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Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.- Owen Jones offers his take on how the UK’s Labour Party should proceed following Jeremy Corbyn’s most recent leadership victory – and while the exact circumstances may not apply to the NDP’s upcoming leadersh… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Graham Lowe and Frank Graves examine the state of Canada’s labour market, and find a strong desire among workers for an activist government to ensure improved pay equality and social supports. Oxfam reaches sim… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Yvan Guillemette discusses the need for public-sector investment in economic development to make up for the massive amounts of private capital sitting idle. And Daniel Kahnemann challenges the theory that cor… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: The NDP Must Stop Victimizing Women if They Hope to be Taken Seriously Again

In early December 2012, the Toronto Star reported:  Near-brawl erupts in Commons between Tory Peter Van Loan and NDP’s Nathan Cullen Apparently Van Loan was upset with the NDP’s delaying tactics on getting the Conservative budget measu… . . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: The NDP Must Stop Victimizing Women if They Hope to be Taken Seriously Again

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: The NDP Must Stop Victimizing Women if They Hope to be Taken Seriously Again

In early December 2012, the Toronto Star reported:  Near-brawl erupts in Commons between Tory Peter Van Loan and NDP’s Nathan Cullen 

Apparently Van Loan was upset with the NDP’s delaying tactics on getting the Conservative budget measures passed, and crossed the floor to the NDP caucus, pointing his finger and shouting obscenities.

In typical fashion, Thomas Mulcair began shouting obscenities back, and things could have gotten out of control, had not members of both parties stepped in to defuse the situation.  Then Speaker, Andrew Scheer, did nothing.

According to Van Loan, members of his party only left their seats, fearing for his safety; and according to Nathan Cullen, his only concern was for the women folk

Had a bench clearing brawl erupted, we can assume that only those wanting to engage would jump the boards and everyone else would scatter.  He should not have dragged gender into this.  What Van Loan and Mulcair did was wrong.  They created an unsafe and uncomfortable working environment for everyone.

Last week we witnessed a similar situation in what has been dubbed Elbowgate.

This time the obstructionism was more evident as several NDP members tried to delay the vote on Assisted Dying legislation, by preventing Conservative Whip Gord Brown from making his way to the Speaker.  Given that the clock was running out, the Prime Minister left his seat to move things along.

He was angry.  He cursed.  He was wrong.

During this brief encounter, NDP MP Ruth Ellen Brousseau, who had moved up behind him, got bumped.  She stepped back to her bench, laughing and then made a gesture like she had been injured.  

However, the issue here is not whether she was indeed hurt, or to what degree.  It’s not even about whether or not she took a dive, as many believe she did.


It is about what we know did NOT happen.

She was NOT sexually assaulted.  She was NOT molested.  And she was NOT the victim of intentional violence.  She pushed against Prime Minister Trudeau.  He did not seek her out.

But that didn’t stop the Opposition members from turning this into a three ring circus, making it all about violence against women and putting the lives of female MPs in grave danger.  Women must feel safe when they go to work, they insisted.

When did women become so fragile that we needed this kind of protection? When things like this occur in the workplace, they are disconcerting to everyone.  Believe it or not, we’ve heard the “f” word before and many of us like contact sports, including boxing.

Our female Members of Parliament come from varied backgrounds.  They are doctors, lawyers, teachers, scientists, business people et al.  Many rose to the tops of their professions and no doubt took an elbow or two in the course of their careers.  Singling them out as frail individuals is misogynistic.  Feminism run amok.

As feminist blogger Rachel Edwards says:

“While feminists say that feminism is about equality, actions speak louder than words. These actions suggest an uncomfortable truth. Feminism is not the assumption that we are equal, but the assumption that women are weak… “

Had the NDP stuck to the narrative that Justin Trudeau should not have lost his temper and should not have left his seat to physically move Brown through the NDP wall, they would have come out on top.  But by making it about violence against women, they lost all credibility and the public turned on them.

Not just Liberal supporters, but all women who know what sexual assault and violence against them really is.  Also many men who are tired of always being painted as “perverts, bullies and misogynists”

Unfortunately, most of the anger was directed at Brousseau, while it should have gone to those who victimized her for political gain.

I know I also found myself upset with the MP, especially after viewing the video, but have since realized that she only played a small role in this farce. What I also noticed from the video, was how easy it would have been for Brown to go around, instead of continuing to try to go through.  Sure looked liked a set up.

