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Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Chris Matthews takes note of the gross growth of inequality in the U.S. Dean Baker notes that much of the wealth built on what’s branded as “innovation” reflects little more than successful attempts to evade health, safety and consumer protection laws. And Mike De Souza explores how the notorious ALEC pushes climate denial and other anti-social policies with an alarming amount of support from businesses who (once challenged) claim not to know who they’re funding.

- Meanwhile, Digby points out that the corporatist right is downright eager to work people to the (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The Incredible Downfall of Dean Del Mastro

Uh oh. Beat a drum slowly. Or if you're in the Harper PMO beat a gong furiously.The Deaner is DOWN !!!! A judge has found Peterborough, Ont., MP Dean Del Mastro guilty of spending too much in the 2008 federal election and falsifying a document to cover it up. Del Mastro now faces the prospect of losing his seat in the House of Commons and possibly being sentenced to up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.Read more »

The Liberal Scarf: Dean Del Mastro guilty on election charges

Del Mastro was Harper’s former Parliamentary Secretary. So much for judgement, eh?

Del Mastro could possibly resign his seat, triggering a by-election in Peterborough.

Politics and its Discontents: A Tale Of Two Parliamentary Secretaries*

What do Paul Calandra and Dean Del Mastro have in common? Well, let’s answer that question by first stating the obvious. Both are of Italian heritage; both have served as Prime Minister Harper’s Parliamentary Secretary; both have made blubbering speeches in the House of Commons; and, surprise surprise, both have stood accused of illegal/unethical conduct.

You may recall that Del Mastro, whose trial for falsifying election documents and knowingly exceeding the Election spending limit is winding up, offered an emotional defence of his integrity in the House. Please watch only until you feel your gag reflex kicking in:

After (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Stench of Scandal

Well as you know Stephen Harper is at the NATO summit in Wales and posing as a Great Statesman Leader.Although you'd never know it from his position in this group photo eh?Because any further back and you'd need binoculars to see him.But then I'm sure he's just glad to be there, because it is his last foreign honeymoon before he's forced to return to Canada.And it will be a hard landing…Read more »

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Summer of Discontent

Golly. I only hope Stephen Harper was able to shield himself from the rays of last night's super moon. Because in his agitated state I can only imagine the effect they might have had on him.He desperately needs to relax, but how can he? When he's facing a long summer of discontent, he just can't get Justin Trudeau and the Chief Justice out of his mind.And everywhere he looks the Cons are getting pounded.Read more »

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: It’s High Time Canadians Started Listening to Bill O’Reilly at Fox News

The Conservative Movement, that has been gaining momentum since the 1960s, has made one of their missions, destroying progressive agencies; especially those that support the Welfare State.

In the U.S., they honed in on ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), that advocated for low- and moderate-income families.

What bothered Conservatives the most about ACORN, however, was their voter registration drives, that encouraged the poor and disenfranchised to take part in the democratic process. They knew that anyone involved with the organization would not vote Republican, so have always worked to make sure that they didn’t vote (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Dean Del Maestro Trashes Neil Young For Being A Californian

Well, its a novel angle at least:

Perhaps the most surprising part of his recent criticisms goes back to where he has called home for the past 50 years, namely California a state that continually ranks amongst the worst in America for ground water, soil and air pollution. 

Incidentally, I am pretty sure Neil still owns land on Vancouver Island.  He did back in the 80s, when he would occasionally show up to look at it and visit him mom.

Montreal Simon: The Many Ghastly Faces of Dean Del Mastro

Well I'm glad that Dean Del Mastro just can't wait for his trial to begin. The lawyer for former Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro says his client wants to go to trial "as quickly as possible" to face four charges laid against him by Elections Canada. "Mr. Del Mastro is confident the trial process will clear his name so he can get back to work," the lawyer said.Because frankly I can't either eh?Del Mastro and his official campaign agent Richard McCarthy are accused of wilfully overspending during the campaign and of submitting documents to Elections Canada that they (Read more…)

LeDaro: Dean Del Mastro: Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin and now Dean Del Mastro

Del Mastro the Dean of them all. Step aside Duffy and Pamela the Maestro himself is here.

“Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro has quit the party’s caucus after he and a campaign staffer were charged with intentionally breaking campaign rules during the 2008 federal election, he said in a statement Thursday.

Elections Canada alleges Del Mastro, who represents the Ontario riding of Peterborough in the House of Commons, intentionally overspent his 2008 campaign limit and tried to cover it up by reporting a $21,000 expense as $1,575.”

Read more at CBC News here.

Calgary Grit: Dean Del Gonza

Liberals from coast to coast are revelling in a pot of schadenfreude tonight:

Fifth Tory leaves Harper’s caucus in scandal

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Stephen Harper lost his fifth caucus member of the year to scandal, after his former right-hand man in the House of Commons was charged Thursday with improper election spending.

The Commissioner of Canada Elections laid four charges against Ontario MP Dean Del Mastro under the Canada Elections Act. Shortly afterward, the prime minister’s office said he “was no longer a member of the Conservative caucus.”

Montreal Simon: Dean Del Mastro Charged by Elections Canada !!!!

