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Calgary Grit: Politicians in Cowboy Hats

For a brief history of Stampede fashion, you can read the 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2013 round-ups – or “100 Years of Bad Photo-Ops“

This week’s pilgrimage of politicians to the Stampede was met with less fanfare than some years gone by. This wasn’t the first rodeo for any of the party leaders, and ever since the leather vest incident, wardrobes are vetted by dozens of staffers and stylists. So there were few surprises and few opportunities to ridicule.

And, let’s be honest, everyone was there for the (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Your Monday Morning Smile

An editorial cartoonist captures a Heritage Moment nicely:

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Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Ill wind from Alberta

Well nobody at this beach on the Toronto Island today was complaining about an ill wind from the West.Because it was warm and wild, and summer like life is so short and precious.However, had they been in Calgary this weekend, they would have encountered another kind of wind.Hot, foul, and fetid, whistling out of Stephen Harper's main orifice, and aimed squarely at Justin Trudeau.Read more »

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: NEP what? Trudeau Liberals dominate Oil Capital Fort McMurray

TweetPreliminary results from last week’s Fort McMurray-Athabasca by-election show that federal Liberal candidate Kyle Harrietha dominated in the industrial capital of Canada’s oil economy. According to an initial breakdown of the results by polling station, Mr. Harrietha earned 46% of the votes cast (2,560 votes) in the northern region the riding on June 30, 2014, which includes the Municipal District of Wood […]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Johnson, Anglin, Nenshi and Butler. Who said Alberta politics is dull in the summer?

TweetPremier Dave Hancock is standing behind Jeff Johnson, even after the Information and Privacy Commissioner ruled that the embattled education minister broke Alberta’s privacy laws by sending a direct message to the personal email addresses of thousands of teachers during their contract negotiations. In any other job, breaking the law would likely be cause for […]

CuriosityCat: Political generational shift

“Shake hands with the nice man. First, I’ll take his job, and then later, when you’re all grown up, you can take mine!”

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Fatal Momentum of Justin Trudeau

Golly. Talk about the showdown at the Calgary Corral, or the redneck Stampede.The aging gunslinger in the black hat, staring with his cold dead eyes at the young upstart in the white hat, who is preparing to humiliate him.And while I can only imagine what was going through Stephen Harper's mind at the sight of his hated rival flaunting his growing popularity. Even in his beloved Alberta.You can be sure it wasn't pretty eh?Trying to be a good host and failing so miserably…Read more »

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Dear Mr Mulcair and Mr. Trudeau: If You Become Prime Minister Will Your Government Introduce A Real National Autism Strategy to Help all Autistic Canadians?

Mr. Thomas J. MulcairLeader of the Official Opposition New Democratic Party of Canada

Mr. Justin TrudeauLeader of the Liberal Partty of Canada

Re:  Autism in Canada

I am the father of an 18 year old young man with severe Autism Spectrum Disorder and I have been advocating for the introduction and development of autism services in New Brunswick and Canada for more than 15 years since his autism disorder diagnosis at age 2.  As a resident of Fredericton New Brunswick I was one of a group of parent autism advocates who had the privilege of working with the (Read more…)

Left Over: Desperation and Distraction, but a Little Satisfaction?

 

http://montrealsimon.blogspot.ca/2014/07/the-increasing-desperation-of-stephen.html

Two things have me momentarily distracted these days, and both are all about the lack of traction that the Cons are getting from attacking both Junior and the NDP..vis a vis the ‘scandal’ that never was re their supposed illegal Parliamentary postal charge avoidance..what happened with that? Sadly (IMHO) the NDP are falling in the polls, yes, but I think that redemption may be at hand, at least in the form of continuing to be the Loyal Opposition after Junior’s team get elected..yes, I fear the writing is on the wall, I (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The Increasing Desperation of Stephen Harper

Lordy. Somebody call an exorcist. Stephen Harper is haunting my inner sanctum. I just can't get away from him.As I told you the other day, I was shocked to find that flyer jammed in my front door.And today my nightmare only grew worse.When I found this unsolicited invitation in my twitter feed !!!!!

