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Politics, Re-Spun: Democracy Blooming at the Margins: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ukraine and Taiwan

From OpenDemocracy.net, yesterday.

Jasmin Mujanović 14 April 2014

The terrifying spectre in these countries is not of ravenous foreign capital, though there is plenty of experience with this too, but of the persistent suffering of being an oft bloodied geopolitical borderland.

Blockade and occupation of Taiwan’s legislature enters day seven. Demotix/Craig Ferguson. All rights reserved.

In the past two months, massive protests have gripped three far-removed states—Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH), Ukraine and Taiwan. In every case, the foreign press has struggled to offer its readers more than banal geopolitical musings.While the positions of Washington, Moscow and Beijing are not irrelevant (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: ConCalls: Testify, Born Again Christian #RoboCon

Andrew Prescott’s immunity deal is a strange development. The loyal party worker and born-again Christian had for two years categorically denied any knowledge of or involvement in the robocall affair. But why do innocent people need immunity deals? One of the people Prescott professed his innocence to was Michael Sona.

Testify!

“I looked Andrew dead in the eyes outside church. He was in his car in the parking lot. I asked him if he knew anything. He said, ‘I don’t know anything.’ That’s why I defended him when I went on the CBC. I took him at his word. (Read more…)

Democracy Under Fire: Prerequisites for Democratic Legitimacy

Anita Vandenbeld author of an article called ‘Imposing Legitimacy: The Dilemma of International Democratic Development’for LawNow magazine and former director of parliamentary affairs for Jacques Saada, the first minister of Democratic Reform in 2004, recently wrote an article on the legitimacy of bill C23. In it, in contrast to her previous article where she raised the question of how democratic institutions become legitimate in the eyes of a population, she now asks how do democratic institutions losetheir legitimacy?

Here are some extracts, read the whole thing at Ipolitics:-

Basically, I argued there are five prerequisites for democratic legitimacy: (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Rich people rule!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/04/08/rich-people-rule/

Filed under: Class, Democracy, Political Science, The State

Politics and its Discontents: This Gift From Montreal Simon

I have to admit I was feeling rather discouraged the other day when I read this CBC report in which an EKOS Research poll found that only 27 percent of respondents were familiar with the ‘Fair’ Elections Act. Then I read Montreal Simon’s post this morning and felt a little better.

Here is the short video he posted that beautifully and very succinctly shows why voting is so important. Enjoy and send it to whomever you think might benefit:

Recommend this Post

Politics, Re-Spun: Poor Kids, Poor Families and Shame

“When Centennial’s students found out Seymour couldn’t hold a pyjama day because many students didn’t have pyjamas, they fundraised to buy every Seymour student a pair last Christmas.”

- When the Field Trip’s Too Pricey, Students ‘Self-Exclude’

BC’s disgusting and preventable child poverty crisis. Let’s stop coddling the rich!

When parents receive letters from their kids’ school asking for donations for playground upgrades or library books or technological devices, a certain segment of the population sighs, grows a few more grey hairs and dies a little bit inside.

Parents who are struggling financially cannot afford the luxury of even (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: The United States—democracy or oligarchy?

Last year, Iran held an election to choose its president. Many in the West mocked the election because the candidates were vetted by the Guardian Council (a group appointed largely by the Supreme Leader). This, however, is not so different from American presidential elections. In the U.S., candidates have to get approval from the corporate sector simply because if they don’t get those big

the disgruntled democrat: In the End, Quebecers Are Not All That Different From the Vast Majority of Canadians: They Prefer To Be Governed Than To Govern

Mercifully, this sorry spectacle of a general election in Quebec is over.  I can’t remember a campaign so empty of any real debate as it came down to a choice between an extremely lame Charter of Values that would have banned the overly overt display of religious affiliation in the public service and the dubious notion that the new government will somehow better THE economy.

More importantly, this collective decision was made in the context of a pause in the deliberations of the Charbonneau Commission, which will now turn its focus on how the alleged criminal behaviour surrounding the awarding (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Occupy Canada For May Day, With Bananas

A few days ago, I wrote about picking May Day as a good time for Occupy Vancouver to reboot itself and catch up with the Occupy Movement’s worldwide #WaveOfAction.

