The current Canadian government is unlike any that has ever come before it and, let’s hope for the sake of Canada, any that is to come after. The Conservative government of Stephen Harper’s has operated in a way that puts power and holding on to power above all else. With no respect for parliamentary traditions or using parliamentary mechanisms for their intended purpose. Instead they use any means necessary to hold on to power (see the proroguing before parliament even started in 2008).
Stephen Harper’s is a government constantly at war. At war with anyone who opposes it. This is (Read more…)
Over at the blog of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, Ottawa U professor Mario Seccareccia has given an interview titled “Greece Shows the Limits of Austerity in the Eurozone. What Now?”
The interview can be read here.
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From Le Monde, a timely explanation of how disastrous neoliberalism continues to thrive despite an endless string of economic disasters and what it holds in store for you even as you continue to vote for those who practice it. Hint. Neoliberalism is class warfare and it’s being waged in our own Parliament against us.
Even neoliberal proponents recognize that it is a crisis-ridden system. In his popular book Why Globalisation Works, Financial Times columnist Martin Wolf writes: “Between 1945 and 1971, in what might be called the “age of financial repression”, there had been only thirty-eight (Read more…)
. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: What Neoliberalism Has in Store For You
Greece is revered as the nation that gave mankind democracy. Could it now become the nation that restored democracy to mankind?
Around the world, democracy has taken a pounding from the fist of neoliberalism. Market fundamentalism and democracy are simply incompatible over time. Neoliberalism promotes illiberal democracy, ultimately leading to political capture and the rise of plutocracy as the populace is steadily reduced economically and politically, their power quietly transferred to a select minority.
The Guardian’s George Monbiot writes that we’re witnessing “the sudden death of the neoliberal consensus.” This he sees in the triumph of the Syriza (Read more…)
June 2004 – Jan 2006
This is the second of a series of monthly articles examining the actions of Stephen Harper and his Party colleagues both before and after his rise to power with particular emphasis upon words and actions that effect our democracy. This period is most notable for Harpers support for the concept of cooperation / coalition between opposition parties a concept which he was later to call undemocratic, the ‘in and out scheme’ re election funding and the Cadman affair of attempted bribery. It was but a small glimpse of things to come.
The Liberals were re-elected (Read more…)
A guest artile by Jared Milne I’m currently reading Brent Rathgeber’s excellent book “Irresponsible Government: the Decline of Parliamentary Democracy in Canada”, which describes the methods that Canadian prime ministers have used to consolidate power in the Prime Minister’s Office, and force their Members of Parliament to follow all of their directions. MPs are now expected to only obey the prime minister, instead of keeping him and his Cabinet accountable the way Canada’s system of responsible government has traditionally required.
Many Canadians have been increasingly turned off by this system of top-down control. Samara, an organization dedicated to strengthening Canadian (Read more…)
Hapless Dean Del Mastro, the former Prime Ministerial Parliamentary Secretary is supposed to soon find out how long he’ll spend in jail away from his wife and baby child.
What's the difference between $21K and $20K? No kids, not $1000, it is a mistrial! #DelMastro #DDM pic.twitter.com/YPtKkOSmCd
— Far Side Peter (@FarSidePtbo) January 27, 2015
A guest post by Pamela Mac Neil In order for a government to be all powerful, it must dominate all of the major democratic institutions in a society and it must be very adept, when seeking to change the democratic nature of these institutions, at hiding its inner workings while making that change. The Harper government is a fundamentally anti-democratic entity that caters to the agenda of the corporate elite. The decisions that shape all aspects of Canada’s democratic institutions are made largely in private behind closed doors. Underlying the rise of Harpers authoritarian state is a hidden politics. Harper (Read more…)
We all know that when backed into a corner Harper will do almost anything to avoid any negative information about his regime from emerging from his$65 million plus a year PMO spin machine and that this is particularly true of bad economic news. We know in the past he prorogued parliament in order to avoid what could have been a negative vote on his 2008 fiscal update, whilst not quite as controversial the question must be asked is the delaying of the 2015 budget till April or beyond more of the same?
