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Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Action vs. Action Plans #GivePollutionAChance

The Liberals would like to tell you that they’ve spent a year making Real Change (TM) in Canada, since being elected in October, 2015. Undeniably, Canada has some notable differences and improvements since Harper was booted. Still, there are promised changes, not hard to make, that are forever being dangled like carrots, potentially left to . . . → Read More: Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Action vs. Action Plans #GivePollutionAChance

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Liberal 1 Year Report Card

The Trudeau Liberals returned to power on October 19, 2015. In the last year they’ve done some things I’ve disagreed with, and some things I approve of. I’ll list them from memory, because if I can’t recall them, they probably didn’t leave too much of a negative or positive impression:

Good:

B -Allowed 25000+ new . . . → Read More: Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Liberal 1 Year Report Card

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: A Tax on Everything Is Coming

Run for the hills!

.@CNN #PriceOnCarbon article: "because we've been so slow to act on this crisis, bold action is now required" https://t.co/PvV1Y1oFdM

— Pembina Institute (@Pembina) October 5, 2016

I realize several people who I’m friends with, think Premier Wall is great for Saskatchewan. I’ve never held a high opinion of . . . → Read More: Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: A Tax on Everything Is Coming

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: #ERRE Electoral Reform Committee in Regina

First Expert guests I watched presenting to the committee were unable to understand French question fired at them because they were not equipped with translation headphones. Nathan Cullen leaped up and got the headsets for them. CLC points out they are a political org and that is why they are interested in this subject of […] . . . → Read More: Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: #ERRE Electoral Reform Committee in Regina

Pop The Stack: My Letter to my MP on Electoral Reform

Dear Mr. Saini, I am one of your constituents and I must say very happy you won your seat and your party won the recent election even though I am not always a Liberal voter. I was unable to attend your open house last night in Kitchener with Minister Monsef but I have a strong […] . . . → Read More: Pop The Stack: My Letter to my MP on Electoral Reform

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Bogus Brokerage Bull, and Other Online Obstructions

“by keeping that purchase threshold at $20 instead of giving Canadian shoppers a break and raising it to $80, Ottawa spends about $166 million to collect $39 million in additional taxes and duties.” Here’s something the Industry Minister should fix this year. Especially in light of the Liberals’ support of the TPP, why are they […] . . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: Bogus Brokerage Bull, and Other Online Obstructions

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Premier Wall Has Hack Hurling Hypocrite Insults #skpoli

The Premier recently had the Lieutenant Governor read the throne speech for his new government session. In it, she said that some unnamed people following a “misguided dogma” with “no basis in reality” needed to be stopped from destroying our economy while they aim to protect our environment. “They look at those jobs [in oil […] . . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: Premier Wall Has Hack Hurling Hypocrite Insults #skpoli

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Premier Wall Has Hack Hurling Hypocrite Insults #skpoli

The Premier recently had the Lieutenant Governor read the throne speech for his new government session. In it, she said that some unnamed people following a “misguided dogma” with “no basis in reality” needed to be stopped from destroying our economy while they aim to protect our environment. “They look at those jobs [in oil […] . . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: Premier Wall Has Hack Hurling Hypocrite Insults #skpoli

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Head In The Tarsand

When an out of control fire roars toward you, it’s totally fine to stick your head (and the rest of you) into the sand, in a fireproof shelter preferably. After the fire passes, you’ve got to come out and ask what the heck happened, and why. Facebook has been bustling with people talking about the […] . . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: Head In The Tarsand

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Trudeau on Forest Fire Tragedy

The Prime Minister spoke about forest fires’ connection to climate change at a community affected by a massive evacuation due in part to climate change. “The reality of climate change is that we’re going to see more and more extreme weather events and we need to make sure that as a country we’re properly equipped […] . . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: Trudeau on Forest Fire Tragedy

The Canadian Progressive: Leap Manifesto Supported By 40 Per Cent Of Canadians: Poll

Supporters of the Leap Manifesto rejoice! According to a new poll from EKOS Research, your beautiful, bold, controversial, forward-looking document is supported by 40 per cent of Canadians. The post Leap Manifesto Supported By 40 Per Cent Of Canadians:… . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Leap Manifesto Supported By 40 Per Cent Of Canadians: Poll

Left Over: Be Unconventional – Create a Revolution in Policy….

