Ballot Bandits,’ ‘Armed Madhouse,’ and ‘The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.’ His latest is ‘Vultures’ Picnic,’ named by the BBC’s Newsnight Review as “Book of the Year for 2012.”
In addition to appearing in Britain’s Guardian newspaper, (who regard him as “the most important investigative journalist of our time…”) and on the BBC flagship news program Newsnight, Greg’s reports are featured stateside by The Nation Magazine, Rolling Stone, Harper’s Magazine, and online at Truthout.org and at GregPalast.com. Palast film exposés include: ‘Billionaires and Ballot Bandits – The Movie,’ ‘Vultures and Vote Rustlers.’ ‘Why We Occupy – Palast Live!,’ ‘Big Easy to Big Empty,’ ‘Bush Family Fortunes, ‘ ‘The Assassination of Hugo Chavez,’ ‘Palast Investigates,’ ‘The Election File,’ and with Jeremy Scahill ‘Big Noise: From Black Water to White Powder.’
Greg Palast in the first half.
And; though mere pikers compared to America’s anti-democrats, Canadian politicians are learning how to spike the process here too. Federally, Stephen Harper’s New Government of Canada has stifled federal employees of all stripes, barring especially scientists from talking un-minded to the press, and has allowed tax agency intimidation tactics against non-profit organisations with inconvenient politics to continue. Right here in BC meanwhile, the Chirsty Clark government recently proposed changes to the Society Act – something promising to effect, according to the West Coast Environmental Law Association, “community development organizations, church groups, secular groups, community organizations, and hunting groups” among many others. Particularly contentious is the seemingly innocuous provision, s.99.
Zaria Stoffman is an articling student with the Environmental Law Centre Society, or ELC right here at UVic. That society’s mission is to “provide research and advocacy on public interest environmental issues” and provide for an social environment where “local communities, environmental groups, and First Nations have the legal tools and resources to advocate effectively for the restoration, conservation, and protection of this province’s unique and diverse environment.”
Zaria Stoffman and BC Liberals’ Society Act engineering in the second half.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us news from our city’s streets and beyond there too. But first, Greg Palast and the purge this time.