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Politics and its Discontents: Sometimes, Clicking Your Heels Does Not Send You To Kansas

This thoughtful letter explains why:

Re: Tory MP takes aim at elections watchdog, April 9

When it comes to fairness and objectivity, I have more faith in the former auditor general of Canada, Sheila Fraser, and in the current chief electoral officer, Marc Mayrand, than in Pierre Poilievre, the arrogant Conservative minister of state for democratic reform. Whenever I see or hear the minister denigrating an upstanding Canadian citizen who has had the courage to express a sincere concern about the government’s so-called Fair Elections Act, I can’t help imagining Poilievre clicking his heels together each time he meets with (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: You Know Things Are Really Bad

…when even The Globe and Mail takes issue with its party of choice. In a blistering editorial entitled Harper Tories undermining democracy, to their own peril, the Globe attacks the ‘Fair Elections Act and the attitude and deceit behind it, on a number of fronts. I hope you will take a few moments to read the entire piece. I will try to whet your appetite with the following excerpt:

…Democratic Reform Minister Pierre Poilievre this week told senators that Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand has been so critical of the Fair Elections Act because “he wants more power, a (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: A Powerful Indictment

Thanks to The Salamader for bringing the following letter by Jacob Kearey-Moreland to my attention. Published yesterday in The Orillia Packet and Times, it is a powerful indictment of the ‘Fair’ Elections Act and the mentality behind it. For anyone wishing to drop him a line, his contact information appears at the end of the letter:

The Orwellian-named Fair Elections Act, while on the surface appearing to disenfranchise Canadian non-Conservative voters and, in other ways, advancing the interests of its authors, seems to have as its underlying driving force an attempt to undermine democracy itself.

Canadian democracy is under (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: This Gift From Montreal Simon

I have to admit I was feeling rather discouraged the other day when I read this CBC report in which an EKOS Research poll found that only 27 percent of respondents were familiar with the ‘Fair’ Elections Act. Then I read Montreal Simon’s post this morning and felt a little better.

Here is the short video he posted that beautifully and very succinctly shows why voting is so important. Enjoy and send it to whomever you think might benefit:

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Politics and its Discontents: On Harper’s Destructive Government

I am feeling somewhat uninspired this morning, so for now I simply offer two reasonably good missives from Globe and Mail readers on Mr. Harper’s demonstrably destructive impact on our democracy:

Re Tories On The Attack As Fair Elections Act Faces Critics (April 10): Deceive, deny, demonize: Pierre Poilievre’s contemptuous 3D Harper-government attitude to any critic of this legislation is without compare – and utterly contemptible.

John Partridge, Lakefield, Ont.


Re New Book Describes Harper As Controlling, ‘Nixonian’ Leader (April 10): Democracy depends upon a general endorsement of principles, backed up by rules and regulations.

When a government has abandoned (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: An Eloquent Denunciation Of Harper’s Approach To Government

Watch as Thomas Mulcair denounces quite calmly, incisively and eloquently the myriad problems both of the Fair Elections Act and the entire diseased approach to governance embraced by the Harper regime.

Justin Trudeau also offers his view.

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Politics and its Discontents: More Evidence Of The Devil

If the devil is indeed to be found in the detail, then Star letter-writer Geoffrey Kemp of Mississauga has done an exorcist’s job of ferreting out the wily one.

Enjoy his well-considered thoughts on an aspect of the ‘Fair’ Elections Act that has gotten relatively little attention owing to the grave and justifiable concern being widely expressed over its voter-suppression implications. (The bolded parts are mine):

Stephen Harper’s need to hastily do an end run around democracy is doubtless caused by the dubious actions of those he chooses to surround himself with, other examples of his poor judgment and the (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: I Nominate Him For A Nobel Prize

The category? That’s yet to be determined. Any suggestions?

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Politics and its Discontents: Guest Post: The Salamander

Responding to a post I wrote this morning commenting on a Lawrence Martin article, The Salamander offered the following trenchant assessment of what he predicts will be the Harper ‘legacy.’ Enjoy:

.. I find the fading tiger analogy problematic.. maybe its just me ..

Having a background in social work, with criminals, mood disorders, addiction, maximum security prisons etc, I tend to adapt to new terminology,diagnostic criteria, and trust evidence based medicine..More and more I trust natural consequence .. history and observation..

Tom Flanagan, a man with his own issues, demons and fallacies glorifies his apt pupil Harper.. as a (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Slip Slidin’ Away

Slip sliding away, slip sliding away You know the nearer your destination, the more you’re slip sliding away – Paul Simon

I know, by his public efforts to appear reasonably normal, that Stephen Harper is a Beatles’ fan. Whether he has ever listened to or crooned any of Paul Simon’s songs is less certain. Yet I couldn’t help but think of Simon this morning as I read Lawrence Martin’s latest piece in The Globe and Mail.

