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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…)

Democracy Under Fire: “Strong, Proud, Free”

The above is apparently the ‘branding’ that the Conservatives are now going to be inundating us with for the foreseeable future, it remains to be seen if we finally see the end of the “Economic Action Plan” Ads that have plagued us for years in attempting to persuade us that they actually had one. We know that these Ads are designed to promote the Conservative Regime and actually provide very minimal real information about government services but now with an election in the offing and Harper being spun as the great protector of Canadians and with our getting increasingly involved (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Opposed to Coalition?

Yesterday’s news:

.@davidcommon Odd report by @ElliottLouise about @JustinTrudeau & @ThomasMulcair #coalition didn't mention @ElizabethMay & @CanadianGreens.

— Saskboy K. (@saskboy) April 15, 2015

Today’s news: Most Canadians are opposed to a coalition government. Presently the only party with the word “coalition” in its founding documents is the Conservative Party of Canada, and yes it’s true as Trudeau said today, that most Canadians are opposed to the Conservative government.

The problem is, if you have a real conversation with Canadians, you’ll learn they aren’t really opposed to a coalition government, they are just afraid of political instability they’ve associated with (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: How the Fearsome Become the Fearful

A Weapon of Weakness?

How did we become indentured to a culture of fear?  Fear-mongering has become a modus operandi in today’s morally corrupt, visionless politics.  It is the stock in trade of authoritarians like our own Stephen Harper and it’s effective.

The thing is democracy cannot thrive in the presence of a culture of fear.  It may not even be sustainable in that toxic milieu.

The culture of fear quickly comes to dominate aspects of how we are governed, how the nation state operates.  It even extends into national security structures and how we wage wars.  Until recently war (Read more…)

Democracy Under Fire: Balanced-Budget Law, fiscal or political?

With Canadians still waiting to see whats in the much delayed budget Finance Minister Joe Oliver has just announced plans for a balanced-budget law (as promised by the Conservatives in the 2013 throne speech). Call me a cynic but after having inherited a 13.8 Billion surplus from the Liberals and having then spent it all BEFORE the recession hit and then produced 7 consecutive budget deficits is this more about handcuffing any incoming government from fixing their mess than concern about the national debt?

“The only acceptable deficit would be one that responds to a recession or to an (Read more…)

Democracy Under Fire: Sorry, Your Partisan Slip is Showing

We know that the House public safety committee has been ‘studying’ the government’s anti-terror bill and that despite the long list of influential and knowledgeable people wishing to speak to the dangers of this bill to our freedoms and privacy the list of those permitted to participate was severely restricted. We also know that throughout the process the Conservative members routinely defended the bill as written and showed no interest in amendments proposed by various presenters. They even deliberately blocked the Leader of the Green Party, who later was permitted to present but not speak to, multiple amendments from presenting (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Haters Gonna Hate

And Liars Gonna Lie.

So, one might expect @jkenney to retract that statement today but, I'm guessing, blame the mistake on bad information from DND and/or CDS.

— Glen McGregor (@glen_mcgregor) April 1, 2015

Here's @jkenney's statement in #HOC about precision-guided munitions, that has since be contradicted by the CDS. http://t.co/X46iazLvap

— Glen McGregor (@glen_mcgregor) April 1, 2015

The Disaffected Lib: Why Syrzia Matters. It’s About a Good Deal More than Austerity. It’s About Salvaging Democracy.

Le Monde reminds all of us why Syrzia matters not just in Greece, but across Europe and even on our side of the North Atlantic.

The Greeks don’t need to have the meaning of the word “democracy” explained to them. Even so, they have been given countless lectures since voting in a leftwing government determined to end the austerity policies that have made their lives a misery for six years. The schoolmasterly reprimands have come from people who know what they are talking about: they are people who imposed treaties their electorates had voted against and reneged on campaign promises (Read more…)

Democracy Under Fire: Samara’s Democracy 360 Report

Samara, the Canadian Democracy Measurement folks have just released their latest report on the state of our democracy and its not good! This is no surprise to those of us who have been taking notice but with generally 40% or less giving any time to even discuss political issues with anybody (online or in person) it would seem that the majority don’t even care.

