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Politics, Re-Spun: Occupy Canada For May Day, With Bananas

A few days ago, I wrote about picking May Day as a good time for Occupy Vancouver to reboot itself and catch up with the Occupy Movement’s worldwide #WaveOfAction.

But I think that idea can be bigger, it can be a day for all of Occupy Canada to reboot.

Here’s how:

May Day is a good focal point. A tent city at the Vancouver Art Gallery seems to be a distracting fixation. Occupy Wall Street was about people occupying the space of the 1%: Wall Street. In Vancouver, that is not the Art Gallery. It is a fantastic rallying point, (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Welcome to Stephen Harper’s Banana Republic

#PMSH goes #BananaRepublic: the (un) #FairElectionsAct lets incumbents SUPERVISE their own election! pic.twitter.com/SG3IT8GMAz #cdnpoli

— Politics, Re-Spun (@PoliticsReSpun) April 6, 2014

Just how stupid does Stephen Harper think we are?

He thinks that we’re fine with the idea that incumbent parties should be able to pick the poll supervisors in the next election.

I kid you not.

This kind of contempt for democracy and embrace of corruption is the worst part of this brand new [un]Fair Elections Act.

This is the kind of thing for which Occupy Vancouver and Occupy Canada should be occupying every single Conservative (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: I Couldn’t Agree More

H/t Occupy Canada Recommend this Post

The Canadian Progressive: FBI “plot to identify and assassinate Occupy leaders”?

The FBI hatched a “plot to identify and assassinate Occupy leaders”? It’d seem so, according to the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund and civil liberties activists. Information obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund via a Freedom of Information Act request reveal that the FBI: a) “collaborated with other federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland READ MORE

Canadian ProgressiveCanadian Progressive: Rolling Stone: Inside The FBI Plot Against Occupy

On this one year anniversary of the Occupy Canada movement, here’s a magnificent piece of reporting by Rolling Stone‘s Sabrina Rubin Erdely, on how the United States government “turned five stoner misfits into the world’s most hapless terrorist cell.” Five Occupy Cleveland activists “who had grown disenchanted with the Occupy movement, which they considered too conservative” decided to “make [...]

Canadian ProgressiveCanadian Progressive: Occupied Ottawa to celebrate one year anniversary

  Occupied Ottawa (formerly Occupy Ottawa) activists return to Confederation Park on Monday to celebrate the movement’s one year anniversary with art, performance, music, speeches and educational workshops. Occupied Ottawa, a part of the global grassroots Occupy movement against economic disparity and social injustice, “occupied” the park from October 15, 2011, until its eviction on November 23, [...]

Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 Roundup

Assorted news and notes from the NDP’s leadership campaign as we approach today’s final debate…

- Niki Ashton pointed out how the NDP should be able to tap into the desire for democratic decision-making that once motivated the Reform Party before it was turned into a top-down organization under the thumb of Stephen Harper.

- Nathan Cullen is suggesting that he may have enough momentum to come up the middle at the leadership convention. And in an interview with Planet S, he had this to say about some of the major challenges to the Cons’ corporate-driven agenda: PS: Are you

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 Roundup

Montreal Simon: The Capitalist Pig and the Occupy Movement

Golly. It looks like that fancy pajama party in Davos, has considered the state of the capitalist pig, and found its condition rather alarming.

For decades, this ritzy Swiss resort has hosted an annual celebration of capitalism where luxurious Audis ferry potentates and presidents between lavish hotels so they can bemoan the perils of socialism, high taxes and debt. And yet, this year, the veteran founder and Chairman of the Davos World Economic Forum, Professor Klaus Schwab, declares that “Capitalism, in its current form, no longer fits the world around us.”

And is so shaken by the situation it’s taking

. . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Capitalist Pig and the Occupy Movement

Accidental Deliberations: Parliament in Review: November 16, 2011

Wednesday, November 16 saw plenty of direct clash between the Cons and the NDP on an issue that’s been in the news again today. And lest there be any doubt, while the Cons have raised their level of inflammatory rhetoric, they’ve been less than convincing when it comes to anything of substance.

The Big Issue

In the wake of several days of criticism over Keystone XL, the NDP brought plenty of challenges to both the Cons’ actions and their selective memory. Brian Masse and Kennedy Stewart responded to the Cons’ criticisms of the NDP’s work in Washington by pointing out

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Parliament in Review: November 16, 2011

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: What if This Happened to You?

What if you went into work today and were told that you would have to take a 50% wage cut?  Could you pay your mortgage?  Your rent?  Your bills?  Feed your family?

Think about that.  Your pay cut in half.

Well that’s what’s happening in London, Ontario.  After purchasing Electro-Motive Diesel, Caterpillar Inc. is playing tough, using the same tactics they used in Illinois, when that state proposed an increase in the corporate tax rate.  Staunch Republicans, Caterpillar threatened to move to a state less union friendly.

They even offered to help the

. . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: What if This Happened to You?

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your year.

- Paul Krugman once again laments the determination of anti-government fundamentalists to avoid learning the lessons that should have become glaringly obvious over 70 years ago: In declaring Keynesian economics vindicated I am, of course, at odds with conventional wisdom. In Washington, in particular, the failure of the Obama stimulus package to produce an employment boom is generally seen as having proved that government spending can’t create jobs. But those of us who did the math realized, right from the beginning, that the Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (more than a third of

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Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Jeffrey Simpson manages to write an entire column on important political developments he managed to miss in 2011 without uttering the words “NDP” (or any member thereof). Which surely looks like an early nominee as a continued blind spot in 2012.

- Peter Thurley wishes for a national housing strategy in the new year. But judging from the Cons’ insistence on casting blame rather than doing anything to address even the most glaring needs for which the federal government has the most direct responsibility, I don’t see much reason for optimism.