Which since Harperland and paranoia go so well together, had me wondering why am I on the Con voting list instead of their Enemy List? Why are they pretending they don't know where I live or don't read my e-mails? And are they trying to (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Increasing Desperation of Stephen Harper

CuriosityCat: Byelections: Thomas Mulcair’s NDP In Denial Phase

Mulcair in denial

Four byelections, and a thumping for the NDP, but that party is still refusingto face up to reality (my bolding):

Mulcair said the NDP needs to run campaigns that go beyond strictly local matters and focus on broader “kitchen table” issues, such as gas prices, ATM fees and transit, which are of concern to many Canadians of different political stripes.

“When we head into the general (election), we’re going to be broadening from where we are,” he said.

The NDP leader said Cressy got strong support from the party base, but the “mathematics of the vote” (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Shocker: Conservatives win Alberta by-elections

TweetConservative candidates were elected in two federal by-elections yesterday in Alberta. This is an event which would normally not be a source for much commentary, but there are some interesting points to be made from the outcome of these two by-elections. Conservatives hold, but support shrinks In Fort McMurray-Athabasca, Conservative David Yurdiga was elected with 5,945 votes (47% of the […]

Alberta Diary: Happy Canada Day from the prime minister of Canada and the premier of Alberta, channeled by Perfesser Dave

Oooooh! Happy Canada Day, Canadians. Enjoy yourselves. Prime Minister Steve Harper and Premier Dave Hancock wish they could be here with you and Perfesser Dave. Below: Mr. Hancock and Mr. Harper … Happy-Happy!

Happy Canada Day!

Perfesser Dave, here, the political predictions guy, speaking on behalf of my friends Stephen Harper and David Hancock, who weren’t available to talk to you last night.

Both of them were really, really busy getting ready for Canada Day today, but I know they would want me to let you know they hope you have the best Canada Day holiday ever! And they hope (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Big by-election in Fort McMurray? Never mind that! As goes Macleod, so goes Alberta…

Fort McMurray, before the Bitumen Boom. Things have changed. Below: Conservative Fort McMurray-Athabasca candidate David Yurdiga, Liberal candidate Kyle Harrietha, NDP candidate Lori McDaniel, former Conservative MP Brian Jean.

If the good people of Fort McMurray climb out of bed this morning and decide to elect a Liberal to represent them in Parliament, there will be shock, dismay and consternation throughout Alberta.

But, fear not my fellow Albertans, even in the unlikely event this happens, it almost certainly won’t mean whatever you are told it means.

Yes, today is the day after the weekend and the day before Canada Day (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: A Liberal win in Fort McMurray-Athasbasca would send shockwaves to Ottawa

TweetTomorrow, voters in four federal ridings across Canada, including Alberta’s Fort McMurray-Athabasca and Macleod, have an opportunity to choose their next Member of Parliament. Paying close attention to a by-election campaign may not be the most thrilling activity to occupy your time during the summer months, but it is an important one. Voters in southern Alberta’s Macleod […]

Montreal Simon: The Con Regime and the Attack Ad Question

Well as you can imagine, the secure facility where I live is a Con-Free Zone.No pictures of Stephen Harper are permitted, except those stored in the bowels of my computer.And his name may not be mentioned in my presence, without written permission.So you can imagine how horrified I was to come home this week, and find this wedged in my door.Read more »

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: It Was Wrong When Ronald Reagan Did it and Just as Wrong For Stephen Harper

In, albeit not their sleaziest act, the Harper government blanketed the Ontario federal riding of Scarborough-Agincourt with flyers, aimed at the Liberals, for the upcoming bi-election.

Not unusual during an election campaign.

What made these flyers beyond the pale, was their content. Hoping to tap into the abundant immigrant community for votes, they suggest that Justin Trudeau will encourage their children to smoke pot, by making it available in stores.

Says Joan Bryden for the Canadian Press: In fact, Trudeau argues that legalizing, regulating and taxing pot would help keep it out of the hands of children and starve (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how Justin Trudeau seems to have taken up the cause of unaccountable executive power even from his third-party place in the House of Commons.

