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Accidental Deliberations: On balanced options

Dave McGrane offers a historical perspective on how deficits for their own sake shouldn’t be seen as an element of left-wing or progressive policy, while Excited Delerium takes a look at the policies on offer in Canada’s federal election to see how it’s possible to pursue substantive progressive change within a balanced budget. But let’s examine more closely why it’s wrong to draw any equivalence between the Trudeau Libs’ platform, deficits and progressive policies (despite their frantic efforts to pretend there’s no difference between the three).

Taking the Libs at their word, their current plan is to engage in deficit (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Laurie Penny argues that Jeremy Corbyn’s remarkable run to lead the Labour Party represents an important challenge to the theory that left-wing parties should avoid talking about principles in the name of winning power – particularly since the result hasn’t been much success on either front. – Trevor Pott discusses Canada’s popular backlash against an unaccountable and security state, particularly when it’s deployed primarily to silence dissenting political views.

- Bruce Johnstone writes that contempt for the law is par for the course from the Harper Cons. And Bruce Livesey reports on (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Ian Welsh rightly points out how our lives are shaped by social facts far beyond individual’s control: If you are homeless in America, know that there are five times as many empty homes as there are homeless people.

If you are homeless in Europe, know that there are two times as many empty homes are there are homeless.

If you are hungry anywhere in the world, know that the world produces more than enough food to feed everyone, and that the amount of food we discard as trash is, alone, more than enough (Read more…)

Alberta Politics: Is it good news or bad news for the Conservatives if Stephen Harper trumps Trump tonight?

PHOTOS: Stephen Harper, as imagined during tonight’s TV debate. (Photo of Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore.) Below: The real Mr. Harper and another shot of the real Mr. Trump. Now, about that debate tonight, the big question has to be whether it will help the Conservatives or hurt them when Canadian voters tune into the […]

The post Is it good news or bad news for the Conservatives if Stephen Harper trumps Trump tonight? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

The Canadian Progressive: #HarperBlamesAlbertans: Canadians thrash Harper for dissing Alberta Premier Notley, Albertans

Stephen Harper insulted Albertans for electing Rachel Notley and the Alberta NDP, ending 44 straight years of one party Progressive Conservative rule in the oil-rich province. Canadians hit back using the Twitter hastag #HarperBlamesAlbertans.

The post #HarperBlamesAlbertans: Canadians thrash Harper for dissing Alberta Premier Notley, Albertans appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: On closed-door decisions

Memo to Don Lenihan:

It’s well and good to point to past backroom policy debacles such as utterly unwanted Crown corporation giveaways as examples of a complete lack of public engagement.

But before lauding Kathleen Wynne as the face of open government, might it be worth noting that she’s doing the exact same thing on too short a time frame for public consultation, while paying lip service to “dialogue” after it’s too late?

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Heather Stewart writes about the OECD’s study showing the connection between increasingly precarious work and worsening inequality. 

- Tara Deschamps reports on a few of the challenges facing poor Torontonians, while Sara Mojtehedzadeh and Laurie Monsebraaten cover the United Way’s report card showing that most workers are now stuck in precarious work. And Star offers a few policy suggestions to improve that situation, while Ella Bedard points out how Andrew Cash is pushing for solutions at the federal level.

- Edward Keenan writes that it’s long past time to stop relying (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: The mad mathematics of Ontario’s Whigs.

Maybe Ontario teachers were on strike back when little Kathleen Wynne and Charles Sousa were there to learn mathematics. It would be the only excuse for the utterly ridiculous decision of the Ontario government to sell part of Hydro One and not the Liquor Control Board stores. As children, our Premier and Finance Minister must have also missed being taught about the goose that laid golden eggs.

They have certainly laid an egg by suggesting that the province should sell 60 per cent of Hydro One. This part of Ontario Hydro does the distribution of electrical service throughout Ontario. Its (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Jordan Brennan discusses the utter failure of past trade agreements to live up to their promises, making it all the more unclear why we should be prepared to accept a new wave of even more inflexible restrictions against democratic decision-making. The trade and investment liberalization regime led to rapid and relentless restructuring of North American corporate ownership by opening the door to the two largest merger waves in Canadian history. On the world stage, these merger waves led to higher levels of Canadian corporate ownership abroad. Domestically, heightened amalgamation activity created larger Canadian-based (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Ontario can have a two-day budget day.

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa hardly needs us to tell him what to do. Premier Wynne put Ed Clark of TD Bank in charge. That way, she tells Clark and Clark tells Sousa. No comments from the cheap seats are allowed.

But do they have any idea of how long it will take to read the budget speech to the Ontario Legislature? Between the Premier’s ridiculous plans for beer and wine, Clark’s decision to sell Hydro One and Sousa’s housekeeping items, it is going to take two days to get through it all.

It will be the first time the (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…)

Progressive Proselytizing: Ontario’s brave new cap and trade program

The Globe and Mail just broke the story on what will likely be the defining component of Kathleen Wynne’s legacy: The Ontario Liberals are introducing a big cap and trade plan. Details are sparse as yet, but it looks like they will be joining the Quebec/California regime. This is huge news, especially given Ontario’s relative prominence in Canada’s economy.

While BC (under the Liberals as well, incidentally) were moving forward with their carbon tax, Ontario Liberals had made big moves on the green energy file. With cap and trade, they are now tackling the greenhouse gas production side of the (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…)

The Canadian Progressive: International Women’s Day 2015: Ontario’s bold anti-sexual violence plan

This powerful anti-sexual violence ad, released just in time for the 2015 International Woman’s Day, is part of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s ambitious $41-million plan to combat sexual violence.

