You know it. I know it. Even if you haven’t really thought about it, you’ve probably sensed it. As our world sails into an ever worsening storm, there’s nobody at the helm. Just when we need them most we find ourselves without real leaders.
Foreign Policy’s Aaron David Miller contends that the leadership void reaches right into the White House. He asks whether America has reached “Peak President”? In a somewhat nihilistic approach, Miller argues that America is a nation that has moved beyond great leadership.
History, to be sure, is driven by the interaction between human agency and circumstance. (Read more…)
Perhaps the ultimate legacy of the Bush/Cheney regime was the militarization of America’s foreign policy by which the use or threat of military force came to displace diplomacy as the principle instrument of foreign policy. That Canada should succumb to this same contagion is as lamentable as it is inevitable in the era of neoliberalism.
Canada’s militarized foreign policy could be summed up as, “we march to the sound of the guns.”
The nature of the war doesn’t much matter. We don’t waste effort on the merits of what we’re getting into, the objects we seek to (Read more…)
Miscellaneous material to start your week.
- Aaron Wherry reviews what the last week has told us about the functioning (or absence thereof) of our House of Commons – and points out that the most important problem is one which hasn’t yet surfaced in headlines or memes: (T)he most important sentence delivered last week about the state of our Parliament might’ve been found not on any screen, speaker or widely read page, but on page four of the Parliamentary Budget Office’s quarterly expenditure review: “The Government has refused to release data that is necessary for the PBO to determine whether the (Read more…)
Romeo Dallaire, the retired Canadian general who led a UN peacekeeping force in Rwanda during the African country’s 1993 genocide, used his last Senate speech to criticize Harper’s foreign policy.
The post Romeo Dallaire’s last Senate speech criticized Harper’s foreign policy appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
A simple question by NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair during Question Period led to a bizarre exchange with a Conservative MP and exposed House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer’s incompetence and lack of neutrality.
The post Conservative MP, Commons Speaker Desecrated Parliament appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
When ever I read another article and view another series of photographs of the carnage Israel has inflicted on the civilian population of Gaza and then think of the Netanyahu apologists, Trudeau and Mulcair, I despise them and any party that would tolerate much less follow their views. That these two greasy opportunists haven’t been tossed to the street for their blatant pandering tells me all I need to know about the Liberal Party and the New Democrats.
Our general election is less than a year away, possibly much sooner if Harper sees a window of opportunity in which to (Read more…)
Few who lived through the Cold War with its constant threat of nuclear annihilation realize the role confidence played in preventing an outbreak of apocalyptic hostilities. Even at times when we thought the “other side” might be nearing the point of pre-emptive attack, we had a sufficient degree of confidence that they would do no such thing. The Red Telephone that connected the White House to the Kremlin was specifically intended as an instrument for maintaining confidence.
The Cuban missile crisis demonstrated the leadership needed to maintain confidence – and peace – in stressful circumstances. Kennedy was being pulled by (Read more…)
Posted by MoS, the Disaffected Lib:
Major European countries are proposing a UN mission to Gaza aimed at lifting the siege of Gaza while dismantling Hamas’ tunnel network and rocket arsenals. From Foreign Policy:
It remains unclear whether the European plan has the support of Hamas, Israel, or the United States. It does, however, include several elements the Obama administration believes are essential, including the need to ease Gazans’ plight, strengthen the role of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and ensure the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip.
The plan — described in a so-called non-paper titled “Gaza: Supporting a (Read more…)
The New Democratic Youth of Canada rejects party leaders’ uncritical support of Israel’s ongoing war crimes in Gaza, demands that Israel “be held accountable for its actions.”
The post NDP Youth Reject Leaders’ Support of Israel’s Gaza Atrocities appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
In open letter, 690 academics, community leaders decry the “callous devaluation of Palestinian life” by the Canadian government and federal party leaders, urge condemnation of the continuing violation of international law in Gaza.
The post Canadian party leaders’ “callous devaluation of Palestinian life” condemned appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
In official statement that reiterates the Liberal Party’ of Canada’s position on the Middle East, leader Justin Trudeau lauds Israel’s “commitment to peace.”
The post Justin Trudeau lauds Israel’s “commitment to peace” appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- Frank Vibert writes that our democratic system includes more than just electoral politics, while recognizing that we all too often neglect the distinct role of regulatory bodies: When one looks more closely at regulation and the interdependencies between systems the more apparent it becomes that regulation now needs to be viewed as a basic means of coordination in modern democratic societies. For example it corrects for the inadequacies of the law in dealing with evidence from the natural and social sciences – an area where lawyers, judges and juries have special difficulties. (Read more…)
Hell no! If you can’t blame the failures of your policy on some flunky (or opposition party, if you’re unlucky enough to be ruling in a “democracy”) then what kind of leader are you? The best option is to say … Continue reading →
by: Obert Madondo
Let’s face it, Stephen Harper is increasingly becoming a nervous, expensive and absentee prime minister.
