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A BCer in Ottawa: Eating up the Hill: Rob Jamieson’s Liberal constitutional buffet

Last Monday I attended a briefing on amendments to the Liberal Party of Canada constitution at the Farmteam Cookhouse on Sparks Street. The party sprang for a few plates of appetizers, and Liberal carpenter Rob Jamieson strongly insisted I report on th… . . . → Read More: A BCer in Ottawa: Eating up the Hill: Rob Jamieson’s Liberal constitutional buffet

A BCer in Ottawa: Eating up the Hill: Rob Jamieson’s Liberal constitutional buffet

Last Monday I attended a briefing on amendments to the Liberal Party of Canada constitution at the Farmteam Cookhouse on Sparks Street. The party spring for a few plates of appetizers, and Liberal carpenter Rob Jamieson strongly insisted I report on th… . . . → Read More: A BCer in Ottawa: Eating up the Hill: Rob Jamieson’s Liberal constitutional buffet

somecanuckchick dot com: These are the types of NDP candidates Thomas Mulcair stands behind…

These are the types of NDP candidates Thomas Mulcair stands behind…

Intolerance

Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie

Alexandre Boulerice says the NDP is against the niqab! [VIDEO, en français!]

Mégantic—L’Érable

Jean-François Delisle says the NDP should reopen Constitution to deal with the niqab. FYI Jean-François Delisle has backed off his initial statement that the NDP should reopen the . . . → Read More: somecanuckchick dot com: These are the types of NDP candidates Thomas Mulcair stands behind…

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: So Who’s the Dictator Now?

Recenty, former NDP MP, Bruce Hyer, has come out to the press about his former boss’s dictatorial style and problems he had with honesty; evident in the way that he is constantly contradicting himself.

When asked during his interview with Peter Mansbridge about this, Mulcair only said that Hyer did not want to vote with his colleagues.

In an email to HuffPost, however, Hyer called Mulcair’s statements “a total fabrication.”  “I always supported 95 per cent of the NDP party platform. I still support much of it! But I feel very strongly that my primary role is as the representative of my constituents,” Hyer wrote.  

“On some issues, an MP’s responsibility is to put … constituents ahead of the party line. It is interesting that Mulcair immediately contradicted himself and said that I was ‘someone who walked away from the party on a single issue.’ Again and again, I see and hear a man who in his pursuit of power will contradict himself.”

In fact as early as 2013, the Globe and Mail had already noticed the trend.

Much attention has been given to Conservative backbenchers who push socially conservative issues and are later overruled by cabinet. What is not well known is that Conservative MPs are far more likely to support motions from other parties – all of which are to the political left of the governing party. In contrast, the voting record of the official opposition under NDP leader Thomas Mulcair shows ironclad discipline. Not a single vote has been cast that is out of step.

This certainly lends credence to Hyer’s comments. One of Mulcair’s nicknames when he was in the Quebec legislature was objet immobile or immovable object.  He was very obstinate.  Recent analysis of voting patterns have shown that the NDP vote with their leader 100% of the time, while the Conservatives only 76%. So who’s the dictator now?

During the 2004 election campaign, many Canadians were concerned with Stephen Harper’s views on the Constitution, and fears that his platform would result in many court challenges.  It has.  But how is that any different from Mulcair’s platform?  He is also threatening the Constitution with his promise to abolish the Senate.

Harper was also antagonistic toward the Supreme Court, suggesting that they had too much power.  As a populist, he believed that all the power should rest in the hands of elected MPs.  Is this not exactly what Thomas Mulcair is suggesting today?

He claims that if elected the Senate will have to answer to him.  I find that rather frightening.  Yes, the Senate is wounded but it is not broken, and is a vital part of our democracy.  They are supposed to the sober second thought, that would protect us from leaders like Mulcair and Harper, who believe in an autocratic style of government.

Sadly, they have become little more than a partisan cesspool, but that is where we need change.  Senators should not belong to any party.  If they are caught campaigning for, or against, any political party, they can no longer be a senator.  We need them to represent us.  We are the ones paying the bills.

Both Harper and Mulcair want the Constitution reopened to push their own agendas.  It won’t happen because both Quebec and Ontario, have already said that they are not prepared to do that.

I have been accused recently of not being progressive because of my opposition to Thomas Mulcair. However, it is as a progressive, that I am sounding the alarm.

In November of 2009, Linda McQuaig wrote in the Toronto Star

If, as polls suggest, Stephen Harper is poised to win a majority, it’s largely due to the media notion that his past reputation for extremism no longer holds. In fact, apart from his reluctant embrace of economic stimulus, Harper has shown little of the “moderation” that supposedly now puts his government comfortably within the Canadian mainstream.