Entitled The Harper machine is in disarray, Martin reflects on the many obstacles that have emerged to obstruct what I presume is Dear (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Rick Mercer – One Of Our True Patriots

I love this guy. Watch the following video to see why:

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Politics and its Discontents: Be Very Careful

If you see this man, be aware of the danger he poses to Canada’s democracy. Take all necessary precautions to avoid direct contact:

H/t Operation Maple via trapdinawrpool Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: About Those 39 Pieces of I.D. Pierre Poilivre Keeps Talking About

H/t Canadians Rallying To Unseat Stephen Harper

To hear Pierre Poilievre speak, one might think that any Canadian who claims that the ‘Fair’ Elections Act could very well disenfranchise up to 500,000 Canadians in the next election is intellectually challenged. The ubiquitous Harper weasel, both in the House and on television, assures us that all the experts, both domestically and internationally, are dead wrong in all of their criticisms, since the bill will allow 39 pieces of I.D.* to be used at the ballot box, thus rendering vouching and voter information cards quite redundant.

But are his (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: A Simple Truth

But one, of course, that our political overlords have no interest in considering:

Re: Polls expert fears Bill C-23 imperils voters’ rights, March 26

The response from Minister Pierre Poilievre’s office that “the Fair Elections Act simply requires voters to demonstrate who they are and where they live” shows a lack of understanding of the situation that many Canadians (by some estimates about 120,000) in remote areas, seniors homes and some students find themselves in. Many of these people simply cannot prove on paper where they live.

To disenfranchise them by eliminating the vouching alternative is patently unfair and (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: On Tory Intractability And Contempt

Today’s blog entry is really a video one, based on the testimony yesterday of Harry Neufeld, the elections expert and former B.C. Chief Electoral Officer whose report is being consistently misrepresented by Pierre Poilievre in his zeal to suppress the vote through the misnamed ‘Fair’ Elections Act. Perhaps one of the most disturbing points to emerge is Neufeld’s estimation that, with the elimination of both vouching and the use of voter information cards as acceptable identification at the ballot box, up to 500,000 Canadians will be unable to vote in the next election.

I am posting four videos: the (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Opposition To The ‘Fair’ Elections Act Grows

As a supplement to Montreal Simon’s post yesterday on Jean Pierre Kingsley’s appearance before the committee hearings on the ‘Fair’ Elections Act, you might want to spare two minutes to watch this report from The National on his concerns:

As well, here is a report that shows growing public awareness and discontent about the Tories’ voter suppression efforts:

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Politics and its Discontents: Defending The Indefensible – A Tory Tactic

Giving a break to Pierre Poilivre, the most public, glib, oleaginous and wholly unconvincing face of the misnamed ‘Fair’ Elections Act, the Harper cabal tapped good Tory-soldier Paul Calandra to be their point man on Power and Politics to defend the act. There is little doubt in my mind that Calandra has a future in Harper’s cabinet, should the unthinkable happen in the next election.

Watch the following video, if you are sufficiently strongly constituted, to get a taste of the servile service he regularly renders to his dark lord:

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Politics and its Discontents: A Lesson In Language

With my flooring project continuing at a pace commensurate with my rudimentary skills, I will likely devote much of the day working on the second room, the first finally completed with only a few obvious mistakes that I think I can later conceal.

Therefore, in lieu of something of my own, I offer yet again another insightful commentary from yet another thoughtful Star reader. (They do seem to be an intelligent and perceptive group!) This one, from Toronto’s J.A. McFarlane, is a very interesting meditation on the political use and abuse of language, something Orwell called the (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Nothing New Here

All who find change unsettling will be reassured by the following video from today’s Question Period, the House’s first day back after a two-week break. Nothing has changed. Tory arrogance and contempt for Canadians is in full display:

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Politics and its Discontents: C’Mon, We’ve All Been Thinking It

And now, thanks to Michael de Adder, we’ve got a picture to go along with those thoughts:

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Politics and its Discontents: Why Do I Find This So Immensely Appealing?

No idea.

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Politics and its Discontents: Election Bill Sends ‘Very Poor Message’ To Budding Democracies

So says Andrew Reynolds, an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, one of 18 professors from around the world who earlier this week signed an open letter about their concerns regarding the ‘Fair Elections Act. Their letter came the week after an open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper by 159 Canadian political science and law professors.

In the following video, the professor articulates his and his fellow-academics’ grave concerns over the anti-democratic aspects of the act.

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Politics and its Discontents: Something For Stephanie

In yesterday’s post entitled The Warnings Are Everywhere, I wrote about how Canada is being critically scrutinized both domestically and internationally for the anti-democratic measures contained in the ‘Fair’ Elections Act. I drew heavily upon an open letter sent by an array of professors from countries including the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark and Ireland.

Stephanie left the following message:

I’d really like to read the open letter by international experts, but unfortunately, it’s behind the Globe and Mail pay wall. I should not have to pay for the Globe to read this open letter, (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: The Warnings Are Everywhere

Canada’s reputation continues to erode, both at home and internationally.

I recently wrote a post about Canadian law professors who penned an open letter pleading with the government not to proceed with the ‘Fair’ Elections Act in its present form because it will seriously undermine our democracy.

Now, beyond our borders, the same fears are being expressed, but also with a warning of the negative impact the act could have on new and emerging democracies.

As reported in The Globe and Mail, another open letter, this one signed by 19 professors from universities in the United Kingdom, the (Read more…)