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Accidental Deliberations: Staying the flawed course

John Ivison is right to note that the Cons’ latest ad reflects the Harper braintrust sticking to what seems to have been a long-established plan. But it’s worth highlighting how that plan has been overtaken by events – and how even the Libs may be able to use the message to their advantage if they’re smart in the approach to this fall’s federal election.

In principle, a “just not ready” message is tailor-made for a two-party race where a party’s ability to attach a single personality flaw to the opposing leader can make all the difference between victory and defeat.

(Read more…)

Susan on the Soapbox: An Open Letter to Stephen Harper about the Debates

Dear Mr Harper: I understand that you’ve decided not to participate in the traditional election debates hosted by the three major TV networks, Global, CTV and CBC. Incidentally, isn’t it convenient they’re known as The Consortium? Conjures up all sorts of sinister images of The Firm and The Company and lends a smattering of credence to your objection.

You’ve rejected The Consortium because you want “more opportunities for freewheeling interaction” and greater “diversity and innovation”. Apparently you expect to get these opportunities with other media organizations like Macleans.

Have you lost your mind?

May I remind you that the last (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On complexities

Bruce Anderson writes that as some of us have long suspected, a true three-party federal race is developing which will create some new complications for the Cons and Libs alike. But it’s worth pointing out one area where the Cons are in much worse shape than they’ve ever been.

Before the 2008 and 2011 elections, the Cons managed to render Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff radioactive with voters – with those leaders’ approval ratings running far below the Libs’ party polling results. And over the course of the campaign, an expected convergence between those numbers led to a natural (Read more…)

OpenMedia.ca: iPolitics: Will Liberal Senators vote against Bill C-51 despite Trudeau’s stand?

According to iPolitics, Senate opposition leader James Cowan said he’ll break with the policy of his Liberal party and vote against the Harper government’s controversial anti-terrorism legislation, Bill C-51.

“My sense would be that most Liberal senators will oppose the bill. We’ll propose amendments — not the same amendments they did in the House but similar. For my part, if the amendments aren’t carried, and I don’t expect they will be, then I’ll vote against the bill,” Senator Cowan told iPolitics.ca’s Janice Dickson.

Bill C-51 passed in the House of Commons last week thanks to the support of (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Will McMartin highlights the fact that constant corporate tax slashing has done nothing other than hand ever-larger piles of money to businesses who have no idea what to do with it. But Josh Wingrove reports that Justin Trudeau is looking for excuses to keep up the handouts to the corporate sector.

- Joseph Stiglitz offers (PDF) a thorough review of our options in lessening corporate hegemony, while Elizabeth Warren and Rosa Delauro ask why citizens should accept trade agreements being written in secret by and for the corporate sector. And David Dayen (Read more…)

OpenMedia.ca: Liberals are cutting their membership cards after Bill C-51 vote

Did the Liberals really think their voters wouldn’t care about that Bill C-51 vote? Well, they were wrong. 

Article by ThinkPol

Social media is abuzz with images of Liberal supporters symbolically cutting up their party membership cards after their leader Justin Trudeau voted in favour of Bill C-51 at the anti-terrorism legislation’s third reading in the House of Commons.

Disillusioned supporters also plastered Trudeau’s Facebook page with angry comments about the party’s support for the controversial bill which has been denounced as dangerous and draconian by legal experts, academics, former Prime Ministers, First Nations groups, civil society organizations and (Read more…)

Left Over: The Thought Police: Alive and Well and Ruling in Canada

Ottawa considering hate charges against those who boycott Israel Blaney’s office cites ‘comprehensive’ hate laws for new zero tolerance plans

By Neil Macdonald, CBC News Posted: May 11, 2015 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: May 11, 2015 5:00 AM ET

”ll bet Junior Trudeau is so happy he signed off on C-51…right now, my instinct is to declare that I have in fact been boycotting any Israeli products for years, as have many others. If the Cons want to come after me in any way, shape or form I’m happy to oblige them. I’mm betting that lawyers will be lining up (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Working across the aisle

Among the other lessons learned from Alberta’s recent election, let’s point out one more with implications for the federal scene.

