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Democracy Under Fire: Senate Reform Redux

With a small minority of senators under the spotlight for spending irregularities and the Duffy trial adding a further spotlight on how the unprincipled nominated to that body can cheat the system (such as it is) there are the predictable calls for it to be abolished. NDP leader Thomas Mulclair is one such individual, he has said that if elected he will consult with the Premiers to try and come to an agreement to do so, I call this simply political expediency! He knows full well that it will be almost impossible to obtain the unanimous consent of all provinces (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: ConCalls: Conservative Defender of Robocalls now Jailed for #elxnfraud

Dean Del Mastro is going to jail for a month, house arrest for longer, and cannot run (for office) for at least 5 years.

Hey, kids, remember Stephen Harper from back in 2006? http://t.co/z8SoCu2Pss Have fun, Dean-o. pic.twitter.com/ZN1ZM9yAow

— CC (@canadiancynic) June 25, 2015

BREAKING:video of Dean Del Mastro being led out of courthouse in shackles. pic.twitter.com/ZQUKtMave0

— Pamela VanMeer (@Pamreports) June 25, 2015

Let's never forget that Harper hand picked Del Mastro to be his Parliamentary Secretary & appointed him to the Ethics Committee. #cdnpoli

— Stephen Lautens (@stephenlautens) June 25, 2015

Dean Del (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Difficult To Talk About, Important To Try

This is a difficult subject to talk about, because highlighting it could easily be viewed as hypocritical. In my defense, I’m not defending Trudeau because I want him elected, and I’m not attacking the Conservatives over this because I think they’re unfit to govern. I just think that using propaganda videos created by ISIS is not something Canadian political parties should ever do.

I regret even posting a link to this remarkably bad Conservative video www. facebook.com/ cpcpcc/videos/10153435917054204/ “Conservative Party of Canada – Parti conservateur du Canada:

On the same day that ISIS releases yet another barbaric video, Justin (Read more…)

Democracy Under Fire: Voices for Democracy

Voices-Voix is a non-partisan coalition of Canadians and Canadian organizationscommitted to defending our collective and individual rights to dissent, advocacy and democratic space. They have documented attacks against organizations, individuals and institutions that have raised their voices, to show the pattern of government silencing those who exercise their right to dissent. They have a membership of over 200 organizations and “encourage Canadians to raise their voices so that governments meet their core responsibilities to respect the equality, transparency and diversity of voices that make a democracy thrive.” They recently released areport (1 MB PDF) titled “Dismantling Democracy”which documents in great detail (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Mr. Trudeau brings more good news on the democracy front

This is shaping up to be a good week for democracy. The new Alberta government’s banning of political donations by corporations and unions has been followed with a surprising and very welcome announcement by Liberal leader Justin Trudeau of major democratic reform if his party wins the October election.

Some of the Liberal proposals I particularly like include the following:

A thorough study

Bill Longstaff: Democracy wins one in Alberta

The new Alberta government has announced it will, as promised in its election platform, ban political funding by unions and corporations. Alberta will join the provinces of Manitoba, Quebec and Nova Scotia, as well as the City of Toronto and the federal government, with its ban.

The government has also promised a new legislative committee to review rules on elections and ethics and to

Democracy Under Fire: Conservative MP Declines Debate

Bruce Grey Owen Sound MP Larry Miller is declining an invite to take part in an all candidates debate sponsored by the Owen Sound and District Chamber of Commerce. He says he will be declining to participate in any all-candidates meeting that follows the traditional format, one he says simply does not work. He says he would prefer a format where each candidate is given a few minutes for opening statements and then they go to a corner and take questions directly from voters.

And so it starts where Conservative candidates, many of whom avoided all candidates debates in 2011, (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Saving Canada $90,000,000/year not worth Wall’s “effort”

“The Senate is never going to run properly and it’s never going to be worth the money we put into it. So it should be scrapped.”

.@PremierBradWall Couldn't SK start the constitutional amendment process by proposing and adopting an amendment to abolish the Senate?

— Mike Burton (@Mikefromregina) June 9, 2015

Wall continues… “I’m not going to actively campaign for the Senate to be abolished.”

“even in light of this latest mess, then it’s not really worth the effort to try to change [the provinces’ {opposed to abolition}] minds.”

