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Democracy Under Fire: Blind Obedience, the Tool of Tyrants

A guest post by Pamela Mac Neil

“Here is how you’re going to vote and here are your talking points”

On capital hill the above line is the kind of conversation, probably repeated many times, initiated by junior in the PMO’s office, to Harpers backbenchers and various cabinet MP’s. He/she may continue to say, the PM wants this bill passed at tomorrows question period and by the way, junior may add to the selected MP, usually a back bencher, the PM would also like you to ask this question in the House. Could the PM elaborate on “unconfirmed reports (Read more…)

Song of the Watermelon: On the Benevolence of Slippery Slopes: Women Taking the Lead

I had the pleasure last week of attending a public talk called “Women’s Voices: What Difference Do They Make?” featuring Canada’s first and only female prime minister, Kim Campbell.

Appearing at Vancouver’s Harbour Centre campus of Simon Fraser University, the former PM sat down with Shari Graydon of Informed Opinions to discuss women’s participation in government, business, and the media. She spoke with ease and humour about her time in politics, relating such anecdotes as the aura of stunned silence which prevailed when, having recently been promoted to cabinet, she disrupted the old boys’ atmosphere by launching into a (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Canada: The Eternal Rebuilding Project

Personal relationships enrich us, work makes us feel useful, and goals give us purpose

via Lecture 1 – Belonging: The Paradox of Citizenship | Ideas with Paul Kennedy | CBC Radio.

Adrienne Clarkson speaks in this Massey Lecture about belonging.

The first peoples were here first. They established a sense of this land.

Europeans came to conquer and exploit and seek whatever noble goals orbited their economy. They helped remake and redefine the land and its people. For better or worse.

Since then, new people have come and contribute to this eternal project of ever-rebuilding Canada.

Harper isn’t interested in (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: ConCalls: “Clean and Ethical Campaign” #RoboCon #elxnfraud

Because the Guelph Liberal campaign was fined for not self-identifying in a robocall about their opponent’s position on abortion, the Conservatives ran a “clean and ethical campaign”. The crime of another party washes them clean. It’s very Jesus-like, somehow. Have them explain it to you, it’s beyond me.

“The Conservative Party ran a clean and ethical campaign. We spend our campaigns identifying supporters and getting them out to vote,” Cory Hann wrote in an email.

This, in response to knowing that the Conservatives’ communications worker on the Guelph campaign has been found guilty of criminal election fraud. It’s really a (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Whitby-Oshawa Shows the Need for Active NDP-Liberal Cooperation

The Pundits Guide has a spectacular analysis of what it takes to almost take out a strong Conservative seat in a by-election. See below.

It shows that a relatively weak NDP campaign with a very strong Liberal campaign almost is enough.

What more does it take? Ask Nathan Cullen and others in the NDP and Liberal orbits who know that more actual NDP-Liberal cooperation and coordination is necessary to defeat the Conservatives. They won’t be decimated, but they will still be in government without far more intentional Anything But Conservative coordination in our broken electoral system.

If NDP and (Read more…)

Democracy Under Fire: A Stark Contrast.

I dont often comment upon the daily actions of politicians on this blog preferring to look at the broader picture of how their actions affect out democracy but one recent report realy got my attention in its stark contrast between a potential leader and the current one. The way in which our ‘leaders’ interact with our local and national media, be they the press, television new outlets or simply citizen bloggers has much to do with democratic freedom and our need to know and understand what ‘government’ is doing on our behalf.

This item from Matt Guerin outlines the contrast….. (Read more…)

Democracy Under Fire: Democracy and Freedom in Harperland

A guest post by Pamela Mac Neil There have been Canadian Prime Ministers I have disliked and Prime Ministers whose ideas I have disagreed with. I have never however, with any of these Prime Ministers, worried about losing our democracy and consequently our freedom. That is until Stephen Harper as our PM was given a majority government in 2011. I knew what he was capable of before he got his majority, but I never worried as long as he had minority governments. When he got his majority, I took notice and proceeded to study him closely on a daily basis. (Read more…)

Democracy Under Fire: Lest We Forget

Indeed we must not forget, not just the terrible toll that war takes upon those who engage in it both directly and indirectly but we must also not forget what the second world war was about and how it all started.

