I write this blog for a number of reasons, the most important one being the hope that I might contribute a little something to the general body of knowledge on political and social issues. The progressive blogosphere seems especially well-informed, and I often find myself reading sources and commentary that would have otherwise escaped my attention. So in that sense, I write for my fellow-bloggers.
Another audience I always hope to reach consists of those who may have come upon my blog seredipitously; they may see a perspective that offers some food for thought, which in turn may lead some (Read more…)
I have a somewhat busy morning ahead, so for the time being I offer the following:
Is the answer to things like this,
Re Manning Takes Aim at Tory Election Bill (March 3):
The Conservatives’ Fair Elections Act is anything but. Instead, it’s about ensuring they’ll form another majority in 2015. There’s only one realistic way to ensure that won’t happen: co-operation among the opposition parties.
Here’s a novel idea: We need leaders who will lead. Elizabeth May has already figured it out; Justin Trudeau and Thomas Mulcair need to hold their noses and go for one-time-only co-operation. Kindergarten (Read more…)
At least if you are a reactionary in the Harper vein. First came the bad polling news showing increasing numbers of Canadians growing increasingly suspicious and weary of the relentless divide-and-conquer tactics of the so-called master tactician. Then came some stinging rebukes from that old icon of conservatism, Preston Manning, who, over the weekend, suggested that it is time for the Harper regime to start focusing on policy rather than politics, perhaps a veiled way of suggesting it might be time ‘to try that sincerity thing.’
Even that once-trusted source of cabal strategy, Tom Flanagan, weighed in as he (Read more…)
Clearly, it was not the kind of news they had gone to the Manning Centre to hear, and, it seems, they did not receive it with particular good grace.
As reported in The Star, presenting the results of a poll he conducted in December, André Turcotte imparted the following to party activists Friday:
“For the first time, Liberals have re-emerged as the party that a plurality of Canadians identify with,” … “Now the Liberals and the Conservatives are tied almost as the party perceived to be the best to deal with the economy. This is a big change from previous (Read more…)
And it is very encouraging, in that it appears Canadians are beginning to wake up to the true nature of the Harper regime:
Nearly two-thirds of Canadians believe that the ruling Conservatives are settling political scores with their Fair Elections Act, a new poll has found. You can read all about it here.
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With Rick on the job, there is always reason for hope:
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Like an ugly stain that resists the most determined efforts at removal, Bill C-520, a ‘private member’s bill’ proposed by Conservative MP Mark Adler, has Stephen Harper’s signature and paranoid paw prints all over it.
The bill, about which I have written previously, would require all employees in parliamentary watchdog offices — such as the auditor general, ethics commissioner, or Elections Canada — to disclose any “partisan activity” in the decade before joining the office.
The fact that it has the full backing of the Prime Minister’s Office is key to understanding both its genesis and the mentality that (Read more…)
I sincerely hope that other commentators on my blog do not think I am playing favourites when I repost another’s comments as a guest post. I sincerely welcome and value all of your comments. My reason for reposting The Salamander here, who offered the following comments in response to my piece, On Voter Engagement, is probably best expressed by my response:
Hi Salamander. As usual, your facility with language, your capacity for lacerating metaphor and simile in assessing the morass we currently find ourselves in, deserves a wider audience. I am therefore reposting your commentary as another guess post. (Read more…)
This letter to the editor reflects an issue I think most of us in the progressive blogosphere struggle with, as do the folks at samara:
Voter turnout is the key to federal change
Eroding the fabric of the Canada we loveThe only way that we are going to get rid of King Stephen’s Reign of Control is by getting out the vote. It seems that every time I pick up a newspaper there is at least one and often more articles about how the Harper government is ripping another piece from the fabric of the once democratic, (Read more…)
This one’s for you, young Tim.
H/t Union Thugs Recommend this Post
If you are like me, you may prefer reading the transcript to viewing the video of Elizabeth May’s eloquent condemnation of the odious ‘Fair’ Elections Act. In any event, both media are effective in conveying her disdain for the gross affronts to democracy contained in what I term The Harper Contempt For Democracy Act.
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I have been a little under the weather the last two days, an illness that curiously began shortly after I had an unsettling thought about the federal budget. (I am sure there is no cause-and-effect between the two;)) Watching the numbers listed in the graphic, it occurred to me that for the average Canadian who pays little to no attention to our political environment, all must seem well, other than for the smokers who will be facing a tax hike on their poison of choice. The much greater costs of austerity remain hidden.
