Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream Gaffes and ‘anti-Semitism’ on the campaign trail

In the Sept. 17 Globe and Mail leaders’ debate, Prime Minister Stephen Harper made reference to “old-stock Canadians” in defending his government’s policy on health care for refugees and immigrants, saying it had only denied care to bogus claimants. “We do not offer them a better health-care plan than the ordinary Canadian can receive,” Harper […]

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Ian Welsh writes that the Harper Cons have destroyed Canada’s historic economic balance by scrapping the parts of the manufacturing sector which previously provided a buffer against low resource prices. And Bruce Campbell compares Canada’s record on climate change to Norway’s, and concluding that it isn’t only in terms of royalties and heritage funds that we’re far worse off for catering to big oil.

- Andrew Jackson comments on the role government investment should play in improving Canada’s record on innovation. But Joseph Stiglitz and Adam Hersh flesh out what the Cons (Read more…)

The Tory Pirate - Politics & Policy: The NDP "is not planning any changes to our current form of the parliamentary system" 

It is not often I get to talk about issues related to the monarchy on this blog. I mostly keep that on the other blog I writefor. However the Monarchist League of Canada recently surveyed the main federal parties on their views towards theCanadian Monarchy. One of the answers was curious though. The NDP’s reply was thus:

“The NDP is not planning any changes to our current form of the parliamentary system. Ourfocus is on meeting the challenges of middle-class families for better jobs, affordablechildcare and reliable healthcare.”

Now there are a few things to (Read more…)

Bouquets of Gray: Strategic voting in the 2015 election – summary thread

Those who want to vote strategically in the coming election are often find it challenging to decide which party to vote for. This is again true in the current election. I will begin a series of posts here endorsing specific candidates and, where possible, identifying pairs of ridings where (say) NDP and Liberal interests are balanced.   My posts will be summarized here.

Babel-on-the-Bay: They say all politics are local.

That might not be the way Americans say it but Americans do not worry much about syntax (such as the use of a plural verb with a plural subject). This thought occurred to us the other evening while sitting in a very uncomfortable students’ chair in a lecture hall at Georgian College here in Barrie. If we had known how uncomfortable those seats could be, we would never have agreed years ago to giving back-to-back lectures to business and commerce students delivered over two 50-minute periods.

But we were there on the students’ side because the City Hall Council Chambers (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: CBC Wrecks Another Debate #elxn42

I’ve long called for More Debates, Not Fewer Debaters, and CBC again disappoints.

Not much watchdog press left in Canada. No wonder people reject mainstream journalism for real reporting online.#cbc

— John MacDougall (@coircomann) October 2, 2015

Despite efforts by the major TV broadcasters, NDP have refused to participate in the debate.

— Green Party Canada (@CanadianGreens) October 2, 2015

Nope. @Blahaaron @josh_wingrove @acoyne uh the final election debate is next week..

— kady o'malley (@kady) October 2, 2015

My Feb. prediction, sadly is coming true.

The unethical fools (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: NDP attacks Trudeau—Harper grins

As I was about to mail another donation to the NDP earlier this week, I encountered the following headline on the CBC website: “NDP sets sights on Trudeau in bid to recapture momentum.” No doubt the headline put a large grin on Stephen Harper’s face. It put a large frown on mine. Wonderful, I thought, my party is now collaborating with the Conservatives to undermine their fellow progressives.

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Knox Met Candidates Forum in Regina, Sept. 29, 2015 #elxn42

Here’s a portion in High Definition: And another segment (it’s also included in the long video at the top, so if you’ve seen that, there’s probably nothing new in this clip either.)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Turning the corner on the 2015 election.

There are many wonderful readers of Babel-on-the-Bay. The other day one of our stalwarts sent an e-mail saying how warming it was to read that the Harper government is toast. Obviously some of the Conservative readers caught a bit of a chill in the words but so far nobody has argued. The best news is that Babel-on-the-Bay’s Morning Line forecast is falling into place. With just eight days until voters can start to give their opinion, the election is about to produce the expected result.

Despite the statistical possibility that the Conservatives could win the largest number of seats on (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: The Political Prisoner’s Dilemma

Let’s double back to Karl Nerenberg’s take on the opposition parties’ messages in Canada’s federal election and point out how it relates to a classic decision-making hypothetical, the prisoner’s dilemma.

