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Politics and its Discontents: Sid Ryan Has A Plan

Given the odious, intrusive and likely unconstitutional nature of Bill C-377, the ‘private member’s’ bill covered with the indelible palm prints of Stephen Harper that forces labour unions to publicly disclose how they spend their money, it would be surprising indeed if unions did not have a plan to fight back. Sid Ryan, president of the Ontario Federation of Labour, which represents 54 unions, has no intention of letting this blatant sop to the Tory base slip by unopposed.

In the following, Ryan explains what could be an effective strategy going into the October election:

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Politics and its Discontents: ….. Canada Day

I wish that I could have inserted ‘Happy’ in front of today’s title, but for reasons too obvious to discuss, I can’t. However I will say this: may next year find all Canadians in circumstances whereby we can freely us that adjective in a heartfelt salutation to our country.

Meanwhile, allow me to offer the following to observe this day:

And my most heartfelt wish:

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Politics and its Discontents: As Canada Day Approaches

A little something to think about:

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Politics and its Discontents: A Site Young Voters Should Visit

I have written several past posts on the fact that for the most part, youth do not vote, largely because they see nothing on offer from any of the major parties dealing with their issues. The problem, of course, is that as long as they remain a minor presence at the polls, their issues will continue to be ignored. We only have to see the current political rhetoric revolving around the middle class to know who our politicos fear.

Change can only come when the young show that they are indeed a force to be reckoned with. I discovered a (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: UPDATED: Going, Going ….

…soon to be gone?

There are many things we take for granted in our lives: our health, our family, our way of life. Sometimes, changes in those and other areas happen so gradually that we really don’t notice until it is too late. The state of democracy, both globally and domestically, is one of those things that, over time, has become grievously imperiled, with the vast majority seeming either not to notice or, perhaps even worse, not to care.

A newspaper report from a few days ago serves as an international illustration. In India, Greenpeace and a multitude of other (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: For Your Sunday Reading Pleasure

While progressives in general, and bloggers in particular, are largely aware of the grave threat that the Harper regime poses to traditional democracy, I am always pleased when that message is conveyed to a larger audience, in this case readers of The Star. In the lead letter, Edward Carson of Toronto sounds the alarm:

Re: PM can’t escape effects of Senate spending storm, June 6Re: Harper’s cold shrug, Editorial June 5 A disturbing and unsettling habit of the Harper government is one of allowing a broad range of right-leaning ideological positions to triumph over historical evidence, empirical data and (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Graeme MacKay Does It Again

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Politics and its Discontents: How Much Do You Trust The Government?

The Harper and Liberal apologists tell us that Bill C-51 is necessary to keep us safe and protect our freedoms. I simply don’t believe or trust them. Do you?

You can read more about these concerns here. Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: Human Rights Watch Says Bill C-51 Violates Charter Of Rights

How can it be that everyone else is wrong, and the Harper regime alone holds the truth about the necessity of Bill C-51 to keep us safe?

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Politics and its Discontents: On The Sinister Implications of Bill C-51

One of the biggest threats posed by Bill C-51, the anti-terrorism legislation so loved of the Harper cabal, is that it could be used to criminalize dissent.

Jesse Brown, over at CanadaLand, offers an anonymously uploaded YouTube video, shot during Saturday’s “Stop C-51″ Rally on Parliament Hill, that would seem to confirm our biggest fears:

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Politics and its Discontents: An Empty Podium

Given the firm rejection by Mr. Harper to join in the leaders’ debates being arranged by a consortium of broadcasters, it would seem only fitting to have an empty podium onstage with his name attached, in case he changes his mind at the last minute, and to serve as a useful reminder of the prime minister’s disdain (fear?) of honest and unbiasd formats.

With their usual perspicacity, Star readers offer their insights about this sad decision. All are excellent, but I am reproducing only a few below:

Confused about leaders debates? It’s Harperology 101, May 16 I’m surprised Stephen (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: What’s That Sound I Hear?

Lesser morals might baldly accuse Stephen Harper of cowardice. Editorial cartoonists have a better way:

H/t The Toronto Star

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Politics and its Discontents: Harper’s Jihad – Part Two

As I have written elsewhere on this blog, I am convinced that humans (along with other primates) have an innate sense of fairness, one that is regularly violated in so many ways by the Harper regime. Yesterday I wrote a post about the bald and unsavoury political motivations behind Dear Leader’s crusade against Muslims both domestic and foreign. One egregious example is his ongoing war against Omar Khadr, the latest skirmish involving the government’s efforts to prevent the former child soldier from being released on bail.

