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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


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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…)

Politics and its Discontents: On The Politics Of Fear

Regular readers of this blog will have noticed the relative frequency with which I provide links to and samples of Star readers’ letters. One of the obvious reasons is that they tend to have the same political sensibilities as all progressive bloggers, i.e., they are acutely aware of the ongoing damage to our country that Mr. Harper and his acolytes are the engineers of. The other reason is the hope that these missives will be disseminated as widely as possible on others’ social networks, be they Facebook, Twitter, or whatever. It is only by spreading the word on (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Who’s Watching The Spies?

This from the folks at

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Politics and its Discontents: Where There’s Smoke….

H/t Mary Ellen Davis Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: And For Those Who Think Bill C-51 Is A Good Thing

Think again. The RCMP has labelled the “anti-petroleum” movement as a growing and violent threat to Canada’s security, raising fears among environmentalists that they face increased surveillance, and possibly worse, under the Harper government’s new terrorism legislation.

In highly charged language that reflects the government’s hostility toward environmental activists, an RCMP intelligence assessment warns that foreign-funded groups are bent on blocking oil sands expansion and pipeline construction, and that the extremists in the movement are willing to resort to violence.

The report, dated January 24, 2014, was obtained by Greenpeace and uses the kind of language one would expect from (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Don’t Canadians Deserve Better Than This?

Dear Demagogue (a.k.a. Stephen Harper) is out and about sowing his usual hateful divisiveness: Prime Minister Stephen Harper says “a lot” of Radio-Canada employees “hate” conservative values.

Harper says those values that are loathed by many employees of CBC’s French-language network are the same ones that he says are supported by a large number of Quebecers.

Harper made the comments during a French-language interview with Quebec City radio station FM93, conducted last Friday and aired today.

His remarks were described as “petty” by an NDP MP.

Pay no attention to this little man. He does not speak for the majority of Canadians. Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: A Definitive Rejection Of Bill C-51

It is only human nature, I suppose, that when crisis strikes, our immediate reaction is that we would do almost anything to protect ourselves and our loved ones. When Pierre Trudeau invoked the War Measure Act in 1970 as a response to the FLQ crisis, the vast majority went along with the measure, I suspect, for that reason.

The world we live in today is vastly different. Thanks to grisly images on the Internet and crass manipulation by ‘democratic’ governments, many perceive us as being in a perpetual war that threatens all of us. A war without end. A war (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Rick’s Latest

As usual, Mr. Mercer does us all proud as he yet again lambastes the obdurate, arrogant Mr. Harper, this time over the fact that he doesn’t play well with others (a.k.a. the provincial premiers).

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Politics and its Discontents: How Does Stephen Harper Get Away With It?

Because we let him. That is the question asked and answered by a Toronto Star letter-writer in response to a column on democracy by Bob Hepburn, which I posted about last week.

There is an array of excellent letters on this topic, one that could serve as a primer for those who are disengaged. I hope you will check out the full page and share with those who might benefit from the insights offered.

Election best chance to restore faith in democracy, Opinion Jan. 11 This summary is brilliant and speaks to the heart of Canada’s challenge. Poor choices, decisions (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Toward Democratic Renewal

I’m sure that all progressive bloggers are disheartened and bedeviled by the devolution of democracy in Canada. Not only has it been under consistent and sustained attack by the Harper regime, but it has also (perhaps as a result of those attacks) seen a substantial rise in the number of disaffected and disengaged citizens, attested to by the abysmal turnout in recent elections.

In today’s Star, Bob Hepburn has some suggestions on how to reverse this deplorable situation, posed in this way by Hepburn: How can Stephen Harper and other political leaders be prevented from running roughshod over our democracy?

(Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: More Than Rhetorical Questions

In today’s Star, Bob Hepburn has a piece that should be read by anyone who needs a brief refresher course in some of the more egregious attacks against democracy perpetrated by Stephen Harper. I offer only a short overview of the article here, as I hope everyone will read the original in its entirety: Since he became prime minister in 2006, Harper has displayed a stunning disrespect for democracy in Canada, either approving or turning a blind eye to decisions that have undermined our democratic traditions and institutions and our faith in democracy.

Over the years, Harper has taken advantage (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Harperian Hypocrisy

Keep spreading the word, brothers and sisters:

H/t Michael Nabert

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Politics and its Discontents: ‘Dear Leader’ Decries Attacks On Democracy

This is indeed rich.

Said Prime Minister Harper, in response to the French massacre: “When a trio of hooded men struck at some of our most cherished democratic principles — freedom of expression, freedom of the press — they assaulted democracy everywhere.

Actions, Sir, speak much louder than words.

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Politics and its Discontents: Uh Oh. Mr. Harper Will Not Like This

There are many ways in which the ‘Fair’ Elections Act makes it more difficult for Canadians to exercise their voting rights; a group especially hard hit are aboriginals, not known for their support of the Conservative Party of Canada. Previous federal elections have allowed a second person to vouch for the identity of a voter who lacks documents that contain an address. But last year’s controversial Fair Elections Act essentially ended the practice after the Harper government said it was open to abuse.

The act substitutes a new procedure — called “attestation” — which makes it more difficult and complicated (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: The Shape of Conservative Attack Ads To Come?

A new This Hour Has 22 Minutes song parody of Meghan Trainor’s hit “All About That Bass” reveals possible Conservative pre-election attack strategies aimed squarely at the Liberal party leader.

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Politics and its Discontents: Apparently, Nothing Is Sacred To These People

Thanks to Ed Tanas for this:

Ed asks in a tweet why the mainstream media aren’t covering this. A good question. Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: A Sobering Remembrance Day Reminder

I have to confess that all of the extra ‘enthusiasm’ for this year’s Remberance Day makes me uneasy. Poppy sales are at an all time high. Special and protracted ceremonies are planned. Government propaganda is being churned out incessantly.

While I fully respect the fact that many people fought and died to protect our increasingly fragile freedoms, the reflexive reaction of a wide swath of citizenry to the military, especially since the events of last month, should be cause for some concern. It suggests to me a willingness to suspend critical faculties when they are most needed, given that we (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: The Harper War Against Unions Continues

So what else is new? In today’s Star, Tim Harper tells a tale of the ongoing indefatigable contempt Canada’s putative prime minister has for unions.

Like another Conservative entity, C-377 refuses to remain dead. The bill, proposed by a private member, Russ Hiebert, who is actually a front for Harper and Merit Canada, was actually severely amended/gutted by the senators (including 16 Conservatives), but when Harper prorogued Parliament, instead of going back to the Commons in amended form, [it] remained in the Upper House, restored to its original form, where it is now up for second reading.

(Read more…)