Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Hair’s ‘Politics of Division’

Asking a voter why s/he is going to vote for the Conservatives this fall can cause a rising anger. The anger is hardly directed at the voter. This person has been had. They have been duped. The anger can only be directed at the Prime Minister—he of the Hair!

And we watch in this land of inclusion, tolerance, sharing and openness, as the Hair spreads his politics of division.

It was just last week when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Toronto, we saw how easily the Hair moved into the mode of pandering to the Indo-Canadian vote. It (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: ‘Diplomat’ Brown and his friend Narendra Modi.

What is wrong with Canada’s foreign relations is more than explained by the friendship of India Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Patrick Brown MP. Yes, that is Patrick Brown, the most useless member of the Conservative back bench and the candidate for the leadership of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party. With probably less than 50 people in his electoral district from India, Patrick Brown must have been left among the final MP draftees for a country on the friendship committee.

Brown got India. The air flights there are gruelling. The food there is, well, foreign. You can imagine that India was (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Legislating Ideology.

It is when you listen to the federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver that you realize what a breath of fresh air the late Finance Minister Jim Flaherty must have been in Mr. Harper’s Cabinet of Inadequate Ideologues. You can also imagine how he would have laughed at Joe Oliver’s suggestion that there be a law passed against deficit budgets. That would be like passing a law that says Canadians cannot have a mortgage or an auto loan.

The ability for a country to borrow is just one of the many strategies available to a finance minister to level out the (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Patrick Brown is the ‘same old, same old.’

Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party is about to succumb to its worst nightmare. The party people thought they could never do worse than Timmy Hudak as their leader. They had obviously never met Barrie’s own Patrick Brown MP.

Timmy Hudak made his signature promise in last year’s provincial election at the Barrie Country Club. Sitting in the front row for that elite event was Patrick Brown MP. It was Brown who jumped up afterwards and congratulated Leader Hudak for promising to fire 100,000 provincial employees. The Progressive Conservative provincial campaign was all downhill from there.

Maybe Brown was already planning his (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: What’s the Senate all about Hair?

There is something of a contest going on. The Hair might draw the line at taking off his stuffed shirt and streaking the tourists gaping at Ottawa’s Confusion Square but no holds are barred in distracting Canadians from the Duffy Trial.

The Duffy Trial is the big show in Ottawa now and it’s getting the news media all a twitter. It is where the chubby one-time spokesman for the Hair Senator Mike Duffy is on trial for accepting a bribe.

But just a minute: maybe the Hair can explain to us why the person accepting the bribe is charged and (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Patrick Brown, we hardly knew you.

Ontario media have discovered Patrick Brown MP. Yes, that is our Patrick from Barrie. He has been our Member of Parliament for the last three parliaments. He was barely noticed. He said nothing. He did nothing. He was another mindless Conservative vote. He was your typical Conservative MP.

But finally he is being noticed. Ontario news media have discovered something about Patrick that we have been laughing about for some time. This person we know as a nebbish is quite likely to become the leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party. Despite being something of a mouth breather, bug-eyed and (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: We’ve been goosed by Uncle Joe.

Once more the Canadian parliament has been downplayed by the Harper Conservatives. Even as simple an announcement as the date of bringing down the next budget is moved away from Ottawa. It was moved to a Toronto factory where people toil at sewing machines, assembling winter jackets for a garment company.

The company is known as Canada Goose—which is American owned—and has been subject to controversy for its methods of obtaining its fur trim. It provided a cynical backdrop for the announcement by Finance Minister Joe Oliver that the 2015 federal budget will be delivered to Canadians on April 21. (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: “Rules, shmules, we the boss:” says Brother Brown.

Canadians are usually fairly good about not mixing religion and politics. It is one of the less endearing traits of American politicos. That was why it was most unusual the other day when a B.C. member of the Conservative backbench quit his caucus and said he would sit as an independent so that he could practice his religion. If more of his co-religionists followed his lead, Mr. Harper could lose his majority and we might have an election sooner than this Fall.

We mention this in passing as this commentary is also about religion in politics. It is about (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: We’re having a ‘Be Kind to Stephen Harper Month!’

At a recent meeting of the Broadbent Institute supposed communication experts were telling the New Democrats that they should not keep up the incessant attacks on the Conservative government. It is not that they are feeling sorry for the bastards. They just feel that those who oppose the Conservatives need to be more positive about their competitive programs. And we Liberals will when we can when we get some.

We are not forgetting New Democratic Leader Thomas Mulcair’s national day care plan. This plan sounds good. It sounded even better over the years when it was promoted by Canada’s Liberals. (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Who leads Canada’s progressives?

Canadian media are a lazy bunch. They follow the paths of least resistance and false assumptions. Take this past week when some supposed progressives were gathered at the Broadbent Institute in Ottawa for its Progress Summit. The one question that was never answered was ‘Who were the Liberal Progressives at the gathering?’

Ed Broadbent never invited this progressive Liberal. Nor would this Liberal attend. This is not sour grapes. We know that Ed Broadbent is not progressive nor are the sponsors of the meeting. Ed Broadbent is a staunch unionist with a closed mind. He believes in the collective (Read more…)

The Right-Wing Observer: Tory Misuse of Holocaust is Offensive

The carefully orchestrated Conservative Campaign of Confusion continued today as the Harper Tories repeatedly exploited and misused one of the world’s most baggage-laden words. The Tory Word of the Day on March 3, 2015 was “HOLOCAUST”. No fewer than two Tory ministers today grievously used this word in an attempt to increase public acceptance of Bill C-51, the “Anti-terrorism Act”, in the face of mounting concerns and disagreement about the spectre of a state-sponsored secret police and creeping violations against Canadians’ Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Some would say it is necessary to promote fear of one thing in order to combat the fear (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: We Should All Be Able To Cross The Floor

Instead of bashing politicians who cross the floor, we should instead be more like them. It’s more likely than not to be a good thing that people change political parties. First it shows our competing ideologies are similarly moderate and not extreme; second it shows that we aren’t as polarized and as dysfunctional as other countries are; and thirdly it proves we balance principles with pragmatism. Of course changing parties can be done for selfish reasons, but so can any good deed. I want a moderate political system where compromises are made for the good of everyone. If selfish (Read more…) . . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: We Should All Be Able To Cross The Floor

ParliamANT Hill: ConservAntives attempt to dodge vote on NDP bid to boost Speaker’s powers

Inspired by these headlines:

The Right-Wing Observer: Our Conservative Speaker and the Protection of Democracy

Andrew Scheer says he has to stick to past practice in executing his role as the allegedly un-biased Speaker of the House of Commons. It is not his role to police the quality of questions and answers, unless the House asks him to do so. And apparently, despite Thomas Mulcair’s numerous attempts to do so, the House has not asked.

And with that, Mr. Scheer and his Conservative ilk have suddenly become the protectors of Canadian democracy. By not “rocking the boat”, they ensure that practices which have developed over decades continue to function as they were intended to. Because (Read more…)

Trashy's World: The Cons are already lining up their hate campaign in Ottawa South…

…in advance of next year’s Federal election. I was just cruising through Twitter and found this: Looking through the followers of this anonymous account, there is a veritable who’s-who of the Ottawa conservative Twitter attack dawg crew. Same ol’, same ol’…. David is and has been a very effective and responsive MP. And as the […]

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 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…)