Happily, there is ample evidence from a host of Star letter writers that Canadians (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Sidelining The Youth Vote

The potential of the youth vote, about which I have written several times on this blog, is, without question, great. The fact that only a low number of young people turn out to vote should be a source of grave concern for all those who desire real change in Canada.

Sadly, those low numbers are a cause for celebration among our main political parties, their occasional rhetoric to the contrary notwithstanding.

The math is simple. If a group does not vote, their concerns can be ignored. And the more their concerns are ignored, the less appealing the act of voting (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Meanwhile, Back At Campaign Central

Hate campaign, that is. True to form, the Harper regime wasted no time in denouncing the decision to release Omar Khadr on bail pending his appeal. And in addition to playing to their rabid base, they took the opportunity to excoriate both Trudeau and Mulcair with some verbal prestidigitation:

Meanwhile, Thomas Walkom offers a good analysis of the government’s strategy: Conservative Roxanne James, [seen in the above video] the government’s designated spokesperson, said Ottawa opposes Khadr’s release because he has been convicted of “heinous crimes.”

What she should have said is that, in the lead-up to this fall’s election, (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: This Deserves To Be Watched Regularly Until October

Journalist Michael Harris (Party of One) recently appeared on Steve Paikin’s TVO show, The Agenda. People shuold watch this on a regular basis to be reminded regularly of Stephen Harper’s anti-democratic and contemptuous ways.

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Politics and its Discontents: For Those Who Value Democracy

After watching Pierre Polievre make the Sunday rounds extolling his government’s achievements, it would be easy for the politically disengaged and ignorant to conclude that the Harper regime is the greatest thing since the proverbial sliced bread. By Polievre’s account, his government has put more money into the pockets of ‘hardworking Canadians’ than any other in Canada’s history. What’s not to like about TFSAs (a leg up for both working and retired seniors, according to trickster Pierre), income-splitting and new pending budget measures for seniors. All is well with the world.

Except that it is not. Scratch beneath the surface (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Attention, Young People: Here Is Why You Should Vote

This brief but powerful video should be viewed by all those who are politically disengaged, especially our young citizens:

H/t OperationMaple Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: How Do You Define A Threat?

It’s all a matter of perspective, I guess:

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Politics and its Discontents: Meanwhile, In Canada

H/t Anne Montgomery Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: A Solution Lacking Political Will

While reading the following, I found myself pining for the kind of scenario Jerry Ginsburg adumbrates. Then I had my second cup of coffee and reawoke to the prime motivation enveloping our current crop of ‘leaders (excepting Elizabeth May): the bald and venal pursuit of power. Stephen Harper’s Canada is not my Canada. More importantly, it’s not the Canada desired by most Canadians. Two-thirds of us, judging from polls and the last election, don’t want a Canada where policy-making relies on bullying and the suppression of dissent, where military intervention and one-sided bluster have replaced peacemaking as our foreign (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Fear In The Streets? It’s What He Wants

Those of us who have been following the machinations of our Machiavellian prime minster know that he seems intent on remaking Canada in his own malevolent image – a land where fear, suspicion, and division prevail, a land where only he and his party deserve the people’s electoral trust to keep a panoply of hobgoblins at bay.

Immobilized by Islamophobia? Mr. Harper is on the job, protecting our values from the niqab and fighting ISIS for all that is good and holy. Intimidated by domestic terrorism? Bill C-51 is the answer. Horrified at the prospect of rural renegades? Gun ownership (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: An Imperiled Democracy: Civic Illiteracy In Canada

I imagine that bloggers have any number of reasons for doing what they do, ranging from writing as catharsis to sharing information and insights in the hope of informing and/or changing people’s views. And while I read a number of blogs on a daily basis that further inform my worldview, I am under scant illusion that our collective efforts have much chance of altering people’s perspectives, largely due to the self-selection involved in the reading process. In other words, progressives tend to read progressives’ blogs, while regressives reactionaries read the scribblings of fellow travellers. Rarely do the twain meet. The (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Some Much Deserved Mockery

Enjoy:

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Politics and its Discontents: Resisting The Fashion Fascists

If his shrill demagoguery is any indication, I suppose Herr Harper and his regime can be considered to be at war with Islam; the latter’s offences range from embracing jihadism to being a culture that, according to our self-appointed fascist fashionista, is ‘anti-women.’

In that war, Zunera Ishaq is what we might consider a resistance fighter. You will recall that the Pakistani woman and devout Sunni Muslim who is seeking Canadian citizenship, while willing to remove her niqab to an official before taking the citizenship test, wanted to remain veiled for the swearing-in ceremony. A federal judge (Read more…)