While the main opposition parties recognized that they were too far apart in their general policy orientation to justify a formal coalition, both the NDP and the Wildrose Party were happy to point out some of the areas which were ripe for cooperation as part of their criticism of the governing PCs.

In other words, neither tried to pretend that there was no room to discuss post-election cooperation, nor to claim that some areas of disagreement or personal differences rendered (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- PressProgress weighs in on corporate Canada’s twelve-figure tax avoidance, while noting that the Cons’ decision to slash enforcement against tax cheats (while attacking charities instead) goes a long way toward explaining the amount of money flowing offshore. And Oxfam is working on its own Canadian fair tax campaign.

- Robert Frank highlights the complete disconnect from reality which results in most American millionaires claiming that they’re in the middle class, rather than representing a privileged few. And Stephen Gordon writes that there’s a similar sleight of hand at work in the Libs’ “middle (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Sean McElwee offers a new set of evidence that the right-wing Republicans who run on the economy in fact do it nothing but harm. And David Dayen discusses how Bernie Sanders may be able to push the U.S.’ policy discussion into a far more positive area by forcing both parties to confront the failure of corporatist economics.

- But David MacDonald warns that Justin Trudeau and the Libs are trying to force Canada into a limited choice between tax baubles for the upper class. And Chantal Hebert too sees Trudeau as (Read more…)

Progressive Proselytizing: Justin Trudeau’s tax plan is good policy and great politics

Going as far back as Justin Trudeau’s leadership election, he has consistently kept his major campaign planks close to the vest. Little tidbits, like the policy on marijuana, come out in carefully crafted morsels, but for the most part we are left guessing at what his first federal election campaign platform will be based on the vague rhetorical positioning his team has let out over the last year.  Finally, however, we have some clarity. Trudeau has announced a big series of changes to tax policy. They do a couple things. Firstly, they reverse the two much criticized regressive new (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Rona Ambrose and the Great Con War on Marijuana

You might think that the Harper regime had annoyed the people of Vancouver enough recently, with their slow response to the oil spill in English Bay.And their outrageous claims that it was a "world class" operation.But no, apparently not. Because now after James Moore's world class buffoon act.Here comes that other Con clown Rona Ambrose, to declare that the real threat to the city is the KILLER WEED !!!!Read more »

Accidental Deliberations: Choosing the wrong side

Following up on this morning’s column, let’s note that there’s another area where the Libs are stubbornly sticking to a previous position whose underpinnings have been even more thoroughly destroyed.

The Libs have been at pains to at least offer the perception of changing their direction from nearly everything done by both Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff as leaders. But the common theme of arrogantly ruling out cooperation with other parties continues to lie at the centre of the Libs’ messaging – even though it failed miserably in both of the last two federal elections, and looks downright absurd (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how the massive shift in public opinion against the Conservatives’ terror bill should remind us that people are more than willing to reconsider their initial position on a policy – and how it should signal to political parties that it might be a good idea to do the same.

For further reading…- My previous columns on the terror bill can be found at the links here, here and here, while general coverage of C-51 is here. And the B.C. Civil Liberties Association points out why the few amendments the Cons were prepared to (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On guesswork

Shorter Bob Rae: Some people actually believe voters deserve a meaningful idea what political parties plan to do before choosing between them? That’s crazy talk.

Montreal Simon: Justin Trudeau and the Great Canadian Coalition

Ever since Stephen Harper came to power and Canada's long nightmare began, I have tried to remain strictly non-partisan and support all three progressive parties.I have encouraged them to fight the tyrant as hard as they can, I have focused on the strengths of their leaders rather than their weaknesses.Because all I seek is the total destruction of the Con regime. At this point in our history, for me, that's all that matters.And in that regard, I'm afraid I have to say that I believe that Justin Trudeau has just made a bad mistake.Read more »

CuriosityCat: 2015 election: Harper on road to minority government?

The problem?

The latest compendium of polls by 308 have good news and bad news.

Good news for Harper who – based on these results – would form a minority government after the 2015 election.

Bad news for the Liberals, whose support is slipping.