But I think that idea can be bigger, it can be a day for all of Occupy Canada to reboot.

Here’s how:

May Day is a good focal point. A tent city at the Vancouver Art Gallery seems to be a distracting fixation. Occupy Wall Street was about people occupying the space of the 1%: Wall Street. In Vancouver, that is not the Art Gallery. It is a fantastic rallying point, (Read more…)

the disgruntled democrat: Thanks But No Thanks Quebec: Take My Ballot And Shove It

Well, I have decided not to vote in this charade of an election.  My principle reason is that my vote does not count — it is totally ineffective — because I live in a region where the same political party, the Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ), has taken all of the region’s seats for the last forty years.

Last election, I “lent” my vote to my wife and dutifully went down to the polls and voted strategically for the party that had the best chance of defeating the outgoing Liberal Member of the Quebec National Assembly, which at the time (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: ConCalls: No Charges Despite New Prescott #RoboCon Information

After giving some immunity to a man who either lied to me, or to Elections Canada’s investigators, Canada’s election agency has no new charges to announce against the perpetrators of 2011′s Guelph or national election fraud robocalls.

Andrew Prescott’s information fingers the already charged Michael Sona, and the exiled Ken Morgan who is living in Kuwait. Prosecutors will have to decide if he is telling them the truth, or if he was telling me the truth when he told me in an email conversation he’d asked me to share on my blog last year:

Feel free to think whatever you (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Welcome to Stephen Harper’s Banana Republic

#PMSH goes #BananaRepublic: the (un) #FairElectionsAct lets incumbents SUPERVISE their own election! pic.twitter.com/SG3IT8GMAz #cdnpoli

— Politics, Re-Spun (@PoliticsReSpun) April 6, 2014

Just how stupid does Stephen Harper think we are?

He thinks that we’re fine with the idea that incumbent parties should be able to pick the poll supervisors in the next election.

I kid you not.

This kind of contempt for democracy and embrace of corruption is the worst part of this brand new [un]Fair Elections Act.

This is the kind of thing for which Occupy Vancouver and Occupy Canada should be occupying every single Conservative (Read more…)

drive-by planet: NED, USAID – America’s ‘democracy building’ trojans: ZunZuneo – failed ‘Twitter-like op’ in Cuba

American NGO’s such as The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), USAID and similar orgs have been employing a variety of highly questionable tactics in Ukraine and elsewhere in the name of so-called “democracy building.” Some of the tactics used by these organizations are arguably illegal because US Foreign Affairs is supposed to be overseen exclusively by publicly accountable branches of government. 

NED is supposedly a private non-profit organization but it is funded by the feds through “core foundations” such as National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. Meddling by NED and similar American orgs in other countries’ affairs has (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Famous last words

Democracy Under Fire: Winning at All Costs.

I think we are all sick of the win at all cost mentality of our political parties and their leaders, this mentality is not restricted to just the Harper Regime, although it is certainly most prevalent with that group of oligarchs, but can be seen with very few exceptions in all parties and both provincial and federal politics. I recently came across a piece from Scott, a recent graduate of the University of Saskatchewan with a degree in Political Studies who puts it like this:-

“Almost all of the political parties in today’s system seem to be more concerned (Read more…)

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Ask General Kang: If my foreign policy is a failure, do I have to admit it?

Hell no! If you can’t blame the failures of your policy on some flunky (or opposition party, if you’re unlucky enough to be ruling in a “democracy”) then what kind of leader are you? The best option is to say … Continue reading →

Melissa Fong: #Urbanarium2014: How to build a truly “Engaged City”?

“Engaged City” was unanimously passed yesterday, and it seems like the pundits are all out criticizing the process. … Democratization of the planning process is a fundamental problem with bureaucratic institutions; government is fundamentally hierarchical. Do we target Vision Vancouver? NPA? Nah*- There is a problem with the plumbing and none of them are plumbers…. An Urbanarium, in its basic sense, is a three-dimensional model of the city. If a developer wanted to propose a development, they would have to create a 3-D model of the building(s) and place it on the model city for public review. I can still remember (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: UnFair Elections Act

Sent by email to pierre.poilievre@parl.gc.ca

Dear Mr. Poilievre:

I’m very disappointed with the proposed Fair Elections Act. I agree with experts like the CEO who says Canadians will be disenfranchised if your plans to change ID requirements go ahead. Having assisted with past elections, I think your bill is awful, and will have mostly the opposite effect claimed by its Orwellian title. Your party’s refusal to include Green Party and independent voices at committee betray your efforts to create an unfair Elections Act, lacking broad consultations with most voting Canadians.