On the face of things, Harper has this annoying habit of finding himself in foreign countries during crucial moments in our dubious democracy. And when he makes those big, life-altering policy announcements.
First, last Friday, the Supreme Court of Canada rejected Harper’s appointment of Marc Nadon. In a historic 6-1 decision, current justices ruled that Nadon was unqualified to join them. The decision is a serious but democratic rebuke of Harper’s dictatorship-style appointments. It confirms that Harper is the (Read more…)
by: Obert Madondo “When you are controlling, discriminating, confiscating, occupying lands from one side and putting them in the corner without any basic rights, you are by this way ruling and committing apartheid in the occupied Palestinian Territories.” The words of Arab-Israeli legislator Ahmad Tibi as he explained to the CBC why he stormed out during… Read More
The post Why Arab-Israeli politician protested Harper’s speech to the Knesset appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
This and that for your Thursday reading.
- Costas Lapavitsas discusses the disproportionate hold finance has over the global economy: Financialisation represents a historic and deep-seated transformation of mature capitalism. Big businesses have become “financialised” as they have ample profits to finance investment, rely less on banks for loans and play financial games with available funds. Big banks, in turn, have become more distant from big businesses, turning to profits from trading in open financial markets and from lending to households. Households have become “financialised” too, as public provision in housing, education, health, pensions and other vital areas has been (Read more…)
This just came across my email via Michael Roberts who has been doing great work in this space. Open Data for Development Challenge January 27–28, 2014 — Montreal, Canada Do you want to share your creative ideas and cutting-edge expertise, and make a difference in the world? Do you want to help Canadians and the […]
Assorted content to end your week.
- Stuart Trew fleshes out the Cons’ new(-ly explicit) Corporate Cronies Action Plan – and it goes even further in entrenching corporate control over policy than one might have expected at first glance: – The makeup of the advisory panel that consulted with Trade Minister Fast skews the new Action Plan in favour energy- and water-intensive agricultural export sectors, multinational business represented by the CCCE, and the energy sector. There was no worker representation on the advisory committee. And the involvement of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business is arguably more of a (Read more…)
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- John Ibbitson reports that the Cons’ obvious priorities have finally been made explicit: as far as they’re concerned, the sole purpose of international diplomacy is to serve the corporate sector. And Ian Smillie documents how the Cons hijacked Canada’s foreign aid program (while signalling that the same path is likely to be followed by the Cons’ Australian Liberal allies).
- Meanwhile, CBC uncovers a offshore tax avoidance scheme perpetrated by one of the Cons’ hand-picked tax advisers (and chair of the Royal Canadian Mint).
- Rhys Kesselman highlights the fact that contrary to (Read more…)
What then does a European foreign and security policy look like? For beginners, it’s so utterly different from anything that came before it in human history that it requires a leap of human imagination to even entertain it. European foreign policy is built on spreading peace rather than amassing power… a new vision of perpetual peace… That’s why European leaders favor negotiation over ultimatums, reconciliation over recrimination, and cooperation over competition… The essence of the European Dream is the overcoming of brute power and the establishment of moral conscience as the operating principle governing the affairs of the human family.
Assorted content for your Sunday reading.
- To the extent corporatist voices are pushing increased private involvement in funding Canadian health care, their main argument generally involves the claim that private insurers will be more willing to fund expensive courses of treatment which might be rationed out of public plans. But Don Butler reports that at least one of the major private insurers is taking exactly the opposite view in describing the future of private prescription drug insurance: Private drug plans that provide coverage to 19 million Canadians are not sustainable in their current form, according to an executive at (Read more…)
By: Council of Canadians | Press Release: Stephen Harper’s executive decision that Canada should try to join the Pacific Alliance political and trading bloc should be as controversial as his taking a trip to Peru and Colombia to dodge questions about overspending and lack of accountability in the Senate, says the Council of Canadians. “It’s highly [...]
The post Harper stands with mining companies, against human rights in Pacific Alliance appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
There have been 21 federal by-elections since Stephen Harper became Prime Minister of Canada.* Of those 21, the Conservatives held 4 (Labrador, Durham, Calgary Centre and Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette.) Of those 4 by-elections 3 took place since the 2011 federal election.
Even without a permanent leader the Liberals made big gains in the Calgary-Centre by-election. However, until May 13th, Stephen Harper’s party had won all of the by-elections they contested in ridings the Conservatives previously held (they also made gains in several other by-elections.) The Labrador by-election seems like it will be quickly forgotten with the various Senate-related scandals that (Read more…)
By: United Steelworkers (USW) | Press Release: OTTAWA and SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS – Documents released from the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) in response to a request under the access to information act reveal that Canadian authorities put public resources at the service of Calgary-based Blackfire [...]
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