Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

Politics and its Discontents: Slip Slidin’ Away

Slip sliding away, slip sliding away You know the nearer your destination, the more you’re slip sliding away – Paul Simon

I know, by his public efforts to appear reasonably normal, that Stephen Harper is a Beatles’ fan. Whether he has ever listened to or crooned any of Paul Simon’s songs is less certain. Yet I couldn’t help but think of Simon this morning as I read Lawrence Martin’s latest piece in The Globe and Mail.

Entitled The Harper machine is in disarray, Martin reflects on the many obstacles that have emerged to obstruct what I presume is Dear (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: An Invitation To The Dance Party

What dance party is that, you ask? Why, the one being hosted by the leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party whose name, it is rumoured, is in the process of being rejigged into the New Dance Party.

At least, that is how it appears to this political observer. As I opined yesterday, Ms. Horwath seems to be in the midst of an identity crisis, at least if her silence on key progressive issues such as the minimum wage is any indication. But perhaps that crisis is to be short-lived, given the letter she has sent to Premier Kathleen (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: He Has A Nice Smile

That’s the highest praise I can think to extend to young Justin Trudeau, who many see as the best hope of unseating Mr. Harper in 2015. For those who enthusiastically back the young Liberal leader, I can only wonder, to what end? Do they want someone more polite and amiable than Harper? Because that is one of the few differences I see in the man who would be Canada’s next Prime Minister.

Trudeau’s questions in the House of Commons fail to impress, bloated affairs with lengthy preambles that, when finished, leave one wanting. This in sharp contrast to the precise, (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Double Dare Ya

Apparently, instead of taking his position as leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party seriously by articulating responsible policy, young Tim prefers to engage in children’s games:

Tory leader Tim Hudak dares Liberals to call election

‘Nuff said? Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: This Is The Best They’ve Got?

Many Ontario residents of a certain age will be aware of the fact that the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party ruled the province for forty-two years, from 1943 to 1985, a time during which the term ‘progressive conservative’ did not constitute an oxymoron.

That was then. This is now. A headline in today’s Star reads: Tim Hudak best leader for Ontario PC party, poll shows.

How the mighty have fallen. Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: The Anti-Harper

I’d like to make it clear at the start of this post that I have by no means been converted to the belief that Justin Trudeau would be an appropriate choice to lead the country, for reasons that I will conclude the post with. However, I simply want to make a few observations about the striking contrast he presents to Stephen Harper.

By now, everyone that follows such things is likely aware of the stark and tight control Harper tries to extend over his entire regime. Parliamentary secretaries, M.P.s and others who speak publicly on the government’s behalf (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: My Second Surprise Today

Earlier today., I posted a brief piece on how, despite my reservations about Justin Trudeau’s leadership capacity, I found his openness and honesty refreshing when it came to pot.

The second surprise I got today was the fact that he spoke quite candidly about his opposition to Quebec’s proposed ban on religious symbols and clothing in public buildings.

As you will see see if you read the readers’ comments following the first link, people are beginning to discern a difference amongst the three major party leaders, with Trudeau’s assertiveness offering a sharp contrast to Thomas Mulcair’s refusal to ‘comment (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Who Will Give Us Hope?

I recently wrote a post on the ailing Nelson Mandela and why he is so important a world figure. Last Friday Gerald Caplan wrote a piece in the Globe entitled The world will be poorer without Nelson Mandela. I hope you will take the time to read his thoughts on the importance of this iconic figure, a man of whom I think it would be appropriate to borrow Hamlet’s tribute to his father and say, I shall not look upon his like again.

Caplan’s last paragraph, which I am reproducing below for your consideration, sums up for me both the (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Pondering Pandeering Political Parties

I am long past the age where I expect very much from politicians of any stripe. While it is easy to target (and I frequently do!) the Harper-led Conservative Party as the party of the corporate agenda, it is also sadly true that both the Liberal Party and the NDP have as their greatest priority the acquisition of power, frequently at the expense of principle. For example, putative messiah of the Liberal Party, Justin Trudeau, is shockingly shallow when it comes to policy pronouncements, the better, I assume, to form them closer to the next election according to perceived

. . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Pondering Pandeering Political Parties

Politics and its Discontents: Some Questions Leadership Aspirants Need To Answer

I have recently written some posts bemoaning the paucity of policy undergirding the campaigns of those who would become the next leader of the Liberal Party, both on the provincial (Ontario) and federal level. Substituting for substance are tired br… . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Some Questions Leadership Aspirants Need To Answer

Politics and its Discontents: From Platitude Central – Part 2

“This country has entered some very choppy waters. If elected leader, I will provide a firm hand at the helm to bring the economy safely back to shore.” “Canada has a greatness that has barely been tapped. I am confident that I have the vision… . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: From Platitude Central – Part 2

Politics and its Discontents: From Platitude Central

Kim Campbell once famously said that “an election is no time to discuss serious issues.” Given the paucity of substance emerging thus far from declared candidates in both the Ontario and federal Liberal leadership races, I suspect that same ‘wisdom… . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: From Platitude Central

Politics and its Discontents: The Small-Mindedness of Rob Ford

It has been said that to be a great leader, a person has to have a great vision. I’ll let you decide where Toronto May Rob Ford fits into this equation by reading this story about what he thinks people should be marching and demonstrating for. Recommend this Post