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The Disaffected Lib: Paul Martin Gives Tommy Angry Beard a Well-Deserved Kick in the Ass.

Paul Martin was the finance minister who plucked the federal government from the brink of fiscal chaos. It was a tough time for all including the provinces, even the Canadian Forces, but he balanced the budget and paid down $90 billion of our national debt. He kept the bankers in line and when he handed the reins to Harper he bequeathed a full treasury ready to absorb the brunt of the great collapse of 2008.

Put simply, Martin pulled our fat (yours and mine) out of the fire. Which is why he deserves to be heard on the mess we’re (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Michal Rozworski reminds us that austerity in Canada is nothing new under Con or Lib governments, while pointing out what the public needs to do to repel it: The campaigning Stephen Harper boasts that his tough austerity policies saved the Canadian economy. Lost in the rhetoric are two important facts. As most economists will tell you today, austerity measures are lousy ways to expand jobs and investment. And Harper’s Conservatives were just carrying on the work of their austerity embracing Liberal predecessors.…

The first round of Liberal cutbacks were quick and deep. (Read more…)

Alberta Politics: Shhhhhh! Don’t tell anyone: As PM, Stephen Harper’s economic performance is a bust!

PHOTOS: From the sublime to the ridiculous? Liberal Lester Pearson, the top postwar economic performer among Canadian prime ministers. Below: Stephen Harper, the bottom. Below him: Pierre Trudeau (second best) and Brian Mulroney (second worst). Below them: Unifor economists Jim Stanford and Jordan Brennan. One of the most effective ways to keep a population quiet […]

The post Shhhhhh! Don’t tell anyone: As PM, Stephen Harper’s economic performance is a bust! appeared first on Alberta Politics.

A BCer in Toronto: Firefighters run towards fires; politicians should stay out of the way

Stephen Harper’s forest fire firefighter photo-op gone wrong this week reminded me of the time a campaign I was involved in was faced with a similar fire-related choice.

In the summer election of 2004, I was helping with communications in Skeena-Bulkley Valley on the campaign of our Liberal candidate, Miles Richardson. It was a fun campaign in one of the largest ridings in Canada — we’d send Miles on the road from our Prince Rupert base and not see him for a week. We were confident we’d dispatch Conservative incumbent Andy Burton, but we didn’t expect the NDP’s Nathan Cullen (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Canada’s Austerity Consensus

I have a longer piece out in Jacobin today on tracing the roots of today’s austerity consensus in Canada to the 1990s. In a way, it’s me coming to terms with the last twenty years of Canadian political economy.

How exceptional is Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his crop of Canadian conservatives? For not just large- and small-l liberals, but also some leftists, the last decade has been an aberration — particularly compared to the alleged synthesis between responsible government and economic expansion that occurred during the 1990s. Yet while both public and elite consensus has shifted even further to the right since the (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Tory resistance to Wildrose interlopers? Don’t believe it! Here’s why Danielle Smith will soon get her cabinet post

Preston Manning joins the sales team for the new, new, newly united Wildrosey Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta. Actual beloved godfathers of the conservative movement may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Mr. Manning smiling benevolently, Alberta Premier Jim Prentice in a Joe-Clark-like moment, former Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith when she was still pretending she thought the Prentice PCs were evil, and former federal Liberal Conservative cabinet minister David Emerson.

Don’t worry, Danielle Smith will soon be deputy premier of Alberta or occupy a similarly influential post.

Likewise, Rob Anderson will be finance minister or something (Read more…) - Alberta politics: Is the Wildrose Caucus about to merge with the PC Caucus?

Tweet Are more Wildrose MLAs preparing to cross the floor to the Progressives Conservatives? Independent MLA Joe Anglin has told reporters that Danielle Smith‘s 15 MLA Wildrose Official Opposition Caucus will vote on Tuesday, December 16, 2014 on whether to join the governing PC Caucus. Mr. Anglin’s comments, claims published on an anonymously blog and tweets from conservative activists fuelled the rumours […]

Cowichan Conversations: Socialist Stephen Lewis Roars Once More in Takedown of the Stephen Harper Government

By: Tim Harper National Affairs, Published on Sun Nov 23 2014

At the age of 77, Stephen Lewis describes himself as being “happily in his dotage,” a man free to bare his soul and dispense with diplomatic niceties.