I must give a brief history lesson here of the period BEFORE the war in Europe which in my view is important to understand when talking about democracy as I do in this blog. It all started with one megalomaniac who was the leader of a political party and was elected to a MINORITY government in 1933, that he (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Clearing The Forest

The Queen’s act against this homeless woman is unkind, and Canada’s laws shouldn’t be unkind for the sake of protecting unused land from First Nations people building a temporary home. Further, we don’t need to urbanize more people, and this law is clearly aimed at clearing Canada’s wilderness of humans, and putting them into overcrowded cities without the means to buy food, shelter, and drink.

Canada should stop at Clearing the Plains, and not push the same outdated, genocidal agenda into this century.

The Disaffected Lib: Ask Yourself, Have You Been "Tuned Up" Yet?

This breathes new meaning into the phrase “bored to death.”

Behavioural pschology suggests we may have been conditioned to submit to neoliberalism.  We have been made susceptible to manipulation and control.

Alfie Kohn, in Punished by Rewards (1993), documents with copious research how behavior modification works best on dependent, powerless, infantilized, bored, and institutionalized people. And so for authorities who get a buzz from controlling others, this creates a terrifying incentive to construct a society that creates dependent, powerless, infantilized, bored, and institutionalized people.  Similarly, researcher Paul Thorne reports in the journal International Management (“Fitting Rewards,” 1990) that in order to get people (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: A Year Without Politics – Month 1

Just after 9am on October 1st, I sat down at my computer, left every political group I was a member of, unfollowed every political page I was a fan of (except PRS, because I write here), and hid every political post in my newsfeed posted in the previous 12 hours. I ended up hiding 16 posts, including almost every post made by one of my favourite people… and the bulk of those 12 hours were overnight.

I found myself questioning what constituted “political” an awful lot. This study that shows children who grow up on dairy farms have 1/10th the (Read more…)

Democracy Under Fire: Casualty of War?

This week has seen a multitude of individuals expressing concern that the Harper Regime will use the so called “terrorist attack” upon parliament to further increase the ability of the RCMP and CSIS to investigate Canadian citizens whilst reducing the already minimal oversight over their activities.

There is little doubt that any country must protect its citizens, infrastructure and institutions from those who would use violence and destruction for whatever reason. To do so without restraints, without recourse for the accused or without checks upon those charged with this power is however very dangerous for our democracy, finding the right (Read more…)

Larry Hubich's Blog: Project:Community – We can do more, together

The Disaffected Lib: Capitalism Off the Rails

Those at the very top of today’s neoliberal, free-market capitalist, global economy see the writing on the wall – capitalism has just about run its course.

It’s hard to get your head around the idea, isn’t it?  It sure is for me.  Imagine, the economic model around which our society has been structured is bogus.  It is the product of 18th century economics, 19th century industrialism and 20th century geo-politics.  It worked for a couple of hundred years, perhaps right up until the early 70s, but it’s now dawning on us that it doesn’t work any more.  It’s lost its (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Are Your White Male Entitlements Maiming Your Vote this Month?

I’m not going to argue that using an Intersectionality lens in the municipal election in 2 weeks will make your voting choices perfectly easy.

But I will say that your white male entitlements have likely contributed to worse choices in the past. Including not voting.

When you read this entire article you will see the lie of neutrality and non-partisanship.

Don’t perpetuate your perhaps inadvertent oppression.

As we approach the municipal election on November 15th, potential voters may feel unsure about which party or candidate represents the best interests of their community. One way to begin sifting through the different (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Democracy inches along in Tunisia

The Arab spring, one of the most encouraging events from a democratic perspective in recent years, has unfortunately mostly failed. Egypt, the most important Arab country, and the country where democrats’ hopes where highest, has lapsed back into an increasingly oppressive military dictatorship. But one country, the one where it all started, continues to follow a democratic path.

Tunisia

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: ConCalls: DDM Goes Down For #elxnfraud

The Prime Minister’s first attack dog on the RoboCon file, Dean Del Mastro, has been found guilty of election fraud in 2008. The courts haven’t really caught up fully with the Conservatives’ election frauds of 2011, but they’ve already convicted Michael Sona after accepting Andrew Prescott’s worthless, immunized testimony about Pierre Poutine. Poutine’s actions had been defended by Del Mastro at the behest of the Prime Minister, in 2012.

#Breaking: Former MP Del Mastro guilty on all counts at election overspending trial http://t.co/OAt9idTyCT pic.twitter.com/QvUBEX8YPB

— The Globe and Mail (@globeandmail) October 31, 2014

What comes next? (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Russell Brand Re-Spins Stephen Harper, Expertly

Politics, Re-Spun hereby bestows honourary Canadian and Politics, Re-Spun citizenship upon Russell Brand for his precise and effective re-spinning of Steve Harper and his soft fascist, neo-conservative manipulation of most of last week.

