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
Justin Trudeau and the late Jack Layton have quite a few similarities, underestimation by Conservatives is yet another.
It wasn’t too long ago a certain inexperienced federal politician became leader of a third place political party. Though the son of a prominent politician1, in his early life he had not been immediately drawn to federal politics and instead chose a career of teaching. But with time this idealist realized that Canada deserved better than the “conservatives” in power and ran for his party’s leadership.2 He easily won it by a large margin on the first ballot… in (Read more…)
The leadership results are coming in the next hour. I am so proud of my party. Over 104, 000 people voted for Liberal leader which is more than voted in the last Conservative Party and NDP leadership races! So here is a quick post on why I voted for Justin Trudeau for Liberal Leader:
1. Justin can grow into the job:
Justin Trudeau has grown as a politician throughout this leadership race. In 1996 the Ontario Liberals seemed to have hit the bottom. They picked a young guy who hadn’t been in politics for too long (who also had a father
. . . → Read More: The Equivocator: Hard Work + Hope = Why I voted for Justin Trudeau
My article in the Globe and Mail: My one conversation with Margaret Thatcher about the Liberal Party of Canada began with a chill in the air, and ended with our host mopping his brow. We were all polite, but there were daggers behind the smiles and venom coiled around the courtesy…The news of her death, coming days before the party chooses its new leader, brought her verdict back to me.
I am enormously grateful to the Board of the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption for their confidence in naming me their Executive Director, and I will work tirelessly to justify their faith. I feel deeply privileged to have a chance to work with GOPAC’s global alliance of democratically elected parliamentarians to fight political corruption and advance the rule of law around the world.
In 2006 the Liberal Party was ashamed for accusing Stephen Harper of wanting to put armed soldiers on every street; yet somehow in 2013 Liberals are proud that their next Leader fondly recalls how his father actually did put armed soldiers on every street.
Two weeks ago Justin Trudeau was asked whether he could really defeat Stephen Harper, his response was, “Just watch me.”
The phrase was of course first his father’s. Pierre Elliot Trudeau had made the remark in answering a question of how far he’d go in reducing civil liberties during the October Crisis of 1970.
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Trudeau, Soldiers With Guns, and Ironic Pride
If Justin Trudeau was more concerned about winning the Liberal leadership than winning the next election, not only would his party have more registered supporters, but 2015 would almost certainly look more rouge.
It may seem counter-intuitive to blame the ever-popular Justin Trudeau for the Liberal Party’s lower than expected supporter registration numbers, after all his campaign was so successful in signing them up, but in resting on his laurels and saving funds for the next election, Trudeau is exactly the person to blame.
The current problem for the Liberals is that of the almost 300,000 Canadians who signed up
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Liberals Should Blame Trudeau For Few Supporters
Canada’s economy is set to grow less than the government thought, but it’s not our Prime Minister’s fault.
True under Stephen Harper the World Bank has downgraded Canada from being the 4th most Business Friendly country in 2006 to 17th in 2013, but, as most Conservatives know, businesses have nothing to do with the Canadian economy.
Yes, Stephen Harper was Prime Minister when the World Economic Forum said Canada is becoming less competitive, dropping in global ranking from 9th place in 2009 to 14th place in 2013, but our government can’t be responsible for federal regulations,
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: How A Bad Economy Is Not Harper’s Fault
For the very same reason why so many Liberals want him to win, Justin Trudeau shouldn’t become Liberal Leader.
If 150,000 people only supported Justin Trudeau because of substance then there would be no argument against the 41 year-old MP for Papineau. A Trudeau only made popular by policy would present little risk in selecting him for leader. After all, the Liberal Party could survive, even if just barely, another loss from a leader who only represented the party’s policies. However policies aren’t why Justin Trudeau has so many supporters, and policies aren’t why he is a risk to the
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Why Justin Trudeau Shouldn’t Lead The Liberals
It’s not the low poll numbers or the ethnic voter outreach controversy, the real problem for the BC Liberals is that there are BC Liberals who want a problem.
Considering it was just 2011 when the federal Conservatives’ ethnic voter strategy made headlines it’s more than obvious that the current outrage against Christy Clark and her party is at least partially manufactured; by the NDP to score points, by the press to sell papers, and more importantly by BC Liberals still sour their candidate didn’t become leader.
The recent “scandal” for the BC Liberals centers around a leaked memo that
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: The Real Problem For BC Liberals
It would be a risky claim to suggest health care should be privatized while education, from preschool to post-secondary, should be fully publicly provided, but considering the importance of education, what’s really risky is that currently we have it the other way around.
To compare the importance of health care and education, ask yourself, would a nation that only had public health care be better off than one that only had public education?
Comparing such black and white societies may seem extreme, but it helps to clarify what is the more important public policy, health care or education. By the
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Why Health Care Should Be Privatized
To a calm and rational observer, the statement “viewing child pornography is victimless” is true. To an emotional person prone to sensationalism, for writing that first line, I should be reported to the RCMP.
On Wednesday night Tom Flanagan, a former adviser to Stephen Harper, spoke to a small crowd in Lethbridge, Alberta, where he was recorded making controversial statements regarding child pornography. Much of what he said was completely misunderstood, not helped by the CBC which has inaccurately reported the story.
