Politics and its Discontents: …Gone?

The tale of Eve Adams gets increasingly melodramatic, and increasingly reminiscent of Helena Guergis. That she will suffer Helena’s political fate is looking more likely with each passing day. Readers may recall that prior to her fall from grace, Helena Guergis, at the Charlottetown airport in February of 2010, allegedly threw a tantrum and screamed ...

Politics and its Discontents: How Many Fingers Am I Holding Up, Winston?

O’Brien held up his left hand, its back toward Winston, with the thumb hidden and the four fingers extended. “How many fingers am I holding up, Winston?” “Four.” “And if the Party says that it is not four but five — then how many?” “Four.” The word ended in a gasp of pain. — George ...

Politics and its Discontents: Will He Or Won’t He?

2015 is not very far away. It may be the year of liberation, the year Canada reclaims its collective soul, or it may be the year in which Canadians elect to continue their enslavement to the neo-conservative agenda. (Please forgive the rather overblown rhetoric in the previous sentence, but in my heart it sums up ...

Politics and its Discontents: Why Mandela Is So Important

Although I have only made reference to him three other times in this blog, Nelson Mandela is a person who I revere like no other. And of course, I am hardly alone in that sentiment, attested to by the fact that millions of people, not only in South Africa but around the world, are in ...

Politics and its Discontents: In Praise of Political Cartoonists

Where would we be without their pithy insights? Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: On The Politically Compliant

Woke up this morning thinking of our friends in the animal kingdom, and their affinity for their counterparts in Ottawa. Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: A Larger Problem

In his column this morning, Thomas Walkom suggests that Mike Duffy’s current scandal-plagued problems are representative of much deeper ones in the Senate, namely that our much-cossetted members of that ‘chamber of sober second thought’ are appointed, not because of their expertise (many of them have none), not because of intimate knowledge of a particular ...

Politics and its Discontents: Are Canadians Experiencing Buyers’ Remorse?

Many of us who blog, tweet, or post political views on Facebook cannot, I suspect, avoid the periodic and unsettling notion that we are simply ‘preaching to the converted’ instead of reaching a larger audience with our perspectives and commentaries. Yet we persevere, both as a catharsis for our own outrage over social and political ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Dominoes of Democracy – Part 2

What is one of the chief effects of the Harper regime’s preference for an ideologically-based policy model over one premised on logic, facts and empirical evidence, as explored in my earlier post? The decline, perhaps even the demise, of a healthy democracy in which citizens are engaged and informed participants, thereby allowing an ideologically-driven government ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Dominoes of Democracy – Part 2

What is one of the chief effects of the Harper regime’s preference for an ideologically-based policy model over one premised on logic, facts and empirical evidence, as explored in my earlier post? The decline, perhaps even the demise, of a healthy democracy in which citizens are engaged and informed participants, thereby allowing an ideologically-driven government ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Dominoes of Democracy

Cause and effect. Sometimes the relationship is obvious, as in, for example, a cigarette left smoldering on a couch and the subsequent conflagration that destroys a house. Other times, to see the relationship requires some digging, some thinking, some connecting of the dots. To its shame the Harper regime, as retrograde and benighted as it ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Good News: It’s a New Year – the Bad News: Expect More of the Same

Best wishes to everyone in 2013. I would like to express my hope that all will enjoy a prosperous 12 months ahead, but given both domestic and international realities, I know that will not be the case for many. This, despite the self-congratulatory tone Stephen Harper frequently strikes when talking about how Canada is doing ...

Politics and its Discontents: An Odious Servitude

In its ongoing and odious servitude to a reactionary constituency, the Harper regime continues to use the heavy hand of government to target and harass those whose ideology differs from its own. I have already written several times about Bill C-377, the private members bill designed to flame discontent with unions in this country. Apparently, ...

Politics and its Discontents: Whither Goest Democracy?

This thoughtful Star reader provides his answer: As I attended the Remembrance Day ceremony on Sunday, I thought of all those who died and suffered for our democracy. It made me very sad, sadder than in past years, to think of the current state of democracy in Canada and how our government seems to have ...

Politics and its Discontents: Eugenics in Alberta

Given the province’s rather fanatical conviction that its tarsands projects should be subject to little or no oversight, it might be useful to bear in mind another kind of fanaticism it embraced between 1928 and 1972: eugenics. Between 1929 and 1972, 4785 cases [for sterilizations] were presented to the board, and 99% of these cases ...

Politics and its Discontents: How The Harper Omnibus Bill Disrupted My Sunday

Yesterday started out pleasantly enough. After enjoying my wife’s home-made cereal, a piece of toast and some coffee, I decided the weather was so fine that it warranted my going out on my bicycle to be among nature’s delights. Returning home after about an hour-and-a-half, in an unusually serene frame of mind, it seemed like ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Sad Saga Of Our Declining Democracy Continues

During the past year I have written many posts on the sad spectacle of a Canadian democracy in decline, citizen cynicism and apathy rather than vigorous engagement becoming the default position of more and more Canadians. I have also offered the opinion that this is in large part the result of practices purposely pursued by ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Harper Perversion Of the Temporary Foreign Workers Program

In what looks like yet another invitation by the Harper regime to corporate thievery in Canada, Human Resources Minister Diane Finley last week announced that employers will now be able to pay temporary migrant workers less than would be paid to Canadians doing the same job. What is especially alarming about this, beyond the obvious ...

Politics and its Discontents: Discouragements to Democratic Participation

The litany of abuses, even crimes, against democracy committed by the Harper regime is indeed long. Probably the gravest damage done by this regime, and I believe the damage is intentional, is to alienate increasing numbers of citizens from the electoral process. In his column today, Bob Hepburn, in writing about the renewal of attack ...