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Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Return of Parliament

After a long summer break Parliament returns on Monday, and all the political parties are revving up their engines. A splashy, campaign-style launch for the government's fall agenda, a surprise tax cut for small business owners, a brand new NDP battle cry and a prime-time speech from Justin Trudeau: welcome to the 2015 election season. With Parliament poised to resume on Monday, all three main political parties are clearly revving their political engines on the road to the next vote, currently scheduled to take place some 12 months from now.For it will mark the official beginning of (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Why Edmonton Strathcona electors should vote NDP, as (not exactly) explained by Liberal MP Chrystia Freeland

Toronto Spadina MP Chrystia Freeland, a Liberal, after speaking at the University of Alberta Faculty Club last week. Below: Eleanor Olszewski, nominated Liberal candidate in the federal Edmonton Strathcona riding; Linda Duncan, NDP MP for Edmonton Strathcona.

Last Wednesday night, during an engaging talk at the University of Alberta Faculty Club, Chrystia Freeland pretty clearly laid out the arguments for why voters in Edmonton Strathcona should re-elect New Democrat Linda Duncan in the next federal election.

The Toronto MP, who is one of the bright lights of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s caucus, wasn’t aiming to make that point, of course. (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Justin Trudeau in Edmonton: dismiss this guy as a flake or a lightweight at your peril

Liberal Party of Canada Leader Justin Trudeau energized a crowd of Liberals and the curious last night in Edmonton. Below: His father, Pierre Trudeau, circa 1968; the chip off the old block.

I’m pretty sure it was in the spring of 1968 that I heard Pierre Trudeau speak in Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park. I think it was March ’68, as a matter of fact, right before the convention that made him leader of the Liberal Party and prime minister of Canada.

I can tell you this for sure, it was a beautiful day, the sun was warm, there was a (Read more…)

Scott's DiaTribes: Interview with Karen McCrimmon, LPC nomination contestant Kanata-Carleton

Following up on yesterday’s interview with David Graham, today we have an interview conducted with Karen McCrimmon, Liberal Party nomination hopeful in the riding of Kanata-Carleton. My thanks to Karen for taking time out of her busy schedule to do this interview with me. ———– 1. What made you decide you wanted to run to be the official candidate for the Liberals in your riding of Kanata-Carleton?

I first ran for the Liberals in the 2011 Federal election in the riding of Carleton-Mississippi Mills. I had been very disheartened with the direction that Canada was taking under the Harper government. (Read more…)

Scott's DiaTribes: Upcoming interviews/campaign news from #LPCO, #Brant, etc

Yes, the blog has turned into a bit of an interview/campaign theme in the last bit, but that’s what happens when Parliament and the Ontario Legislature aren’t in session, and because I don’t wish to touch the Middle East Gaza morass with a 40 foot pole.

So, a couple of things in to mention:

- I will be having interviews upcoming with Kanata-Carleton Liberal nomination candidate Karen McCrimmon, as well as Brandon Sage, who is running to be the LPCO VP of Organization (upcoming meaning as soon as they get their replies to me).

- Staying on the LPCO front, (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Justin Trudeau lauds Israel’s “commitment to peace”

In official statement that reiterates the Liberal Party’ of Canada’s position on the Middle East, leader Justin Trudeau lauds Israel’s “commitment to peace.”

The post Justin Trudeau lauds Israel’s “commitment to peace” appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

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…)

Scott's DiaTribes: More women MPP’s in Ontario; will there be more women MP’s after next federal election?

One of the things I was interested in highlighting today was comparing and contrasting post-Ontario election the number of women that are now active MPP’s in the new Ontario legislature, as there have been many discussions in recent years about the lack of female representatives running or being elected to the political halls of power, and what can be done to increase that.

Specifically, the Ontario Liberal Party has elected nine new Liberal women MPP’s, and has the most elected women MPP’s in caucus. Overall in the legislature, the combined three parties have elected 38 women MPP’s representing 35.5% (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Red in Central Canada, blue in Ottawa an immutable rule that favours Harper’s Tories? Don’t bet on it!