I'd almost forgotten Dean Del Mastro, Boss Harper's parliamentary secretary, he's been away for so long. All I can remember is that he was always blaming others for ethical lapses eh?So I really can't wait to see how he handles this one. Read more »

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Simon Lewchuk makes the case for genuine participatory budgeting in contrast to the little-known and unduly-narrow means for Canadians to even make suggestions for our country’s public spending priorities: Operating under the guise of “consultation,” in June the federal finance committee announced its annual pre-budget process (don’t worry if you missed it, most Canadians did too). People were invited to “share their priorities for the 2014 budget” via an online form but, with an Aug. 5 deadline, it was unlikely that many Canadians were able to take the committee up on its (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper’s New Massive PR Problem

Well for one glorious but very brief moment Stephen Harper must have thought he was getting a break.Must have thought that Canadians would be too busy talking about the royal baby to think about all the scandals hanging around the neck of his rotting government.But sadly for him when the bun finally popped out of his oven, it wasn't the royal baby.It was Dean Del Mastro !!!! Read more »

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Scandalous Cons

Well there there they were today, driving through the streets of London, England, in the getaway limo.John Baird and Stephen Harper doing their best to try to escape the Senate scandal.But sadly for them the stench followed them everywhere, even into the British Parliament. Read more »

Politics and its Discontents: Cry Me A River?

Can’t help but wonder if this is a salvo in the Conservative battle to undermine the credibility and legitimacy of Elections Canada, given the recent and past party ‘indiscretions’ that have come to the attention of that body.

Recommend this Post

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Statement From Dean Del Mastro

I didn’t say what I just said.  Anyone who says I did, is lying.

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Murray Dobbin writes about the significance of Idle No More as a shift away from the presumption that First Nations’ interests are represented solely by elected officials: There are some fascinating similarities between the Idle No More phenomenon and the Occupy movement. Both reflect a political dualism: they are focused on the lack of democracy, justice and equality for ordinary people and they are implicitly (and with Idle No More explicitly) telling conventional movement organizations that are supposed to speak for them that they have failed. And it should come as no

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Montreal Simon: Steve Harper and the Con Bandidos

Gawd. I realize Steve Harper is the leader of the worst gang of bandidos ever to ride into Ottawa.But this is getting ridiculous eh?Yesterday it was Julian Fantino hijacking the CIDA website, today we learn that Dean Del Mastro's campaign is being investigated by the RCMP. Read more »

Leftist Jab: Political Stooge of 2012: Pierre Poilievre

To be perfectly honest, I struggled with this. Here’s Pierre Poilievre repeating talking points ad nauseam without a hint of even considering answering the reporter’s question.

So it should be a slam dunk. Game over! Pierre Poilievre is the stooge of 2012!

And yet…

Here’s Maxime Bernier repeating boilerplate talking points, some of which are deliberately false statements, which reduces

Leftist Jab: Political Scapegoat of 2012: Michael Sona

Fraudulent phone calls and misremembered $21,000 cheques

Sun News, the media wing of the Conservative Party of Canada, through its Parliament Hill Senior Correspondent Brian Lilley “scooped” everyone when they pinpointed the source of the fraudulent robocalls in the 2011 election: Michael Sona.

Small problem with that scoop: it wasn’t true.

In defence of Brian Lilley, journalism is

Alberta Diary: Anonymous comments? Dean Del Mastro’s right: there oughtta be a law!

A young member of the Tory Online Rage Machine (TORM) composes a mean Tweet using talking points from Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office. TORM operatives may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The unfortunate Dean Del Mastro.

It’s hard not to feel a pang of sympathy for Dean Del Mastro, the Conservative MP for the Ontario riding of Peterborough, who informed us the other day that there oughtta be a law about anonymous comments on the Internet.

Who among us hasn’t felt the sting of the Anonymous Brigade on Twitter, Facebook and in the comments sections of myriad blogs and

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Anonymous comments? Dean Del Mastro’s right: there oughtta be a law!

Impolitical: Parks Canada cuts and the Rideau Canal

A late summerish item this morning. This is a great local paper report on the Rideau Canal and the challenges being faced by users, small businesses that depend on it, local residents, cottagers, etc. Parks Canada’s budget has been cut by about $30 million and the impact on the Canal’s operating hours and infrastructure are becoming issues. The report covers a local meeting Bob Rae happened to attend given that he summers on a lake in the riding of Leeds-Grenville. Rae mentions that the Rideau could possibly lose its UNESCO designation due to the infrastructure cuts. The article gives you

. . . → Read More: Impolitical: Parks Canada cuts and the Rideau Canal

Politics and its Discontents: Del Maestro Is Close To Getting His Wish

Earlier this week Mr. Del Mastro, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and MP for Peterborough, complained about an Elections Canada investigation into his 2008 campaign, saying he’s frustrated he has no way to present his side of the story.

Now, the opportunity appears to be close at hand.

But oh, the suspense is killing me. Will he avail himself of this opportunity to ‘set the record straight”? Recommend this Post

Impolitical: A quote of the day

It’s early but I’ll go with this one from Dean Del Mastro to his local paper yesterday: Del Mastro has repeatedly said he doesn’t understand why Elections Canada didn’t talk to him during its investigation. On Wednesday, he said he shouldn’t have to be put through this experience, as he’s a member of Parliament.

“I’m not the average person on the street,” he said. “I’m elected by the people of this riding to represent them.”

He’s above the average person on the street from the sounds of things. Not a winning quote from a politician.

Lots of other gems there too.