90% of Americans support universal background checks for guns yet on Wednesday the American Senate struck down that legislation. That’s not very democratic, is it?
Those in Canada who fervently cling to the idea that voting will make our Senate democratic almost completely ignore the problems that come with it, such as the lobbyists and interest groups, like the National Rifle Association, that frequently override public opinion.
Contrasted with the American example, it is the Canadian appointed Senate that actually represents its citizens, because in not being elected the Senate recognizes the public does not empower it to drastically change (Read more…) defeat bills from the House of Commons.
And when the Senate does, in the rare times, reject bills from the elected house, it is to protect the interests of minorities and Canada’s regions, as it did in 1991 where it defeated a bill to re-criminalize abortion.
Considering the . . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: The Undemocratic Elected Senate & The Democratic Appointed One
Justin Trudeau and the late Jack Layton have quite a few similarities, underestimation by Conservatives is yet another.
It wasn’t too long ago a certain inexperienced federal politician became leader of a third place political party. Though the son of a prominent politician1, in his early life he had not been immediately drawn to federal politics and instead chose a career of teaching. But with time this idealist realized that Canada deserved better than the “conservatives” in power and ran for his party’s leadership.2 He easily won it by a large margin on the first ballot… in (Read more…)
One sign that a country is in trouble is when the top court’s opinion is deemed controversial.
Canada doesn’t have to worry about that, not because its Supreme Court is so respected, but because of how little Canadians know about its rulings, in particular that our highest court believes abortion should be restricted.
It was only a few months ago when many MPs, of all stripes, attacked Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth‘s motion that sought to study when life begins, either pretending or genuinely not knowing their nation’s Supreme Court had asked for the government to do the very
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Canada’s Supreme Court Wants To Restrict Abortions
Canada has no real national monuments.
Mostly it’s because of the irony; towering statues and obelisks that promote pride in Canadian humbleness or simplicity would tend to miss the point. But that problem assumes Canadians would look upon a 100ft copper maple leaf with arrogance and not their common reverence for the natural world around them.
Some may say we don’t need any large showy structures, that national monuments are grandiose and idealistic. However there’s nothing more idealistic than believing Canadians are so above human nature that they have no need for symbols to inspire them.
We are known for
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: The Need of a Canadian National Monument
Scientists in Canada have come under attack and censorship under the federal Conservative government and Canadians want that to change. Science Uncensored is a new organization focused on ensuring that research funded by the government is freely available to Canadians and that the government stop censoring research results. In the past few years, research on the damage of salmon farming to the effects of climate change on Canada have been held back from public release due to alleged political pressure. It’s great to see people who want evidence-based debate on policy standing up against this sort of intervention in scientific
. . . → Read More: Things Are Good: Canadians Want Science to be Free
Canada’s economy is set to grow less than the government thought, but it’s not our Prime Minister’s fault.
True under Stephen Harper the World Bank has downgraded Canada from being the 4th most Business Friendly country in 2006 to 17th in 2013, but, as most Conservatives know, businesses have nothing to do with the Canadian economy.
Yes, Stephen Harper was Prime Minister when the World Economic Forum said Canada is becoming less competitive, dropping in global ranking from 9th place in 2009 to 14th place in 2013, but our government can’t be responsible for federal regulations,
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: How A Bad Economy Is Not Harper’s Fault
For the very same reason why so many Liberals want him to win, Justin Trudeau shouldn’t become Liberal Leader.
If 150,000 people only supported Justin Trudeau because of substance then there would be no argument against the 41 year-old MP for Papineau. A Trudeau only made popular by policy would present little risk in selecting him for leader. After all, the Liberal Party could survive, even if just barely, another loss from a leader who only represented the party’s policies. However policies aren’t why Justin Trudeau has so many supporters, and policies aren’t why he is a risk to the
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Why Justin Trudeau Shouldn’t Lead The Liberals
It’s not the low poll numbers or the ethnic voter outreach controversy, the real problem for the BC Liberals is that there are BC Liberals who want a problem.
Considering it was just 2011 when the federal Conservatives’ ethnic voter strategy made headlines it’s more than obvious that the current outrage against Christy Clark and her party is at least partially manufactured; by the NDP to score points, by the press to sell papers, and more importantly by BC Liberals still sour their candidate didn’t become leader.
The recent “scandal” for the BC Liberals centers around a leaked memo that
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: The Real Problem For BC Liberals
It would be a risky claim to suggest health care should be privatized while education, from preschool to post-secondary, should be fully publicly provided, but considering the importance of education, what’s really risky is that currently we have it the other way around.
To compare the importance of health care and education, ask yourself, would a nation that only had public health care be better off than one that only had public education?
Comparing such black and white societies may seem extreme, but it helps to clarify what is the more important public policy, health care or education. By the
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Why Health Care Should Be Privatized
To a calm and rational observer, the statement “viewing child pornography is victimless” is true. To an emotional person prone to sensationalism, for writing that first line, I should be reported to the RCMP.
On Wednesday night Tom Flanagan, a former adviser to Stephen Harper, spoke to a small crowd in Lethbridge, Alberta, where he was recorded making controversial statements regarding child pornography. Much of what he said was completely misunderstood, not helped by the CBC which has inaccurately reported the story.
The unedited video of the event begins with a speaker in the audience asking a series of pointed
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: The Defence Of Tom Flanagan
Canadians certainly are no Nero, but they do have at least one thing in common with the late Roman emperor.
In 64 AD it is said that while Rome burned its emperor Nero fiddled. That while his city suffered calamity he amused himself with music. Today Canadians are doing something similar.
Rome may not be burning, but with decreasing turnout, less party members, and more partisanship, Canada’s democracy is clearly in danger and instead of stopping to help, Canadians are too busy fiddling, with the Senate.
