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Politics and its Discontents: Help Wanted

Thanks to M. Barrett who alerted me to this Craigslist posting from Toronto:

In case you can’t make out the fine print at the bottom, it reads:

Required to dispose of existing ballots in all ridings across Canada and urgently replace with winning issue ballots Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: Harper’s Message Control

Some might call it extortion. Others, a gag order. Some would perhaps be more comfortable with the term loyalty oath. Whatever the label, however, one thing is clear: in Harperland, those who vie to carry the party’s electoral banner must agree to give up some basic freedoms or pay a heavy penalty.

iPolitics reports the following: Unsuccessful nomination candidates risk losing a $1,000 “Good Conduct Bond” they were required to post with the Conservative Party when they applied to seek a nomination if they do anything the party decides doesn’t meet its criteria for good conduct. If, however, they meet (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Pulling Strings

“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain,” bellowed the ‘mighty’ Oz as Dorothy and her companions were discovering the secret of his power.

Similarly, Stephen Harper would divert us from his machinations through manipulations and muzzling. Star letter-writers, however, are not so easily fooled: Conservatives seeking happy vets for TV ads, Aug. 28

Perhaps veterans need to remember the conflict the military had with the Conservative government regarding repatriation of our fallen soldiers. General Rick Hillier had to stand firm against the Harper government in order to have the proper respect shown to the fallen members of (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: A Troubling Trend

Canadians have much to ponder before casting their ballots in October. Opinion polls tell us that the economy, healthcare and job creation are uppermost in their minds, all worthy topics to be sure. However, only 15% list Bill C-51, Harper’s anti-terrorism legislation, as one of their top-five issues. More Canadians should be very, very concerned about it, given the disturbing international trends that are emerging as governments crack down on groups they feel threatened by.

Readers will recall that in addition to Bill C-51′s troubling lack of oversight, there is a provision that could allow for mass arrests for protesters: (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: A Reminder Of What We Were And What We Can Be Again

H/t The ChronicleHerald

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Politics and its Discontents: Harperland As Seen By Editorial Cartoonists

H/t ipolitics Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: Who Can I Trust?

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am an enthusiastic supporter of The Toronto Star. The paper’s investigative reports, like no others, have had real impact, influencing decisions at the highest levels of power locally, provincially and federally; its dogged pursuit of the truth has always impressed me deeply. The Star has consistetly demonstrated and embodied the role good journalism plays in a healthy democracy.

And yet now there are disturbing allegations by journalist Paul Watson, allegations so serious that the veteran reporter has resigned from the paper. While many of the details are far from clear, The (Read more…)

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