For further reading…- For some of the background on of the Libs’ entitlement hangover following the Cons’ taking power, see here (insisting that Parliament has no place in approving of military engagement) and here (criticizing the Accountability Act as a response to their actions while in power).- Josh Wingrove reports on the attempt by privacy experts to challenge the Cons’ appointment of Daniel Therrien. And Lisa Austin highlights some of the (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Parsing Justin Trudeau’s Words

Like many, I have real reservations about Justin Trudeau’s capacity for the kind of leadership that reflects a mature and nuanced mind. While many praise him for his spontaneity and unorthodox pronouncements, I look for substance and an indication of policies that suggest a significant departure from the mindset of the Harper Conservatives. Thus far I have found little to encourage me.

All three of our major federal parties are largely silent on the issues that should be preoccupying us, one of the most pressing, of course, being climate change. Because of the amount of carbon being emitted by (Read more…)

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: I’m so Damn Sick of Junk Politics and Hopefully Trudeau is Too

There is a good book by Benjamin DeMott Junk Politics: Trashing of the American Mind

DeMott laments the loss of intelligent debate in the political arena, being replaced, in part, with “touchy, feely personal testimonials” and “feel your pain” forced empathy.

In the current Ontario election campaign we’ve heard party leaders tell us that they worked their way through school, were a grandchild of immigrants and like to run.

Who cares? How is that relevant? Any identification we may have with them should end there. Our concern before we give them control of our money and in some respects, our (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Abortion: Why Trudeau’s decision on pro-choice candidates is a good one

Justin Trudeau: Decisive

Ever since Justin Trudeau’s team came out with the announcement that anti-abortion supporters need not bother to run as candidates for the nomination of Liberal MPs in the coming election, the right wing has had a field day trying to make hay out of this single straw. Take the absurdity that Robyn Urback wrote in the National Post, as an example:

What twaddle. The Liberal Party supports the Supreme Court decision regarding a woman’s right to choose. Fullstop. So why not expect potential candidates to do the same in order to run for nomination? The Liberal Party (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Abortion: Why Trudeau’s decision on pro-choice candidates is a good one

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: A Sensible Approach

Justin Trudeau has received a significant amount of flak over his recent decree that incoming Liberal MPs after the next election will be expected to be explicitly pro-choice on the abortion issue.  This weekend, the Liberal Party released a very clear-headed e-mail:

“I had an extraordinary example in a father who had deeply, deeply held personal views that were informed by the fact that he went to church every Sunday, read the Bible regularly to us, and raised us very religiously, as Catholics,” Trudeau wrote. 

“But at the same time my father had no problem legalizing divorce, decriminalizing (Read more…)

A BCer in Toronto: Proud to be part of a Liberal Party that stands for choice

The drama around the revelation that only those with pro-choice views (incumbents exempted) will be allowed to run for Liberal Party of Canada nominations has been interesting to watch, with so many commentators turning to democracy arguments to seek to overturn something Liberal members have democratically decided many times: we are a pro-choice party. It goes beyond the last leadership campaign. Liberals at policy conventions have routinely made our position on this issue abundantly and emphatically clear. And now, finally, we have a leader who is willing to have our back on this and put the marker down. For me, (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: A federal by-election in Cowboy Country

TweetEarlier this week, I wrote about the interesting by-election in Fort McMurray-Athabasca, today I look at the other federal by-election in Alberta that will take place on June 30, 2014. Situated on the eastern slopes of of the Rocky Mountains, the Conservative machine appears strong in southern Alberta’s Macleod riding. Although growth in the communities of Okotoks […]

Progressive Proselytizing: Justin Trudeau plays the long game on abortion

The general response to Justin Trudeau’s new edict on abortion – that all new Liberal candidates must vote pro-life – has been overwhelmingly negative. Canada’s major newspapers’ editorial pages have lit up with titles like Margarete Wente’s “Spare me the abortion absolutism” at the Globe and Mail, Andrew Coyne’s “Trudeau ban on pro-lifers implies the issue is settled. It isn’t.” at the National Post and the ever colourful Rosie DiMano’s “Justin Trudeau imposes ethical lobotomy on Liberals” at the Toronto Star.

Much of the criticism is, at least, overstated. More importantly, there is a significant upside: it creates a (Read more…)