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Politics and its Discontents: What A Friend We Have In Stephen*

* With apologies to Joseph Scriven’s original hymn, What a Friend We Have in Jesus.

One can only assume that these days there are far fewer congregants lustily singing the praises of their dark lord and master, Stephen Harper, in that hallowed place of worship known as the Conservative caucus. Their faith has, in recent times, been sorely shaken.

From the Moses-like figure who led them out of the political wilderness, Harper became a Jesus-figure, welcoming all into a family of shared values, righteousness, and integrity, intent on driving the money-changers from the temples of Parliament. That dream quickly faded, (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: I Just Couldn’t Resist This One

H/t Canadians Rallying to Unseat Stephen Harper Recommend this Post

The Canadian Progressive: FBI “plot to identify and assassinate Occupy leaders”?

The FBI hatched a “plot to identify and assassinate Occupy leaders”? It’d seem so, according to the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund and civil liberties activists. Information obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund via a Freedom of Information Act request reveal that the FBI: a) “collaborated with other federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland READ MORE

Politics and its Discontents: ‘Dutch Disease’ Confirmed By Harper-Funded Study

Despite the ongoing Harper-led campaign of vilification against Thomas Mulcair for his comments about the Alberta tarsands and Dutch disease, a Harper-funded study confirms the truth of his assertion.

As reported in The Globe, Industry Canada paid $25,000 to three academics to produce the lengthy study, which is about to be published in a prestigious journal, Resource and Energy Economics. The study concludes that between 33 and 39 per cent of the manufacturing employment loss that was due to exchange rate developments between 2002 and 2007 is related to the Dutch Disease phenomenon.

Despite that inconvenient finding, don’t expect

. . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: ‘Dutch Disease’ Confirmed By Harper-Funded Study

Politics and its Discontents: Mulcair’s Dutch Disease Comments: A More Rational Assessment

Despite the near-hysterical reaction of certain CBC broadcasters to the comments made last week by Thomas Mulcair about how tarsands developments are inflating the value of the Canadian dollar, thereby weakening our manufacturing sector, there are those who are able to more objectively assess his comments. One of them is Lawrence Martin.

In his column today entitled Ottawa’s industrial policy divides Canada against itself, Martin observes that we made progress in the decades before 2000 in moving away from an economy based on resource extraction. Using figures from Jim Stanford’s research, he reveals that well over half of Canada’s

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Politics and its Discontents: See Stephen, See Stephen Run

While the purpose of this Harper-initiated site may be to inspire fear of the NDP under Thomas Mulcair, I think it suggests a measure of, shall we say, nervousness, on the part of Mr. Harper and company.

H/T Kady O’Malley Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: How To Vent Your Frustration with Stephen Harper

Ever felt like knocking a little sense into our contemptible Prime Minister? Visit this website for an unusual and cathartic opportunity. Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: The Conservative Mind Equated With ‘Low-Effort’ Thinking’

Following up from an earlier report establishing a relationship between low intelligence and racism, prejudice and conservatism, The Huffington Post reports on a new study equating conservative politics with ‘low-effort’ thinking.

For those of us who have been following closely the antics of the Harper Conservatives and their supporters, there are few surprises in the report. Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: From The Bottom Of The Swamp: Conservative Reaction to Mulcair’s Victory

Why does the Conservative Party’s classlessness never really surprise me?

On Saturday, before Prime Minister Stephen Harper had a chance to congratulate the new leader of the Official Opposition, the Conservative party had already released a statement attacking the New Democrat.

“Thomas Mulcair is an opportunist whose high-tax agenda, blind ambition and divisive personality would put Canadian families and their jobs at risk,” said a statement by Conservative spokesperson Fred DeLorey.

“Mulcair has said he would bring back a risky, job-killing carbon tax which would raise the price of everything — even though Canadians overwhelmingly rejected carbon taxes,” warned DeLorey.

Politics and its Discontents: Conservative Ethos: Caviar for Corporations, Cake For Canadian Masses

Stephen Harper and his wrecking crew continue their agenda of altering the fundamental nature of Canadian society. By engineering an ever-dwindling supply of government revenue through corporate tax cuts that neither attract nor keep jobs in Canada, making huge expenditures on jet fighters we don’t need, and building super-prisons during a time of record low crime rates, the neo-liberal cabal seems to think that it will be easy to convince us of the need to make ordinary people pay the price of their folly.

And they are probably right, unless Canadians wake up and begin critically evaluating the

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Politics and its Discontents: Haper’s Trade Deal With China: Less Than Meets The Eye

Stephen Harper’s pending foreign investment protection agreement with China, hailed as a breakthrough that will one day make a “very practical difference” for Canadian companies seeking to invest here, (more outsourcing?)has been summed up very nicely by an astute Star reader:

We get the pandas. They get the manufacturing jobs. Sounds like a good trade to me! Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: Rick Salutin on Democracy

We live in time when the Harper government seems to be doing everything in its power to persuade Canadians that democracy is meaningless and that we, the citizens, have no power. In my view, the increasing invocation of closure on debate, sending more and more Parliamentary committees to meet behind closed doors, and egregiously and contemptuously ignoring all questions from the Opposition by responding with partisan ripostes, the Harperites are following an agenda to disenchant and disengage normal Canadians, leaving the field almost totally to their reactionary supporters.

Rick Salutin, in his latest video on The Star website, reminds us

Politics and its Discontents: No Surprises Here: Harper Government Set To Undermine Unions

As reported online in the Globe and Mail today, “The Conservatives are set to take another hit at labour organizations, this time through a private member’s bill designed to force Canada’s unions to open their books to the public.”"The bill’s con… . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: No Surprises Here: Harper Government Set To Undermine Unions

Politics and its Discontents: Is This a ‘Goodbye Charlie Brown’ Moment?

Those with long enough memories will recall a famous confrontation that took place in 1986 between Brian Mulroney, then just nine months into his mandate, and Solange Denis, a senior citizen defiant in her resolve to hold the Prime Minister to account…. . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Is This a ‘Goodbye Charlie Brown’ Moment?

Politics and its Discontents: Stephen Harper: Pay No Attention To The Stats Can Man Behind The Curtain

The other day I wrote about the fact that statistic show serious crime in Canada to be at a 40-year-low. Despite this, of course, the Harper Government is marching headlong in its pursuit of measures to combat crime, including, of course, the building … . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Stephen Harper: Pay No Attention To The Stats Can Man Behind The Curtain

Politics and its Discontents: Lawrence Martin on the Shortcomings of the Press

Lawrence martin, in a piece called Has the fourth estate lost its tenacity? wonders whether it is the failure to offer much followup on stories of abuse of authority, dirty tactics, etc. that might explain why none of the wrongdoing on the part of the … . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Lawrence Martin on the Shortcomings of the Press

Politics and its Discontents: Pension Reform’s Opponents

Canadian Labour Congress President Ken Georgetti has written a good article entitled Canadians betrayed on cpp reform that discusses the need for reform to the Canadian Pension Plan and how efforts by the financial industry have convinced the Conservat… . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Pension Reform’s Opponents

Politics and its Discontents: And I Thought I Had Written My Last Blog Entry Before The Election ….

It seems I was wrong. Once more, the disdain Harper has consistently shown for Canadian democratic traditions and norms is made manifest. Click here to read the story and watch the video that demonstrates the on-going threat he and his ilk pose.Recom… . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: And I Thought I Had Written My Last Blog Entry Before The Election ….