I don’t think Premier Wall is the (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Double victory for democracy in Turkey

Turkish President Recep Erdogan has just learned a lesson in democracy. And humility. Erdogan, a popular prime minister and the country’s dominant politician since his party swept to power in 2002, ran for president successfully in 2014. The Turkish presidency has limited powers but Erdogan gambled he could use his party’s majority in the Grand National Assembly to change the constitution and

Democracy Under Fire: Harper History, Part 6A – Con Majority – Election Fraud

Spring 2011 & Subsequent Fallout

This article in my series that attempt to detail the contempt that Harper and his cohorts have for Canadian Democracy will not only cover the 2011 election period but will also detail the many “allegations” of election wrongdoing arising from it. It also details the efforts to date to establish what occurred and who was involved. As I write this some 4 years later some aspects of the “allegations” remain unresolved, particularly for calls that occurred outside the Guelph Riding, mostly due to the Harper Regimes refusal to cooperate with either Elections Canada or the (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: ConCalls: Documentary Underway

I was interviewed for the E-Day documentary film being wrapped up this Summer. What’d I say? You’ll have to wait until it’s been all put together. I can’t wait!

https://t.co/vXIDfiLnwi Inky Mark running in #elxn42 as an Independent http://t.co/ZCvw2lX8Kg #votersuppression https://t.co/YJ73Qu4IIL

— @EDayFilm (@edayfilm) June 4, 2015

Road trip video diary. Here's something you didn't know about film maker Peter Smoczynski http://t.co/ZCvw2lX8Kg https://t.co/nOXEKjsYiD

— @EDayFilm (@edayfilm) June 3, 2015

Please help Peter put this movie in front of thousands of Canadians.

Filmmakers #elxnfraud https://t.co/gLOjfyybpL

— Saskboy K. (@saskboy) June 4, 2015

@edayfilm peter (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: ConCalls: Documentary Underway

Democracy Under Fire: Buying Your Vote

Rumours circulating that Harper will extend the official campaign period by calling the election early may well have some merit given that his “Fair” Election Act specifically allows more spending on advertising during such extended period.The Fair Elections Act also increases election spending for political parties, candidates and nomination contestants. Using last election’s numbers, it would mean slightly more than $1 million for each political party that runs candidates in each riding ($0.735 for every elector instead of $0.70) But the real change is that election expenses, which used to be capped for the entire campaign period, (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Just Not Ready To Debate

Who's not ready??? #cdnpoli #GPC pic.twitter.com/Beuw1DUacQ

— Elizabeth May MP (@ElizabethMay) May 29, 2015

*Zing

Also, Goodbye Peter MacKay:

Good news everyone! Peter MacKay or Conservative polling indicated that MacKay wouldn’t have held his seat! And/Or he’s got a cushy private job lined up with a bank.

And I wish Peter MacKay the success Jim Prentice enjoyed after leaving the effing Federal Cabinet.

Marco thinks MacKay will run for Conservative leader when Harper leaves after the election. We’ll see, I guess.

Robotics continues to make stunning advancements #cdnpoli https://t.co/nPmYtMnoEZ

— Andrew Tumilty (@AndrewTumilty) May 29, 2015

. . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: Just Not Ready To Debate

Democracy Under Fire: Debate Debate Redux

The federal Conservative Party says it won’t participate in the traditional leaders’ debates run by a consortium of broadcasters………They are however pushing for a number of “independently staged debates” where the format can “allow more time for one-on-one debate between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau”. Apparently the NDP and Greens have no place in their plans to control the debates, however the New Democrats said they have also accepted TVA’s and Maclean’s debate invites but there is no mention of the GPC in this article.

Seems rather convenient that just as the ‘consortium’ decided to (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: ConCalls: Documentary Rolling Across Canada #RoboCon

Peter is making a film about the RoboCon election fraud. His tour gets started tomorrow in Guelph, where the most famous incident in hundreds of ridings took place.

. @edayfilm Road Trip launches cross-Canada tour in 2 days starting in Guelph May 20, 21, 23 #cdnpoli #robocalls https://t.co/iC9yhRqV75

— @EDayFilm (@edayfilm) May 19, 2015

— Hat tip to TGB

Democracy Under Fire: Harper History, Part 5B – G20, Census Axed, Contempt.