The post International Women’s Day 2015: Ontario’s bold anti-sexual violence plan appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Great Toronto Makeover

Before he left his throne in Ottawa today, and set out for Toronto, I'm sure Stephen Harper had deluded himself into believing that this would be another Great Makeover Day.A day to show his rebellious subjects that he is now a Great Kinder Gentler Leader.A day to show them that even a leopard can change its spots, or a hyena can lose its teeth.And still remain a Great Strong Leader, willing and capable of gumming a Fantino. Read more »

Calgary Grit: 2014 Person of the Year

Every December, I name a “Person of the Year” – the individual who left their mark on Canadian politics over the past year, for good or for bad. Below is a list of recent choices:

2013: Rob Ford & Naheed Nenshi 2012: Allison Redford 2011: Jack Layton 2010: Rob Ford & Naheed Nenshi2009: Jim Flaherty2008: Stephane Dion2007: Jean Charest2006: Michael Ignatieff2005: Belinda Stronach2004: Ralph Klein

I’ve never picked Stephen Harper because, duh, obviously the Prime Minister is going to have an impact on politics. And 2014 was no exception. In a year which (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: The PM’s Christmas Message reimagined: What are Canadians willing to do about our most dangerous Arctic enemy?

The so-called Santa Claus, a militant socialist leader who poses a serious threat to Canada’s national security, lights up a cheap Russian cigarette and relaxes after persuading a group of Canadian children unschooled in Austrian economics to give up the benefits of the free market for socialist dependency on government handouts. Below: the sinister “Øverste Leder” of the Danes, the icy eyed Helle Thorning-Schmidt, and the doughty Canadian Rangers, defenders of Canada’s Arctic sovereignty as they bravely prepare to engage in another lonely Sov Pat.

A Christmas Message from the Prime Minister of All the Canadas:

It’s Christmas, and (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Recognizing Harper For what He Is

Last evening I watched a PBS special on the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary. Archival footage spanning over 50 years of the group and their times reminded me of the passionate and committed century I grew up in, a time that saw people marching en masse to protest the Vietnam War, to advocate for civil rights, etc. Outside of the Occupy Movement, rarely has this century seen such activism.

I often think that the forces of corporatism, aided and abetted by their government enablers, have been very successful in largely muting, if not totally silencing, the spirit of protest. (Read more…)

OPSEU Diablogue: Wynne and Clark cling to discredited P3s despite damning report

Infrastructure Ontario CEO Bert Clark says the $8 billion premium the government spent to build public infrastructure under the public-private partnership model doesn’t tell the whole story. He’s right, but likely not in the way he’s suggesting. Remarkably Tuesday night … Continue reading →

Montreal Simon: The Main Reason Stephen Harper Hates Kathleen Wynne So Much

I can only guess why Stephen Harper hates Kathleen Wynne with a passion that makes you want to pick up the phone, and call the police. Because I'm not a psychiatrist specializing in the treatment of clinical psychopaths, who can't feel the pain of others. Or be rehabilitated.But I know do enough about him and his morally depraved Con cult to come up with a short list of possible reasons:Read more »

Accidental Deliberations: On abuses of power

Shorter Ontario Libs: It turns out that the public sees privatizing power as only slightly more desirable than the plague. But to ensure a swift transition of profits toward the private sector, we’re fully prepared to falsely claim those are our only two options.

CuriosityCat: Kudos to Premier Wynne for remedying our democratic deficits

Political Reformer Premier Wynne

While many premiers, MPs, politicians and commentators wring their hands about the low voting counts in elections, and the feeling of impotence of many citizens, Premier Wynne of Ontario has decided to stop whining and do something about it. With one bold step, Wynne will provide Ontario municipalities with the chance to try a radically different method of electing municipal councillors than the undemocratic first past the post sytem:

Premier Kathleen Wynne has ordered her municipal affairs minister to give Ontario cities the alternative of employing ranked ballots in the 2018 civic elections.

In her (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Kathleen Wynne, the Cons, and the Moody’s Mob

I'm pretty sure not many people in Ontario, let alone the rest of Canada, took time off from their busy lives, or Summer, to watch Kathleen Wynne's Throne Speech today.And neither did I eh? Because summer is too precious, life is too short, and since I'm flying to Britain soon, I've got other things to worry about. But it was an interesting declaration of faith in the power of putting people first.Premier Kathleen Wynne has rolled out a progressive, energetic agenda in her first majority Speech from the Throne. Vowing to lead from the “activist centre,” (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Kathleen Wynne, the Cons, and the Moody’s Mob

Scott's DiaTribes: Some Liberal bits and bites – provincial and federal

- Re-elected Premier Kathleen Wynne will be swearing in her new provincial Cabinet today. One of the chief shuffles I’m pleased to see is Dr. Eric Hoskins moving into the Health Ministry portfolio. I’ve been a long time supporter of his from his running as a federal LPC candidate in Haldimand Norfolk and before that heading up War Child Canada (now headed by his wife, Dr.Samantha Nutt). I’m also pleased to see Mitzie Hunter, who brought forth the private-members bill last session to allow ranked ballots to be used in Toronto’s civic elections, has been given a promotion to (Read more…)

OPSEU Diablogue: The politics of “ableism” and hard-working babies

If there was a party game that could be applied to the recent provincial election, it would have involved some kind of participant action every time a politician uttered the words “hard-working families.” It’s an odd phrase – does that … Continue reading →