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Politics and its Discontents: I Guess Sometimes It Doesn’t Pay To Have Friends In High Places

Although I have no sympathy for those who work, either directly or indirectly, for the Harper regime, there is a story in Toronto Life entitled, With Friends Like Harper: how Nigel Wright went from golden boy to fall guy which made for some interesting reading.

Part profile of Wright and part portrait of a cold, calculating and ruthless Prime Minister willing to jettison even those closest to him, the article revealed things I was quite unaware of. For example, I did not know that Wright and Tom Long were instrumental in luring Harper back into politics after he left following (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Another Gem From Our National Treasure

Oh, Rick, may your voice never be silenced.

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Politics and its Discontents: TWO Judicial Setbacks In ONE Day!

I don’t want to chortle; I really don’t. Chortling bespeaks a certain pettiness and vindictiveness that I would like, in my more high-mined moments, to think I am above. But I am weak, and so today is a good day to indulge in some whole-hearted chortling.

First came the news this morning that Marc Nadon, the Harper cabal’s selection to take one of the Supreme Court’s Quebec seats, was rejected by that lofty body because he meets none of the qualifications to sit (a mere pesky detail, I suppose, to some I could name).

Also this morning, another judicial body, (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: An Evening Reminder Of Just How Hostile Stephen Harper Is To Canada’s Long-Term Interests

For more information, this link is a good place to start. Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: Each Day Seems To Bring A Fresh Outrage

I am someone who believes people should never be too happy or contented. Such states breed a complacency that can lead to an indifference, if not downright disengagement, from the pressing issues that citizenship demands. That being said, however, there are days when I almost wish that I could be blithely detached.

As many who read this will likely attest, being a Canadian with a government that betrays us in so many ways is at times very difficult to accept and endure.

Where to start in discussing those betrayals? Since this post would never end if I were to enumerate (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Law Professors Are Not Impressed By The ‘Fair’ Elections Act

Yasmin Dawood is one of 160 professors from across Canada behind an open letter to the government asking for major revisions to the ‘Fair’ Elections Act. Yesterday, she appeared on Power and Politics. As you will see, Dawood regards the act’s provisions as posing a grave threat to Canadian democracy:

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Politics and its Discontents: A New Post From The Salamander

In response to the letter I posted this morning, The Salamander offers some timely commentary, which I am posting below. While making his usual incisive observations, he also has some suggestions that we would all do well to take to heart:

.. don’t wear a poppy .. turn your back or raise your fist.. or your voice.. when confronted by hypocrisy.. obvious deceit, cowardice & secretive government.. Find your own individual and special way to honor our heroes and exemplars and make it blinding clear how you treasure the courage, sacrifice.. the gift they gave all of us

Stand tall.. bold .. feet (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: A Nice Compendium Of Recent Harper Offences Against Democracy

I am preparing to resume work on my flooring, so, in lieu of my own piece, I am posting a letter from the London Community News that offers some thoughts on the ‘Fair’ Elections Act and other Harper government misdeeds:

Dear editor,

Much noise has been made about what the Conservatives’ euphemistically call the “fair elections act” currently being tabled in the House of Commons. CBC personality Rick Mercer announced that if the bill passes then Canada would forfeit our title as one of the world’s greatest democracies.

Mercer’s televised rant focused on the aspect of the bill that makes (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: More Food For Thought

I am still working on my flooring, and as someone to whom the term handyman has little application, I am working very slowly. Therefore, in lieu of a post, I offer this wisdom from George Orwell:

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Politics and its Discontents: Few Escape The Bruce Carson Taint

Nigel Wright to Bruce Carson in 2011 as the later conducted his allegedly illegal lobbying:

“I’ve heard a lot of good things about you. Feel free to give me a call at any time.

You can read all about it here.

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Politics and its Discontents: More And More Canadians Are Rejecting The Mores and M.O. Of The Harper Regime

At least these letters from Star readers suggest thus:

Pollster warns Tories their support is slipping, March 1

In addition to the concerns of university-educated male voters between the ages 45 and 64 identified in the article, there is another significant reason that this and many other demographics are deserting the Conservative party. It has to do with the values that have evolved to become associated with the party brand.Whereas the demographic in question had hoped once that the Conservatives would herald economic prosperity based upon a broad new vision for Canada, what the Conservatives have delivered is a (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: On Democracy And Political Leadership

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…)

Politics and its Discontents: Some Days A Reactionary Just Can’t Catch A Break

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…)

Politics and its Discontents: A Good Start To The Week

It is always gratifying to begin the week reading the thoughts of engaged Canadians who see through the thinly-veiled lies of the Harper cabal. In this morning’s Star, three letter-writers address the topic of Bill C-520, a ‘private member’s bill’ proposed by Conservative MP Mark Adler, about which I have previously written.


Watchdogs present united front against Tory disclosure bill, Feb. 26

Conservative MP Mark Adler’s claim that the desire for “transparency” is behind his private member’s bill is completely fraudulent. The bill would require all employees of the so-called “watchdog” agencies – like auditor-general’s office, the ethics commissioner, (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Some Glum Faces At The Manning Centre

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…)

Politics and its Discontents: This Just In!

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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Politics and its Discontents: His Hands Are All Over It

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…)

Politics and its Discontents: Another Guest Post From The Salamander

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…)

Politics and its Discontents: An Issue So Many Of Us Grapple With

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…)

Politics and its Discontents: A Telling Distinction

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Politics and its Discontents: Shoulder Shrug

Like many of the commentators and bloggers whom I read, I regularly feel a deep frustration over the passivity of people. No matter what the problem, be it political, social, environmental or a host of others, too many have a ‘can’t-do’ reaction that debases so many in a myriad of ways. Indeed, it appears to be one of our species’ defining characteristics, one at which Canadians seem to particularly excel, if our current political landscape is any indication.

Perhaps we need a national shoulder-shrug symbol as an expression of the what-can-you-do paralysis that cripples so many, a condition that undoubtedly (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: An Initial Reaction To The Budget

To paraphrase the Soup Nazi, young people, “No job for you!”

This message brought to you by the Harper government, not hard at work for you.

H/t PressProgress

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Politics and its Discontents: Peace Of Mind: An Elusive State

Do not go gentle into that good night.Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

- Dylan Thomas

I have now passed seven years of my ‘official’ retirement; it will be eight years this June since it actually began, given that I took a six-month leave before starting to draw my pension. According to all of the ‘good life commercials,’ I should be wiling away the rest of my days on the golf course, on some non-existent yacht, or fleeing harsh Canadian winters via the snowbird route.

Instead, I find myself increasingly restless and angry. Instead of disengaging from (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Rick Mercer Takes Aim At Julian Fantino

Rick Mercer surely is one of our national treasures:

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