Michael Harris: The Big 10
A must read for all who fear for our democracy, Michael Harris has done all Canadians a favour by spelling out ten questions he wants answered, along with some supporting facts that are background to each question he has posed. The inaction or lack of response by those whose job it is guard our democracy from voter suppression beggars belief. I trust that the three opposition parties will raise his article in iPolitics and his 10 questions during Question Period. And that they will demand that someone from Elections Canada appear to explain what is (Read more…)
It is worth reading the article by Joseph Stiglitz on the problems posed by the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade treaty. Our government is one of those negotiating in confidence a treaty that will substantially effect the livelihood of all Canadians. Stiglitz highlights the problems posed for democracies by the one-sided secrecy rules – citizens are kept in the dark while big business is invited to take a seat at the table during the negotiations: These high stakes are why it is especially risky to let trade negotiations proceed in secret. All over the world, trade ministries are captured by corporate and (Read more…)
A man of principle
This is a mess. Justin Trudeau and his advisors had better get on to this debacle post haste, reveal all the facts and communications, and make sure the principle of open nominations is adhered to. If we start retreating from opennes and transparency before the election is here, we will not form the next government. And congratulations to Zach Paikin for taking a principled stand (my underlining): But a letter sent to Innes by Liberal national election readiness chief David MacNaughton and obtained by the CBC has suggested the move may have been driven by a (Read more…)
At the Montreal convention, the Liberal Party overwhelmingly agreed to Priority Resolution 31, Restoring Trust in Canada’s Democracy. An important part of that resolution is this: AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT immediately after the next election, an all-Party process be instituted, involving expert assistance and citizen participation, to report to Parliament within 12 months with recommendations for electoral reforms including, without limitation, a preferential ballot and/or a form of proportional representation, to represent Canadians more fairly and serve Canada better. Electoral reform has a bad record of success in Canada, with several referenda for modernizing our antiquated and undemocratic (Read more…)
In my view, the single most important policy resolution at this week’s convention in Montreal is the prioritized number 31, which should significantly reduce our democratic deficits. That resolutionreads: 31. Priority Resolution: Restoring Trust in Canada’s Democracy* BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Liberal Party pursue political reforms which promote: Open, democratic nominations of candidates; Fewer “whipped” votes in Parliament and more “free” votes requiring individual MPs to assume full responsibility for their decisions; Stronger Parliamentary control over public finances, including an annual deadline for the budget; accounting consistency among the Estimates and the Public Accounts; more clarity in voting (Read more…)
It seems that the leaders of all three poltical parties in the province of Ontario sense that voters want change. Premier Wynne, leading a minority Liberal government, was rejected by voters in the two byelections, but says change is wanted: Real Change Wynne?
After writing off the byelections as “skirmishes” that aren’t indicative of how things will go in a general election, Wynne vowed that the Liberals will do better whenever the campaign is held. “I know people are looking for change in this province,” she said. “Well I’m the change. My plan is the change. My team (Read more…)
Brian Rice – Political reformer par excellence
For many reasons, I believe that Liberals should elect Brian Rice as the next President of the Liberal Party. He is a mover and shaker, a man of ideas, an adept politician in his own right, and a very hard worker. One very good reason for choosing Brian is his intention to make the choosing of our candidates for the next general election a far more efficient and representative one. This is an extract from Brian’s blog, which was posted on Liblogs. I have bolded the two suggestions that I feel are (Read more…)
It’s election season for Calgary Co-op. For the month of February if you’re a member-owner of Calgary Co-op you can select three of their nine-member board. Most people don’t know they can help select representatives on that board. Out of some 440,000 members the Calgary Co-op cooperative only nets a little over or under 5,000 votes […]
They’re are the march … to protect our democracy
A bombshell burst in Ottawa today when the Mounties filed a request for a search warrant dealing with the Duffy expenses scandal. Reading that request is interesting. I include a few snippets that caught my eye. Overall, my impression from the sketchy information in the document (which is based on interviews by the (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Senate expenses scandal: Snippets from the Mounties
Our new flag?
If thisis true, then we live in a banana republic: Elections Canada has heard complaints of dirty tricks in the 2011 election from over 200 ridings. Many of the grievances don’t amount to much, sources say, but a substantial number are thought to be of a serious nature. A source with knowledge of the Elections Canada probe said investigators are handicapped because they are being blocked from gaining access to Conservative party records. As a result, he said there is only a small chance of charges beyond those against Sona being laid. The sooner the police (Read more…)
Thomas Mulcair in Question Period
The leader of the NDP has done Canadians, and Canadian democracy, a service through his dogged, skillful, meticulous and highly professional questions posed to the Prime Minister during Question Period. Mulcair has clearly spent a great deal of time researching the facts of the Sentate expenses scandal, reviewing previous statements by the PM and other government spokespersons, and zeroing in on the essence of the manner. Of late, he has made a point of highlighting the evasions of the Prime Minister to questions, clearly spelling out exactly when the PM has refused to answer very (Read more…)
“Twenty years ago, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed into law. At the time, advocates painted a rosy picture of booming U.S. exports creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and economic development in Mexico, which would bring the struggling country in line with its wealthier northern neighbors. Two decades later, those […]
Methinks John Ivison has hit the nail right on its head with this:
If the Auditor-General’s report does suggest a systemic problem of corruption and abuse, who would bet against the Conservatives using the Senate as a classic wedge issue, pointing out that the Liberals are in favour of preserving the country’s most expensive eventide home as is.
One approach could (Read more…)
. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: 2015: The ballot question in Canada’s next election?
