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Scott's DiaTribes: Blog Interview with Michael Levitt – LPC candidate for York-Centre

Today, I’m publishing an interview I’ve done with Michael Levitt, who is the LPC candidate for York-Centre. This was the riding held by such Liberal stalwarts as Art Eggleton and Ken Dryden. Mr. Dryden was one of those who got swept away in the Liberal collapse in the 905 region of Ontario back in the ’11 election. It is currently held by Mark Adler for the Conservatives, and Mr. Levitt is going to be trying hard to return it to the LPC. Here are a series of questions I asked Mr. Levitt (who I had the pleasure of meeting in (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Wikipedia’s Entry On Momentum

Political momentum is nothing like the momentum of physics. In the world of Newton and Einstein appearances don’t cause forces, whereas in politics, appearances are forces.

Stephen Harper became Leader of the Conservative Party in 2003, he faced two subsequent general elections before finally winning a minority government in 2006. Up until 2011 his Conservative Party only increased the number of seats it held in Parliament; since then however, the Conservative Party has only seen its numbers decline.

Thomas Mulcair became Leader of the NDP in 2012, under his guidance the New Democrats have faced numerous by-elections and instead of (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Senate Saves Canada… Again

How do you save democracy from itself? You appoint a Senate.

In 1990 the democratically elected House of Commons passed Bill C-43 which would have criminalized all abortions. That bill was defeated by the appointed Senate. To this day abortions remain legal solely because of the Senate’s actions. In 2013 the democratically elected House of Commons passed Bill C-377 which would have weakened labour unions. That bill was stopped by the appointed Senate.  Today the democratically elected House of Commons is preparing to pass Bill C-23 The Fair Elections Act which seeks to undermine democracy. The appointed Senate is (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Public Education Before Health Care

When you replace the fan belt on your 1988 Toyota Corrolla, you can’t drive faster than when the car was brand new. Even with the new part, the car, with all of its wear and tear, is likely to be slower than when you first drove it off the lot.

No one expects that a trip to a mechanic for repairs is going to make their car better than new, we all know a mechanic only maintains a vehicle, he doesn’t engineer it to be better. When we want a faster, more efficient and more powerful car than the one (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Flaherty’s Curtain

Jim Flaherty was unethical, incompetent and he should have been fired. Those aren’t my words, they’re Thomas Mulcair’s, spoken just last year in Question Period. Yet after the former Finance Minister’s death, Mulcair has called him a good man and a great public servant.

There’s no doubt that the NDP Leader genuinely mourns the loss of  Jim Flaherty, but this recent death and the response to it by all politicians, not just Mulcair, shows the real tragedy of a political life.

Because it’s only now, after resorting to the lowest denominator in attacks against Mr.Flaherty for his whole political (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Quebec Election Shows Hypocrisy On Clarity Act

Stephen Harper, Justin Trudeau, and Andrew Coyne, among others, are wrong to suggest separatism was recently defeated by Quebec voters. Well they aren’t just wrong, they’re hypocritical.

Since the close defeat of separatism in the 1995 referendum, federalists have demanded a clear question for any public decision on Quebec sovereignty. Parliament even passed the Clarity Act, enshrining such a requirement into law.

Considering the need therefore of a clear question to decide whether Quebeckers want to stay in Canada or not, it is mind-blowing to see our country’s politicians and pundits claim that the Parti Quebecois’s (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Vote PQ To End Separatism

All federalists should want the Parti Quebecois to win Quebec’s election this Monday. Why? Because support for separation is so low that holding a referendum would end the issue for a generation, if not for good.

If the PQ loses however, which is looking likely, separatism will continue to simmer until the PQ forms government again, and who knows how popular the issue will be by then.

In voting against the PQ Quebeckers are exchanging a safe referendum outcome today for an uncertain one tomorrow.

