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The Scott Ross: Wikipedia’s Entry On Momentum

Political momentum is nothing like the momentum of physics. In the world of Newton and Einstein appearances don’t cause forces, whereas in politics, appearances are forces.

Stephen Harper became Leader of the Conservative Party in 2003, he faced two subsequent general elections before finally winning a minority government in 2006. Up until 2011 his Conservative Party only increased the number of seats it held in Parliament; since then however, the Conservative Party has only seen its numbers decline.

Thomas Mulcair became Leader of the NDP in 2012, under his guidance the New Democrats have faced numerous by-elections and instead of (Read more…)

The Right-Wing Observer: Harper’s Conservatives already have enough evidence

Harper’s Conservatives don’t need you telling them how incompetent or wasteful they are. They don’t need to know those things and they certainly don’t need anyone telling their faithful – dare I say, blind – voters either.

They already know. They have enough evidence.

Due in part to laws that Harper’s Conservatives passed as part of their ‘new era of transparency and accountibility’, they are required to survey Canadians about the impact of government advertising campaigns and make those results public. And now that they are getting unwelcome answers to their questions, they’ve stopped asking.

The unwelcome responses come on the (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Senate Saves Canada… Again

How do you save democracy from itself? You appoint a Senate.

In 1990 the democratically elected House of Commons passed Bill C-43 which would have criminalized all abortions. That bill was defeated by the appointed Senate. To this day abortions remain legal solely because of the Senate’s actions. In 2013 the democratically elected House of Commons passed Bill C-377 which would have weakened labour unions. That bill was stopped by the appointed Senate.  Today the democratically elected House of Commons is preparing to pass Bill C-23 The Fair Elections Act which seeks to undermine democracy. The appointed Senate is (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Flaherty’s Curtain

Jim Flaherty was unethical, incompetent and he should have been fired. Those aren’t my words, they’re Thomas Mulcair’s, spoken just last year in Question Period. Yet after the former Finance Minister’s death, Mulcair has called him a good man and a great public servant.

There’s no doubt that the NDP Leader genuinely mourns the loss of  Jim Flaherty, but this recent death and the response to it by all politicians, not just Mulcair, shows the real tragedy of a political life.

Because it’s only now, after resorting to the lowest denominator in attacks against Mr.Flaherty for his whole political (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Conservative MP Celebrates Anti-Bullying Day By Threatening Violence

Yesterday was Pink Shirt Day, it’s a day dedicated to ending bullying. Now if you didn’t wear a pink shirt, don’t feel too bad, because unless you spent the day threatening someone with violence and having to be physically restrained, you’re still one up on Conservative MP Ron Cannan.

Because it was on Pink Shirt Day that this backbencher MP chose to make a brave stand for bullies everywhere. Now he didn’t ask Parliament why we don’t have a national day for bullies, Camoflage Tank-Top Day if you will, he did one better; he brought the bullying to the House (Read more…)

The Right-Wing Observer: The Senate is drunk on partisanship

Unelected Conservative Senators have a surprising amount of electoral expertise. It must come from all those years of not getting elected.

@JDanAiken @bruceanderson Elections Canada should not have a vested interest in recording a high voter turnout. That’s a conflict.

— Senator Linda Frum (@LindaFrum) April 9, 2014

Every day these posers are proving the irrelevance of a partisan Senate…. this is not the stuff of sober second thought. Its stuff you expect from a bunch of drunks in a kitchen-party at 24 Sussex.

The post The Senate is drunk on partisanship appeared first on The Right-Wing Observer.

The Right-Wing Observer: Lukiwski doesn’t understand the meaning of transparency

Full disclosure: Tom Lukiwski is a four-letter word in my home. The fact this man continues to get elected in our home province embarrasses us deeply. He has a demonstrated ability, practiced really over decades, to offend people with thoughtless comments. Thankfully, we don’t live in his riding, so our shame is balanced by our pride in being represented by the honourable Ralph Goodale.

Context: Lukiwski serves on the PROC committee, currently studying everyone’s favorite piece of legislation since the last omnibus budget bill. Witness after witness is giving them an earful of negativity against Pierre Poilievre’s ‘terrific’ piece of (Read more…)

The Right-Wing Observer: Data Viz of poll results shows even Conservative voters hate the Fair Elections Act

A poll was commissioned by The Council of Canadians, the Canadian Federation of Students, and LeadNow.ca to find out how Canadians feel about the Fair Elections Act. The poll was conducted in late February and early March.

