Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Dog gone it
This dog is apparently unhappy with Stephen Harper.
Hildy the Chihuahua is the alpha dog on a Facebook group Canadian Chihuahuas Against Proroguing. The site suggests opposition to proroguing Parliament is so big it has now gone "cross species."
There are 122 members. It had 105 members on Sunday, so it’s still growing.
Though not quite as quickly as the 1,000 to 2,000 new members a day still joining the Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament Facebook group.
Chihuahua’s aside, this Saturday will be the make-it-or-break-it day for the group. And maybe for Facebook political activism. If the big protest Saturday afternoon is a bust, little credence will be given in the future to any sign of unrest on social media sites.
If it’s a roaring success, it will be a sign to politicians to no longer dismiss social media groups as "chattering classes" or irrelevant.
I somewhat suspect it will be land somewhere in between a bust and roaring success but that’s just a hunch.
Some interesting updates on the situation however:
A survey of some of its members – while completely unscientific – suggests they are not just a dope-smoking group of hippy students with nothing better to do with their time. Check out the study here.
A new EKOS poll out today also suggests the proroguing issue is still resonating. The latest numbers have the Conservatives at 31.5 and the Liberals at 30.9. Two weeks ago the Conservatives were at 33.1 and the Liberals at 27.8. Three months ago, the Conservatives were at 38.4 and the Liberals at 26.8.
Interesting is the new survey was taken between Jan. 13 and Jan. 21, a week during which the government has had a commendable – some have even said flawless – response to the horrific earthquake in Haiti. Stephen Harper has proven with the Haitian response his ability to manage situations. But it’s not stopped the downward trend in his numbers.
IMO, nothing makes a better government than an opposition with some pep and support. Without good opposition, governments can become complacent, boring, arrogant, insert your own adjective here. With good opposition, or at least an opposition the government knows could potentially beat them in an election, the government is on its toes, and that can only be good for Canada.
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About Mia Rabson
Mia Rabson is a born and bred Winnipegger whose interest in politics seemed clear when she dressed up as Prime Minister Brian Mulroney for Halloween in the 7th grade.
Her interest in writing was no surprise to her parents, who learned early in Mia’s life that no piece of blank paper — or wall, for that matter — was safe in her hands.
She holds an honours BA in English from Queen’s University, a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario, and has completed a political journalism fellowship in Washington, D.C. with the Washington Centre for Politics and Journalism.
Prior to working for the Winnipeg Free Press, Mia briefly worked for the Detroit News in the paper’s Washington bureau.
Mia joined the Free Press team in February 2001, and in April 2001 was appointed to the Manitoba legislature bureau. In December 2004, she was appointed bureau chief at the legislature. She became the newspaper’s parliamentary bureau chief/national reporter in Ottawa in January 2008.
In 2008 she was nominated for a Michener Award with a team of reporters from the Free Press for its coverage of the province’s child welfare system.
She counts reliving the invasion at Dieppe, France, with veterans of the failed Second World War expedition and overcoming her fear of heights to touch the Golden Boy statue atop the Legislative Building among her favourite experiences as a reporter.
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