It can’t be anything but odd, that while Canada’s democracy is weakening on every
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: A More Democratic Senate Is Less So
Recently Saskatchewan MP Ralph Goodale wrote a post echoing a sentiment surprisingly popular among what’s left of the Liberal Party membership, and that is, this Conservative government is going to use its influence to gerrymander ridings to maximize support to guarantee future victories.
But Liberals shouldn’t be worried that the Conservatives will actually gerrymander, or for that matter that it will work, Liberals should be worried that this, fearing a contrived unrealistic threat, is how far they’ve fallen.
On Ralph Goodale’s website, the Liberal MP begins by describing the history of gerrymandering, it’s most notable case in
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Why Liberals Should Fear Gerrymandering
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. . . → Read More: OpenMedia.ca: site here, size 52 mb, 224kbit/s bitrate mp3
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. . . → Read More: OpenMedia.ca: get more info, release type mp3 album, album
Starting in 1902, Albert Einstein spent seven years as a Swiss patent clerk, not only did it pay well but his “cobbler’s trade” as he referred to it, gave him ample time to do his scientific work.
With less and less patents being applied for in Canada, Einstein gives hope, albeit slim to Canada’s dismal state of innovation. Because though our patent clerks aren’t preoccupied with reviewing new technologies that could salvage our weakening economic growth, perhaps at least one of them is just days away from proving unified field theory.
Though innovation is hard to measure or quantify, patents
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Canada’s Innovation Is Patent-ly Declining
Most Canadian kids don’t leave home without their mother telling them, “Don’t forget your jacket.” Always offering the reminder so her child doesn’t catch a cold. Canada may not have a mother looking out for us, at least on this continent, but Stephen Harper is a big boy and he should know better that in this cold global economic environment our country should be better insulated.
Protecting Canada from the worsening global economy would not mean staying home and reducing trade, it would mean the opposite, improving trade without being vulnerable to every cold breeze. In fact if Stephen
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Cold Conservatism & Canada Without A Jacket
There is one easy way for the opponents of the Northern Gateway pipeline to get their way, put their money where their mouth is.
It only makes sense that if the Northern Gateway project is built, Enbridge the company responsible, should cover all social costs from the environmental damage; but in that same vein if it isn’t built, opponents should cover the social costs from the foregone government revenue.
In the debate over the oil pipeline that could stretch from Alberta to British Columbia’s coast, naysayers often suggest the costs outweigh the benefits; that the land is worth more than
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Opposing Enbridge & Environmental Value
Winston Churchill is credited with an exchange that when adapted illustrates, not only the similarities between prostitution and politics, but current inconsistencies in the popular view of our Canadian government.
Churchill: “Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?” Socialite: “My goodness, Mr. Churchill… Well, I suppose… we would have to discuss terms, of course… “ Churchill: “Would you sleep with me for five pounds?” Socialite: “Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?!” Churchill: “Madam, we’ve already established that. Now we are haggling about the price
The Canadian adaptation, not as
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Sex and the Senate
What’s worse than oil companies spending millions to buy off politicians? Oil companies getting them for free.
The oil sector is vital to Canada’s economy, but so are a lot of industries and you don’t see them drafting government policy. From the CBC:
A letter obtained by Greenpeace through access to information laws and passed on to the CBC reveals the oil and gas industry was granted its request that the federal government change a series of environmental laws to advance “both economic growth and environmental performance.”
Within 10 months of the request, the industry had almost everything
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Conservatives Bad At Selling Out
Because Stephen Harper was a self-described “radical right-wing ideologue”, he was the only one who could make the conservatives more Liberal.
Because Barack Obama was so anti-war, he was the only one who could make the Democrats more pro-war than Republicans.
In both cases it was each man’s close association to a particular cause that gave him the credibility and therefore the power to fundamentally change it.
And it is because Justin Trudeau is perhaps the most identifiable Liberal that he, and he alone can make the party more conservative, and, as they aren’t mutually exclusive, more progressive. Trudeau has
Many scoff at the conservative analogy that the American government should manage its finances like a household, but little do they realize the idea doesn’t strengthen conservativism, it weakens it.
After a fiscal cliff deal that only increased taxes, many right-leaning politicians are preparing for a fight in order to cut spending. To bring the budget debate of Washington to the kitchen table of American families, many fiscal conservatives are comparing government finances to those of a household, progressives should not just let them, but they should do the exact same thing.
Democrats shouldn’t fight this nation-as-a-household analogy, they should
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Your Country’s Finances Are Exactly Like Yours
In 2006 Canada was spending 2% of its Gross Domestic Product on R&D. In 2012 it will spend just 1.69%.
While a large portion of the decline is due to the business sector spending less on R&D, the current Conservative government has responded by cutting its own share of spending while also reducing incentives for businesses to increase theirs. Innovation is not just necessary for businesses to compete, it’s necessary for Canada to compete internationally. But with Canada spending 20% less than the OECD average on Research & Development the future looks bleak.
Hopefully Canada can do something about
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Canada Is R&D-ing A Decline, With Graphs
Why is it that on Wikipedia, Facebook and various other websites, the pushiest proselytizers are almost always the libertarian capitalists? They are like cult members.
The glassy-eyed worshippers of the fortunate rich (who are rarely rich themselves) are by far the most persistent of the zealots who spread propaganda and attempt — but fail — to prove everyone else wrong. No other political or religious school of though comes even close to their obsessive behaviour.
Most of these devoted fans of Ayn Rand, Ludwig Von Mises, Ron Paul, et al. are too stubborn and impatient to take
. . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: Why is it that on Wikipedia, Facebook and various other…