Canada has a distinguished record of contributing to the use of hard power in the world, as our performance in two world wars and Korea attests. As a third-rate power militarily, however, we are always a follower, never a leader. In the realm of soft power, things are rather different. Here we have often been a leader.
For example, in 1956, working through the United Nations, our foreign
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- Mike Barber highlights how Canada’s federal election campaign was dominated by messages pushed from the top down rather than citizens’ concerns. Erna Paris recognizes that we can’t afford to be complacent about the place of outright bigotry in shaping voters’ decisions. And Christopher Flavelle writes that the ensuing election result represents a major test for progressives to see whether an ambivalent Liberal government can be pushed toward positive change: If Canadians accept a few new tax breaks for the middle class, vague pledges on climate change and some symbolic shifts — letting in more (Read more…)
While implementing draconian cuts to essential social services through the 2014 federal budget, the Harper government contributed $8 million to the Republican Party-linked International Republican Institute to fund projects in Ukraine.
The post Canada gave U.S. Republicans $8 million to strengthen democracy… in Ukraine appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
Miscellaneous material to start your week.
- Joseph Heath discusses how the Volkswagen emission cheating scandal fits into a particular type of corporate culture: (W)hen the Deepwater Horizon tragedy occurred, or now the VW scandal, it was hardly surprising to people who follow these things. Certain industries essentially harbour and reproducing deviant subcultures. This is one of the reasons that much of the best work on white collar crime has been inspired by, and draws upon, work in juvenile delinquency. Whereas delinquents tend to exist in subcultures that reproduce deviant attitudes toward authority, many corporations reproduce subcultures that promote organized resistance (Read more…)
Call me paranoid, perhaps I have been following Harpers attacks upon our democracy too long, but I fail to understand why we need to expand our ‘Special Forces’ (at an annual cost of $50 million) “to respond to varied, and sometimes multiple, national and international emergencies.” We do have almost 2000 of these specially trained combat solders on our payroll already and we hardly need special military training to respond to ‘national emergency’s’ like floods, forest fires, or ice storms, not that our federal government has been quick to offer that kind of help in the past. Are our (Read more…)
PHOTOS: Refugees from the Syrian civil war clog a road near the Syria-Iraq border. (UNHCR photo.) Below: Saskatchewan Conservative MP Kelly Block’s constituency leaflet; Ms. Block herself; Immigration Minister Chris Alexander. For several years, the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has played to the worst instincts of a significant portion of its political base […]
The post The refugee crisis: Harper Conservatives just can’t spin it both ways appeared first on Alberta Politics.
This and that for your Sunday reading.
- Richard Nisbett comments on the situational determinants of behaviour which are far too often mistaken for merit or accomplishment. Libby Kane points out how increasing inequality and the predictable social segregation which follows makes it harder for the lucky few to see the deprivation that develops around them. And Peter Georgescu makes the case for the corporate elite to work on fighting inequality in its own interest.
- Meanwhile, David Kirp rightly notes that the best way to provide support to people living in poverty is to ask what they need, rather (Read more…)
Freelance journalist Glen Malcolm Thompson explains the major diplomatic milestones that preceded the normalization of Cuba-U.S. relations.
The post Thompson: Cuba-U.S. détente preceded by major diplomatic milestones appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
The United Church of Canada wants “clear reassurance” that Prime minister Stephen Harper does not intend to criminalize Canadians critical of Israel.
The post Harper must clarify ‘zero tolerance’ for Israel boycotters: Church appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
Canadians have a moral obligation to revolt against Stephen Harper’s efforts to criminalize both legitimate criticism of Israel and support for Palestinians.
The post Harper’s effort to criminalize legitimate Canadian criticism of Israel is diabolical appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
Ask anyone in the Third World where, if they had their druthers, they would choose to live and their top choice, hands down, would be the United States. Ask those same people which nation is the greatest threat to world peace and they say, you guessed it, the United States.
That may sound contradictory but it’s not. It’s the United States that’s contradictory. It’s this great nation of wealth, comfort and ease that never seems to get its fill of raining death from above on other lands, especially the weakest ones.
The world doesn’t look like us or like our (Read more…)
This and that for your Thursday reading.
- Robert Reich offers a long-form look at the relationship between inequality and policies designed to extract riches for the wealthy at everybody else’s expense: The underlying problem, then, is not that most Americans are “worth” less in the market than they had been, or that they have been living beyond their means. Nor is it that they lack enough education to be sufficiently productive. The more basic problem is that the market itself has become tilted ever more in the direction of moneyed interests that have exerted disproportionate influence over it, while (Read more…)
Liberal leader open to supporting Stephen Harper’s imminent extension of Canada’s combat mission against Islamic State terrorist group in Iraq.
The post Trudeau To Support Harper’ Imminent Iraq War Extension appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
This and that for your Thursday reading.
- Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson link inequality and climate change as massive problems which are generated by political choices (and thus amenable to correction through the political system): Rising inequality is no more natural than global warming. And just as with global warming, our biggest fear should be that it becomes increasingly self-reinforcing — not because of some “natural” economic process, but because economic power begets political power, which can be used to further increase economic advantage. Look around, and the evidence that this is a real threat abounds. To cite just (Read more…)
And a Happy New Year to you too.
The new president of the International Crisis Group, Jean-Marie Guehenno, has issued his own New Year greetings in an article on the ten wars to watch in 2015 in Foreign Policy magazine.
For the most part they’re the old familiars that continue to plague Africa, the Middle East and Asia with two exceptions, Venezuela and Ukraine. So, to summarize, here’s the rundown. No. 10 – Venezuela. No. 9 – Libya and the Sahel. No. 8 – Yemen. No. 7 – Afghanistan. No. 6 – the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). No. 5 (Read more…)
Cuba-based black revolutionary Assata Shakur says she fled “from the political repression, racism and violence that dominate the US government’s policy towards people of color.”
The post Assata Shakur: “I am a 20th century escaped slave” appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
In Guatemala, indigenous Mayan communities’ participation in community consulta, or consultation, helps to engage the government, and push back against Canadian and multinational mining companies accused of human rights abuses.
The post Canadian mining interests in Guatemala challenged by indigenous direct democracy appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
Susan Bibeau, the mother of Ottawa shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, says her son was not a terrorist but “felt cornered” and “acted in despair.”
The post Susan Bibeau: Ottawa shooter’s mother speaks appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
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…)