Is Justin Trudeau finished because Kathleen Wynne just won in Ontario, like the mainstream media’s pundits are telling you? Don’t be too sure! (Say, as one Twitter commenter asked, who is that old man with Mr. Trudeau?) Below: The same guy with NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair. Weird! Below them: Lawrence Martin and Tim Harper.

It’s certainly true that the Ontario Liberals are going to miss Progressive Conservative Party Leader Tim Hudak. He was a gift that kept on giving.

But their federal cousins, and the federal NDP as well, can take comfort. They still have Stephen Harper.

So it’s (Read more…)

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…)

Maple-Flavoured Politics: Degrees of Openness in Party Nominations

Before launching into this post, I feel the need to provide full disclosure. I’ve mentioned it before, but it bears repeating here: I joined the Liberal Party of Canada a few days after the 2011 election. I had been a donor to the party for two or three years before that, and I still am. … Continue Reading

Politics, Re-Spun: Occupy Canada For May Day, With Bananas

A few days ago, I wrote about picking May Day as a good time for Occupy Vancouver to reboot itself and catch up with the Occupy Movement’s worldwide #WaveOfAction.

But I think that idea can be bigger, it can be a day for all of Occupy Canada to reboot.

Here’s how:

May Day is a good focal point. A tent city at the Vancouver Art Gallery seems to be a distracting fixation. Occupy Wall Street was about people occupying the space of the 1%: Wall Street. In Vancouver, that is not the Art Gallery. It is a fantastic rallying point, (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Is Your Job Bullshit?

Work should be liberating, not enslaving!

It’s Saturday so it’s the weekend so you’re not working.

But that’s just an incorrect hypothesis. Lots of people are working this weekend. In fact, weekends don’t mean much to billions of people. They are a luxury, relatively speaking.

But your job may be bullshit, in the context of how our society could/should be operating. We should have way more leisure time if we managed human economic activity more intelligently.

Instead, “we” [well, the 1%] are busy maximizing shareholder wealth instead. This is why we don’t have a sustainable 15 or 20 hour work (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Canada’s Seeks the OECD Record for Income Inequality

America: Where the rich get richer faster than in so many other places!

Yesterday I wrote about the rebooting of the Occupy Movement in 10 days. I’m very excited.

And to help you understand why this is such a big deal, especially in Canada, it’s important to see how Canada is increasingly becoming the poster child for income inequality. We are not nice and neighbourly and friendly. We are increasingly unequal society. Unless we step up and say that we’re mad as hell and we aren’t going to take it any more, the rich in Canada will continue to pad (Read more…)

Autonomy For All: Canada Moving Toward US Style Partisan Administered Elections

I am by no means well read on the nitty gritty of Canadian federal elections, but this strikes me as an incredibly bad idea: [Former B.C. Chief Electoral Officer Harry Neufeld] says Section 44 of the government’s new legislation would allow all central polling supervisors to be appointed by a riding’s incumbent candidate or the candidate’s party.“It’s completely inappropriate in a democracy, ” said Neufeld.

Under current legislation, central poll supervisors are appointed by returning officers, who are hired by Elections Canada. The supervisors are put in place at polling stations to make sure voting unfolds smoothly.

(Read more…)

Alberta Diary: NDP-Grit coalition to defeat Rob Anders? Unlikely! This is a Tory civil war

Alberta Premier Alison Redford, left, glares at Rob Anders, far right (as it were), Canada’s Worst MP, as challenger Ron Liepert, centre, with an unidentified vole who is not authorized to speak on the record, look on. Actual Alberta politicians may not appear exactly as illustrated, but pretty much. Below: The real Rob Anders, asleep on the job.

It’s hard to fault Rob Anders for framing his intramural opponents in the new Calgary Signal Hill riding as a conspiracy of Liberals, New Democrats and Red Tories.

After all, it’s a well-established fact that nothing frightens Calgary voters quite as (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Why I voted for Jim Coutts in 1984 and probably would again, a lesson in retail politics

Jim Coutts, son of the Great Plains and, as long-time principal secretary to Liberal prime minister Pierre Trudeau, once said to be the second most powerful person in Canada. (University of Lethbridge photo.) Below: The Lancaster bomber arrives in Nanton, inconveniently huge, but still too small to house a roadside café; my uncle, Fred Garratt, who ran Nanton’s hardware store.