Although it was hardly a new insight, (Read more…)
I had a very spirited discussion early this afternoon with the constituency assistant working in my Harper M.P.’s office. I called to ask her to convey my disdain for the Fair Elections Act and the plethora of other contempt-for-democracy activities the Conservatives are involved in; warning me about getting my information from ‘the left-wing press,’ she proceeded to inform me about her party’s commitment to ending election fraud, running government with integrity, and all the other sweet and holy things that her boss and her boss’s boss are working so hard to promote in this country. I won’t (Read more…)
If twisted autocracy is not your political cup of tea, please consider signing this petition sponsored by The Council of Canadians in protest of the misnamed Fair Elections Act.
As well, please consider making a Call For Democracy to your local M.P. today sometime between 12:30 and 6:30 P.M.
You may even wish to invite your Facebook friends. Recommend this Post
It is always heartening to awake on a Monday morning, peruse the newspaper, and receive confirmation that concerns over the Harper Fair Elections Act are not the exclusive concern of the blogosphere. That being said, I strongly recommend that you visit Alison at Creekside to read her analysis of this odious bill.
As well, savor these missives from Toronto Star readers:
Elections bill could disenfranchise thousands, Feb. 7
Typical of the Harper government’s obsession with control, they propose to create a new bureaucracy with the apparent sole purpose of bringing the currently independent investigative powers under the political influence of (Read more…)
Substitute parliamentary democracy for republic and Bill Maher’s words are a stinging indictment of apathetic Canadians. Recommend this Post
As I have expressed in this blog previously, it is my sincere belief that the Harper cabal, indeed, the hard right in general, does not want us exercising our democratic rights, especially as they pertain to voting. The less participation there is, the easier it is for the true believers, aka, the base, to keep their party in power. Up to this point, however, that democratic discouragement has been engendered incrementally, through Harper’s general contempt for Parliamentary democracy, disdain and attacks on those with a differing ideological bent, the muzzling of scientists, etc.
Now, however, for the first time (Read more…)
While Stephen Harper’s trip to Israel is receiving wide domestic media coverage, coverage that I have been studiously avoiding out of deference to my at-times delicate sensibilities and constitution, the following Harper encomium strikes me as both chillingly ironic and hypocritical:
Israel is the only country in the Middle East that has rooted itself in the ideals of “freedom, democracy and the rule of law.”
Over time, … this is the only ground “in which human rights, political stability and economic prosperity may flourish.”
Strange, this pronouncement of praise for a political principle that the Prime Minister and his (Read more…)
In yet another development in the dangerous drift toward autocratic rule, the Harper cabal, under the guise of a private member’s bill introduced by Mark Adler, the Conservative MP for York Centre, wants parliamentary watchdogs and their employees to disclose previous political activities.
Bill C-520, which has the full backing of Mr. Harper,
would require every applicant for a job with an agent of Parliament — such as the auditor general, or the chief electoral officer — to disclose if they’ve held a “partisan position” in the previous decade. The legislation would be retroactive, requiring any current employees to (Read more…)
There’s something happening here What it is ain’t exactly clear There’s a man with a gun over there Telling me I got to beware
Paranoia strikes deep Into your life it will creep It starts when you’re always afraid You step out of line, the man come and take you away
For What It’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield, January 1967
After reading this post by Alison at Creekside, and this one by Doctor Dawg, both dealing with Chuck Strahl and CSIS, and the latter’s collaboration with Enbridge in spying on Canadians exercising their democratic rights, please enjoy the entire song:
Although the following Rick Mercer rant was made early in 2013, most, I think, would agree that nothing has changed in the interim:
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I had planned this to be my first piece post-holiday, but Nelson Mandela’s passing yesterday prompted my post about that giant who walked among us. I purposely kept it brief, since thousands upon thousands of words will be written about him in the days to come, a testament not only to his stature throughout the world but also, I suspect, to the rarity of such dignity, integrity, and moral greatness.
On to other matters.
One of the advantages to a week-long sojourn in Cuba, from which we returned late Wednesday night, is the fact that the Internet there is both (Read more…)
Having spent yesterday recovering from the temporal vicissitudes imposed by trans-Atlantic travel, my first post back will be brief and on one of my favorite subjects, The Man Who Would Be King, a.k.a. Dear Leader, the ersatz head of a country whose government, thanks to his contemptuous and heavy-hand ministrations, is at least as democratically dysfunctional as the one I just visited, Italy.
While away, I read about his office’s attempt to ban CTV cameraman Dave Ellis from boarding Herr Harper’s plane leaving for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for daring to try to pose a question to the Exulted (Read more…)
If you are under the impression that our Charter of Rights and Freedoms allows for freedom of expression, please be aware there are apparently severe restrictions on that freedom should you try to express yourself on public property in the vicinity of Prime Minister’s residence; perhaps Mr. Harper invoked the notwithstanding clause?
Women told they need a permit for their sign
H/t Occupy Canada Recommend this Post