Given the difficulty that Parliamentarians and the (Read more…)
This is the first of a series of monthly articles examining the actions of Stephen Harper and his Party colleagues both before and after his rise to power with particular emphasis upon words and actions that effect our democracy. The 2015 Federal Election will undoubtedly be critical to to whether or not our Parliamentary Democracy survives or degrades further into the abyss of an elected dictatorship. It is I believe important that we remember the actions of this Regime over the last 15 years or so that have moved us so close to this situation. It is these things that (Read more…)
Here’s Harper’s legacy, as he’s attempted to plunge our country into darkness:
The group surveyed attitudes towards democracy and governance in interviews with 50,000 people in 28 countries. It found that Canada was among those nations most likely to support shuttering its legislatures. In fact, the study found that only the citizens of Paraguay, Peru, and Haiti were more likely to put their democracies in mothballs than Canadians.
… Could these strange numbers explain why Canadians yawned when Stephen Harper was found in contempt of parliament, and immediately handed him a majority government?
“His long term goal is to (Read more…)
At first glance this would seem to have little to do with our central theme here at Democracy Under Fire but when we look at the actions of the Harper Regime in creating legislation to cover protection of The Rouge Valley Park should it be transferred from the Province to Parks Canada then the link becomes clear.
The Rouge Park, a 40-square-kilometre swath of forested valleys and farmland at the eastern ends of Scarborough and Markham. The proposal is for the province to transfer ownership of it to the federal government so it can add another 10 square kilometres, linking (Read more…)
Traditionally this is the time of the year that we look back over the past 12 months and remember the highlights, both good and bad, in an effort to ‘do better’ in the coming year. I would suggest that perhaps we had better keep our eyes firmly in the future lest we walk off the cliff from the highlands of a vibrant democracy and fall into the swamp of authoritarianism and tyranny, we have been traipsing through the scrub-lands of oligarchy for some time now.
However when we have strayed from the path it is often instructive to retrace our (Read more…)
Dear Sir I am in receipt of you self congratulatory email boasting of how you have just signed the Fair Vote Canada’s Politicians’ Pledge,I congratulate you on doing so and would hope that many other MPs from all parties join you in doing so but have a number of concerns with the other issues raised in you communications. Firstly your “commitment to make 2015 the last unfair election — and 2019 the first election to use a truly democratic electoral system” is clearly unobtainable…… unless you intend to either impose a new system upon Canadians without public consultation and (Read more…)
Much has been made of the WRP’s collapse in Alberta this past week. Everything from speculation about the role of various people, to Ms. Smith more or less admitting that she was being undermined by the Social Conservative rump of the party.
Back when the WRP was just getting itself going, and Ms. Smith was a mere candidate for the leadership, I had thought that the WRP was going to follow the same trajectory that Preston Manning’s Reform party had back in the 80s. Start off with some reasonable, if unrealistic dreams about a more open, democratic government; (Read more…)
A guest post by Pamela Mac Neil “Music is always a commentary on society” Frank Zappa
Whenever I hear that Harpers base is made up of primarily seniors I am a bit perplexed. Not that I don’t think it’s true, because it is. Boomers of which I am one are now seniors, so when I think of older people or seniors, I think of the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Randy Bachman , Leonard Cohen, Dylan or Van Morrison to name a few. It is musical artists that come to my mind not just because I love their music, but because (Read more…)
As Susan Delacourt of the Star said this week if you are sick of political advertising now wait until next year and she goes on to highlight a recent blog post by former Conservative MP Brent Rathgeber wherein he says “It is shameful how a supposedly conservative government wastes tax dollars on blatant, self- serving, political advertising.” In his scathing article Mr Rathgeber goes on to point out that the Harper Regime continues to boast of programs that have not passed through the legislative process are are not in fact in place and does so with half truths and (Read more…)
I see a Con MP is proposing to increase the $5 fee for an Access to Information Request which given what Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault saysmay at first seem like a reasonable idea.