He did just that in Charlottetown last Friday. The one-time lion of the left unleashed a withering roar over eight years of Stephen Harper government that deserves to be moved from the relatively tiny confines of the Confederation Centre of the Arts and into a larger forum.

Lewis focused on five fronts of perhaps irreversible decline in this country, five only, because (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Happy Thanksgiving! Would the Tories praising our health care system please stop trying to privatize it!

Edmonton’s Misericordia Hospital waaay back in the day. Below: The modern Mis, the one in Edmonton’s west end that after 45 years is falling apart. Alberta Health Minister Stephen Mandel.

Happy Thanksgiving! With a case of a “potential contagious illness” in an unidentified Edmonton hospital last night, I guess we can be thankful we have a public health care system, even if it faces a serious funding crisis and is housed in crumbling facilities.

This, at any rate, is the party line from Conservative federal and provincial politicians as they keep to keep us from panicking about the emergence of, (Read more…) - Alberta politics: False Passengers and Fake Promises: Could the PC Party be choosing the next opposition leader?

TweetHere’s a question that isn’t often asked in Alberta: Which of the three Progressive Conservative leadership candidates would make the best Leader of the Opposition? An insane trail of scandal continues to leak out of the 43-year-long governing PC Party as it lurches towards a leadership vote on September 6. A CBC exclusive story alleged today […]

Politics and its Discontents: Signs

While I have never been one to use the term fascist profligately, the creeping authoritarianism that has been the hallmark of the Harper regime gives pause for reconsideration. As the above graphic shows, and as any well-informed citizen knows, the cabal has been intent for many years on tearing down confidence in some institutions while exalting others. The nuances, variety and diversity of a healthy society are discouraged, even suppressed. Cultivating a black-and-white mentality within the population makes it easier to maintain and further control.

Perhaps the most recent and egregious examples of institutional attack has been Harper’s attempt to (Read more…) - Alberta politics: Is the Jim Prentice Juggernaut unstoppable?

TweetHe is a leadership candidate backed by long-governing party establishment. He has chased away his potential rivals. He has experience in both the federal cabinet and the corporate sector. He is a respected party insider. He has a track record as a moderate conservative and can raise significant amounts of money for his party. The […] - Alberta politics: Alberta politics 2013: The NDP Wildrose alliance

TweetPerhaps one of the most unexpected developments in Alberta politics in 2013 was the emergence of the informal alliance between the New Democratic Party and the Wildrose Official Opposition. It was not uncommon in 2013 to see NDP and Wildrose MLAs working together, or tackling the same issues during Question Period on the floor of […]

Alberta Diary: Polishing a … tarnished reputation: the ‘National Newspaper’ as Stephen Harper’s pathetic enabler

Your blogger with Rev. Bill Phipps, former United Church of Canada moderator and, in 2002, the NDP’s challenger to Stephen Harper. Below: Harper doubters Andrew Coyne and Tim Harper.

“The subject who is truly loyal to the Chief Magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures.”

– Junius, published in 1772, from the Masthead of the Globe and Mail

I was sitting in Calgary’s airport the other day reading about Stephen Harper in a free copy of the Globe and Mail when, lo and behold, I spied Bill Phipps, who used to be the (Read more…) - Alberta politics: The ghosts of senate reform haunt the Harper Conservatives

TweetThe ghosts of Senate reform will haunt Prime Minister Stephen Harper as his party establishment gathers in Calgary on Halloween to discuss and debate party policy. After more than seven years in office, Mr. Harper’s Conservatives have accomplished little on the issue of reforming the Canadian Senate. Who would have thought that a Senate scandal […] - Alberta politics: Mason vs Smith: Wildrose and NDP leaders on province-wide debate tour

TweetThree years before the next provincial election, a public debate tour might not be where you would expect to find the leaders of two political parties. Breaking convention, Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith and Alberta NDP leader Brian Mason are joining forces to bring provincial politics to college and university campuses across Alberta. In the […]

The Canadian Progressive: Paul Martin accuses residential schools of ‘cultural genocide’

  Residential schools engaged in “cultural genocide,” former prime minister Paul Martin said Friday at the hearings of the federal Truth And Reconciliation Commission, adding that aboriginal Canadians must now be offered the best educational system. “Let us understand that what happened at the residential schools was the use of [...]

