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The Ranting Canadian: "I can’t even get my friends to like me." Mark this date:…

“I can’t even get my friends to like me.”

Mark this date: April 16, 2014. Disgraced Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper tells the truth for the first time in his political career, as he campaigns at the state funeral of former finance minister Jim Flaherty. The rest of Harper’s speech was full of lies and propaganda, as usual.

Harper should be more like Flaherty (in his current state).

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Conservatives spar for safe Alberta ridings

TweetWhile the epic battle between Rob Anders and Ron Liepert in Calgary-Signal Hill was entertaining to watch, preparation for the next federal election has sparked nomination contests in ridings across the province. And with two by-elections expected to be called within weeks, federal political parties are lining up their candidates for the vote. By-Election nominations Fort McMurray-Athabasca […]

wmtc: act now: stop the (un)fair elections act

Alberta Diary: Advice to progressives: Don’t airbrush Jim Flaherty’s record out of sympathy for his family

The late Jim Flaherty tries on the traditional new shoes just before delivering his 2012 federal budget. Below, some of Mr. Flaherty’s friends and colleagues: former Ontario premier Mike Harris, in whose government he also served; Prime Minister Stephen Harper; Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.

Decent people naturally feel sympathy with the loved ones of any person taken unexpectedly from life, as just-retired federal Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty was last week.

We are naturally more inclined to experience such feelings of vicarious loss when the person who has died is charming and engaging – as Mr. Flaherty was said by (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Good riddance, Rob Anders

TweetIt finally happened. The man who called Nelson Mandela a terrorist, insulted Canada’s veterans, and called for war against Russia, has suffered his first major defeat since he was first elected in 1997. After a campaign filled with accusations of dirty tricks and political mischief, arch conservative Member of Parliament Rob Anders lost the Conservative Party nomination in the new […]

Alberta Diary: Rob Anders loses by a nose in Signal Hill as Cowtown Cons make the best of a bad choice

Lost by a nose … but what a nose! A 22-year-old Rob Anders in 1994, heckling an Oklahoma politician. Below: Calgary Signal Hill nomination victor Ron Liepert; Mr. Anders as he looks today.

There was blood in the water of the Bow River as it flowed through Cowtown last night.

After a while, it became clear the metaphorical blood had been shed by the ever-embarrassing Rob Anders, who at a mere 42 years of age had served an excruciating six terms as the Reform, Alliance and Conservative Member of Parliament for the Calgary West riding, which will soon cease to (Read more…)

The Ranting Canadian: Canadians will forever be indebted because of Jim…

Canadians will forever be indebted because of Jim Flaherty.

Regardless of what one thinks of the recently deceased man on a personal level, if one uses objective, non-emotional criteria, it is clear that he was probably the worst finance minister in Canadian history. Unfortunately for us, his replacement, Joe Oliver, will likely be much worse.

Almost immediately after Flaherty’s death became public, the fawning political praise and sickening historical revisionism flooded in like oil from an Enbridge pipeline spill. Over-the-top accolades for the small callous man have been stomach-churning, and is an insult to his many victims. It is (Read more…)

Scott's DiaTribes: Conservative logic: Promoting high turnout/ensuring fair election is a conflict?

That’s what Conservative Senator Linda Frum seems to think: (for lack of a better term). Some twitter tweets give her position quite clearly:

“Elections Canada role is to administer fair elections. Not to motivate. Not to induce. More integrity when mission is clear cut.”

and this, as a reply to an incredulous Bruce Anderson wanting a followup to reading this:

“Elections Canada should not have a vested interest in recording a high voter turnout. That’s a conflict”

The ONLY way you get to that conclusion for Senator Frum, and I presume other Conservatives like Harper and Poilievre, who obviously (Read more…)

In This Corner: PQ found there is no future in living in the past

The political obituary of the separatist movement has been written many times before. No less an expert than Pierre Trudeau once proclaimed separatism to be dead and buried, only to see it rise up and nearly ruin the country not once, but twice.

It’s very risky to read the last rites for an idea, for a dream, or for a movement. But this time, with the Parti Quebecois utterly devastated in an election they called on issues of their choosing, we can safely say that separatism is no longer a threat to the dominion.

How did this happen?

Well, I (Read more…)

Scott's DiaTribes: A victory for federalism and tolerance in Quebec..

