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Political Eh-conomy: Where is Canada’s mild Keynesian alternative?

You know something is up when the social democrats are trailing the centrist pundits on the economy. The space for a just a mild Keynesian alternative in Canada is wide open. Such an alternative, however, needs a political rather than merely a technocratic push.

Here is a fragment of a piece that just appeared in Canadian Business magazine and is typical of recent centrist commentary:

No one would counsel a return to unchecked spending. But the magical thinking around balanced budgets should stop. Canada’s debt is a sunk cost, not an anchor. The IMF now advises that countries with enough fiscal (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Left, Right or Liberal?

One of the best—and funniest—opeds we have read for a while was by Susan Delacourt of the Toronto Star. Susan’s first premise in her article (Liberals must win the middle…July 25) was that there are too many communications people in the Liberal Party. She then segues into a discourse on whether the Liberal Party is even necessary. She gives the party a pass but notes that it has to determine if it takes the middle road through principle or pragmatism.

We will take it as something of a back-handed compliment that Susan recognizes the communications expertise that the Liberal Party (Read more…)

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Dancing Around the Polls Will Only Make You Dizzy

The news this week was of two recently published polls. One was conducted by Forum Research and the other by Mainstreet Research; with completely different results.

Forum shows some drop in support for the NDP but has them forming a minority government. Mainstreet, on the other hand, shows a huge surge by the Conservatives, with them in majority territory, and too close to call for the opposition.

Tracking social media, comments are all over the place, depending on your political drug of choice.

Let’s look at the Mainstreet Poll to the right, which has become a real bone of contention.

(Read more…)

Politics Canada: NDP release a good attack ad.

This attack ad is sweet! Best attack ad on Harperites I have seen! Play it over and over again!

Accidental Deliberations: On leadership failures

Among the many responses to the Cons’ latest Senate shenanigans, one (from someone who’s not exactly known for his recent NDP ties) stands out as being worthy of mention: In his 10 years in office how many meetings with the prov premiers did PMSH hold to discuss Senate reform or abolition ? Ans: 0 #cdnpoli

— Bob Rae (@BobRae48) July 24, 2015

That obviously represents an important rebuttal to the Cons’ claim that they’ve done everything they could – or indeed anything at all – to keep their past promises. But it seems to me an equally powerful argument against (Read more…)

Left Over: ..Stay Away from Runaround Soudas…

Dimitri Soudas buys Liberal membership ahead of Eve Adams’s nomination vote

Adams, rival Marco Mendicino vie Sunday for party’s nomination in Eglinton-Lawrence riding By Laura Payton, CBC News Posted: Jul 23, 2015 5:42 PM ET Last Updated: Jul 23, 2015 6:28 PM ET

OMG… Wish I could sand-blast my eyes to get rid of the image…but it’s too late…

The double-trouble sleazebag brigade has well and truly landed at the feet of Junior Trudeau, whose troubles of late are enormous, mostly self-inflicted…

Junior, your daddy would have been the first one to tell you to never try and trip up (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Change for the better

It seems so long ago when it was conventional wisdom that no party in contention for government in Canada would dare talk about cooperating to get things done, no matter how many voters wanted to see it happen.

But if there was any doubt that the NDP can change Ottawa’s underlying assumptions, we can put that to rest.

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, taking a look at the voter pools the NDP will be looking to win over in order to come out ahead in if this fall’s federal election turns into a two-party race. And I’ll note that while Alberta may serve as the most recent precedent, similar patterns can be found in the NDP’s previous rises to power in other provinces.

For further reading…- Both Nanos and EKOS have polled as to the federal parties’ accessible and second-choice support, with the NDP currently leading the pack on both fronts.- And for more about the business groups who (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On governing alternatives

As David Climenhaga points out, Brad Wall has positioned himself as the heir to Stephen Harper’s throne as the voice of the anti-democratic corporate elite. But let’s note that Wall and his mindset aren’t without some jarring approval within the media.

For example, I’ve already highlighted John Ibbitson’s argument that the federal NDP should be concealing the fact that it’s talking to people who can help with preparations in the event that voters choose to elect it. (As an aside, that theory is as politically inexplicable for a party focused on being “ready” for government as it is offensive (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: NDP promise to change how we vote.

Ontario voters rejected a scheme for mixed member proportional voting in a 2007 referendum because the political parties wanted to appoint party faithful to the provincial parliament so that they would have representation according to the party’s popular vote. That is the scheme that New Democrat Leader Thomas Mulcair promises to use in future federal elections if he is elected Prime Minister. It is also the scheme that is used in countries with high rates of illiteracy.

Mr. Mulcair makes the outrageous statement in supporting this system that “The current system over represents some voices and silences others.” He (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: How to create warped incentives

Shorter John Ibbitson: The NDP is being entirely responsible in preparing for the possible outcomes of the next federal election, and must be punished for it.

Accidental Deliberations: On teasers

Yes, this will do nicely as the trailer for the long-awaited film The Fall of the Harper Conservatives:

But let’s make sure people know where to find the full screenplay. (And putting some more of it in front of the camera may not hurt as we approach the election campaign won’t hurt either.)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Star candidate or sacrificial lamb?

If the son of late author Mordecai Richler had been offered his choice of electoral districts for the October election, the last choice should have been Toronto-St. Paul’s. This is not New Democratic territory. And while the voters are educated and literate they are not ones to be enthused about The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. St. Paul’s is just too far from The Main in Montreal.

