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mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Ask General Kang: If my foreign policy is a failure, do I have to admit it?

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 →

The Canadian Progressive: Do Canadians Make Prime Minister Stephen Harper Nervous?

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.

Two examples:

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…)

The Canadian Progressive: Why Arab-Israeli politician protested Harper’s speech to the Knesset

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.

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

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…)

eaves.ca: Open Data for Development Challenge on Jan 27-28

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 […]

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Bill Tieleman tears into James Moore for his callous disregard for child hunger, while PressProgress reminds us that plenty of the Cons’ policy choices reflect Moore’s complete lack of concern for his neighbours’ children. And Polly Toynbee looks in detail at the UK Cons’ attempts to turn support for needy children into a perceived political weakness rather than a matter of basic empathy and compassion: The dirty war has begun; the early signs are that this will be the most poisonous, socially damaging election campaign for many a long year. Corrosive malice (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

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…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

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…)

CuriosityCat: From My Quotes Cupboard: European foreign policy

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.

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

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…)

The Canadian Progressive: Harper stands with mining companies, against human rights in Pacific Alliance

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.

The Equivocator: Stephen Harper’s 1st By-Election Loss

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…)

The Canadian Progressive: Canadian Diplomacy Supported Deadly Blackfire Mining Project: Report

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 [...]

The post Canadian Diplomacy Supported Deadly Blackfire Mining Project: Report appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

drive-by planet: Bostonians once supported NorAid and civil rights in N. Ireland: Americans should oppose disastrous US foreign policy

The Irish-Americans of Boston were once a source of support and inspiration for nationalists in the north of Ireland during the dark days of The Troubles. During the hunger strikes by republican prisoners, the people of Boston protested the vile policies of Margaret Thatcher and raised funds. Cash was collected in pubs, clubs, churches, rallies… you name it.  They also stepped up in the wake of Sunday Bloody Sunday to show solidarity – opening their hearts and their wallets. We’re not just talking the people of Boston, we’re talking about civic leaders and prominent politicians too.

For example in (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive | News & Analysis: Canada World Youth Concerned About The Amalgamation of CIDA and DFAIT

By: Canada World Youth | Press Release: MONTREAL – Minister Flaherty announced, on March 21st, the amalgamation of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). Canada World Youth has enjoyed a strong working relationship with CIDA over the past 40 years [...]

The post Canada World Youth Concerned About The Amalgamation of CIDA and DFAIT appeared first on The Canadian Progressive | News & Analysis.

The Canadian Progressive: Democracy Now! Discusses 10-year anniversary of U.S. invasion of Iraq (VIDEO)

Democracy Now! Discusses 10-year anniversary of U.S. invasion of Iraq, U.S. missile defense plans and Afghan protests against the continued presence of U.S. forces and the Steubenville rape case. We recommend:“We Steal Secrets”: The Story of WikiLeaks (VIDEO)Canadian General Itching For A New Foreign WarThe Invisible War: Rape, Sexual Assault [...]

The Canadian Progressive: Did Stephen Harper Just Celebrate Venezuelan Prez Hugo Chavez’s Death?

“Now, the death of Hugo Chavez offers the promise of domestic oil market changes that could roil the energy world and place substantial opportunities at the feet of Canadian oil companies whose expertise in heavy crude is directly applicable to Venezuela’s Orinoco oil fields.” – Globe and Mail By: Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive | March 5, 2013: READ MORE

The Canadian Progressive: The Obama Drone War Doctrine We Still Know Nothing About

By: Cora Currier and Justin Elliott | ProPublica, Feb. 26, 2013: The nomination of John Brennan to be CIA director has prompted intense debate on Capitol Hill and in the media about U.S. drone killings abroad. But the focus has been on the targeting of American citizens – a narrow issue that accounts for a miniscule proportion of the hundreds of drone READ MORE

The Canadian Progressive: ‘Why I Did It’: Whistleblower Bradley Manning Tells US Military Court

Whistleblower reads prepared statement of explanation after pleading guilty to some, but not all, charges By: Common Dreams | Feb. 28, 2013: US Army Private Bradley Manning read a prepared statement on Thursday, revealing before a packed military courtroom exactly what government and military information he leaked to the whistleblower media outlet Wikileaks, and why he chose to do READ MORE

The Canadian Progressive: Bradley Manning: 40 cities around globe to protest 1,000th day of imprisonment without trial

PFC Manning, the source of WikiLeaks’ massive expose of U.S. foreign policy, has been in jail without for close to 1 000 days. By Nathan Fuller | Bradley Manning Support Network, Feb. 15, 2013: PFC Bradley Manning has been in jail awaiting trial for nearly 1,000 days for exposing war crimes, corruption, and widespread abuse. READ MORE

The Canadian Progressive: CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou: Torture was official US policy

Via YouTube: Former CIA agent John Kiriakou was sentenced to 30 months in prison for revealing the identity of a covert officer to a reporter. But originally he was pending charges on the violating the espionage act. Kiriakou is the first CIA official to publicly confirm the use of waterboarding and other tactics he describes READ MORE

The Canadian Progressive: Honduras passes new Canada-supported anti-democratic mining law

Honduran Mining Law Passed and Ratified, but the Fight is Not Over by Mining Watch Canada | Jan. 24, 2013: OTTAWA – On Wednesday, January 23, 2013, the Honduran Congress quickly passed and ratified a new mining law that had been developed with support from the Canadian International Development Agency against the will of important sectors of READ MORE

The Canadian Progressive: Global Mining and Tar Sands Oil Drive Canadian Foreign Policy

by Guest Blogger | Jan. 28, 2013 In the era of dictatorial Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his right-wing Conservatives, global mining and tar sands oil drive Canadian foreign policy. Canadian author, activist and political commentator, Yves Engler, argues that Harper’s right wing foreign policy protects interests of big oil and mining at home and abroad. He speaks with Paul READ MORE

The Canadian Progressive: The Ugly Canadian: Harper Policy in Latin America (VIDEO)

Under Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives, Ottawa has been openly hostile to Venezuela and leftward swing in Latin America – except in Cuba where Canada has large commercial interests. So argues Canadian author, activist and commentator, Yves Engler. RELATED: Photo Tells Us Why Canada Severed Diplomatic Ties With Iran Canada’s Unenviable Royal Race READ MORE

The Canadian Progressive: Canadian warships should get out of the Middle East: Peace activist

by Guest Blogger | Jan 25, 2013: Halifax – A local peace activist is denouncing the deployment of the HMCS Toronto on Monday. The Canadian frigate left the Halifax port for a 6-month deployment to the Persian Gulf. “There should be no Canadian warships in the Middle East,” says Tamara Lorincz, a member of the Halifax Peace READ MORE