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PostArctica: Citizen’s Party Growing In Spain – Podemos (We Can)

“It’s citizens doing politics. If the citizens don’t get involved in politics, others will. And that opens the door to them robbing you of democracy, your rights and your wallet.”

Pablo Iglesias, Podemos

Podemos hopes to cement rise of citizen politics in Spain after election success

 

Melissa Fong: Ricochet: An invitation to our party and to meet me and the team

As some of you may already know I am on the editorial collective at Ricochet, a new independent media project for progressive voices. For those who know me personally or […]

Democracy Under Fire: Ontario Election = Identification & Vouching

With all the publicity around the Federal ‘Fair’ Elections Act and the issue of vouching it is important to know that for the Ontario Provincial Election VOUCHING IS NOT PERMITTED. You must have proper identification in order to vote, if you are not on the voters list, do not receive a registration card indicating the poll location or do not have identification with your name and municipal address on it you may have a problem.

If you DO have the registration card you just need the card that was mailed to you with your name and address on it and (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Voting—the opiate of the people?

A letter to the Deseret News, a Salt Lake City, Utah, daily paper, suggested rather unkindly that the rite of voting in the U.S. is nothing more than “the opiate of the masses.” I was rather surprised to find a quote from Marx in a newspaper owned by the Mormon Church.

The author of the letter was commenting on a recent in-depth study by two political scientists from Princeton and

Bill Longstaff: Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and déjà vu

That Egyptian general Abdel Fattah el-Sisi intends to return the country to military rule becomes increasingly clear. Leader of the July 2013 coup against then President Mohamed Morsi, Sisi is running in the May 26-27 presidential election which he is expected to win in a landslide. He is highly popular and is systematically eliminating the military’s major opposition, the Muslim Brotherhood.

Democracy Under Fire: Election Act, Election Ont, Election Incentives

So the flawed “fair” Elections Act has now passed final reading with a few amendments that public pressure made the Cons include but without the dozens of amendments proposed by the opposition and without even considering the 75 amendments that the Greens were not permitted to table.

The Speaker upheld the decision of the House committee tasked with studying Bill C-23 to deny the Green Leader the right to present her amendments.  “I am profoundly disappointed by today’s ruling,” said the MP for Saanich–Gulf Islands. “This decision undermines the ability of MPs from smaller parties and independent MPs to move amendments, (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Hundreds of protesters arrested in Brussels as business leaders debate ‘maintaining citizen’s trust’ | EurActiv

Hundreds of protesters arrested in Brussels as business leaders debate ‘maintaining citizen’s trust’ | EurActiv.

Filed under: Capitalism, Democracy, Europe Tagged: Eurozone, TTIP

Parchment in the Fire: EU officials plotted IMF attack to bring rebellious Italy to its knees – Telegraph Blogs

EU officials plotted IMF attack to bring rebellious Italy to its knees – Telegraph Blogs.

The revelations about EMU skulduggery are coming thick and fast. Tim Geithner recounts in his book Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises just how far the EU elites are willing to go to save the euro, even if it means toppling elected leaders and eviscerating Europe’s sovereign parliaments.

Filed under: Austerity, Crisis, Democracy, Europe Tagged: Democracy, Eurozone Crisis, Italy, neoliberalism

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: ConCalls: Insufficient Investigation for #RoboCon

A lawyer central to the Federal Court challenge of election fraud in 2011, has made a list of deficiencies in the Elections Canada Commish’s report.

#cdnpoli #MUSTread Dancing with Mr. Côté over the Fair Elections Act & PDF assessment of #robocalls case. rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers… #muckreads— Judyth Mermelstein (@GadflyQuebec) May 10, 2014

What led the Commish Cote to ignore obvious evidence and conclusions. Hopefully it’s not a factor of being appointed by Stephen Harper, but any reason still leaves Canadians with an unsolved crime. The Commish failed to carry out his duty to protect Canadian elections from crime.

The Commissioner (Read more…)

Democracy Under Fire: Garbage in, Garbage out?