The following are a few extracts from their report “Samara’s Democracy 360, a report card on the state of Canada’s democracy” (260K PDF)

“Only 31% of Canadians believe politics affects them every day.Only 37% give (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Fisk On Harper

It’s articles like this one that make you wonder if the Canadian media is telling you everything you need to know. (Seriously though, that’s plainly obvious.)

If Stephen Harper is serious about criminalising ‘barbaric cultural practices’, then he should arrest himself for even suggesting it

And while he’s at it, he can lock up all the other Western leaders who have savaged the Muslim world too.

Harper […] is about to push a truly eccentric piece of legislation through parliament in Ottawa. It’s called – and I urge readers to repeat the words lest they think it’s already April (Read more…)

Democracy Under Fire: A Study in Tyranny (Part 1)

“Message Control and Vetting” A guest post by Pamela Mac NeilCanadians for the first time in our history must confront the menacing truth, that our Prime Minister is a dictator and the Conservative Government for the most part are enabling him in turning Canada into a dictatorship, incremental or otherwise.There are some who are aware of Harpers authoritarian agenda and some who have even written and written well about it. What many Canadians tend to do though when talking about his desire for power and the extreme control that he executes over his government, the media and policy (Read more…)

Democracy Under Fire: Harper History, Part 4 – Con Minority, Prorogued x2

Oct 2008 – Dec 2009,

With conservatives reelected with an increased minority we begin to see their true colours with increased self promotion on taxpayers money using 10%ers, the start of those iniquitous Economic Action Plan TV ads and clear disdain for parliamentary procedure. It becomes increasing difficult to obtain information from them be it by the press whose questions are carefully screened or by parliamentarians be it in the House or in committee. Any semblance of listening to alternative ideas and considering amendments to legislation is rapidly falling by the wayside.

The Conservatives were reelected Oct 14 2008 with (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: The Three Eras of Canada’s Democracy or How We Got to Where We Are Today.

I first voted in the 60s and I’ve watched Canadian democracy evolve, not always in a good way, ever since.

I’ve witnessed three political eras in my lifetime.

There was an era of rights and freedoms, the years of Diefenbaker, Pearson and Trudeau.  Some might not realize it but Diefenbaker was a true champion of human rights.  Pearson brought Canada to the world stage as honest broker and peacekeeper.  Trudeau, of course, patriated the constitution and left us with perhaps the most important legislative enactment in our country’s history, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  That was the zenith of (Read more…)

Pop The Stack: Should America Make Voting Mandatory?

So US President Obama recently suggested that making voting mandatory. There are multiple reasons for this, one being that the people who don’t vote are more likely to be low income and democrat so it would favour his party. But he also suggested it would reduce the influence of money in politics since the candidates that can spend more to make sure their base get out would lose the advantage.

I don’t disagree but I think there are many better ways to get people voting, like ensuring every vote counts equally and that every significant voice is heard even if (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Podcast: Inequality, global and Canadian

https://politicalehconomy.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/podcast150320-inequality.mp3

 

I have two guests to talking about inequality today. First up is Branko Milanovic, who speaks with me about global inequality as well as the rise of a global plutocracy. One of the world’s foremost experts on inequality, Branko is professor at the CUNY Graduate Centre, where he also heads the local affiliate of the Luxembourg Income Study Centre, former chief economist at the World Bank’s research unit and author of the The Haves and the Have-nots: A Brief and Idiosyncratic History of Global Inequality. He blogs regularly; it’s always interesting.

I’m also happy (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Don’t Be A Scared Tool

Here’s a song for radicalized Canadians to sing.

I’m white and scared (clap clap) They want my guns (clap clap) And veils are wrong (clap clap) Except on nuns! (clap clap)

“I’m white and scared (clap clap) you know it’s true (clap clap) I’m scared of terror (clap clap) Because I’m a tool (clap clap).”

— Hat tip to Jay Bird

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Does RCMP anti-environmentalist rhetoric make us safer?

