CARACAS, Venezuela – The Venezuelan bishops' conference has labeled the new government of Nicolas Maduro "illegitimate" and called for a "change in government."
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KINSHASA – Catholic church leaders in Congo have questioned the official outcome of the Dec. 30 elections, saying the officially published results "do not correspond with the data collected" by the church's 40,000 observers.
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CAPE TOWN, South Africa – The church in Zimbabwe said it is prepared to mediate between government and opposition leaders after six people were killed in violence that followed a disputed presidential election.
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FREETOWN, Sierra Leone – Catholic bishops in Sierra Leone called on citizens to refrain from actions to destabilize the West African nation and to come together before next year's elections in the same spirit that helped end the country's civil war and overcome its Ebola epidemic.

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KINSHASA, Congo – Catholic bishops in Congo accused their government of suppressing civil liberties and demanded free elections envisaged under a church-brokered New Year accord.

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NAIROBI, Kenya – Kenyan Catholic bishops said they fear widespread violence in the next general elections.

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WASHINGTON – Is there a Catholic vote? Well, yes. Kind of.

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MEXICO CITY – Mexicans turned out in droves to oust the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party in June 5 regional elections. Exit polls showed voters citing crime and corruption for removing the party of increasingly unpopular President Enrique Pena Nieto in seven of the 12 states holding gubernatorial elections.

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OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso - Bishops in Burkina Faso, one of Africa's most Catholic countries, have denounced a Sept. 16 military coup and demanded that democratic elections proceed as planned.

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March 6, 2012

Ethical engagement

If it is possible for something to be shocking but not surprising then the so-called election robo-calls controversy fits the bill. Elections Canada has fielded 31,000 complaints from voters who say they were on the receiving end of telephone dirty tricks on or around federal election day last May.

The revelations are shocking because widespread deception may be expected in fledgling democracies or authoritarian states that masquerade as democracies, but surely not in a country like Canada. Then again, the allegations are not surprising because, sadly, Canadian politics have been travelling a slippery slope for many years when it comes to declining moral standards and ethical practices. Maybe we should have seen this coming.

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