Having publicly available information on the well-being of our local communities and national numbers on employment, business viability, population etc etc is essential not only to keep the government ‘honest’ but to make local and governmental decisions affecting these things. At first glance then it would seem that the ongoing project to make such government data more readily available is a good thing, is it as Tony Clement would have us believe “proof of the governments openness and transparency”. Or, is it proof of the Harper Regimes inability to do anything right and a further coverup of the real data. (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Occupy, For Democracy

Journalists protest the erosion of freedom of expression in Canada on Feb. 27 in Toronto. Photo Credit: Hiba Zayadin

When I write about soft fascism, I sometimes feel too Canadian. I don’t want to be impolite and talk about hard or old school or 20th century fascism because frankly, when people read that word, they think, “hey, is he talking about Hitler kinda stuff? Ok, then, so it’s not fascism.”

It is though. You don’t have to start a genocide for someone to consider your actions fascist.

It’s a kind, gentler, Canadian-style fascism with a hit of Tom Horton’s (Read more…)

Democracy Under Fire: This and That – Distractions and Obfuscations

The ongoing Elections act cluster fk has successfully distracted from the latest omnibus budget from the Harper Regime, hardy a word has been seen about the 350 page “Harper Government Creating Jobs & Growth While Returning to Balanced Budgets With Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1.”. Yep, we are back to that H*&^%$# Government thing again to describe our Canada Government as run by the Harper Oligarchy and hardly a word about all the hidden things about food safety, rail safety, the appointment of judges and altering military ranks, and other stuff which has nothing to do with (Read more…)

Democracy Under Fire: Ignorance is Bliss?

Its old news that the Harper Regime eliminated the long form Census thus also eliminating reliable information on the economic and social status of various areas and communities across the country. Nor should it be news that like many other departments (with the notable exception of the PMO) their budget has beencut. Statscan’s budget has fallen by $29.3-million in the past two years, and its staffing has fallen by 767 people, or 18.5 per cent, in the same period, excluding the census and surveys paid for by outside clients. Its been hard enough in the past (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Don’t give up on the Senate, Mr. Harper

It wouldn’t be surprising if Prime Minister Harper was in a bit of a funk over the Supreme Court’s decision on the Senate this week. The Court unanimously rejected his government’s attempt to transform the Senate into an elected body and to set term limits, saying that such basic changes require the consent of at least seven provinces and half of Canadians. For Mr. Harper, this was fifth straight

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: ConCalls: Canadian Election Attacked From America #RoboCon

If Canada’s “SIGINT” (Signals Intelligence) agency doesn’t have records to share with Elections Canada of malicious #robocalls made outside of Canada aimed at disrupting our federal election, then what good is CSEC doing for our democracy? Tracking Brazilian terrorists?

Production orders were obtained for records from Rogers, Shaw and Videotron. Together, they provided records of 6,051 incoming calls received by the 129 complainants named in the production orders. Investigators determined that these calls originated from 1,597 different numbers. Each number was matched to a subscriber where possible. Some service providers gave subscriber information, but others refused to confirm subscribers without (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Let’s Play Cowboys and Indians

Why not?

It seems to be working in Washington, DC.

And you know what? They’ve got our backs.

When ranchers are farmers and tribal communities realize that the tarsands and their toxic pipelines threaten us all, it’s pretty easy to figure out how working together gets things done.

They’re even occupying the Mall in DC. With teepees. See? Look:

#Sacred Indigenous Activists return to the #RejectAndProtect encampment on #NationalMall @WaveOfAction #WaveofAction pic.twitter.com/FISKVCQjNG

— NYCCamp (@NYCCamp) April 24, 2014

You can watch a simple summary of the Reject and Protect campaign to encourage the White House to stop delaying (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: ConCalls: Commish Waves White Flag in #RoboCon #elxnfraud Investigation

Despite audio evidence of widespread illegal robocals, the Commishioner of Elections Canada has announced “no offenses committed”!

@DonMartinCTV @nspector4 "We didn't find anything because we weren't allowed to find anything"…. oh well. #cdnpoli— Out of Order (@muddywolfking) April 24, 2014

Canadians have had a heaping helping of obvious crime going unpunished, where Conservatives are the apparent benefactors.