Federalists may think they are making Canada stronger with a Quebec Liberal election victory next (Read more…)

Joe Fantauzzi: Toronto’s G20 Summit As A State of Exception

At Illuminated By Streets Lamps, I have posted a paper I have written on the security apparatus put in place for the 2010 Toronto G20 Summit. I argue that the Province of Ontario employed a coercive, secretive state of exception in order to facilitate the flow of international capital during the Toronto G20 Summit. Find the post […]

Joe Fantauzzi: Toronto’s G20 Summit As A State of Exception

At Illuminated By Streets Lamps, I have posted a paper I have written on the security apparatus put in place for the 2010 Toronto G20 Summit. I argue that the Province of Ontario employed a coercive, secretive state of exception in order to facilitate the flow of international capital during the Toronto G20 Summit. Find the post […]

Joe Fantauzzi: Locating Canada’s State Multiculturalism As A Racist Doctrine

I, like many Canadians, am a product of Canada’s state multiculturalism. My family was permitted to enter and remain in Canada, achieve legal, civil, social and economic rights and ultimately, through a gradual whitening of the Italian people in Canada, privilege. I recognize this, take it seriously and frankly, wish to see any structures of privilege […]

Joe Fantauzzi: Locating Canada’s State Multiculturalism As A Racist Doctrine

I, like many Canadians, am a product of Canada’s state multiculturalism. My family was permitted to enter and remain in Canada, achieve legal, civil, social and economic rights and ultimately, through a gradual whitening of the Italian people in Canada, privilege. I recognize this, take it seriously and frankly, wish to see any structures of privilege […]

The Scott Ross: Success Defeated Alison Redford

Alison Redford was defeated because her party is too successful. And there’s proof.

In politics there wouldn’t be many opportunities to test such a theory; to really know if it was the success of Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives that caused Redford to resign. Luckily for this experiment there just happens to be a control group next door, it even comes with its own Alison Redford.

BC’s Christy Clark has a lot in common with Redford. Both were seen as outsiders. Both ran for leadership with little caucus support, each having only one other MLA supporting them. Both became leader of a (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: A Liberal Protests Trudeau’s “Direct Assault” on Grassroots Democracy

by: Obert Madondo

Is Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau beginning to a act a lot like a control freak? Like Stephen Harper?

It would appear so. At least according to star Liberal candidate Zack Paikin. Paikin nuked his own candidacy for the Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas riding to protest Trudeau’s decision to block Christine Innes from contesting Trinity-Spadina. The downtown Toronto riding became vacant after NDP MP Olivia Chow resigned to run for the Toronto Mayorship.

In a scathing letter released Monday, Paikin spoke for those of us passionate about grassroots democracy. Those of us weary of our dysfunctional politics and elected dictatorship.

Most (Read more…)

Joe Fantauzzi: A Response To The Globe’s Jeffrey Simpson

A “dream palace,” The Globe and Mail’s Jeffrey Simpson calls it. Inside that dream palace, the First Nations allegedly live in a fairytale land of sovereignty, respect and healthy relations with the Canadian state. Well, in fairness, Simpson describes the perks of living inside his so-called dream palace a touch more condescendingly. He sets the tone […]

Joe Fantauzzi: A Response To The Globe’s Jeffrey Simpson

A “dream palace,” The Globe and Mail’s Jeffrey Simpson calls it. Inside that dream palace, the First Nations allegedly live in a fairytale land of sovereignty, respect and healthy relations with the Canadian state. Well, in fairness, Simpson describes the perks of living inside his so-called dream palace a touch more condescendingly. He sets the tone […]

Blevkog: A (re-)Introduction

We live in interesting, but not unprecedented political times. Darth Harper, the Controller-in-Chief, has done an admiral job of keeping things quiet, but the fruits of his autocratic nature are ripening quickly. The Senate expenditure scandal exposed that he vetted his appointments about as vigorously as John McCain’s campaign committee did when looking at Sarah […]

Writings of J. Todd Ring: American and Canadian Politics – A brief comparison and lay of the land

Here is a rough translation of Canadian political culture for Americans and others who may be unfamiliar with the political landscape of the second largest country on earth, the holder of the largest oil and mineral resources on earth, the pantry to the American empire, one of the richest nations on the planet, and a member of […]

The Scott Ross: Conservatives: Only The Rich Can Benefit From Nonprofits

Conservatives believe Justin Trudeau is wrong to take money from nonprofit organizations because to them that’s the job of rich investors on Bay Street.

According to this current government and its recent announcements on social impact bonds the only people who should be making money from nonprofit organizations are financiers, speculators, and venture capitalists.

With Justin Trudeau having earned speaker fees from nonprofit organizations the Conservatives have hastily and hypocritically attacked him.

