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BC Municipal election rules  may be about to change – particularly in regards to candidates’ expenses, campaign contributions and election advertising.    The Local Government Elections Task Force has just wrapped up and submitted its report to the BC Government.

“The six-member Task Force was co-chaired by Bill Bennett, Minister of Community and Rural Development, and Harry Nyce, president of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM). It included two other UBCM executive members (with a third acting as alternate) and two provincial MLAs

The Task Force reviewed specific issues related to local government elections. Topics reviewed were:

  • Campaign finance, including contribution/spending disclosure and limits, and tax credits
  • Enforcement processes and outcomes
  • Role of the chief electoral officer (B.C.) in local government elections
  • Election cycle (term of office)
  • Corporate vote
  • Other agreed upon matters, (e.g. matters raised in UBCM resolutions such as eligibility of local government volunteers to be candidates)”

You can read the report here: http://www.localelectionstaskforce.gov.bc.ca/taskforce_report.html

K100 .S73 2010 (LC) Fiona Cownie, ed., Stakeholders in the Law School (Oxford: Hart Pub., 2010). K370 .A55 2010 (LC) Sharyn L. Roach Anleu, Law and Social Change, (Los Angeles: SAGE, 2010). K3171 .S53 2010 (LC) Filippo Fontanelli, Giuseppe Martinico & Paolo Carrozza, eds., Shaping Rule of Law Through Dialogue: International and Supranational Experiences (Groningen: [...]
This fall, the National Science Foundation (NSF) is planning to implement a new policy requiring researchers to submit a data-management plan as a supplement to any regular grant proposal, essentially making data management an element of merit review. Edward Seidel, Acting Assistant Director of NSF’s Mathematics and Physical Sciences Directorate, called the new requirement “phase [...]

Library Journal has published their annual selection on the most pertinent government documents of the past year.

Important issues included:

Digitization – “Google launched a collaborative project to scan every U.S. government document held by the libraries of the Big Ten universities and the University of Chicago. At the project’s end, the full text of an estimated one million to 1.5 million U.S. government publications will be available through Google Book Search and the HathiTrust Digital Library“- Library Journal

Hathi Trust Digital Library is  a digital repository for the nation’s great research libraries, bringing together the diverse collections of partner institutions. It was conceived as a collaboration of the thirteen universities of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation and the University of California system to establish a repository for these universities to archive and share their digitized collections.” – Hathitrust website.

Open government – The Obama administration created an Open Government Directive – “requiring executive agencies to make their activities transparent, to enhance the public’s role in policy making, and to collaborate more extensively with one another, with state and local governments, and with private institutions”

Some of the highlighted documents include:

Investigation of Failure of the SEC To Uncover Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi Scheme. public version. by H. David Kotz. U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission.

Restorative Commons: Creating Health and Well-Being Through Urban Landscapes. ed. by Lindsay Campbell & Anne Wiesen. U.S. Forest Svc., Publications Distribution.

Climate in Peril: A Popular Guide to the Latest IPCC Reports. by Alex Kirby. UN Environment Programme.

Report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict. UN Human Rights Council

You can view the complete list here.

A very interesting article in the June issue of Atlantic Magazine is focusing on the Conficker worm – The Enemy Within This article reads like Dan Brown’s novel… You can also find more academic research about Conficker in our computer sciences databases, e.g. IEEE Xplore Digital Library or ACM Digital Library

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Since it’s launch a year ago,  Data.gov, which has a mandate to globally democratize data,  has  undergone a makeover.  There are new opportunities to interact with the data as well as new feature such as usage statistics and apps featuring  crime statistics by neighborhood to the best towns to find a job to seeing the environmental health of your community.

“Launched in May 2009 with 47 datasets, Data.gov has been continually expanded since the inception of the Open Government Directive (OGD).  Under the OGD, published Dec. 8, 2009, executive branch agencies had 45 days to release at least three “high-value” datasets on their websites and register them with Data.gov. These datasets were to be information “not previously available online or in a downloadable format” and were to be published “online in an open format.”  On the deadline, the website held about 300 datasets in total but now boasts of a library containing more than 270,000 sets.” — OMB Watch

Some of the most viewed datasets include:

  1. Worldwide M1+ Earthquakes, Past 7 Days
  2. U.S. Overseas Loans and Grants (Greenbook)
  3. MyPyramid Food Raw Data
  4. Latest Volumes of Foreign Relations of the US
  5. OSHA Data Initiative – Establishment…

Both OMB Watch and Free Government Information have interesting posts.

HV6419 .T43 2009 Katja Franko Aas, Helene Oppen Gundhus & Heidi Mork Lomell, eds. Technologies of InSecurity: The Surveillance of Everyday Life (Abingdon: Routledge-Cavendish, 2009). KE302 .C76 2010 (LC) Law Reserve Emir Aly Crowne-Mohammed & Mohamed R. Hashim, The Essential Guide to Mooting: A Handbook for Law Students (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2010). KE1259 .P85 2010 [...]

Read the article Rise and Fall of the  GDP in the New York Times Magazine.  The author Jon Gertner  attended a presentation on the Canadian Index of Well-Being presented by Alex Michalos,  a former chancellor at the University of Northern British Columbia.

The presentation on the Canadian Index of Well Being is available here.  Michalos’ interesting approach discusses how the success of a country depends on collaborations with international organizations such as Stats Canada, OECD etc.

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