Sincerely,

John Klein

My MP’s office already (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Honing In On Friday’s #WaveOfAction

We need to think about two things for this Friday’s Occupy Movement reboot in the Worldwide #WaveOfAction:

When thinking about pursuing social, political and economic equality, what is the list of things we need to change, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally? Who do we need to build coalitions with to listen to them, support them, empower them; and who will convene the meetings?

And instead of wondering who’s got your back, figure out whose back you need to protect.

There are two days left. No rush, because Friday is just the start of the 3-month Wave that culminates on (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Orwellian Fair Elections Act proof Harper Government is no normal government

by: Obert Madondo

The Harper Conservatives’ Orwellian Fair Elections Act or Bill C-23 has been universally condemned. In a previous post, I argued that the bill is part of Harper’s desperate attempt to steal the 2015 federal election by disenfranchising non-Conservative voters and marginalized groups.

In his latest installment, National Post columnist Andrew Coyne says Bill C-23 is proof that the regime in Ottawa is no normal government.

“In normal times, under a normal government, the Fair Elections Act would have been withdrawn by now, or at least be in serious trouble,” Coyne writes. “The past few weeks have seen (Read more…)

Democracy Under Fire: Citizens Protest Unfair Election Act

Many of my reader will be aware that last Tuesday a number of citizens gathered in front of Conservative MP’s Offices across the country to show their opposition to the Unfair Elections Act that is being railroaded through the legislative process by the Harper Regime. One such non partisan gathering sponsored byLeadNow took place in front of my local MP’s office, that of Larry Miller, where folks from several opposition parties and local non partisan groups spoke to the crowd. Kimberly Love of the Liberals and Karen Gventer of the NDP spoke of the injustices – the removal of (Read more…)

Progressive Proselytizing: The Quebec election is being fought over the wrong issues

Quebec has numerous very legitimate issues in governance and economics that can, and should, be addressed in an election. In many ways, the Quebec model provides for Canada an example of a significantly more interventionist, egalitarian government – something I might advocate for on this blog – but poor management and misguided priorities have led to large challenges in the model, not the least of which is the highest debt per person of a province in Canada. Getting a mandate for a path forward is an important step.

However, the Quebec election will largely be fought, and won, over two (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Stealing Democracy Part XII: More Revelations On Quebec, and Bill C-23

As more incidents of voter suppression in Quebec come to the surface, the picture starts to become a little more clear. Yesterday, we learned about a Green Party candidate who has been denied registration as a voter.

The issue comes down to the interpretation of "domiciled": The debate over who can and can’t vote in Quebec stems from different interpretations of the domicile rule, which requires all electors to have been domiciled in Quebec for six months.

Stéphane Beaulac, a professor in the faculty of law at the Université de Montréal, explains the domicile rule is based on intention.

“The difference (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Soudas All By Himself

Soudas

@MarkHorseman LOL, don't worry, @PMOharper took care of that too. news.nationalpost.com/2014/03/24/rob… #Anders— John Klein (@JohnKleinRegina) March 28, 2014

I think Rob Anders would have been a better choice for Finance Minister than Joe Oliver.

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: ConCalls: Satire and Analysis Becomes Reality in #RoboCon

Ever wonder why Elec Canada didn't raid CPC hq. On robocalls? I know I do. See ipolitics @HarrisAuthor #cdnpoli— Michael Harris (@HarrisAuthor) March 24, 2014

In early March 2012, I asked the same, putting the question to major political parties and Elections Canada.

“Why doesn’t Elections Canada just check the Conservative’s voter information database (CIMS) for who queried the phone numbers used for illegal robocalls? “

Elections Canada can’t explain the indefensible stupidity in their “investigation”.

If the CPC was cooperating with the investigation, why did it take nearly three months for Hamilton to arrange an interview (Read more…)