I also discovered from following social media, that many of the people decrying the bullying of Brousseau, are the same ones who bullied Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, just a week ago; so clearly this was not about protecting women.


NDP MP and self proclaimed feminist Niki Ashton, epitomizes what is wrong with feminism today.  She led the charge against Sophie Trudeau when she asked for help in performing her duties, by suggesting that no one asked her to do anything.

Something women have heard for decades,  if not centuries.  “No one asked you to have those children”.  “No one asked you to join a male dominated profession”.  “You brought this on yourself”.  

In November, Ashton had criticized the prime minister’s wife for taking her son Hadrian along on an official visit, despite the fact that he was still breast feeding.

Feminists need to step back and ask themselves what they are hoping to accomplish and pseudo-feminists need to stop assuming that they know. Only then will we be taken seriously.

What Was This Really About?

I was quite taken aback by several well known Canadian journalists and pundits, who shared stories on Twitter from international news outlets about the incident.  They appeared giddy over the fact that this might tarnish Justin Trudeau’s reputation on the international stage.  How is this a good thing?

Do they detest him that much that they fail to see that it would also be our country’s image that would suffer?


I doubt it will have much of an impact, but it does shed a light on the true nature of all the uproar.

So instead of #PrayForSophie #Nannygate or #elbowgate let’s just use one to cover everything.

#TrudeausJustTooDamnPopularGate



. . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: The NDP Must Stop Victimizing Women if They Hope to be Taken Seriously Again

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Sophie Trudeau is no Betty Boop But Opposition Fast Becoming Other Cartoon Characters

In 2013, John Avarosis wrote a piece: Why do Republicans so hate Michelle Obama?  In it he discusses the obsession that American conservatives have with the First Lady, or what has been referred to as ‘Michelle Derangement Syndrome’; believin… . . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Sophie Trudeau is no Betty Boop But Opposition Fast Becoming Other Cartoon Characters

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Sophie Trudeau is no Betty Boop But Opposition Fast Becoming Other Cartoon Characters

In 2013, John Avarosis wrote a piece: Why do Republicans so hate Michelle Obama?  In it he discusses the obsession that American conservatives have with the First Lady, or what has been referred to as ‘Michelle Derangement Syndrome’; believin… . . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Sophie Trudeau is no Betty Boop But Opposition Fast Becoming Other Cartoon Characters

Accidental Deliberations: #YEG2016 Followup Links

While there’s been plenty of ill-informed commentary since the NDP’s convention last weekend, I’ll take a moment to highlight a few of the followup points which deserve a read.- Joshua Keep rightly recognizes the new leadership election as an opportuni… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: #YEG2016 Followup Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- Robert Reich points out how perpetually more severe corporate rights agreements are destroying the U.S.’ middle class. And Michael Geist concludes his must-read series by summarizing the dangers of the… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Blunt Objects Blog: End of the Line for Mulcair?

The Denial of NikiToday has been an absolute horror show for NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair. Not only did a group of Quebec activists and former MPs come out asking for “renewal” in specific terms, but current MP and past leadership contender Niki Ashton re… . . . → Read More: Blunt Objects Blog: End of the Line for Mulcair?

Blunt Objects Blog: End of the Line for Mulcair?

The Denial of NikiToday has been an absolute horror show for NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair. Not only did a group of Quebec activists and former MPs come out asking for “renewal” in specific terms, but current MP and past leadership contender Niki Ashton re… . . . → Read More: Blunt Objects Blog: End of the Line for Mulcair?

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Playing Football With Domestic Violence Gives No One a Victory Dance

Yesterday we heard that the NDP were accusing the Liberals of opposing their plan to end violence against women.  I have to admit that I was shocked.  This is so reminiscent of Conservative attacks over the years, that paint opponents as bein… . . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Playing Football With Domestic Violence Gives No One a Victory Dance

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Playing Football With Domestic Violence Gives No One a Victory Dance

Yesterday we heard that the NDP were accusing the Liberals of opposing their plan to end violence against women.  I have to admit that I was shocked.  This is so reminiscent of Conservative attacks over the years, that paint opponents as being soft on terror, soft on child pornography and not Pro-Israel enough.

They . . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Playing Football With Domestic Violence Gives No One a Victory Dance

The Canadian Progressive: Conservatives nuke motion seeking end to violence against women in Canada

Today, the Harper Conservatives voted down M-444, an NDP-sponsored motion seeking to end violence against women in Canada.

The post Conservatives nuke motion seeking end to violence against women in Canada appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Justin Trudeau “ladies night” event “condescending and patronizing”

Canadian women, including politicians, are dismissing Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s “ladies night” event in Toronto as “condescending and patronizing”.

The post Justin Trudeau “ladies night” event “condescending and patronizing” appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

– Annie Lowrey reports on the still-spreading blight of income inequality in the U.S.: An updated study by the prominent economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty shows that the top 1 percent of earners took more than one-fifth of the country’s total income in 2012, one of the . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

The Canadian Progressive: National inquiry for missing Aboriginal women needed immediately: NDP

By New Democrats (Press Release) | Feb. 14, 2013: The NDP is standing with aboriginal leaders, civil society, and Human Rights Watch to demand a national inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada. “A national, open inquiry is the only way to get justice for the women who have been murdered as well . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: National inquiry for missing Aboriginal women needed immediately: NDP

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: fifty years of alberta ndp.

TweetNew Democrats from across Alberta have gathered in Edmonton this weekend to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their party’s founding. Attendees at this weekend’s annual convention will hear from NDP leader Brian Mason, MLAs Rachel Notley, Deron Bilous, and David Eggen, Member of Parliament Linda Duncan, and federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair. With only 4 . . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta politics: fifty years of alberta ndp.

Calgary Grit: The Table Stakes

Forget Mark Carney. We need “electable” candidates like Jim Karygiannis in this race!

Now that we know who can run for Liberal leader (namely, anyone with $75,000 and 300 signatures), the question becomes who should run:

“We have to be careful not to think that somebody who wants to raise his or her . . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: The Table Stakes

Paul S. Graham: Video: Niki Ashton – “Mr. Harper — if you’re not part of the solution, YOU are part of the problem.”

Churchill MP Niki Ashton gave an impassioned speech at the July 11th Winnipeg rally for a national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women. In addition to posing the video, I’m providing a transcript because it neatly sums up this ongoing tragedy and the Harper government’s decisions that have served only to make matters . . . → Read More: Paul S. Graham: Video: Niki Ashton – “Mr. Harper — if you’re not part of the solution, YOU are part of the problem.”

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics blog: life after dutch disease: thomas mulcair to visit alberta on may 31.

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Thomas Mulcair

After weeks of warring words about the economic influence of Western Canadian oilsands development on the crumbling Central Canadian manufacturing sector, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair will visit Alberta on May 31 to meet with business and political leaders. This will be Mr. Mulcair’s first visit to Alberta since being selected as . . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta politics blog: life after dutch disease: thomas mulcair to visit alberta on may 31.

Accidental Deliberations: On shadow boxing

Aaron has already listed and commented on Thomas Mulcair’s shadow cabinet assignments. But there are a few additional points worth adding into the mix.

First, while others have pointed out Nathan Cullen’s promotion to House Leader, the exact choice of positions is very much worth emphasizing. As the leadership candidate whose message centred on how . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On shadow boxing

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics blog: a wildrose government will need a real opposition.

Danielle Smith with Wildrose MLA's Paul Hinman, Heather Forsyth, and Rob Anderson in 2010.

Despite questioning climate science and refusing to remove one candidate who railed against a policy to protect sexual minorities in public schools and another who claimed his skin colour as a political advantage, Danielle Smith‘s Wildrose Party appears set . . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta politics blog: a wildrose government will need a real opposition.

Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 – Policy Highlights

With the NDP’s leadership convention set to start tomorrow (and assorted hospitality suites already starting up tonight), I won’t be able to finish off my initial plan to put together full policy reviews for each of the candidates. But instead, I’ll take some time to highlight a few innovative ideas which haven’t received a lot . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 – Policy Highlights

Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 Roundup

Another day, another set of NDP leadership campaign stories.

– Niki Ashton won the support of the NDP’s Socialist Caucus.

– Nathan Cullen expanded on his joint nomination proposal with a far more appealing discussion of co-operation in general: Cullen isn’t shy about what he has in mind.

“If the explicit question is put . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 Roundup