Views from the Beltline: America’s "flawed" democracy or The Revenge of the Deplorables

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), The Economist magazine’s research division, annually publishes an analysis of the state of democracy in the world. Its report for 2016, entitled Revenge of the”deplorables,” focuses on the popular revolt against the “political elites who are perceived by many to be out of touch and failing to represent the interests ...

Democracy Under Fire: A No Win Situation From The Start

This week there has been much rhetoric about the failure of the Liberals to move forward on electoral reform, apparently this is all Trudeau’s fault and no blame can be laid at the Conservatives who did everything they could to side track the committee studying the possibilities with their cry referendum, referendum, referendum! And what ...

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Trudeau’s Broken Reform Promise

At the Parliamentary Committee I spoke at, I told Nathan Cullen I was disappointed he wasn’t running for the NDP leadership. Listening to NDP MP Nathan Cullen rip Trudeau over electoral reform promise breaking, the PM must be relieved he's not running for leader. — Don Martin (@DonMartinCTV) February 1, 2017 Global really holds the ...

Dead Wild Roses: My New Favourite Journalist – Caitlin Johnstone

  Much has happened in the world in the past few months. Especially since November 8, when the “left” or the “progressives” in the USA and indeed the world have been crapping their pants about some orange skinned person with homunculus like hands winning the seat of most powerful person in the world. While as concerning ...

Alberta Politics: Canadian newspaper industry advances on Ottawa, hands out, awash in red ink and democratic platitudes

PHOTOS: Stop the presses! … I mean the losses! Put me through to the red ink department … I mean the tax department … Actual Canadian newspaper owners may not be as committed to jobs as the sign on the press suggests. Below: Edward Greenspon of the Public Policy Forum and late of the Globe ...

Alberta Politics: Alberta’s right doubtless dismayed as The Economist boots the U.S.A. off its list of ‘full democracies’

PHOTOS: Democracy has been downgraded in the U.S.A. … (Azerbaijan Press Agency photo). Below: A recent copy of The Economist, U.S. President Donald Trump and Wildrose Alliance Leader Danielle Smith in her political heyday. Hmmm… The venerable Economist Magazine’s research arm yesterday booted the United States off its list of “full democracies,” demoting Ronald Reagan’s ...

Democracy Under Fire: Freedom, Equality, Accountability & Transparency

Yesterday an estimated half million joinedThe Women’s March on Washington which was supported by hundreds of thousands more gathering in various cities, not only in the U.S. but across the world. Described as “a women-led movement bringing together people of all genders, ages, races, cultures, political affiliations and backgrounds in our nation’s capital to affirm ...

Eh Types: Capitulation Day

Comfort is in scare supply to those who value democracy  — or even basic human decency — but what little comfort is available I can take in saying at least I tried. It was December 2015, when I wrote that based on our experience in Toronto, America should be wary that Trump may win. Instead, ...

Accidental Deliberations: On corruptible structures

Yes, there’s no doubt that Kevin O’Leary’s suggestion of selling off Senate appointments is nothing short of asinine. That’s not so much because the idea is inherently unconstitutional, but because of its substantive implications. The sale of Senate seats it would involve institutionalizing the worst aspects of the Senate’s historical purpose (creating a systemic on ...

Democracy Under Fire: Obama on Democracy

Last Tuesday President Obama presented his final speech of hispresidency before the incoming Twit in Chief take power this coming Friday. The focus of his speech was as he said “the state of our democracy.”, meaning the state of democracy in the U.S. which surely looks bleak given the Twits recent twittering, however many of ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Lifeblood Of Democracy – A Guest Post By Pamela MacNeil

In response to my post yesterday on rebellion, Pamela MacNeil had this commentary, which I am featuring as a guest post: Rebels Lorne, especially intellectual rebels, are the life blood of democracy. From the time we are born or at the very least from the time we start school, we eventually learn that conformity is ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that to start your 2017. – Ideas examines how the assumptions underlying far too much economic theory have produced disastrous real-world results. And Harold Meyerson writes that research is proving that skeptics of corporate-driven free trade have been right all along. – Gary Younge writes that the rise of populist right-wing politicians can ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Anatole Kaletsky discusses the gross failures of market fundamentalism. And William Easterly points out that the risks to democratic governance which now seem to be materializing can be traced to the lack of a values-based defence of empowering people to decide their own future at the societal level. ...