I feel as McQuaig did then.  The media is once again being blissfully ignorant, or intentionally misleading, by ignoring Mulcair’s past.  He was not an “extremist”,  but he was virulently right-wing.  Most progressive journalists warned of Harper’s devotion to the principles of Margaret Thatcher, yet most, including McQuaig, are now eerily silent on Mulcair’s.


We can’t make the same mistake twice.  If Mulcair is re-elected it will be as a Member of Parliament. Depending on the outcome of the election, he could be prime minister, opposition leader, or leader of the third party.

But under no circumstances will he be elected supreme being.  He will not dictate to the Senate.  He will not unilaterally change our constitution and he will not simply repeal anything, without the support of both Houses.

We’ve had a decade of this kind of government, and Canadians are weary of it.

Including this progressive.



. . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: So Who’s the Dictator Now?

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: So Who’s the Dictator Now?

Recenty, former NDP MP, Bruce Hyer, has come out to the press about his former boss’s dictatorial style and problems he had with honesty; evident in the way that he is constantly contradicting himself.

When asked during his interview with Peter Mansbridge about this, Mulcair only said that Hyer did not want to vote . . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: So Who’s the Dictator Now?

Bill Longstaff: Don’t give up on the Senate, Mr. Harper

It wouldn’t be surprising if Prime Minister Harper was in a bit of a funk over the Supreme Court’s decision on the Senate this week. The Court unanimously rejected his government’s attempt to transform the Senate into an elected body and to set term limits, saying that such basic changes require the consent of at . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Don’t give up on the Senate, Mr. Harper

The Canadian Progressive: Harper’s Orwellian “Fair Elections” Act Violates Canadian Constitution

by: Obert Madondo

Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Photo by Remy Steinegger

The Harper Conservatives’ Bill C-23, the so-called “Fair Elections” Act, violates Section 3 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

It’s clear the Conservatives are preparing to steal the 2015 federal election. Bill C-23 is part of their ongoing war on the politically-marginalized. . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Harper’s Orwellian “Fair Elections” Act Violates Canadian Constitution

LeDaro: Justin Trudeau’s Senate Move… a great political move or amateurish

Harper has been mired in embarrassing scandals concerning his Senators, from Wallin to Duffy to Brazeau. Justin Trudeau has responded with a move that some have called “bold” and “game-changing” by kicking all Liberal Senators out of caucus. I don’t think it’s “bold” or “game-changing” and it does not show Trudeau to be a . . . → Read More: LeDaro: Justin Trudeau’s Senate Move… a great political move or amateurish

Bill Longstaff: Is Harper Americanizing our Supreme Court?

When I first heard about Toronto lawyer Rocco Galati’s challenge of the federal government’s appointment of Justice Marc Nadon to the Supreme Court, I had little interest, thinking this was just some esoteric legal matter that had little meaning to us laymen. But the more it I learn about it, particularly listening to the views . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Is Harper Americanizing our Supreme Court?

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

– Murray Dobbin recognizes that there’s more at stake on the federal political scene than merely replacing the Harper Cons – and that the most important debate may be found within the NDP. Meanwhile, Tim Harper is concern trolling on that front, demanding that Thomas Mulcair silence Linda McQuaig . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Writings of J. Todd Ring: NAFTA, “Free Trade” and the TPP: Fast-Track To Full Corporate Rule

“Twenty years ago, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed into law. At the time, advocates painted a rosy picture of booming U.S. exports creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and economic development in Mexico, which would bring the struggling country in line with its wealthier northern neighbors. Two decades later, those . . . → Read More: Writings of J. Todd Ring: NAFTA, “Free Trade” and the TPP: Fast-Track To Full Corporate Rule

Accidental Deliberations: The road to abolition

Ian Peach’s guest post at Pundits’ Guide is well worth a read in setting out a feasible path to Senate abolition. But I’ll note that the exact wording of an abolition resolution would need to be somewhat more complex than that proposed by Peach – while the political push might also take a slightly different . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: The road to abolition

A BCer in Toronto: There is an argument for the Senate – just not this Senate, or this House of Commons

The Senate has been much in the news lately, with the expense troubles of a few Senators – compounded by the mishandling of their investigation – bringing much  negative attention to the other place. While this is really a scandal about Stephen Harper’s decision-making and the style of governance he fosters, a serious and real . . . → Read More: A BCer in Toronto: There is an argument for the Senate – just not this Senate, or this House of Commons

The Canadian Progressive: NDP Convention 2013: New Democrats’ constitution gets a new preamble

By: Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive: Perhaps the biggest take-home thing from the New Democrats’ biennial policy convention in Montreal was the adoption of a new preamble to the party’s constitution. With a vote of 960 to 188, delegates approved the preamble, described by leader Thomas Mulcair, as “the way to connect and reach . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: NDP Convention 2013: New Democrats’ constitution gets a new preamble

Leftist Jab: Here’s Why Removing "Socialism" From the NDP’s Constitution Preamble is Superb

Modernizing the terminology is a good step forward.