And good news for the besieged Mulcair’s NDP, which has steadily lost whatever magic it had in the 2011 election, despite herculean efforts in Parliament by their leader.

Here’s the chart showing the steady but slight erosion in Liberal support: And here is the 308 forecast of possible seats if those polls hold:

With these levels (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: 2015 election: Harper on road to minority government?

Accidental Deliberations: The petulant son

Shorter Justin Trudeau: When I say I plan to do politics differently, what I mean is that I’m willing to leave Stephen Harper in power based on the most petty and frivolous excuses anybody’s ever heard.

No longer is there any pretense that a flat “no” to a coalition with the NDP is based on policy differences (however implausible). Instead, Trudeau is ruling out the possibility of cooperation based on personal hostility toward Thomas Mulcair – which of course couldn’t be further from matching the public’s perception of the NDP’s leader, particularly among people with whom Trudeau supposedly (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Saturday reading.

- Lana Payne writes that we’re seeing exactly the results we should expect from Stephen Harper’s foolish choice to push money upward: A recent Globe and Mail story, using data from Statistics Canada, pointed out just how poorly the job market is doing under Stephen Harper’s leadership.

“Employment growth has been below 1 per cent for 15 months in a row.  The longest stretch … outside of recessions in almost 40 years of record-keeping,” according to the article by economics reporter Tavia Grant.

At the same time, corporate Canada is flush with cash, (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: History repeating

2008, pre-election: Liberal bigwigs make a ridiculous spectacle of themselves proclaiming that they’ll never deign to cooperate with the likes of the NDP.

2008, post-election: Having spent the campaign echoing Stephen Harper’s desperate message that a coalition would be illegitimate, the Liberals conclude that they’re willing to cooperate after all, only to botch the job.

2011, pre-election: Liberal bigwigs make a ridiculous spectacle of themselves proclaiming that they’ll never deign to cooperate with the likes of the NDP.

2011, post-election: Having spent the campaign echoing Stephen Harper’s desperate message that a coalition would be illegitimate, the Liberals conclude that they’re (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Police State Canada–Will This Be Our Future Under PM Harper?

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

It’s a rainy West Coast Saturday morning, mild and quite beautiful but the direction that PM Harper is taking is chilling, surreal, shocking.

Clearly our Prime Minister is launching a police state to spy on Canadians, arrest, detain, and imprison those who dare to publicly criticize this lurch to the extreme right, essentially we are being driven into a police state.

The Harper Conservatives are well organized and ruthlessly riding roughshod over our democracy at every level imaginable.

Our opposition leaders, with the exception of Elizabeth May, seem unable to fully grasp and adequately respond to the threat facing Canadians.

Harper (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- For those looking for information about today’s day of action against C-51, Leadnow and Rabble both have details.

- Meanwhile, CBC reports that a professor merely taking pictures on public land near a proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline site is already being harassed by the RCMP under current law. Tonda MacCharles notes that lawyers currently involved in dealing with classified-evidence cases have joined the call to rein in the Cons’ terror bill, while PressProgress points out that airlines are also raising serious concerns about the unfettered power handed to a single minister to dictate (Read more…)

Maple-Flavoured Politics: Anti-Abortion Group Against Trudeau

So, this happened. Campaign Life Coalition Youth (CLCY) and the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR), two anti-abortion groups, announced that they are launching a nationwide campaign against Justin Trudeau because of his staunch pro-choice stance. Far be it from me to say anything that might dissuade them from this course of action. And I … Continue Reading

Maple-Flavoured Politics: It Begins With Words

After his March 9, 2015 speech in Toronto to the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, Justin Trudeau took a lot of flack for his reference to the Komagata Maru, the St. Louis and “none is too many.” In the course of the 40-minute speech, he spoke expansively about the values of liberty and … Continue Reading

Montreal Simon: Could Stephen Harper’s Bigotry Cost the Cons the Next Election?

You should have seen Stephen Harper in Question Period yesterday, for there couldn't have been a more scary spectacle.He looked like hell, bagged beyond belief. He looked angry and desperate. Angry at Justin Trudeau for accusing him of fanning the flames of bigotry with his Great War on the Niqab.And sounded like an absolute maniac. Read more »