…and 2 free dinners won from political bets for me from political colleagues (one on a majority, the 2nd on the number of seats won) All in all, a great night last night.

Progressive Proselytizing: Wynne suing Hudak is hardly going to help her

The de facto practice of being a politician is to not so subtly imply all manner of scandalous inanities about one’s opponents. When there is an actual underlying scandal, the shrill accusations from opponents tend to reach a fever pitch, and how an incumbent politician deals with the scandal breaking around them can make or break them.

From Rob Ford to Chris Christie to Stephen Harper, we have seen quite a range of different responses to political scandals. But the approach that Kathleen Wynne is taking to the email deletions over the gas plant cancellations seem to be the oddest (Read more…)

Scott's DiaTribes: You are reading the blog of a potentially disenfranchised voter….

…if Bill C23 passes in it’s current form. I may be one of those Canadians (potentially 4 million of us, according to Canadian election law experts) who may not be allowed to vote, if Bill C23 passes in its current unaltered form. Why is that?: Well, I don’t have a Driver’s License (by choice), and my other government issued ID’s do not include my current address, and vouching (which I’ve never had to use before, I might add) is also going to be removed.

This “39 pieces of ID is more then reasonable” argument, that Democratic Reform Minister Pierre (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: “Instead, the official reiterated the government’s position that political parties and candidates, not Elections Canada, would be responsible for increasing voter turnout under Bill C-23.”

“Instead, the official reiterated the government’s position that political parties and candidates, not Elections Canada, would be responsible for increasing voter turnout under Bill C-23.”

That’s the altogether revealing comment that might have slipped past you in a Hill Times article last month which showed that a 2008 Elections Canada ad which was seemingly critical of industry — and which Conservatives had pointed to as evidence that Elections Canada needed to be stripped of the ability to encourage people to vote — never actually aired in the first place.

“The ad—a 25-second video that contrasts urban pollution and emissions (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: “Instead, the official reiterated the government’s position that political parties and candidates, not Elections Canada, would be responsible for increasing voter turnout under Bill C-23.”

“Instead, the official reiterated the government’s position that political parties and candidates, not Elections Canada, would be responsible for increasing voter turnout under Bill C-23.”

That’s the altogether revealing comment that might have slipped past you in a Hill Times article last month which showed that a 2008 Elections Canada ad which was seemingly critical of industry — and which Conservatives had pointed to as evidence that Elections Canada needed to be stripped of the ability to encourage people to vote — never actually aired in the first place.

“The ad—a 25-second video that contrasts urban pollution and emissions (Read more…)

Scott's DiaTribes: I have faith in Quebec voters….

… to recognize the dog-whistles coming out of the PQ for what they are.. and not allow wedge politics and narrow-mindedness to rule the day. The PQ has fallen into out and out panic mode, accusing the Liberal leader Couillard of more or less abandoning Quebecois, merely because he supports bilingualism.. and I don’t need to repeat the ridiculousness coming out of their various members over the Values Charter. A slight majority of francophone voters may support it, but I think they got scared off when the extreme separatist elements (see Pierre-Karl Peladeau – the head of Quebecor Media – (Read more…)

Scott's DiaTribes: A Pool/Poll On Number Of “Fair Elections Act” amendments/changes

If you’ve followed the reaction to the “Fair Elections Act”, you’ll note there’s not a lot of support for this act as it stands. It’s getting rightly lambasted by newspaper editorials and columnists across this country, as well as academics and so forth.

That said, I’d be willing to bet the Conservatives aren’t going to do much, if anything, in the way of amendments/changes that have been suggested. They know exactly what this new act is going to do. It’s basically an attempt to tilt the playing field (or the voting field) towards them, (and also a way to try (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Thomas Mulcair reminds me of Stephen Harper

TweetMore than 500 people packed into the lobby of the Winspear Centre yesterday to watch the New Democratic Party of Canada officially nominate Edmonton-Centre‘s Lewis Cardinal as the first candidate for 2015 federal election. The selection of Edmonton-Centre as the NDP’s first nomination demonstrates that party’s desire to turn Edmonton into a battle ground in the next […]

Progressive Proselytizing: Rob Ford Crushes the First Toronto Mayoral Debate

Sorry, fellow progressives, but it’s true.