The unedited video of the event begins with a speaker in the audience asking a series of pointed
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: The Defence Of Tom Flanagan
Canadians certainly are no Nero, but they do have at least one thing in common with the late Roman emperor.
In 64 AD it is said that while Rome burned its emperor Nero fiddled. That while his city suffered calamity he amused himself with music. Today Canadians are doing something similar.
Rome may not be burning, but with decreasing turnout, less party members, and more partisanship, Canada’s democracy is clearly in danger and instead of stopping to help, Canadians are too busy fiddling, with the Senate.
It can’t be anything but odd, that while Canada’s democracy is weakening on every
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: A More Democratic Senate Is Less So
Recently Saskatchewan MP Ralph Goodale wrote a post echoing a sentiment surprisingly popular among what’s left of the Liberal Party membership, and that is, this Conservative government is going to use its influence to gerrymander ridings to maximize support to guarantee future victories.
But Liberals shouldn’t be worried that the Conservatives will actually gerrymander, or for that matter that it will work, Liberals should be worried that this, fearing a contrived unrealistic threat, is how far they’ve fallen.
On Ralph Goodale’s website, the Liberal MP begins by describing the history of gerrymandering, it’s most notable case in
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Why Liberals Should Fear Gerrymandering
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. . . → Read More: OpenMedia.ca: site, bitrate mp3 256 kbit, 192kbit bitrate
As a Kathleen Wynne delegate to the leadership convention, I will probably take some time in trying to articulate the significance of the win and not rush into a blathering post about how freakin’ awesome it all is. (By the way, Adam Goldenberg really nailed the personal aspect in his post for Macleans.) For now, a few thoughts about numbers.
Going into the first ballot, we knew how the delegates would vote because the ballots were pre-printed – you had to support the candidate for whom you ran, obviously, or the first ballot results would not reflect how your
. . . → Read More: Beyond the 140: Ontario Liberal leadership: on the numbers
Ontario’s Liberal party – struggling on so many fronts these days – nevertheless made history yesterday in selecting Kathleen Wynne as their new leader, and by extension, the new Premier of the province. The second woman to head the Ontario Liberals, Wynne will become the first woman to be Ontario’s Premier. And more excitingly for me, she will be the first openly gay Premier in Canadian history. Now, whether the Ontario Liberals, who are in a fairly precarious minority situation right now, will be able to hold on to power for much longer, is an open question.
. . . → Read More: Pample the Moose: Canadian Queer History in the Making – Kathleen Wynne
Today Ontario Liberals chose their next leader, but if 2006 is any indication, they might have just chosen their next loser.
Similarities between Kathleen Wynne’s recent victory in the Ontario leadership race and Stephane Dion’s in the federal Liberal leadership contest in 2006 suggest a just as similar electoral future.
Old, Tired Parties: It was just over seven years ago that the federal Liberals, after a long tenure in government and facing lagging poll numbers, held a leadership race with a crowded field of candidates. Starting in October of last year the Ontario Liberals did the exact same thing.
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Wynne-ing Like It’s 2006…And Losing Like It’s 2008
On July 22 1848 beside stories of fighting in Paris and markets in England, the front page of The Globe featured this column. As I was reading I thought this article could be perhaps excused because the opinion it expressed was just popular at the time, after finishing, I’m glad it was.
Punch was a British satirical humour magazine named after one half of the infamous puppet duo, Punch and Judy.
Most Canadian kids don’t leave home without their mother telling them, “Don’t forget your jacket.” Always offering the reminder so her child doesn’t catch a cold. Canada may not have a mother looking out for us, at least on this continent, but Stephen Harper is a big boy and he should know better that in this cold global economic environment our country should be better insulated.
Protecting Canada from the worsening global economy would not mean staying home and reducing trade, it would mean the opposite, improving trade without being vulnerable to every cold breeze. In fact if Stephen
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Cold Conservatism & Canada Without A Jacket
There is one easy way for the opponents of the Northern Gateway pipeline to get their way, put their money where their mouth is.
It only makes sense that if the Northern Gateway project is built, Enbridge the company responsible, should cover all social costs from the environmental damage; but in that same vein if it isn’t built, opponents should cover the social costs from the foregone government revenue.
In the debate over the oil pipeline that could stretch from Alberta to British Columbia’s coast, naysayers often suggest the costs outweigh the benefits; that the land is worth more than
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Opposing Enbridge & Environmental Value
Winston Churchill is credited with an exchange that when adapted illustrates, not only the similarities between prostitution and politics, but current inconsistencies in the popular view of our Canadian government.
Churchill: “Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?” Socialite: “My goodness, Mr. Churchill… Well, I suppose… we would have to discuss terms, of course… “ Churchill: “Would you sleep with me for five pounds?” Socialite: “Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?!” Churchill: “Madam, we’ve already established that. Now we are haggling about the price
The Canadian adaptation, not as
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Sex and the Senate
What’s worse than oil companies spending millions to buy off politicians? Oil companies getting them for free.
The oil sector is vital to Canada’s economy, but so are a lot of industries and you don’t see them drafting government policy. From the CBC:
A letter obtained by Greenpeace through access to information laws and passed on to the CBC reveals the oil and gas industry was granted its request that the federal government change a series of environmental laws to advance “both economic growth and environmental performance.”
Within 10 months of the request, the industry had almost everything
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Conservatives Bad At Selling Out