You might also note that New Democratic candidate Noah Richler is a long way from his roots in Montreal and his career in England with the BBC. He might fit in with the polyglot (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The NDP Finally Fires an Attack Ad at the Corrupt Harper Cons

About a week ago I wrote about how disappointed I was to hear both Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau declare that they would not attack Stephen Harper like he attacks them.And I even wondered whether they were trying to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. For no government in Canadian history ever deserved to be attacked more than Harper and his depraved Con regime.And this sobering article by Bruce Livesey only reinforces what I have always believed. Read more »

Bill Longstaff: I know you have to say that stuff, Rachel, but still ….

At a recent speech to international investors in Calgary, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley described the tar sands as “a tremendous asset” and an “international showpiece.” Hearing my premier and the leader of my party describe the tar sands as a tremendous asset makes me cringe. They are indeed an international showpiece, but not the kind we should be bragging about.

Ms. Notley is a very bright

Accidental Deliberations: On absolutism

Shorter John Ibbitson: The Very Serious People hereby demand that Thomas Mulcair give a definitive yes-or-no answer on all possible trade agreements before we even know what’s in them.

Driving The Porcelain Bus: NDP Clearest Alternative Globe & Mail Is Loathe To Admit

The G&M must be loathe to report stories like this. But the NDP are so much in the lead and seen as the party of clear change, that they have no choice. But, that doesn’t stop them from trying to tilt the story in the Conservatives favour. Let’s take a look at where the G&M has problems writing a news story:

Canadians will be asked to choose between political stability and renewal – G&M states here that we currently have political stability. Funny, since when do these mean political stability?:- subverting democracy (Bill C-51, Bill C-377, Bill C-23 (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- The Broadbent Institute details Rhys Kesselman’s research on how the Cons’ expanded TFSAs are nothing but a giveaway to the wealthy. And Dean Beeby reports on their withholding of EI supplements from the families who most need them – paired with a complete lack of responsibility or contrition now that the problem has been discovered.

- Matt Saccaro discusses the widespread burnout among U.S. workers as huge increases in hours worked and productivity have done nothing to improve wages or living conditions over a period of decades. And Bill Tieleman slams (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Is Mulcair peaking too soon?

Gosh, reading and listening to some political pundits, you would think that the coming federal election is already decided. It is all over but the shouting. It is one of those times when you wish you could take all those bets from the suckers. Frankly, this political apparatchik would not bet on New Democrat Leader Thomas Mulcair for prime minister.

It is certainly interesting to try to imagine Thomas Mulcair as prime minister but reality keeps getting in the way. Recently we wrote about the New Democrat leader that Canada needs a prime minister, not a prosecutor. And it is (Read more…)

A. Picazo: As Some Fight To “Take Alberta Back,” Others Work To Move It Forward

In 1954, when the U.S. Senate voted to censure Wisconsin Republican Joseph R. McCarthy, a man whose motivations were deemed “evil and unmatched in malice,” it closed the book on a particularly shameful chapter of American politics; One marked by relentless character assassinations, vicious demagoguery, and incessant partisan witch hunts. The extent to which the … Continue reading →

Driving The Porcelain Bus: NDP Now Has A Stable Lead And Is In Minority Government Territory

3 new polls were released today (Environics, Forum, Ipsos Reid), all confirming that the NDP has a stable and comfortable lead over the other parties. The Environics poll was in the field earlier and over a longer period (June 3-18), so it shows the older trend when the 3 parties were virtually tied. The other polls were more recently in the field, both ending June 23rd, and show a trend of the NDP being more in the lead. The table below shows the NDP rise from April to now (comparing the April average to the average (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: The abyss calling the kettle black

I’ve previously written that the Libs tend to be entirely incoherent when they can’t make any claim to votes by default – and that the lead in the polls earned by Tom Mulcair and the NDP raised a real possibility that would happen again.

But I’ll readily acknowledge that this goes far beyond my expectations.

Yes, for those scoring along at home: the federal leader of the Liberal Party is trying to score political points by noting another federal leader’s past association with a Liberal Party.

I suppose that’s one way to take “they’re all the same” messaging to a (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: The media feel the excitement.

Just about four months to the federal election and the news media can barely contain their excitement. Not since John Diefenbaker came out of the West like an avenging angel has an election been so fraught with possibilities. They have so many scenarios to write about. Change is in the air. Change is in all the Liberal and New Democrat speaking notes. The Conservatives just look worried.

And well they should. With two serious and challenging opposition parties poised to unseat them, the Conservatives should be questioning their strategy. They know that if the balance is maintained between the opposition (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Mark Anderson reports on the Change Readiness Index’ findings that the growing concentration and inequality of wealth is making it more and more difficult for countries to deal with foreseeable disasters. But Jon Queally points out that a concerted effort to quit abusing fossil fuels could do a world in making our world both more fair and more sustainable.

- James Galbraith suggests that the EU is guilty of gross malpractice in how it continues to treat Greece in the face of overwhelming public opposition to austerity. But as David Dayen points (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: NDP changing times, changing directions.

The CCF—the party of Tommy Douglas—represented the working man, the farmer and the socially conscious in an era of rapid growth and acquisition after the Second World War. We had little time for CCF concerns or socialism in those exciting years but the party was respected as a political conscience. It was only when the Canadian Labour Congress was formed that the combination of the CCF and labour became a reality.

The problem many of us young left wingers had against the labour involvement was that we did not see labour as having a social conscience. We saw labour involvement (Read more…)