And we all need to think more carefully about “convenient murders.”

His new passport is in the mail.

Ottawa Killings: Who Wins? Russell Brand The Trews (E174) – YouTube.

August 11, 2014 Welcome to the 1,000th Politics, Re-Spun Editorial! (1) September 14, 2008 How Many More Wars Do You Want, Anyway? (1) September 6, 2013 Chemical Weapons in Syria? Merely a Pretext [Iran, Shhh.] (1) (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Russell Brand Re-Spins Stephen Harper, Expertly

Politics, Re-Spun: The Election-Eve Racist, Sexist Attack on Olivia Chow

If this cartoon were published, say, 2 weeks before the election, it would have been debated as a tool of racist, sexist propaganda and yet another blemish on corporate media. Her support would likely have grown after such a brutally immature attack.

But because politics is a dirty, disgusting, sociopathic game, it was published the day before the Ontario municipal election.

Read what Olivia Chow thinks of it below:

Chow told CP24 she thinks the cartoon is “disgusting.”

“Because I am Chinese-Canadian, I must be a communist and have slanted eyes and glasses … and since I am a (Read more…)

Democracy Under Fire: ………Democracy Under Fire?

“The objective of these attackswas to instil fear and panic in our country, as I said yesterday, Canadians will not be intimidated. Here we are, in our seats, in our chamber, in the very heart of our democracy.” Stephen Harper in the House of Commons Thursday October 23rd.

This phrase has been much in the headlines and repeated by many both inside and outside the halls of power and was much in evidence during the ‘crisis’ by news anchors and the like trying to fill in time whist they waited for real information to emerge. I take (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: A Divided World that Pits Fact Against Fantasy

It’s the battle line between conservatives and everyone else.  It’s incredibly divisive and it is powerfully corrosive of social cohesion.  It’s a high-stakes war to control the national narrative between those who embrace fact and those who prefer fiction.

Pew Research set out to find what’s behind what it considers the increasing political polarization of the United States; why the country is moving away from political moderation and becoming more and more divided between liberals and conservatives. Its first report on the phenomenon, which examines where people are hearing news and opinion in both regular and social media, shows (Read more…) . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: A Divided World that Pits Fact Against Fantasy

Politics, Re-Spun: Harper, the Dog of War

For Harper, 6 CF-18s in Kuwait, all war all the time, phoning up the Pentagon asking where we can become more militarily engaged…all these things lead to a war posture, including a soldier being killed at home.

A war posture is good for Harper’s base and makes Canadians more scared so that we more more disinclined to vote him out next year.

Don’t change horses in midstream, as the sick spin goes.

Expect Harper to manufacture/inflame more political strife and militarism in the months leading up to the federal election.

All of us should be profoundly uncomfortable that any politician (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: ConCalls: Make The Documentary of #ElxnFraud in #cdnpoli

Alison at Creekside has a much better summary of what’s happening behind the scenes on the RoboCon movie than I could hope to write. Warning: If you keep reading though, you may feel the urge to spend $20 or more dollars toward exposing Canada’s most effective election fraud criminals.

Ten minute promotional video on an investigative documentary in production which previews preliminary interviews. from The Script & Film Co. on Vimeo.

Democracy Under Fire: Naturalists Targeted by Canada Revenue Agency

First they came for the environmentalists and the activists. Then they came for the scientists. Then they came for those who fight poverty, and help the poor. Now they’ve come for the birdwatchers.

The Kitchener-Waterloo Field Naturalists, a registered charity, is apparently at risk of breaking tax agency rules that limit so-called political or partisan activities. Earlier this year, tax auditors sent a letter to the 300-member group, warning about political material on the group’s website. The stern missive says the group must take appropriate action as necessary “including refraining from undertaking any partisan activities,” with the ominous warning that “this letter does (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: ConCalls: Sona Sentencing Taking Too Long #RoboCon

Michael Sona has to wait until next month to find out how much time he’s spending in jail for being convicted of participating in a nefarious scheme to defraud Guelph voters of their votes.

Crown says actions "damage public faith in the democratic process" #robocalls

— Laura Stone (@l_stone) October 17, 2014

Sona, btw, has been convicted but has not admitted to involvement in Guelph robocall. He may appeal. He hasn't commented much since verdict.

— Stephen Maher (@stphnmaher) October 17, 2014

Justice 4 #Robocalls won't B found 4 me till t/#CPC is no longer a legal entity in (Read more…)