“We need more investigators, and it is not my office that is in a crisis, it is the fact that Canadians’ right to access government information is in jeopardy, that is the real issue,” Legault said. ”Because my office is underfunded to such an extent that we can’t investigate their complaint in a timely manner, their rights are being thwarted.”
However as a number of observers have said not only (Read more…)
John Pilger looks at what the Western media offer up as journalism and sees instead propaganda. He sees the essence of the mainstream media as not information but power.
The world is facing the prospect of major war, perhaps nuclear war – with the United States clearly determined to isolate and provoke Russia and eventually China. This truth is being turned upside down and inside out by journalists, including those who promoted the lies that led to the bloodbath in Iraq in 2003. The times we live in are so dangerous and so distorted in public perception that propaganda is (Read more…)
Check out @LindaMcQuaig latest column: Why the robocalls conspiracy will happen again — quietly | iPolitics http://t.co/rPdhmu380t #cdnpoli
— Yamina Tsalamlal (@YaminaTsa) December 4, 2014
Avoiding any responsibility was no small feat for the Conservative party, given how strongly the evidence pointed to some sort of organized scheme, presumably involving the authorization — or at least the tacit co-operation — of high-level officials within the party.
Indeed, in a 100-page ruling, Federal Court Judge Richard Mosley found that there was an organized campaign of voter suppression, and that the information used to make misleading phone calls to non-Conservative voters (Read more…)
Stephen Lewis , the former Ontario NDP leader, United Nations ambassador and lifelong human rights advocate recently took aim at the “pre-paleolithic Neanderthals” in office and their role in the decline of Parliament, the suppression of dissent, the plight of First Nations, their blinkered climate-change policy and our plummeting world status. That his words have been picked up by numerous newspapers and bloggers this week makes it no less important that his assessment of the Harper Regime be repeated here, they are words that need repeating time and time again.
Lewis told the Symons Lecture on the future of confederation: (Read more…)
This is an international day of action, so check the event page to see what’s up in your town, for TOMORROW!
And if there’s nothing at your home, be the change!
Let’s consolidate our recent victories and continue moving public opinion to transitioning to the post-carbon energy infrastructure: wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, rail, transit, energy retrofits, solar roadways, ET3 hyperloop system.
via International Day of Action for Burnaby Mountain and ALL Land Defenders.
August 11, 2014 Welcome to the 1,000th Politics, Re-Spun Editorial! (1) June 16, 2014 Hey, BC: Want More Jobs? Dump the LNG and Pipelines! (1) July (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: International Day of Action for Burnaby Mountain and ALL Land Defenders
“Strategic” voting is a bad idea. Organized “strategic” voting improves nothing. Worse, “strategic” voting creates an illusion of trust where there are no possible checks and balances. It’s a scheme just asking to be gamed. Participants in “strategic” voting schemes will get taken advantage of and lose their voices. The aberration of “strategic” voting results from a poorly structured democratic system. We still have a flawed, first-past-the-post system in Canada but that flaw does not justify “strategic” voting’s ina … Continue Reading →
“If the Commissioner of Canada Elections is prepared to ignore the findings of two judges, I think that will speak very poorly of the powers of investigations we have in this country to explore electoral fraud.”
Côté has not yet responded to May’s complaint.
It’s absolutely unacceptable that Elections Canada failed to contact the leader of a national political party after they made a formal complaint in 2011 alleging election fraud took place on a wide scale.
Green party's Elizabeth May wants new investigation of 2011 election robocalls. http://t.co/y6rbWJBMJs
— Glen McGregor (@glen_mcgregor) November 27, 2014
Meanwhile (Read more…)