In the case of the federal election, here’s how the dilemma plays out for anybody whose primary goal is to see the Cons replaced. (And as in any of these types of discussions, I’ll leave aside what I see as the important distinctions between the parties which ensure that I’m not in that group – while also noting that the parties themselves likewise have every reason to focus on their (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Mr. Mulcair Will the NDP Negotiate A New Health Accord to Include ABA for Autism Under Medicare?

September 30, 2015 Thomas Mulcair  Leader of the Official Opposition Dear Mr Mulcair The Federal NDP has in the past been very helpful in addressing autism on a national level including efforts by Nova Scotia MP Peter Stoffer who worked with the late Fredericton Liberal MP Andy Scott to effect passage of a National Autism Strategy motion in the House of Commons albeit one  which did not address autism treatment coverage under Medicare.  In July 2014 I asked if the NDP would support a real National Autism Stragegy.  I receivd the following positive response from your office: Dear Mr. Doherty, (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Mr. Mulcair Will the NDP Negotiate A New Health Accord to Include ABA for Autism Under Medicare?

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Free Trade, CETA, TPP, and the US and Canadian Federal Elections: Some Critical Perspective

The following is critical to understand – for the people of Canada, the US, Europe and the world: “free trade” deals such those already signed (NAFTA), and those being pushed through with great secrecy now (CETA, TTIP and TPP), are agreements which grant supra-national powers to transnational corporations, powers over and above democratically elected governments, […]

Babel-on-the-Bay: Mulcair flogs a dead plan for the Senate.

When you know that you cannot possibly achieve your objective, why try to sell it? Obviously New Democrat Leader Thomas Mulcair is no salesman. A good sales person knows that when something is impossible, you start investigating possible work-arounds to address the issue. Mulcair is lying to Canadians that he has a solution for the Senate and he does not seem to care that the one lie taints his other promises.

What Mulcair fully understands is that Quebec will never agree to simply abolishing the Senate. Quebec and Ontario are each guaranteed 24 seats in the Senate and any change (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On continuing opportunities

Let’s answer Greg Lyle’s headline question as simply and concisely as possible:


The NDP’s opportunity in the ongoing federal campaign has never involved the ability to move the election date up to fit a rise in the polls, nor a plausible expectation that well-funded opponents would let that rise go unchallenged. As a result, we shouldn’t judge any campaign by the fact that the election remains a three-party race.

In fact, it would be a waste of resources to focus unduly on pressing an immediate advantage which would likely be undermined by election day. And that has to be (Read more…)

Random Ranting Raving and Ratings: Denying Women Canadian Citizenship Does Nothing to Fight Opression

Are Stephen Harper and the Conservatives actually trying to argue that denying a woman citizenship for wearing the niqab is somehow promoting equal rights?  It would seem to me that by denying a woman citizenship, the government is actually contributing to oppression rather than fighting… ..

somecanuckchick dot com: Consider this post a chronicle of Thomas Mulcair’s flip-flop policies…

Consider this post a chronicle of Thomas Mulcair’s flip-flop policies…

I could go on… but this is a nice start, eh!

In no particular order: [Articles + Videos; In English, or en français.]

Shortly after his election to the National Assembly, Thomas Mulcair denounced the political interference of Québec’s powerful union movement [Article: In English.]

Now, Thomas Mulcair has declared he is extremely proud that the FTQ, Québec’s largest union endorsed the NDP in the coming election… [Article: In English.]

In the Québec National Assembly, Thomas Mulcair argued in favour of bulk water exports to the USA. (Read more…)

somecanuckchick dot com: These are the types of NDP candidates Thomas Mulcair stands behind…

These are the types of NDP candidates Thomas Mulcair stands behind…


Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie

Alexandre Boulerice says the NDP is against the niqab! [VIDEO, en français!]


Jean-François Delisle says the NDP should reopen Constitution to deal with the niqab. FYI Jean-François Delisle has backed off his initial statement that the NDP should reopen the Constitution to revisit Freedom of Religion in order to rule on the question of the niqab.


Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas

ICYMI! Alex Johnstone made a penis joke about Auschwitz, a concentration camp. Apparently, Alex Johnstone, a school trustee, didn’t know what Auschwitz was…

Anti-Abortion, Anti-Same-Sex (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, expanding on this post about the crucial difference between the types of change on offer from the NDP and the Libs.