Mulcair and the NDP head into couples therapy at convention NDP leader faces a divided party, with some calling for his departure and others standing behind him By Chris Hall, CBC News Posted: Apr 08, 2016 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Left Over: Be Unconventional – Create a Revolution in Policy….

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Things Trudeau Must Do

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has to do several things this year: legalize pot reform elections MMIW inquiry get renewable energy products into the hands of people you know If he fails to complete, or make meaningful progress on this list by Christmas time of 2016, I think he’ll de-inspire many of the fresh new Liberal […] . . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: Things Trudeau Must Do

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: A Fine Bigger Than Most Crimes – #PanamaPapers

Canada’s rich and powerful do not fear the media, and they do not have their names in the newspapers (some owned by foreign investment funds) when fined more than a million dollars for a crime much larger than that. FINTRAC won't name bank fined $1.1 million for suspicious transactions?! We are still a banana republic. […] . . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: A Fine Bigger Than Most Crimes – #PanamaPapers

Terahertz: Budget 2016: Charities, consultations and clarifications

The Trudeau Liberals first budget was released yesterday. While most coverage was over the size of the deficits and who gets what money, my attention was on a single bullet on page 206. Pertaining to rules governing charities and their political activities, the CRA, in consultation with the Department of Finance, will engage with charities … Continue reading Budget 2016: Charities, consultations and clarifications . . . → Read More: Terahertz: Budget 2016: Charities, consultations and clarifications

The Canadian Progressive: Budget turns left but doesn’t step on the gas: think tank

The 2016 federal budget delivered on poverty reduction, First Nations funding, but several of the Liberals’ 2015 election promises were not addressed, says the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. The post Budget turns left but doesn’t step on t… . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Budget turns left but doesn’t step on the gas: think tank

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Wall Can’t Cut Pollution? Cut the Crap.

WEYBURN, Sask. – Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says a federal government cannot tax a provincial government and that might play a role in any potential national carbon tax. Wall says he might be able to make the case that Ottawa can’t impose a carbon tax on SaskPower because it’s a Crown corporation. OK, let’s play […] . . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: Wall Can’t Cut Pollution? Cut the Crap.

Bill Longstaff: "Liberal" is back in the U.S.

Liberal is one of the most honourable words in politics or, indeed, in life generally. According to my ITP Nelson Canadian Dictionary, it means "open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behaviour of others," and what better basis for a good society than that. Indeed, we proudly call our political system a "liberal democracy." Unfortunately, U.S. conservatives managed to . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: "Liberal" is back in the U.S.

Left Over: Turning a Fail into a Win…

Mulcair takes responsibility for failed election campaign in letter to NDP supporters Mulcair wants to remain NDP leader promising not to repeat mistakes of 2015 election By Kristy Kirkup, The Canadian Press Posted: Feb 10, 2016 3:51 PM ET Last Updated: … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Left Over: Turning a Fail into a Win…

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Microwaste, Big Problem

I phoned Johnson & Johnson about why they continue to sell products with microbeads after Parliament started to vote last year toward creating a law to ban their sale. The customer care rep had no specific information, and hadn’t heard about the forthcoming ban on microbeads the Conservatives started to pursue the day before the […] . . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: Microwaste, Big Problem

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Conservatives Failed to Protect Privacy

The Liberals record? Not much better. “I can’t answer the question about the former government, what their reasons were,” said Sajjan, also noting he does not believe any of the metadata inadvertently shared could have ended up in the hands of any countries beyond the Five Eyes. BREAKING: #CSE suspends #metadata sharing with int'l partners […] . . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: Conservatives Failed to Protect Privacy

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Looking Back At the Conservatives’ Campaign

I wrote this on October 1, 2015, but never finished it: Let’s examine the Conservative’s campaign thus far: It began with them showing ads where men are being drowned, as an example of how they’ll protect us, but no one else will. In the middle it had one of their candidates quit for being caught […] . . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: Looking Back At the Conservatives’ Campaign

The Progressive Economics Forum: Redistribution, Inequality, and Federal Policy: Guest Post by Edgardo Sepulveda

