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Montreal Simon: Could Stephen Harper Be Forced To Testify At the Duffy Trial?

When we last saw Stephen Harper he was running or waddling quickly down a corridor, in a desperate attempt to escape the media.Or as portrayed in this Le Devoir cartoon, crawling out the back window for the same reason…

But according to some parliamentary experts, he could soon be running for his political life.Should Mike Duffy decide to summon him to his upcoming trial, and he can't use his parliamentary immunity. Read more »

Accidental Deliberations: On late definitions

A day after the Prairie Dog duly mocked corporate-ordered endorsements of the Harper Cons (which should be entirely familiar based on past campaigns), we’ve seen a spate of newspapers falling in line. And I’ll argue that there may actually be more reason to be concerned than usual about the impact of those new messages.

Plenty of observers have asked whether anybody really votes based entirely on a newspaper endorsement. And for the vast majority of voters, the answer is “probably not”.

But at the end of a campaign where the Cons have received almost nothing but (hard-earned) scathing reviews from (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Lessons not learned

Yes, plenty of people are pointing out Stephen Harper’s decision to be less prime ministerial, more game show host as the election campaign comes to an end. But we should note also that he’s doing that in the face of a noteworthy cautionary tale.

After all, the last time Harper used a TV format gimmick to try to further his political plans, this was the takeaway…

So how long until we learn that the cash being used in Harper’s photo ops is being paid under the table?

Alberta Politics: Independent MP Brent Rathgeber gives St. Albertans a former Tory insider’s take on the many sins of the Harper PMO

PHOTOS: Independent MP Brent Rathgeber, in a typical pose, chats with a couple of constituents at last night’s candidates’ forum in St. Albert, Alberta. Below: Conservative candidate Michael Cooper, Mr. Rathgeber again, New Democrat Darlene Malayko and Liberal Beatrice Ghettuba. ST. ALBERT, Alberta The only Independent candidate in Canada with any hope of winning on […]

The post Independent MP Brent Rathgeber gives St. Albertans a former Tory insider’s take on the many sins of the Harper PMO appeared first on Alberta Politics.

The Canadian Progressive: Information commissioner takes Harper to court for withholding Senate expenses scandal documents

Suzanne Legault, Canada’s federal information commissioner, is taking Stephen Harper to the Federal Court for withholding information relating to the Senate expenses scandal.

The post Information commissioner takes Harper to court for withholding Senate expenses scandal documents appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Sherri Torjman comments on the importance of social policy among our political choices, while lamenting its absence from the first leaders’ debate: (M)arket economies go through cycles, with periods of stability followed by periods of slump and uncertainty. Canada has weathered these economic cycles, and even major recessions, largely because of our social-policy initiatives. Income-security programs, in particular, are vital economic measures. The problem is that most of these have withered and shrunk in recent years and are in need of major repair.

Why is social policy so important to the economy? (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Michal Rozworski calls for the election to include far more discussion as to who benefits from our economy as it’s designed, and who gets left behind. Michael Wilson examines how Canada’s economy has become far less equal over the past few decades. And Michelle Zilio talks to Munir Sheikh about the “made in Canada recession” under the Harper Cons, as a rare divergence between Canada and the rest of the world is seeing us headed in the wrong direction even as the U.S. and other developed countries do relatively well.

- Joanna (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Michal Rozworski reminds us that austerity in Canada is nothing new under Con or Lib governments, while pointing out what the public needs to do to repel it: The campaigning Stephen Harper boasts that his tough austerity policies saved the Canadian economy. Lost in the rhetoric are two important facts. As most economists will tell you today, austerity measures are lousy ways to expand jobs and investment. And Harper’s Conservatives were just carrying on the work of their austerity embracing Liberal predecessors.…

The first round of Liberal cutbacks were quick and deep. (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On biased decisions

It shouldn’t come as much surprise that the Duffy trial has revealed that the Harper Cons sought to make the Senate as subservient to the PMO as the Cons’ trained seals in the House of Commons: Mr. Rathgeber said the PMO staffers’ handling of the situation was all too familiar and speaks to a “culture of invincibility” among some of the PMO staff.

“It’s shocking, but it validates everything I’ve ever said about their modus operandi. They have no ethical, or sometimes legal, boundaries and I would say without any doubt that a Senate report into expenses is a higher (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Paul Krugman theorizes that our recent pattern of economic instability can be traced to a glut of accumulated wealth chasing too few viable investments: On the surface, we seem to have had a remarkable run of bad luck. First there was the housing bust, and the banking crisis it triggered. Then, just as the worst seemed to be over, Europe went into debt crisis and double-dip recession. Europe eventually achieved a precarious stability and began growing again — but now we’re seeing big problems in China and other emerging markets, which were previously (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Juxtaposition

Stephen Harper plays chess: Sources say Conservative planners did factor in testimony by Wright and Harper’s former legal counsel Perrin. Once the testimony was over, they calculated, the sting would fade, and those voters who were inclined to believe Harper’s version would continue to do so. Those who never believed him would never vote for him anyway.