I started to put together a visualization of this data, starting with the first two questions asked in the survey. The questions asked about the bill were:

Please indicate how familiar you are with this Bill: very familiar, somewhat familiar, somewhat unfamiliar, or very unfamiliar. Please indicate how you feel about this Bill: Strongly oppose, somewhat oppose, neutral, somewhat support, strongly (Read more…)

The Right-Wing Observer: Can we protect our Democracy from unscrupulous Democratic Reform?

When a person or an organization observes an opportunity for profit or gain and are then confronted with laws that make it illegal to proceed, they usually have to make a choice between two or three vastly different courses of action:

Break the law and attempt to escape detection, capture and punishment; Decide that the costs of being caught breaking the law are not worth the risk and forfeit said opportunity; or Decide that the law is morally right and therefore said opportunity does not actually exist.

In Ottawa, the Conservative Party of Canada currently reigns as the democratically elected, (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Success Defeated Alison Redford

Alison Redford was defeated because her party is too successful. And there’s proof.

In politics there wouldn’t be many opportunities to test such a theory; to really know if it was the success of Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives that caused Redford to resign. Luckily for this experiment there just happens to be a control group next door, it even comes with its own Alison Redford.

BC’s Christy Clark has a lot in common with Redford. Both were seen as outsiders. Both ran for leadership with little caucus support, each having only one other MLA supporting them. Both became leader of a (Read more…)

The Right-Wing Observer: My cats’ gotta go pee, Mr. Harper

Our household is down to our last 20kg of Litter Purrfect clumping cat litter. This is the brand we buy at Costco. Costco didn’t have any this week or last week, so we sent an email to the good folks at Litter Purrfect to find out why.

Turns out their factory in Lethbridge has a shortage of clay.

Where I live (Regina), we have lots of clay in the ground, but it’s frozen solid! So I guess it gets shipped in from some place warmer. As it turns out, the Litter Purrfect people told us the clay isn’t getting to (Read more…)

The Right-Wing Observer: Harper’s Open, Accountable Government

Visible government = accessible government = accountable government.

The Federal Identity Program (FIP) reportedly uses this as their motto. This is the gang responsible for maintaining the Government of Canada’s Brand: the people behind all that Conservative Blue on Government of Harper websites and making sure Canadians know that Harper is hard at work for us. So it’s questionable whether they have anything to do with visibility, accessibility, or accountability.

One of the requirements of FIP is that the use of any non-compliant symbols must be approved by the Treasury Board as an exemption to the policy. When Amy Minsky (Read more…)

Pample the Moose: Open Letter on the Fair Elections Act

Over the weekend, I was asked to sign an open letter regarding the proposed “Fair Elections Act”, a seriously-flawed piece of legislation with an Orwellian name.  I was happy to sign it, particularly as the recipient of a diversionary robocall in Guelph on voting day of the last federal election.  The open letter, signed by many Canadian professors, appeared in the National Post and Le Devoir today.  I encourage you to read the letter, which outlines a number of key concerns.

The press release accompanying the letter reads as follows:

FAIR ELECTIONS ACT WOULD HARM CANADIAN DEMOCRACY, (Read more…)

Pample the Moose: Silencing or Strategic Manoeuvring? Professor Strong-Boag, International Women’s Day and the Canadian Museum of Human Rights

For the past three days, my Facebook and Twitter feeds have been filled with a series of re-posts and re-tweets related to Professor Veronica Strong-Boag’s blogpost about International Women’s Day (IWD) for the (still-to-be-opened) Canadian Museum of Human Rights.  According to the detailed report on ActiveHistory.ca, containing Strong-Boag’s post and commentary about the story, she had been commissioned by the Museum to write a post about IWD for their collective blog.  When she submitted the blogpost, it was initially approved, and then withdrawn when the communications department expressed concern over her comment on the current Conservative (Read more…)

Pop The Stack: Conservative Party Does Not Believe in Equality of Voters

This fascinating and scary post just showed up on the FairVote Canada Facebook page:

The Conservative version of equality. Bigger picture below.

A couple of things to notice here and I’ll just leave it at that.

They’re Worried

The Conservative party is worried about what the NDP and Green Party have to say about reforming our democracy. They are scared of PR and Elizabeth May and the NDP. They are scared that Canadians will finally say yes to staring to improve our unfair system.

Ridings, Not Voters

“Our country was founded on the equality of riding first and foremost.”

(Read more…)

Pop The Stack: Conservative Party Does Not Believe in Equality of Voters

This fascinating and scary post just showed up on the FairVote Canada Facebook page:

The Conservative version of equality. Bigger picture below.

A couple of things to notice here and I’ll just leave it at that.

They’re Worried

The Conservative party is worried about what the NDP and Green Party have to say about reforming our democracy. They are scared of PR and Elizabeth May and the NDP. They are scared that Canadians will finally say yes to staring to improve our unfair system.