The first debate was, somewhat mercifully, fairly policy focused with large sections devoted to debating various transit plans (such as LRT vs subways in Scarborough), finances, the Billy Bishop Airport expansion, and so on. In this context, and with a format that had a combination of one minute short statements and chaotic open debates, Rob Ford had the perfect style. He strongly addressed each specific policy with a clearly articulated and strong position, almost effortlessly returning to his list of self proclaimed major accomplishments and proven track record, all without notes.

The challengers largely (Read more…)

Progressive Proselytizing: Quebec’s Highly Questionable Voting Eligibility Rules

Students who come to Quebec to study at universities like McGill – as my brother has done – are in a rather uncomfortable position when it comes to voting in the upcoming provincial election. Whether they will be able to vote at all is not easily determined. There is anecdotal evidence to suggest there is active disenfranchisement. And they are certainly the subject of blatant demagoguery from the PQ that strongly touches on the identity issues present in past Quebec elections.  The issue stems from the the question of what level of evidence is needed to demonstrate that one (Read more…)

Scott's DiaTribes: Good luck to Dan Fox running for TO City Council (Ward 24) in Willowdale.

I don’t often do links to municipal candidates, particularly City of Toronto ones, despite the amusing circus that occasionally provides, but I’m making an exception for Dan Fox, who is an active Liberal in federal politics, but has decided to go a different route and will try to get elected to TO City Council in Ward 24:

I think that the Toronto City Council has put sound bites and politics ahead of the need of the people of Toronto. Budget gimmicks have replaced building and maintaining a healthy city infrastructure. Photo opportunities have a higher priority than fiscal responsibility. Immediate (Read more…)

In This Corner: City transit ads stealing a page from Stephen Harper playbook

The Stephen Harper government has spent hundreds of millions of public dollars on a propaganda campaign aimed at bolstering the Stephen Harper brand. Apparently, someone from the city of Edmonton has been paying attention, because we are now seeing a peculiar propaganda campaign using city tax dollars. Exactly what they’re promoting is another question.

If you watch any TV, you’ve seen the Harper government ads; they’re the ones that end with the first four notes of the national anthem. They are so ubiquitous, I’ve grown to hate the national anthem — or at least the first four notes. Every major (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Harper endorses Rob Anders and more nomination updates

TweetWith Dave Hancock being sworn-in as the 15th Premier of Alberta and speculation running rampant about who will replace him in four to six months, I thought now would be a good opportunity to provide a quick update about nominations for federal election candidates in Alberta. Calgary-Signal Hill In what could be a deciding factor in one […]

Bryan Crockett: The aftermath of a week of resignations

Yesterday, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty resigned. I speculated on which political players that the Mr. Harper might appoint to replace him, and I was flat-out wrong. Stephen Harper’s choice for Finance was former Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver. No offence to Joe Oliver, but this was ultimately a boring choice on Mr. Harper’s part.

Joe Oliver has the kind of resume that Bay Street will like. But Mr. Oliver isn’t the kind of Minister that could give the Conservatives an electoral push in 2015. But what this does for Stephen Harper is it allows him to keep the leadership (Read more…)

Scott's DiaTribes: A neat site to track Liberal nominees in ridings across Canada: LiberalReboot.ca

LiberalReboot.ca is a pretty neat, fairly new site I was made aware of, and it’s very ambitious:

This website is intended to be a database for Liberals and Liberal supporters to find the aspiring candidates in their ridings, and for aspiring candidates to contact and work together in building this new chapter of the Liberal Party of Canada and, we hope, the next chapter of Canada itself.

You can pick out each province and find ridings and see if anyone has declared to be running for the nomination in that riding. You’ll note that there are lots of gaps (Read more…)

Bryan Crockett: Who will replace Deficit, err, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty?

Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has announced that he’s resigning from Cabinet, and leaving politics to work in the private sector.

Considering Flaherty has been in politics for nearly two decades, it would be fairly reasonable that he’d want to leave. However, it is peculiar, considering how strongly he lobbied to be kept on as Finance Minister during the last Cabinet shuffle, when the rumours that he was on his way out were making their way around. He has also previous stated, in no uncertain terms, that he intended on staying on until “the budget was balanced in 2015”. (Read more…)