Just one problem with his strategy: The vast majority of Canadians do not believe Stephen Harper is telling the truth about the Mike Duffy Senate expenses scandal, a new poll has found. Some 56 per cent of respondents do not think (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Andrew Jackson discusses how increased development of the oil sands fits into Canada’s economic future – and how it’s foolhardy to assume that one necessarily equates to the other: A new and effective global climate agreement to avoid hitting the 2 degree increase would mandate a large, phased in shift away from carbon fuels through greater energy efficiency, and a major transition to renewable sources of energy. But there would still be a role for carbon fuels in the transition.

Here in Canada, a 2009 study (funded by the TD bank) by Mark Jaccard (Read more…)

LeDaro: Stephen Harper wanted

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Ian Welsh rightly points out how our lives are shaped by social facts far beyond individual’s control: If you are homeless in America, know that there are five times as many empty homes as there are homeless people.

If you are homeless in Europe, know that there are two times as many empty homes are there are homeless.

If you are hungry anywhere in the world, know that the world produces more than enough food to feed everyone, and that the amount of food we discard as trash is, alone, more than enough (Read more…)

centre of the universe: Standing there tongue tied 

I have never voted for a Conservative candidate in my entire life. Sometimes it’s because I don’t like the candidate themselves or what they stand for (looking at you, Maurice Vellacott, Brad Trost, and Tom Lukiwski), and sometimes it’s because I don’t like their party’s platform. It’s true that I’m a firm believer in socialism, […]

LeDaro: Stephen Harper’s whereabouts

Duffy case is having impact on Harper. - Alberta Politics: Federal Election Digest | Alberta Edition

While most Albertans are enjoying the last few weeks of summer, here are some of the more interesting and bizarre news stories from the federal election campaign trail in our province.

LeDaro: Stephen Harper on campaign trail

LeDaro: Mike Duffy addressing the judge

Politics and its Discontents: A Blast From The Past

Many thanks to John B who, in response to my previous post, wrote the following and provided this video and this link. I daresay you will enjoy this eerily prophetic blast from the past, as the ‘over served’ and pompous Mike Duffy attempts a stout defense of his Senate expenditures less that one year into his illustrious post-television career.

I realize that the Beaverton piece is fictional, but let’s not forget that Duffy was appointed to the Senate in late 2008 just after the election and possibly as a direct reward for his role in Harper’s project to destroy (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Alex Munter discusses the connection between public health and economic development, along with the need to take a far longer-term view of both. And PressProgress points out Matthew Stanbrook’s message (PDF) that the Cons are undermining Canada’s medical system through malign neglect.

- Doreen Nichol comments on the relationship between low-wage, precarious work and food insecurity. Michal Rozworski points out how the NDP’s plan for a $15 federal minimum wage will have an impact far beyond the people who receive that wage directly, while James Armstrong reports that there’s serious reason to (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Philip Berger and Lisa Simon discuss the health and social benefits of a guaranteed annual income: At the community level, poverty also has deep and lasting impacts — some visible, some not. We’ve seen these visible impacts in Simcoe County Ontario, where one of us works. One in four single-parent families experience moderate or severe food insecurity at some point every year. A family of four receiving Ontario Works would have to spend 93% of their monthly after-tax income on rent and nutritious food alone, leaving little remaining for all other necessary expenses.

(Read more…)

ParliamANT Hill: Mike Duffy’Ant trial: Nigel Wright’Ant communicated with Ray Novak’Ant 2 weeks ago

Satire inspired by this headline: 

LeDaro: Stephen Harper on campaign trail

He has beaten Richard Nixon’s Watergate. Duffygate beats Watergate.

Susan on the Soapbox: Nigel Wright Trips Over Duffygate

“When I refer to the government as an elected dictatorship it’s not personal in any way to the Prime Minister nor to his party, it’s a reference to what’s happened, a creeping growth, an unhealthy growth of power in the Prime Minister’s Office—Elizabeth May, Leaders Debate

Less than one week after Elizabeth May made that damning statement Nigel Wright, Harper’s former Chief-of-Staff, proved her right.


Conservative senator Mike Duffy is facing 31 criminal charges, including three for fraud, breach of trust and bribery in connection with his acceptance of a $90,000 cheque from Nigel Wright, Harper’s former chief-of-staff, (Read more…)