Ridings, Not Voters

“Our country was founded on the equality of riding first and foremost.”

(Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Hair and hairdresser having fun in Brussels.

With the Throne Speech a one-day wonder, the Hair had nothing left to do but head for Brussels. The home of the European Union, Brussels today is more than a Mecca for tourists. It is here that the Hair has signed a tentative European trade treaty.

Nobody seems to care that the poor hairdresser had little time to rinse out a few intimate things before being hustled back onto that damn Airbus A310. The Hair needed a different set of lackey’s for the European trip than last week’s jaunt to Indonesia but where the Hair goes, so must go the (Read more…)

Writings of J. Todd Ring: American and Canadian Politics – A brief comparison and lay of the land

Here is a rough translation of Canadian political culture for Americans and others who may be unfamiliar with the political landscape of the second largest country on earth, the holder of the largest oil and mineral resources on earth, the pantry to the American empire, one of the richest nations on the planet, and a member of […]

Babel-on-the-Bay: Our Tories are troubled tra-la!

When writing about the ‘Dump the Dummy’ campaign among Ontario Conservatives a couple days ago, we could hardly imagine the Tories having any choice. It gives you serious pause though when you find out who are the people leading the charge to get rid of Ontario Leader Timmy Hudak.

If you thought the people behind the move were responsible, level-headed red Tories who cared about the mess Hudak is making of things, you were wrong. It seems to be Tiny Tim’s fellow crazies over on the right wing of the party who are seeking vengeance. The most level headed is (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: The delayed masquerade of the Tories.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been saved by the rain on the plain. With Calgary recovering from serious flood conditions, it is no time for a Conservative Convention. Stephen Harper must think that God is smiling on him. If he had his way, the convention would never happen. He does not need it. He probably thinks of it as a masquerade for people with dyslexia. Party goers will wear masks to allow them to have their say.

Regrettably, few will be able to say what they really wish to. It will be difficult to contain the frustration. Harper held (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Conservatives: Only The Rich Can Benefit From Nonprofits

Conservatives believe Justin Trudeau is wrong to take money from nonprofit organizations because to them that’s the job of rich investors on Bay Street.

According to this current government and its recent announcements on social impact bonds the only people who should be making money from nonprofit organizations are financiers, speculators, and venture capitalists.

With Justin Trudeau having earned speaker fees from nonprofit organizations the Conservatives have hastily and hypocritically attacked him.

Hypocritical not just because they have attacked Trudeau for doing something which by its very nature is economically conservative, Trudeau merely applied free market principles to properly allocate (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Trudeau Was Conservative With Nonprofit

In the free market prices reflect demand, instead of choosing a few events to speak at arbitrarily, Justin Trudeau set a price to attend those gatherings that wanted him the most. This method of relying on market prices to benefit charities and businesses is a rather conservative idea.

So yes before he was Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau set a price to reflect the demand of those wanting to hear him speak, Stephen Harper for years did too, it just happened no one would pay to hear him talk.

Now the irony is that as Prime Minister we all pay when (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: The Day John A. Macdonald Died

If there was no John A. Macdonald, there would be no Canada.

Our most important founding father and first Prime Minister died 122 years ago today. Canadians of all political persuasions should take a moment and remember John A. Macdonald because they share so much in common with the man who made this country.

For Conservatives they owe much to Macdonald. Their majority government was elected because of moderation and stability, two values Macdonald owed his 19 years as Prime Minister to.

Jack Layton undeniably shared perhaps the most valuable trait with Macdonald, and that is being a man of (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Canada Originally Intended All Education To Be Free

Out of Canada’s 33 Fathers of Confederation, only one went to university.1

It’s not that Nova Scotia’s Charles Tupper was the only intelligent one among them, other founders were businessmen, doctors, and lawyers, it’s that none of those jobs, and many others, did not require any post-secondary education.

The eduction jobs in the late 19th century did require was entirely made free shortly after confederation because provincial governments, though extremely small and limited, believed that their public schools should provide all the instruction necessary for citizens to obtain jobs in any sector, be it agriculture, engineering, manufacturing, commerce, medicine (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: How Harper Made The Senate More Accountable, Even If Just A Little

If Justin Beiber was in the Canadian Senate it would be the most watched institution in all of government, and, undoubtedly, the most accountable.

For if the Biebs walked down the Ottawan red carpet into that similarly coloured chamber, his every action would be televised, sensationalized, and scrutinized. There wouldn’t be a Bieber vote that wouldn’t make a headline.

And not only would every single one of his receipts be analyzed by the Toronto Star and every other news agency, there would be over a hundred pictures documenting the young star in racking them up.

Though he would still be (Read more…)