I only met Jim Coutts once, almost 30 years ago, and only for about 30 minutes, but he left an impression that has proven indelible and taught me a couple of worthwhile lessons about retail politics in the process.

(Read more…)

calgaryliberal.com: The brutal lessons of 2013.

2013 has been a rather tough year for this blogger. I ran for the Vice Presidency of the Alberta Liberal Party and was unsuccessful. Quite quickly I found I had little support in Edmonton and that I had to work harder to earn the trust of people. It was truly a humbling experience. When the Alberta […]

The Canadian Progressive: Justin Trudeau “ladies night” event “condescending and patronizing”

Canadian women, including politicians, are dismissing Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s “ladies night” event in Toronto as “condescending and patronizing”.

The post Justin Trudeau “ladies night” event “condescending and patronizing” appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Alberta Diary: Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Halloween 2013: a meditation on power

Prime Minister Stephen Harper just one year ago. Actual Canadian prime ministers may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Senator Mike Duffy and former Harper cabinet member Jim Prentice.

Last Halloween, when Prime Minister Stephen Harper went trick ’n’ treating, he was monarch of all he surveyed.

This year, he’s a ghost.

Oh, Mr. Harper is still corporeal enough. He passed through security Wednesday on his way to Calgary, I suppose, although one imagines prime ministers don’t have to take off their shoes and shuffle along in their stockings, or answer to why they failed to stow their toothpaste is (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Coming soon, perhaps, a legitimate reason for Canadians to thank Conrad Black!

Linda McQuaig addresses the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees annual convention in 2008. (AUPE photo taken by Daryl Dyck.) Below: Conrad Black in the uniform of the Governor General’s Foot Guard, and not, as you may have thought, that of a security guard.

It occurs to me that we Canadians may soon actually have something for which we can be grateful to Conrad Black!

I know that for most readers of this blog this will come as an astonishing thought. Indeed, it would be fair to describe this as a unique development in the long and rocky relationship between (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: The State Of The LPC

Last evening Jeff Jedras was good enough to organize a call between LPC poohbahs, ably represented in this case by MP Dominic Leblanc, and a number of Lib friendly bloggers.  The idea was to discuss the state of the game on the eve of today’s throne speech.  This is my take on that call.

First, as to the measures that have been leaked to the media (cable channels  à la carte, closing the price gap between U.S. and Canadian retail goods): these show that the Harper government has been picking up the same signals from Canadians over the (Read more…)

Susan on the Soapbox: Dinner with Justin Trudeau: Gimmick or Doing Politics Differently?

“Have dinner with me, Susan.” What a charming invitation. Too bad it’s part of a fundraising campaign directed at 300,000 supporters of the federal Liberal party.

But wait…let’s think about this for a moment. For a $5.00 donation, Ms Soapbox and four of her closest friends and relatives get a one in 6,000* shot at tackling Justin Trudeau on the issues near and dear to their hearts. Cool!

The contest

Justin Trudeau

Make no mistake, “Dinner with Justin” is a real contest with Justin as the prize. Typical lottery rules apply including the dreaded (Read more…)

Scott's DiaTribes: Nice catch, JT

A surprise announcement yesterday from Justin Trudeau and the LPC, with a new military adviser on the LPC team, and possibly one that will run for election in 2015:

Retired general Andrew Leslie, former commander of Canadian army..has agreed to co-chair an advisory council on international affairs for the Liberal leader and is not ruling out running for the party in the 2015 election…Leslie said his decision to join the Liberals came abruptly a few weeks ago, when news first leaked out about the Quebec government’s proposed charter of values, which would ban public servants from wearing any conspicuous (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Mulcair’s Beard Is Not The Point

There are days that I am positive that the “image consultants” who hover around our political leaders don’t have a clue what they are talking about.  Today, we find the discussion of the week is whether or not Mulcair should shave off his beard.

But media consultant Barry McLoughlin told HuffPost that if Mulcair was his client, he’d recommend he take two weeks off in the summer and shave it. McLouglin said that although Mulcair’s beard is well-styled, trimmed and looks good on him, it creates a barrier between him and the voter. Hiding some of his face makes it (Read more…) . . . → Read More: The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Mulcair’s Beard Is Not The Point