I sadly predicted this ludicrous situation with a satirical piece I wrote last year that many people mistook for reality.

@glen_mcgregor With the NSA saving every phone call, how is that even possible!? #RoboCon— Saskboy K. (@saskboy) April (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Help Conservative Senators Stop Harper’s Banana Republic

Emperor Stephen Harper and his double double.

Interesting times indeed.

8 Conservative senators have decided that Emperor Stephen Harper has no clothes. The Emperor has whipped and intimidated his backbench, cabinet and senators for a long time. Senator Hugh Segal stood up to him on bad legislation. Though he left the senate.

Jim Flaherty stood up to him on how bad a public policy that family income splitting would be. I think he quit politics to avoid the idiocy of Harper firing him from his finance ministry to replace him with the lacklustre lapdog Joe Oliver.

Now we have 8 (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Open Letter: 400+ Academics Demand Withdrawal of Harper’s Orwellian Fair Elections Act

“Free and fair elections lie at the heart of our democracy. The government should not underestimate the commitment of Canadians to defend this fundamental principle.”

by: Various | April 23, 2014

Last month, more than 160 professors signed an open letter to express grave concerns about the damage to Canadian democracy that the “Fair Elections Act,” Bill C-23, would cause. Today, we the undersigned, an even larger group of professors who share a deep concern over this legislation, urge the government to withdraw the bill and draft truly fair election reforms based on meaningful consultations with opposition parties, non-partisan (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: An Open Letter From Academics on Bill C-23

Published in The Globe and Mail.

Highlights:  (much of which have been discussed in more depth on this blog)

Investigating electoral fraud. Bill C-23 fails to provide the Commissioner of Elections power to compel witness testimony in investigating systematic electoral fraud such as the 2011 “robocalls” scandal. Witnesses with knowledge of fraudulent activity can – and regularly do – refuse to provide information to investigators. The bill’s proposed voter contact registry will not greatly enhance the capacity to prosecute fraud, and its increased penalties for fraud do nothing if investigators cannot prove crimes. 

Polling supervision. Under Bill C-23, (Read more…)

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Strategically Unwise and other political own-goals #nlpoli

Depending on which interview you listened to on Tuesday,  Tom Marshall would be hanging around as Premier until the end of the summer.

At least.

That’s the VOCM story.

Marshall will run the place for two full months after the Conservative convention in early July while Coleman runs around the province attending all sorts of summer festivals.

Meanwhile, on CBC,  Peter Cowan said in his report on Tuesday evening that Marshall expects to hand over the Premier’s job shortly after the Conservative party meeting in early July.

Which is it?

That’s a good question, but there’s no clear answer.

(Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: If You Love Canada … Read This

I don’t usually use this space to promote posts at other blogs, but at iPolitics Michael Harris has an excellent column that summarizes what Harper is doing to Canada.

http://www.ipolitics.ca/2014/04/20/harper-sees-role-as-protector-of-the-richest-few/

Read.  Take it to heart, pass it along.

Larry Hubich's Blog: Tax the Rich: An Animated Fairy Tale

Democracy Under Fire: Meaningful Changes or Lipstick on the Pig?

In the unholy rush to jam their Unfair Elections Act through before the majority of Canadians realise just how bad and self-serving piece of legislation it is the Harper regieme has asked the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee to “pre-study” it. In short order the Conservative-dominated committee has come back with a number of changes that it would like to see, remember this is just a “pre-study” not full hearings and that the House of Commons has yet to finish its initial study of this bill. The House Affairs Committee studying the bill will conduct one more day of (Read more…)

PostArctica: Women Are Heroes

Courtesy of JR, this classic film shows the artist’s Women Are Heroes project in the Morro da Providencia flavela in Rio de Janiero, Brazil in 2008. JR’s intention in Women Are Heroes is to highlight the dignity of women who occupy crucial roles in societies, and find themselves victims of wartime, street crime, sexual assault, and religious and political extremism in Africa, Brazil, India and Cambodia. The film was included in MOCA’s Art in the Streets exhibition.