Hypocritical not just because they have attacked Trudeau for doing something which by its very nature is economically conservative, Trudeau merely applied free market principles to properly allocate (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Trudeau Was Conservative With Nonprofit

In the free market prices reflect demand, instead of choosing a few events to speak at arbitrarily, Justin Trudeau set a price to attend those gatherings that wanted him the most. This method of relying on market prices to benefit charities and businesses is a rather conservative idea.

So yes before he was Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau set a price to reflect the demand of those wanting to hear him speak, Stephen Harper for years did too, it just happened no one would pay to hear him talk.

Now the irony is that as Prime Minister we all pay when (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: The Day John A. Macdonald Died

If there was no John A. Macdonald, there would be no Canada.

Our most important founding father and first Prime Minister died 122 years ago today. Canadians of all political persuasions should take a moment and remember John A. Macdonald because they share so much in common with the man who made this country.

For Conservatives they owe much to Macdonald. Their majority government was elected because of moderation and stability, two values Macdonald owed his 19 years as Prime Minister to.

Jack Layton undeniably shared perhaps the most valuable trait with Macdonald, and that is being a man of (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Canada Originally Intended All Education To Be Free

Out of Canada’s 33 Fathers of Confederation, only one went to university.1

It’s not that Nova Scotia’s Charles Tupper was the only intelligent one among them, other founders were businessmen, doctors, and lawyers, it’s that none of those jobs, and many others, did not require any post-secondary education.

The eduction jobs in the late 19th century did require was entirely made free shortly after confederation because provincial governments, though extremely small and limited, believed that their public schools should provide all the instruction necessary for citizens to obtain jobs in any sector, be it agriculture, engineering, manufacturing, commerce, medicine (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: How Harper Made The Senate More Accountable, Even If Just A Little

If Justin Beiber was in the Canadian Senate it would be the most watched institution in all of government, and, undoubtedly, the most accountable.

For if the Biebs walked down the Ottawan red carpet into that similarly coloured chamber, his every action would be televised, sensationalized, and scrutinized. There wouldn’t be a Bieber vote that wouldn’t make a headline.

And not only would every single one of his receipts be analyzed by the Toronto Star and every other news agency, there would be over a hundred pictures documenting the young star in racking them up.

Though he would still be (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Liberals Down In All Major Polls, Arrogance Is Up

Justin Trudeau is popular? It doesn’t matter.

The federal Liberals are still extremely behind in the polls. The last three major polls conducted, with 100% accuracy, show the Liberal Party is far behind the Conservatives and in fact the Grits are at their lowest level of support in Canadian history. Those polls were of course conducted in the last three general elections and they are the only ones that matter.

A lot of Liberals will take refuge in a new opinion poll out that shows their party with an incredible lead, 44% to the Conservatives’ 27%, with the NDP even (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Mike Duffy & Why An Elected Senate Would Have Made This Worse

Nobody really thinks Senator Mike Duffy received $90,000 in return for some political favour, but that public perception would most certainly change if he and every other Senator faced regular expensive election campaigns that depended on large contributions and even larger political favours.

An elected Senate requiring hundreds of thousands of dollars every four years for its members to run for office in much larger ridings would without a doubt only increase the likelihood of Senators exchanging votes for large financial contributions, both over and under the table.

In contrast, appointed Senators aren’t as vulnerable to bribes or shady deals.

(Read more…)

The Scott Ross: The Undemocratic Elected Senate & The Democratic Appointed One

90% of Americans support universal background checks for guns yet on Wednesday the American Senate struck down that legislation. That’s not very democratic, is it?

Those in Canada who fervently cling to the idea that voting will make our Senate democratic almost completely ignore the problems that come with it, such as the lobbyists and interest groups, like the National Rifle Association, that frequently override public opinion.

Contrasted with the American example, it is the Canadian appointed Senate that actually represents its citizens, because in not being elected the Senate recognizes the public does not empower it to drastically change (Read more…) defeat bills from the House of Commons.

And when the Senate does, in the rare times, reject bills from the elected house, it is to protect the interests of minorities and Canada’s regions, as it did in 1991 where it defeated a bill to re-criminalize abortion.

Considering the . . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: The Undemocratic Elected Senate & The Democratic Appointed One