Babel-on-the-Bay: Premier Wynne: Colour her gone.

It seems more and more likely that Premier Kathleen Wynne and her Ontario Liberals are on the slippery side of the slope. Nothing says it more emphatically than the situation in which we find ourselves here in Babel. (You know Babel as Barrie, Ontario.) We are less than two years from a tough election situation ...

In This Corner: The Return of Stuff Happens, week 1: The taxman cometh

Here in the Glorious People’s Republic of Alberta, we have begun the process of saving the Earth, 4.5 cents a litre at a time. The NDP government introduced its Climate Change Plan Jan. 1 , slapping taxes on the stuff that we use to drive our vehicles and heat our homes. The fuel tax is ...

Song of the Watermelon: Vancouver Sun Letter

For what is likely to be my last letter to the editor of 2016, see today’s Vancouver Sun (fourth letter from the top). The gist of my argument is that Kinder Morgan is bad. Fun fact: this ain’t the first time I’ve responded to a pro-Kinder Morgan op-ed by former NDP Premier Dan Miller. Filed ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Alex Hemingway reviews the evidence on two-tiered medicine from around the developed world, and concludes that a constitutional attack on universal health care would only result in our paying more for less. – Marc Lee takes a look at the national climate change framework released last week and ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The empty chair of Tom Mulcair.

In a much condemned political schtick by actor-director Clint Eastwood at the Republican National Convention in 2012, he talked to an empty chair. The chair was supposed to represent President Barack Obama. We always thought it helped get Obama elected to his second term. We were reminded of it recently when reading an op-ed piece ...

In This Corner: Stuff Still Happens, week 49: On the ‘lock her up’ chant, and the woman they DID lock up.

Last Saturday, the right-wing rabble rouser, Ezra Levant, roused the rabble just enough to host an anti-carbon tax rally at the Alberta legislature. The crowd of probably a few hundred heard the usual stuff from the usual suspects, and the event was mostly uneventful. The Edmonton Journal’s story on the rally, in the Monday paper, ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Citizens for Public Justice laments the Libs’ and Cons’ joint effort to vote down the NDP’s push for a national anti-poverty strategy. And Sean Speer and Rob Gillezeau make the case for an improved Working Income Tax Benefit which should be palatable across the political spectrum. – ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – David MacDonald examines how Canada’s tax expenditures systematically favour higher-income individuals over the people who actually have a reasonable claim to public support: This study finds that Canada’s personal income tax expenditures disproportionately benefit the rich and cost the federal treasury nearly as much as it collects in ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Tommy Douglas was a “macroeconomist”, not a “provincialist”!

A guest blog post from Mario Seccareccia, Professor of Economics, University of Ottawa The NDP went through a roller coaster ride in 2015. It would seem that the party still hasn’t fully recovered from the outcome of that election, and it will probably remain so until it elects a new leader and gets its “policy ...

In This Corner: Stuff Still Happens, week 48: Why we (sigh) need pipelines

This week, the Trudeau government approved two pipelines, and rejected one other. Trudeau is winning lavish praise for his bold, statesmanlike decision in some quarters, hyperbolic, end-of-the-world scorn from others. Trudeau’s decision to allow two of three is simply the right thing to do, in some ways because we have no choice. The simple, sad ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Thomas Frank writes that a progressive party can only expect to succeed if it places principles of equality and workers’ interests at the core of everything it does – rather than serving mostly as the voice of a wealthy professional class: Somewhere in a sunny corner of the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Does Wynne cry for liberalism?

Did you hear that Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne got all teary at the Liberal Party gathering this past weekend? Not being there, are we to assume these were crocodile tears or tears of frustration? Or were they just a notation on her script saying ‘tears here’? You never know what her reaction is to being ...

Accidental Deliberations: On decision points

Needless to say, it’s disappointing that there now doesn’t seem to be any prospect of a shift to a more proportional federal electoral system without a referendum. But the NDP’s move to build a consensus among the opposition parties on a referendum offering a choice between mixed-member proportional representation and first-past-the-post makes sense given the ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, comparing the Conservative Party’s leadership race based on fear and division to the NDP’s which looks set to bring a progressive coalition together. For further reading…– Bob Hepburn also notes that fear and hatred are the main themes emerging from the Cons’ candidates so far. And while it’s fair enough for Andrew Coyne to ...

Alberta Politics: This shouldn’t be a surprise: Trudeaumania 2.0 fails to deliver in Medicine Hat

PHOTOS: Trudeaumania 1.0, the real thing, in 1968. Below: Trudeaumania 2.0, not nearly as effective, in Medicine Hat, Alberta, on Oct. 13, 2016. Below: Conservative by-election winner Glen Motz, Rudyard Kipling, poet of empire and saviour of the Hat part of the Hat, and unsuccessful Liberal challenger Stan Sakamoto. Well, it’s obviously going to take ...

In This Corner: Stuff Still Happens, week 40: OK, now he CAN’T win

Even the Teflon Don can’t get out of this one. Everyone except his most fanatical supporters knows Trump is a pig, a boor, a crass, classless thug. Now we have the best evidence yet of exactly what kind of person Donald Trump really is. An audiotape of Trump on a bus ride with entertainment reporter/nobody ...

In This Corner: Stuff Still Happens, week 38: Bulletin – Liberals like to $pend money

The Trudeau government, less than a year old, has certainly adopted well to governing. Like most governments, the Trudeau Liberals have found that there is a surprising amount of money just lying around, so they might as well use it. For example, it was revealed this week that one of Trudeau’s inner circle, Gerald Butts, ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: How far Bill Davis’ party has fallen.

We can admit it now but could not when he was Premier of Ontario, Bill Davis is a decent guy. As much as he likes to pose as the bastion of the right, Bill has always liked people and is a caring, compassionate person. If he was much younger and leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: No guts, no glory, no re-election.

Ontario’s Liberals have to stop whistling past the graveyard. That American idiom means that they are ignoring sure destruction. And nothing said it better than the recent rebooting of the Legislature with a joke of a throne speech read by the Lieutenant Governor. It was no throne speech. It was a stop-gap to oblivion. It ...

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 ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Andrew Jackson discusses how the rise of right-wing, prejudiced populism can be traced to the failures of global corporate governance. And Dani Rodrik argues that it’s time to develop an international political system to facilitate – rather than overriding – democratic action: Some simple principles would reorient ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Who should govern in times of significant disruption?

Chris Kutarna says this is the best time in history to be alive.  We’re healthier, wealthier and better educated than at any other time in history…so why are we so miserable? Kutarna is a Fellow at the Oxford Martin School at Oxford University.  He argues we’re experiencing a second Renaissance—an amped-up version of the first ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Labouring against logic.

Pundits are asking if the New Democratic Party is a labour party? Frankly folks, if you do not know the answer, nobody in the party is ready to answer it either. Even an authority such as left-wing writer Thomas Walkom of the Toronto Star is wondering where the party is headed. In a recent op-ed ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Saqib Bhatti and Stephen Lerner point out that the struggle for power between labour and capital is far from over, and that the next step may be to engage on wider questions of economic control: For too long most unions defined their mission narrowly as winning higher ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Armine Yalnizyan writes that the response to the European Commission’s finding that Apple has dodged $20 billion in taxes may tell us all we need to know about the relative power of governments and corporations: The EC is also investigating state support received by Amazon and McDonalds in ...