Is our system of government incapable of meeting the challenges we face? A very simple question raising a point that has been addressed here at length several times. It gets into issues of what it means when we vest such enormous powers in our elected apparatus, in our leaders, who then fail or outright refuse to exercise them on our behalf or, even worse, use those powers we have vested in them against our interests. What then? The WorldWatch Institute addressed this issue in the context of what it calls ”the Long Emergency (Read more…)
I’m not sure what to make of the hoopla going on in the US right now. I’m inclined to think it’s all just political theatre, as Gerald Celente calls it, designed to distract the people from the real issues – the central one being, who controls the government and the nation? Wall Street, the big […]
There is a deeper reason for the war on drugs, which is the central reason for the policy, even outweighing profits from private prisons and seizure of property by law enforcement officers, both of which no doubt are also significant and strong motivations for keeping the “war on drugs” going. Nearly thirty years ago, Chomsky […]
The big news on an August Monday: Prime Minister Stephen Harper has confirmed he will ask the Governor General to prorogue Parliament until October, when his Conservative government will introduce the next speech from the throne.
“There will be a new throne speech in the fall, obviously the House will be prorogued in anticipation of that. We will come back — in October is our tentative timing,” Harper told reporters in Whitehorse Monday. Harper is in the Yukon on the second day of his annual summer tour of the North.
A few thoughts to add to the online maelstrom.
I (Read more…)
A breath of fresh air in Ottawa
In a move that is refreshing, because it shows an MP who is willing to listen to criticism, and to rethink matters in the light of such criticism, Justin Trudeau has announced that he will work with charities to reach some solution satisfactory to both: “Political leadership is about raising the bar on openness and transparency. Canadians faith in public office holders and politics has been seriously shaken in recent weeks by the ethics scandal rooted in a $90,000 payment by the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff to a sitting legislator, and the (Read more…)
If I were asked what I felt were the top priorities facing human beings today, in the 21st century, I would have to say there are four that top the list, in my mind. 1. Halt the global corporate coup. Defeat the corporate war on democracy, which is now escalating daily, and take democracy back. […]
A pocketful of votes
Dion gave an interesting talk at Joyce Murray’s meeting in Vancouver this morning, dealing with the different kinds of electoral reform that we could adopt. One new idea that he dropped on the table is interesting, and, I believe, novel: that our MPs votes in Parliament be counted in an entirely different way than they are now. In the past Dion has proposed his P3 variant of proportional representation, which might work well. His new idea is intriguing: let our MPs take a pocketful of votes to Parliament. It works this way. We use his (Read more…)
Hat tip to BluntObjects for the LeadNow poll of Canadians’ views about the need to fix our broken electoral system. The poll shows massive support by Liberals, Dippers and Greens for some form of proportional representation (the key plan of the Joyce Murray fix-it-now campaign for leadership of the Liberal Party): Q: Do you support proportional representation?
Even a sizeable number of Tories think the system is broken. The Liberal Party’s pallid preferential vote system is just that: a meaningless sop to serious electoral reform.
Let’s hope that our party gets its act together and starts listening – really
. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Poll: Massive support for Proportional Representation
Michael Sona: Whom should I call?
Sona, charged with being the man behind the voter suppression robocalls in Guelph in the suspect May 2011 election, has, through his lawyer, repeated that he is not the personwho set up the voter suppression calls. His lawyer has called for a public enquiry into the mess (fat chance on that when our government is headed by a man who seems more intent on avoiding public debate of public matters). But his lawyer also said Sona now had the chance to state his say in court. Guess who I expect Sona to subpoena . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Robocon: Guess who Sona will call as witnesses?
Democracy is coming
At our last convention our party decided to throw the doors open to Canadians by inviting them to join as non-member Supporters and to vote for our next leader. The response has been stunning. Our next leader will be elected by many multiples more people than those paltry few who elected our last two leaders, Dion and Martin, as this article in the National Post points out:
Almost 300,000 members and supporters have signed up to choose the next leader of the federal Liberal party, which could be the highest number the party has ever seen.
. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Massive Win for Democracy in the Liberal Party of Canada
Justin Trudeau’s Big Enchilada?
This extract from The Vancouver Courier just about sums up the fate of electoral reform’s future right now:
Political cooperation isn’t a new concept, but University of B.C. political science professor Philip Resnick says it’s worth noting that in both the NDP and Liberal leadership campaigns, it has been the B.C. candidate who has advanced the concept of political cooperation.
“Nathan Cullen in the NDP contest, Joyce Murray in the Liberal one. Add Elizabeth May to the mix and you have three,” he told me by email.
“The idea would appeal to
. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Is Justin Trudeau trying to win the big enchilada on his own?
Trudeau vs Reformer Murray
Justin Trudeau told a crowd in Hamilton that a Liberal Party led by him would take steps to reengage Canadians in our political life: The Liberal Party’s first step in a Federal election should be reengaging people who have given up on politics, says leadership contender Justin Trudeau.
“We need to reengage citizens across this country with the idea of being citizens,” Trudeau said at an appearance at the West Town Bar and Grill in Hamilton Saturday afternoon. “Being a citizen is more than just paying your taxes and voting and obeying the law. It’s about understanding that you are responsible for the society of which you are part,” he said. While addressing a crowd of onlookers at the Locke Street restaurant, Trudeau lamented that Canadians are becoming cynical about politics. “But we’re sick and tired of being cynical about politics,” he added. (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Political disengagement in Canada: Why is Justin Trudeau ignoring the obvious?