Monday, March 16, 2015

An RCMP memo blasting Canadian environmentalists, including West Coast, as part of a harmful “anti-Canadian petroleum movement,” does not make Canadians safer. The blatant bias of the memo undermines “the principle of legitimacy” – the idea that fair, credible law enforcement agencies can increase compliance with the law.  

 

read more

Bill Longstaff: News flash—Western nation stands up to Saudis

Western nations may proclaim their virtue but when it comes to Saudi Arabia, they behave like whores. They posture their belief in democracy and human rights but genuflect before a kingdom that manifests contempt for both.

The allure of the desert sheiks is twofold: they sell lots of oil and they buy lots of guns. They have the largest reserves of conventional oil in the world and they are the

Democracy Under Fire: The Cons V The Courts!

Andrew Coyne wonders if the Harper Regiem is deliberately challenging the Courts with their various ‘unconstitutional’ pieces of legislation in order to get them to overstep their bounds and make a federal “not withstanding” exception to our charter more acceptable.

Not only is the government making no apparent effort to “Charter-proof” legislation, that is by seeking the advice of Justice department lawyers on its constitutionality in advance of its introduction, as it is required by law to do, it seems if anything to be taking advice on how to offend it. It is impossible to read the several dubious provisions (Read more…)

Larry Hubich's Blog: Connie – Anti-Terror Legislation – 22 Minutes

Democracy Under Fire: The Debate about the Debate has started!

With the Conservatives quietly considering a proposal to hold up to five regional televised debates in the upcoming federal election to contrast Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s experience with rookie Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau the debate about the debates has started. Hoping to exploit Trudeau’s shoot-from-the-lip style, some Conservative insiders believe Harper could benefit from additional debates.

In my opinion that very much depends upon how much said leaders (particularly Harper) are held to account for untruths and inaccurate assertions & allegations. One way to see that such things do not go unchallenged is to ensure that the “Hardest Working MP” (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: The Real Threat Facing Israel

No one expected Benjamin Netanyahu to win the gushing approval of the editorial board of Israel’s liberal newspaper Haaretz but they were decidedly unimpressed by their prime minister’s speech to part of the US Congress yesterday.  Their view is that Netanyahu deliberately avoided any mention of the real existential threat to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state – the ever expanding occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Israel’s insistence on ruling over millions of Palestinians in the West Bank who lack civil rights, expanding the settlements and keeping residents of the Gaza Strip under siege is the danger that threatens (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Doubling Contributions To The Tax Free Savings Account: Even Nastier Than Income Splitting

The Harper government gives five reasons why Canadians ought to be happy with its proposal to double the maximum contribution to the Tax-Free Savings Account. Examine each of its points more closely, however, and it’s clear that the TFSA carries far higher risks than rewards — for individual Canadians as well as for the economy as a whole.

Let’s unpack the government’s arguments one by one:

1. The TFSA helps people save

The evidence certainly doesn’t support this statement. TFSAs first saw the light of day in January 2009 at a time when the savings rate had already been climbing (Read more…)

Democracy Under Fire: Legal Experts urge killing Police State Bill

Last week more than 100 Legal Experts wrote a letter Urging Parliament to Amend or Kill Anti-Terrorism Bill C-51 The legal experts from across Canada are urging all parliamentarians to “ensure that C-51 not be enacted in anything resembling its present form.” They argue, in an open letter published on the National Post, that the federal government’s anti-terrorism bill is a “dangerous piece of legislation” that has not been given due debate. The text of the preamble of the open letter is reproduced below:

Dear Members of Parliament, Please accept this collective open letter as an expression of the signatories’ (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: More Debates, Not Fewer Debaters

The unethical fools at the Broadcast Consortium will probably gladly keep Elizabeth May away from the debates this year too. Especially amusing is the Conservative spokes-tool saying more participants would make it a gong show. Mulcair wanting a debate focused on women, while angling to keep the only female leader out of the room, is special too.

What’s wrong with the Star and Robert Benzie to write an article about debate controversy and not even mention the Consortium considering blocking the Green Party again because they got away with it last election?

Why would it be up to the Conservatives (Read more…)