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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…)

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…)

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

The Scott Ross: Another Thing Trudeau & Layton Have In Common

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 Equivocator: Hard Work + Hope = Why I voted for Justin Trudeau

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

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Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: Akaash Maharaj: Margaret Thatcher’s Verdict on the Liberal Party of Canada

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.

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: Akaash Maharaj – Advisory: New Leadership for the GOPAC Global Secretariat

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.

The Scott Ross: Trudeau, Soldiers With Guns, and Ironic Pride

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.

The

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The Scott Ross: Liberals Should Blame Trudeau For Few Supporters

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

The Scott Ross: How A Bad Economy Is Not Harper’s Fault

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

The Scott Ross: Why Justin Trudeau Shouldn’t Lead The Liberals

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

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