Politics and its Discontents: Guest Post: An Incompatible Marriage

In response to my post the other day featuring some stellar letters from Star readers on inequality, regular commentator Pamela MacNeil offered an insightful analysis of the fundamental incompatibility between democracy and neoliberalism. Here is that analysis: Governments who value Democracy, Lorne, will govern in the interests of people according to democratic principles. They will ...

Dead Wild Roses: Voting, Citizenship and the Political Process – W.E.B. Du Bois

Can we draw parallels between the political experience of Du Bois and our present time?  The situation the Du Bois describes can easily be translated into a commentary of what is happening in 2016 – the message is clear – reputable people cannot abandon the political realm despite what the chattering classes say, as it ...

Politics and its Discontents: "The Cancer Of Inequality"

In a recent post well-worth reading, The Mound reflected on the decline of support for liberal democracy. Today, Star readers respond to an article carried by the paper entitled, How Stable Are Democracies? ‘Warning Signs Are Flashing Red’. Their message is clear: inequality is at the root of the problem, fostered and promoted by the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Ben Tarnoff discusses the two winners – and the many losers – created by the spread of neoliberalism: Neoliberalism can mean many things, including an economic program, a political project, and a phase of capitalism dating from the 1970s. At its root, however, neoliberalism is the idea ...

Democracy Under Fire: Mixed Scientific Message’s

After nearly a decade our federal scientists are now free to speak about their research and findings to the public without censure. Scientists working for the Canadian government have successfully negotiated a clause in their new contract that guarantees their right to speak to the public and the media about science and their research, without ...

The Disaffected Lib: So Much for Democracy

We now know that Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by well more than 2.5-million ballots. Perhaps as many ballots again were not counted due to Republican efforts to disqualify eligible voters. – Strike One. We now know that investigations by the Central Intelligence Agency determined that Russia meddled in the election by ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the crisis of liberal democracy around the globe – and how we face our own obvious risks in Canada. For further reading…– Yascha Mounk’s research into the precarious state of democracy is discussed here by Amanda Taub. And Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Erica Frantz trace how a seemingly secure democracy can fall apart incrementally.  ...

Democracy Under Fire: Electoral Reform Report Solves Nothing.

A special all-party committee is recommending that the Trudeau government design a new proportional voting system and hold a national referendum to gauge how much Canadians would support it. ……… The report does not recommend precisely how a referendum should be conducted or how many electoral options Canadians should be asked to choose among, other ...

The Disaffected Lib: Neoliberalism Out, Neofascism In?

Cornel West says America is in for a makeover, Trump style. White working- and middle-class fellow citizens – out of anger and anguish – rejected the economic neglect of neoliberal policies and the self-righteous arrogance of elites. Yet these same citizens also supported a candidate who appeared to blame their social misery on minorities, and ...

Democracy Under Fire: Fair Elections Act Updated

This week the Liberals introduced a bill to reverse many of the more egregious changes brought in with the Conservative “fair” elections act, the summary of this legislation says…… This enactment amends the Canada Elections Act to (a) remove limitations on public education and information activities conducted by the Chief Electoral Officer; (b) establish a Register of ...

The Disaffected Lib: The A, B, C’s of Dictatorship

Harvard prof and Foreign Policy columnist, Steven Walt, has a thoughtful essay, “10 Ways to Tell if Your President is a Dictator.“ My fears about Trump’s foreign policy have always been two-fold: that he might pursue a more sensible grand strategy but do it incompetently, thereby weakening America’s international position, or that he will eventually get ...

Democracy Under Fire: The Good, the Bad and the Narcissist

Regular readers will be aware of a lack of posts of late and no commentary on the situation south of us and perhaps are asking how a blog about democracy can be silent about the upcoming change in the U.S. Administration. Apart from being driven almost speechless by the American people electing a lying hatemonger ...