The post Paul Martin accuses residential schools of ‘cultural genocide’ appeared first on The Canadian Progressive. How to End a Career in 24 Seconds: Dr. Flanagan

A Canadian Conservative has to do a lot to be punted by the Wildrose party and the Manning Centre. Thomas Flanagan did that on Wednesday by condoning child pornography. See the recorded video below of his response to a question on his views on child pornography. His argumentation basically noted that the individual act of [...]

The Canadian Progressive: Harper Government should consider options for Sea King replacement: Report

By Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives | Feb. 11, 2013: OTTAWA – A major, deep-reaching report about the maritime helicopter procurement has just been released by the Rideau Institute and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. “The worst procurement in the history of Canada”: Solving the maritime helicopter crisis (PDF) was written by University of British Columbia political READ MORE

The Canadian Progressive: Paul Martin says Ottawa has ‘no understanding’ of native issues

Former prime minister was the architect of the 2005 Kelowna Accord By Jennifer Clibbon | CBC News, Jan 17, 2013 4:58 AM ET Few Canadian leaders know the issues raised by Idle No More better than former prime minister Paul Martin. As Canada’s 21st prime minister, Martin will be remembered as the architect of the 2005 Kelowna Accord, which READ MORE

Alberta Diary: Everythinggate: Perfect storm lands Alberta premier in shark-infested waters!

As a perfect storm blows, Alison Redford’s strategic brain trust parries Opposition attacks about the conduct of her government. The premier is in the centre of the boat, wearing a cowboy hat. Actual Alberta politicians may not be exactly as illustrated. Below: Your blogger with Paul Martin; queue-jumping inquiry chief John Vertes. As the political … . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Everythinggate: Perfect storm lands Alberta premier in shark-infested waters!

Calgary Grit: Canada’s Greatest Losers

Last week, Martha Hall Findlay and Karen McCrimmon declared their candidacies for the Liberal leadership race. This week, George Takach has taken the plunge. I’ve posted one blog interview with David Merner, and will have others with David Bertschi and Alex Burton next week. Deborah Coyne, meanwhile, has already released more fresh ideas than we’ve seen from Stephen Harper during his entire tenure as Prime Minister. These are seven very different candidates with seven very different messages, but the one … . . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Canada’s Greatest Losers

An individual with opinions.: Underlooked Stephen Harper quotes P7: Stephen Harper likes Paul Martin and his onslaught and slashing of the public sector.

I’ve decided to add another part to my underlooked Harper series upon reflection with new information in mind. All of the Stephen Harper quotes, unless otherwise noted, are dug up from the leaked Harper database of controversial quotes. I’m covering them because these haven’t gotten the media or blogger attention I believe they deserve. You can (and should) read part one, two, three, four, five and six here.

“Whether I agree with what he’s doing or not, Paul Martin is obviously in the top of his area,” Harper says. “He has good support within his party, (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Problems with their papers? No word yet on Conservative candidates for Calgary Centre

Members of the Calgary Centre Conservative Constituency Association puzzle over nomination papers presented by would-be candidates. Alberta political insiders may not be exactly as illustrated. Below: CPC Candidates Joan Crockatt, Joe Soares, Jon Lord and Richard Billington.

Wherever are the Conservative Party of Canada’s Calgary Centre candidates?

Or, more to the point, whoever are they?

Nominations closed Thursday afternoon. According to a report published that day by the Calgary Herald, party officials indicated they expected their internal vetting process could take until this week to figure out who could officially join the race to replace former MP Lee Richardson,

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Problems with their papers? No word yet on Conservative candidates for Calgary Centre

The Equivocator: The Liberal Party: A Substantial Heritage, a Future of Substance (Co-written with Theresa Lubowitz)

Theresa Lubowitz on the Death of Substantive Policy

Canada is teetering dangerously close to the death of substantive policy as we know it, with the rise of a populist Conservative Government, a populist NDP Official Opposition, and a struggling Liberal Party so afraid of irrelevancy it has spent the last four years taking the safe road.

Government used to stand for something and had a proud legacy in Canada of improving the lives of its citizens. Some blamed nearly a decade of minority parliament as the culprit yet Pearson arguably put into action more substantive policy than any other Prime

. . . → Read More: The Equivocator: The Liberal Party: A Substantial Heritage, a Future of Substance (Co-written with Theresa Lubowitz)