While there wasn’t room for this point in the column, I’ll also note another rather important distinction between the two parties.

In the NDP’s case, Prime Minister Tom Mulcair would have to take into account the real and consistent preferences of party members and supporters who have coalesced primarily around shared policy goals. And while the base is likely willing to be patient so long as the result is real progress, one can’t imagine Mulcair being able (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Kevin Carmichael compares the federal parties’ promises to help parents and concludes the NDP’s child care plan to hold far more social and economic benefit, while Natascia Lypny likewise finds that parents are more interested in actual affordable child-care spaces than tax baubles. CTV reports on the NDP’s promise to extend parental leave under EI as an added help to new parents. And David MacDonald offers five reasons why we need to ensure better opportunities for indigenous families and children.

- Nathan Liewicki reports on the Council of Canadians’ town hall on protecting (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On partial answers

Having posted earlier on the message we should expect from our opposition leaders when it comes to ensuring change, let’s make clear exactly what Justin Trudeau has now said – and most notably, what he hasn’t said. “There are no circumstances” under which the Liberals would prop up Harper should the Tories emerge with only a narrow plurality of seats, Trudeau said Tuesday in his strongest statements to date on the possibility of a Tory minority.… NDP Leader Tom Mulcair has long maintained that his goal is to ensure Harper doesn’t win government. He has also said he would be (Read more…)

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: The NDP’s Obsession With Justin Trudeau Could be Their Undoing

“I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.”  - Franklin D Roosevelt

Just hours before the Globe and Mail debates on the economy, a story surfaced suggesting that Justin Trudeau was in trouble in Papineau.  It started out as “may be” but then quickly changed to “is”‘ as the results of a poll were released.

This sampling suggested that Trudeau’s NDP opponent, Anne Legace Dowson (shown above), was 11 points ahead, worrisome if it were true, but it wasn’t.  Turns out that it was the NDP who commissioned the poll of 375 people, and (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Roheena Saxena points out that personal privilege tends to correlate to selfishness in distributing scarce resources. And that in turn may explain in part why extreme top-end wealth isn’t even mentioned in a new inequality target under development by the UN.

- Or, for that matter, the Calgary Board of Education’s continued provision of free lunches to executives while students lack food and supplies. Meanwhile, Laurie Monsebraaten reports on the spread of hunger in Toronto’s suburbs, while Karena Walter points out the need for more action on poverty in Canada’s federal election.

- (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Haroon Siddiqui comments on the Cons’ tall economic tales. And Steven Chase and Greg Keenan note that workers are rightly fighting back against the Cons’ plan to sell out Canada’s auto parts industry and its 80,000 jobs.

- Canadian Doctors for Medicare weighs in with its approval of the NDP’s plan for a national pharmacare program. And to remind us why we need to deal with prescription drug costs as a matter of public policy rather than hoping they’ll take care of themselves, Andrew Pollack reports on the appalling price tags being (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Tom Mulcair explains how the NDP Swiss Cheese Plan came about

Dramatic disclosures on the campaign trail today!  A respected numbers man has called the campaign plan prepared by Tom Mulcair for the NDP, a “Swiss cheese plan.”  He likes it, but thinks it’s a bit skimpy: Even though Canada’s former budget watchdog called the NDP’s fiscal plan “Swiss cheese,” leader Thomas Mulcair insists Kevin Page has very nice things to say about his party’s document. Page, who served as parliamentary budget officer from 2008-2013, has been advising Mulcair and the NDP, as well as other parties. He told The Huffington Post Canada Thursday that he was (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Tom Mulcair explains how the NDP Swiss Cheese Plan came about

Accidental Deliberations: On contrasting activities

Thomas Walkom rightly notes that this fall’s election has seen somewhat more discussion of government acting in the public interest than we’ve seen in some time. But it’s worth drawing a distinction between the varieties of intervention on offer from the NDP and the Libs respectively.

As much as the latter have tried to suggest that running immediate deficits is the sole measure of progressivism, the real difference between the two lies in their longer-term plans.

For the NDP, the goal of an active government is to build up a stronger social safety net over time. Immediate funding for child (Read more…)