June 2010 – Mar 2011 In this the second half of part 5 of the ongoing Harper History series intended to remind our citizens exactly how little respect the Harper Regime has for our Democracy we touch upon the G20 fiasco, the killing of the census and the inability of the PBO to get information as to how the ‘stimulus’ funds were spent. Parliament continued to be ‘dysfunctional’ with the opposition seeming unable to hold Harper to account despite his refusal to release the information necessary for them to make informed decisions for fear of precipitating an election they were (Read more…)

Democracy Under Fire: BGOS Greens AGM

The following is presented as a service to my local Greens

The Annual General Meeting of the Bruce-Grey Owen Sound Green Party of Canada Electoral District Association will be held Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 7:00 pm at the Williamsford Mill Book Store & Cafe, 316070 Highway 6, Williamsford, ON.

A new executive is elected at the AGM. Nominations will be taken from the floor for the positions of President (CEO), Chief Financial Officer and other executive positions. The meeting is open to all Green supporters and to the general public. Green Party of Canada memberships will be available and (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Do conservatives believe in democracy?

Watching the Alberta election results on TV, the comments of a pundit representing the Conservative view caught my attention. The lady insisted that if the NDP won, oil companies would be closing their offices in Calgary, investment would move out of province, etc.—Armageddon waiting in the wings. Well, the NDP won, and this doesn’t seem to be happening, but in any case it wasn’t the

Democracy Under Fire: Like Lemmings off a Cliff

Canadians who have been taking notice will be aware that C51, the police state law, has past 3rd reading in the house and now goes before the Senate for final reading. It will come as no surprise that the Conservatives vote en-block for the bill for even if some of them had actually read the bill and had reservations they dare not vote except as directed by the PMO if they wished to remain in caucus. It is not surprising that the NDP all voted against this deeply flawed bill for it hard to see how any who care (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Can academics serve two masters?

The steady encroaching of the corporate sector into the decision-making processes of our societies is the greatest threat to twenty-first century democracy. This includes encroachment into academia.

This troubling development was brought to light in the recent Alberta election. The NDP proposed a two per cent increase in the corporate tax rate. Jack Mintz, an esteemed University of Calgary

Bill Longstaff: The Alberta NDP and proportional representation

I never thought I’d live long enough to see the day, but here it is. The NDP have been elected to the government of Alberta. I am ecstatic. Nonetheless, while my emotions soar, my logical self reminds me that they won a majority only because of our corrupt first past the post electoral system. It’s comforting to know the system rewards the good guys as well as the bad guys, but it’s still an

OpenMedia.ca: LAST CHANCE: Just 24 hours to tell your MP to #RejectFear and #StopC51

This is it folks – there are now just 24 hours before tomorrow’s FINAL House of Commons vote on Bill C-51.

That’s right – there are just hours left to tell your MP to vote against this reckless Bill that will endanger our rights, turn CSIS into a secret police force, and make us all less safe.

As the clock ticks down, we need to pull out all the stops to tell MPs to side with Canadians, do the right thing, and vote against this reckless, dangerous, and ineffective legislation.

read more

Pop The Stack: If an election falls in the forest and nothing changes…ever, is it still a democracy?

I’m an outsider to Alberta politics so I will attempt to refrain from making any statement about who I think should win or what the important issues are in the election. But there are some disturbing, anti-democratic threads in the wave of editorial endorsements for the ruling PC party in Alberta that I want to highlight.

I was going to build a careful argument about the message in the editorials but some of their ideas seem so directly absurd, cautious or insulting to democracy that I think they can almost stand on their own, all emphasis added is my (Read more…)

Democracy Under Fire: More Public Money on False Ads

As the Conservative Regime move forward with their new branding efforts in an attempt to persuade the public that they are the greatest thing since the 1936 regime in Germany we learn that “the Conservative government has booked $13.5 million for an all-out blitzin April and May to advertise its 2015 pre-election budget.”

Now I have no real problem the the Conservative Party of Canada promoting their proposals on TV and radio any more than I do with any other political party doing so but that is NOT what is happening. These Ads are being issued from (Read more…)

Democracy Under Fire: Harper History, Part 5A – Information witheld , Omnibus Budget

Mar 2010 – June 2010

If the period before the second prorogation of Parliament was deemed “dysfunctional” the period from when parliament returned in March and the following 12 months till the 2011 election should be classed as totally without any redeeming features. It includes an ongoing and never-ending series of efforts by the Harper regime to control or suppress information about or from government departments, the g20 spending fiasco, the 2010 800+ page omnibus budget that amongst other things killed many environmental protection regulations, and doing away with reliable census returns. The liberals in opposition did little to oppose (Read more…)