While there were grumblings with some of the delegates regarding this change, allow me to put forward the thoughts of British historian and essayist Tony Judt on the appellation of socialism (25:25 mark to 28:45) regarding the term “socialism” as the NDP removes it from its constitution’s . . . → Read More: Leftist Jab: Here’s Why Removing "Socialism" From the NDP’s Constitution Preamble is Superb

Autonomy For All: How Difficult is Senate Abolition? A Law Professor Responds

Yesterday I came across this piece in the Hill Times that was quite negative on the constitutional prospects for Senate abolition.  A couple different experts were quoted in the piece, and a couple elements of what they’re quoted as saying weren’t clear to me so I wrote to one of them, Bruce Ryder of Osgoode . . . → Read More: Autonomy For All: How Difficult is Senate Abolition? A Law Professor Responds

bastard.logic: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney On Targeted Killing: Lethal Strikes On U.S. Citizens ‘Legal,’ ‘Ethical,’ And ‘Wise’

Words fail (h/t):

A friendly reminder from TAFKAdnA:

The Obama administration claims that the secret judgment of a single ”well-informed high level administration official” meets the demands of due process and is sufficient justification to kill an American citizen suspected of working with terrorists. That procedure is entirely secret. Thus it’s impossible to know . . . → Read More: bastard.logic: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney On Targeted Killing: Lethal Strikes On U.S. Citizens ‘Legal,’ ‘Ethical,’ And ‘Wise’

The Canadian Progressive: President Barack Obama’s 2nd Inaugural Address: VIDEO

Barack Obama took the ceremonial oath of office on Monday for his second term as President of the Unites States. Throughout his historic Inaugural Address, Obama repudiated the right-wing agenda. He urged Americans to cooperate on immigration reform, poverty, climate change, gay rights, economic inequality & other progressive issues. To emphasize this call collective action, . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: President Barack Obama’s 2nd Inaugural Address: VIDEO

The Canadian Progressive: President Barack Obama’s 2nd Inaugural Address: Full Text

Barack Obama took the ceremonial oath of office on Monday for his second term as President of the Unites States. Throughout his historic Inaugural Address, Obama repudiated the right-wing agenda. He urged Americans to cooperate on immigration reform, climate change, gay rights, economic inequality & other progressive issues. To emphasize this call collective action, Obama . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: President Barack Obama’s 2nd Inaugural Address: Full Text

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– Bill Curry reports on what looks like a thoroughly warped view of the role of the Minister of Justice and Parliament in assessing the constitutionality of legislation (h/t to bigcitylib): Ottawa is crafting legislation that risks running afoul of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms without informing Parliament, . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Song of the Watermelon: Emerging Consensus on Gay Marriage

Assuming that the world survives this coming December 21, the United States Supreme Court is expected to rule on two cases in June which could result in the nation-wide legalization of gay marriage.

I cannot forecast with certainty how the court will decide, but supposing for a moment that it rules in favour of . . . → Read More: Song of the Watermelon: Emerging Consensus on Gay Marriage

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Go Back To Sleep America, At Your Own Peril

I never reprint other people’s writings, no matter how good – but I will make an exception for this. This article is a true must-read. Please, take the time to read it. Then act. Good morning America. It’s time for a new day. Kudos and warm thanks to Jill Dalton at recoveringarmybrat. I will definitely . . . → Read More: Writings of J. Todd Ring: Go Back To Sleep America, At Your Own Peril

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– Stephen Maher follows up on this week’s Supreme Court ruling on Etobicoke Centre by pointing out where we should be most worried about our electoral system: Fraudulent voting is far from the biggest problem facing our democracy. Disengagement is.

Voting rates are declining steadily, particularly among young people, . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Song of the Watermelon: An Open Letter to Stephen Harper Regarding Senate Reform

Dear Prime Minister Stephen Harper:

I am writing today in response to reports that you will seek a Supreme Court reference on the constitutionality of your proposals for Senate reform. In a way, I can understand this. You would like clarity on a politically tricky issue, one that would otherwise almost inevitably face judicial . . . → Read More: Song of the Watermelon: An Open Letter to Stephen Harper Regarding Senate Reform

Canadian Progressive World: The day Canada’s white supremacists saluted Stephen Harper

So far, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s ideology-inspired of project of social and political engineering expresses itself most eloquently as the Conservatives’ egregious assault on civil liberties, the metamorphosis of Canada into a petro-state, and militarization of both Canadian society and foreign policy. We’re yet to acknowledge how this project oppresses the “other” while empowering utopian . . . → Read More: Canadian Progressive World: The day Canada’s white supremacists saluted Stephen Harper