We are pleased to present this rich guest post by a new PEF member, Edgardo Sepulveda. Edgardo has been a consulting economist for more than two decades advising Governments and operators in more than 40 countries on telecommunications policy and regulation matters (www.esepulveda.com). Redistribution, Inequality and the new Federal Tax & Transfer initiatives I want […] . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Redistribution, Inequality, and Federal Policy: Guest Post by Edgardo Sepulveda

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Trudeau To Rush A Billion Dollars to Wall and Notley

The government is in talks to quickly allocate $1 billion for infrastructure projects in the two provinces — money earmarked by the previous government’s infrastructure fund but not yet delivered, two of the officials said. I sincerely hope that this money goes into supporting the growing renewable energy industry, and not into propping up the […] . . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: Trudeau To Rush A Billion Dollars to Wall and Notley

Politics and Entertainment: Is a Referendum the Best Way to Determine an Electoral System?

.Is a Referendum the Best Way to Determine an Electoral System?

Theoretically a referendum may seem like the most obvious and democratic way to determine whether electoral reform is desirable in Canada; but, as we have seen with referendums at the provincial level in BC, PEI, and Ontario, the results almost always render the status quo, not change, largely because of the nature of the choices: the known against the unknowns. That is, first-past-the-post, whether on the referendum ballot or not, is stacked in a binary structure almost always against both a ranked ballot system and proportional representation. There is of course a built in psychological bias for the known in such a situation, and inevitably the unknowns tend to split the alternative vote. Those who want a referendum and favour FPP would seem to be aware of this potential structural deficiency, recognizing that first-past-the-post would inevitably be triumphant either by choice or default.  In this context, then, a referendum is an illusion of democracy.
And so it’s clearly in the interests of those who enjoy a substantial degree of power through first-past-the post to maintain it. In this case, that would be the good old Conservative Party of Canada, who  – let’s be honest – don’t really want a referendum because in fact they really don’t want electoral reform.* Instead, they just don’t want Parliament to consider the issue,** for their real concern is maintaining the power they enjoy through the status quo. Their call for a referendum, in other words, is a mere political ploy, not a genuine gesture in the direction of real democracy; and, sad to say, they’ve sucked in quite a few on the left of the political spectrum.  THE CPC know that were proportional representation, for example, to be established, in many of the ridings where they have won by FPP  – particularly rural ridings – their power would be significantly eroded.***
A referendum offers a second advantage to those who don’t want electoral reform in that it provides a much more straightforward opportunity to lobby if not propagandize against whatever systems are presented as alternatives to FPP by way of various media, editorials,**** op eds, radio talk shows and advertising – a much more difficult task to execute if reform were to be considered through a consultative all-party parliamentary process that would have the sanctioned weight of the representatives Canadians have elected to govern them. It is certainly one of the reasons some want a referendum rather than parliamentary consideration: it allows for substantial direct  “partisanship” spin.
________________________
*Cf. Robin Sears: “The Conservatives are already demanding a referendum on any change to the electoral system, secure in the knowledge that that would mean certain defeat for any reform. Some gullible journalists have defended a referendum as an essential democratic test. What that naively fails to recall, of course, is that there has never been a non-partisan “democratic” referendum. The final choice will inevitably be political and require partisan approval.” 
**Why would they? First-past-the-post is not on the agenda, as the Liberal election platform clearly says: “We are committed to ensuring that 2015 will be the last federal election conducted under the first-past-the-post voting system.We will convene an all-party Parliamentary committee to review a wide variety of reforms, such as ranked ballots, proportional representation, mandatory voting, and online voting.This committee will deliver its recommendations to Parliament. Within 18 months of forming government, we will introduce legislation to enact electoral reform.”
***Under FPP, less populated rural ridings carry as much representational weight in parliament as do densely populated urban ridings. Because of that discrepancy, they are really less democratically representational. Both a ranking ballot system and PR in particular would in fact be more representational of all voters in a given riding and thus more democratic.
****This has already begun in rural newspapers and even The Globe and Mail.

. . . → Read More: Politics and Entertainment: Is a Referendum the Best Way to Determine an Electoral System?