- Meanwhile,

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Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Paul Krugman comments on how Republicans’ cheerleading for total corporate control – which has of course been matched at every turn by Canada’s Cons – has resulted in their declaring war on any policy which could possibly result in environmental improvements: (T)he payoff to…new rules (on mercury emissions) is huge: up to $90 billion a year in benefits compared with around $10 billion a year of costs in the form of slightly higher electricity prices. This is, as David Roberts of Grist says, a very big deal.

And it’s a deal

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

This and that for your weekend reading.

- Thomas Walkom tries to be optimistic about the year ahead, and likely settles on the best reason for hope that Canada’s politics will see some change for the better: Canada, like Australia and Brazil, is getting by on sales of raw materials whose prices are kept high by seemingly insatiable Chinese demand.

But the key word here is “seemingly.” The world has seen so-called Asian miracles before, starting with Japan in the 1980s and running through various so-called Tigers such as Thailand in the ’90s.

In the end, these miracles proved

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Montreal Simon: Occupy Canada and the Great Darkness: My Video

I visited St James Park the other day, about a month after the Occupy Toronto campsite was torn down. And not even the Christmas lights on the old gazebo, could brighten up the bleakness.

I much preferred it when it was full of gentle dreamers, talking about changing the world.

For long after this horrible year is history, I will always remember how after the horror of Stephen Harper’s majority, and the tragedy of Jack Layton’s passing, the birth of the Occupy movement made me feel alive again.

In the Great Darkness of Harperland, where so many look on helplessly

. . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Occupy Canada and the Great Darkness: My Video

Canadian Progressive World: Quote of the year: “We are the 99 per cent”

Fred Shapiro, associate librarian at Yale Law School has declared “We are the 99 per cent”, the political slogan of the Global Occupy movement, the heavy weight champ of the quotes for 2011. It’s another unavoidable …Read More

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: I Love Time Magazine’s Choice For Person of the Year. Us

Time magazine has chosen “The Protester” as Person of the Year.

From the Arab Springs to the “Occupy” movement, those who literally stand up for democracy are being honoured.  Time said it is recognizing protesters because they are “redefining people power” around the world.

“People power”.  What a lovely term.  And the nice thing is that just as the word “people” includes those of all ages, cultures and political goals, so too are the protesters.

The 99%.

We rock.

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Even Canadian Bankers are Hoping that the "Occupy" Movement is a Success

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released a report yesterday, showing that Canada’s income disparity is growing faster even than that of the U.S.  Low paying jobs and a diminishing middle class, are partly to blame, but also deregulation, that allowed the wealthy to become even wealthier, is a huge factor.

Jim Flaherty was on the defensive in the House yesterday, suggesting that his government has been creating good jobs, but all they created was a marketing strategy:  The Economic Action Plan.  They had no real economic plan, other than to move lobbyists and Goldman Sachs

. . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Even Canadian Bankers are Hoping that the "Occupy" Movement is a Success

Montreal Simon: The Capitalist Pigs and the Cream Separator

Uh oh. I mean oink oink. I see the unrepentant capitalist pig just can’t help itself. Stuffing itself with human misery. While the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. 

A new report finds that the gap between the rich and the poor just keeps getting wider in Canada.

So much for the Con plan to cut government jobs, drive down wages, reduce benefits by attacking unions, while giving the rich juicy tax breaks.The study suggests there may no longer be truth to the notion that the poor will automatically benefit as the rich get richer, said

. . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Capitalist Pigs and the Cream Separator

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Evening Links

Assorted content to end your day.

- Toby Sanger posts about the OECD’s findings on inequality in Canada, with this particularly jumping out as to how much less progressive our tax system is now than it was two decades ago: Taxes and benefits play a smaller role in reducing inequality in Canada than in most OECD countries: prior to the mid-1990s, they offset more than 70% of the rise in market income inequality, now it’s less than 40%(.)

- Leftwords points out that UK hospitals which were built as P3s as a matter of government decree are now demanding

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Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Another "Occupy" Movement That Should Inspire

Smedley Darlington Butler (1881-1940), was at the time of his death, the most decorated marine in the United States.  However, the final years of his life were spent in publicly denouncing wars, which he decided were being fought for corporate interests; speaking at pacifist rallies and advocating for veterans.

On August 21, 1931, invited to address an American Legion convention in Connecticut, he made the first no-holds-barred antiwar speech of his career. It stunned all who heard it or read it in the few papers that dared to report it: I spent years . . . being a high-class muscle man for Big Business,

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Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Hooligans and How the Cultural Left Can Beat the Political Right

This week in the Winnipeg Sun, a column by Tom Brodbeck; Hooligan Harper haters: Crime bill protestors partisan hypocrites, irked me on many levels.

From the eye rolling “Harper haters” that’s been done to death, to the notion of opposition to Bill C-10, being a partisan issue.

I contacted Mr. Brodbeck and asked if he had actually spoken with any of the protesters.  He dismisses anyone who challenges this government’s policies, as simple “Harper haters”, without asking those protesting how they actually feel about Mr. Harper. Why is it that when Liberal governments bring in tougher sanctions for serious

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Montreal Simon: A Hollow Lament for Occupy Canada

I see that Kalle Lasn, one of the Canadian instigators of the Occupy Wall Street movement, laments the way things turned out in Canada.

While protesters from Halifax to Vancouver emulated their global counterparts by pitching tents in public spaces and brainstorming ways to challenge the status quo, Lasn said the efforts he witnessed lacked some of the passion that characterized rallies in the United States.

I don’t question Lasn’s good intentions, but it all sounds a bit hollow. Firstly, since he only visited the campsite in Vancouver his views of the Canadian movement are obviously extremely limited. Secondly, since

. . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: A Hollow Lament for Occupy Canada