The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Not fit for it, indeed #nlpoli

Once upon a time not so long ago, you would think politics in this province was a mash up of  Nineteen eighty-four and Animal Farm. These days,  the Orwellian times in which Danny Williams thrived seem a kindergarten compared to the Franz Kafka novel in which we now dwell. “Before any election the [Auditor General] ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Tyranny Of Conformity

Yesterday, KirbyCairo wrote another of his thought-provoking posts, this one on the current plight of the federal NDP and its search for renewal. That prospect is dim, Kirby says, unless the party can break free from what he calls the top-down party structure and its inability to address issues that matter to Canadians. It is ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The possible shift #nlpoli

If the polls are right, we could be looking at an unprecedented shift in politics in Newfoundland and Labrador. We could be looking at lots of things but it’s a useful exercise to put a bunch of ideas on the table.  That’s about the only way you can tease out rends that others won’t see. ...

Parchment in the Fire: Free-market era in Sweden swept away as feminists and greens plot new path | World news | The Observer

Free-market era in Sweden swept away as feminists and greens plot new path | World news | The Observer. For a man who is a near-certainty to become Sweden‘s prime minister after today’s general election, Stefan Löfven has had a miserable campaign. In his latest misstep, Löfven, a burly union leader, was accused last week ...

Parchment in the Fire: Upstart party Podemos emerging as third political power, says new poll | In English | EL PAÍS

Upstart party Podemos emerging as third political power, says new poll | In English | EL PAÍS. New party Podemos has taken a further step toward becoming the third power on the Spanish political scene, according to the latest opinion poll from the Center for Sociological Research (CIS). The group – which was the surprise ...

Cowichan Conversations: Can BC restore sovereignty and regain control of its destiny through democratic reforms

Mid Summer Musings Can BC restore sovereignty and regain control of its destiny through democratic reforms that make our public institutions accountable to the people they purport to represent? Kevin Logan – Cowichan Conversations Contributor By Kevin Logan In BC conflating Environmentalism and Politics is a mainstay. Is it possible to restore environmentalism in BC ...

the disgruntled democrat: Parasites Have Infected And Taken Over Quebec’s Body Politic

In nature, there are parasites that invade a host, take control of its movements for their own benefit, often leading to the host’s demise.n My favorite example of this life process is the Lancet liver fluke (Dicrocoelium dendriticum). In short, as an adult the Lancet liver fluke spends its time in the liver of a cow ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Chris Hall notes that Brad Butt’s admitted fabrications can only hurt the Cons’ already-lacking credibility when it comes to forcing through their unfair elections legislation. And Ed Broadbent sums up what’s at stake as the Cons try to rewrite the rules to prioritize their own hold on ...

Parchment in the Fire: Norwegian voting patterns are a warning to leftwing parties elsewhere

Henning Finseraas and Kåre Vernby  Low levels of citizen participation in politics have long been seen as a serious democratic problem, and a possible relationship between turnout and election outcomes is a prominent topic of discussion in political science. The most frequent claim is that left-of-centre parties benefit from higher levels of turnout since many of them ...

calgaryliberal.com: Ten phrases that need to die in 2014.

All lists start with a bottle of scotch, a dash of politics, and a bit of pent up frustration. This is one of those lists. 1). “____ should resign.” Be it Ford, Harper, Dave Hancock, or others, we’ve had calls for politicians to resign from across the country (at a glance, most of them being Conservatives). ...

Bill Longstaff: If you’re a democrat, instruct your MP to support Chong’s Bill

An opportunity to strike a blow for parliamentary democracy has suddenly arisen and all democrats should take advantage of it. On Thursday, Michael Chong, MP for Wellington-Halton Hills, will introduce a Bill in the House that would dramatically devolve power from party leaders to MPs and constituency associations. The Bill, entitled An Act to amend ...

Parchment in the Fire: Norway’s disturbing lurch to the right | Alf Gunvald Nilsen | Comment is free | theguardian.com

Norway’s disturbing lurch to the right | Alf Gunvald Nilsen | Comment is free | theguardian.com. The results from today’s Norwegian elections are more or less clear: with some 26.8% of the vote, the Conservative party (Høyre) is poised to head Norway’s next coalition government. The first thing to note about Norway’s unsettling rightward turn ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – The CP reports on Suzanne Legault’s much-needed warning about the Cons’ secrecy in government: In a closed-door session with dozens of bureaucrats Thursday, Suzanne Legault cited a series of novel measures she says are damaging an already tottering system. “I am seeing signs of a system in crisis, ...

Parchment in the Fire: Wrestling with Democracy

Wrestling with Democracy is an ambitious, historical examination of the changes in voting systems across a large number of Western liberal democracies over the course of the twentieth century that argues that ‘most major voting system reforms in the twentieth-century west have been intimately linked to larger social struggles over the parameters of democracy itself, ...

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 ...

calgaryliberal.com: Alberta Liberal and Federal Liberal Cooperation? Lets Go.

I was talking to one of my friends around the the university the other day and I brought up Raj Sherman’s interview in the Calgary Herald on some form of cooperation between the two Liberal parties in Alberta. It was an off-hand comment and I didn’t really expect a conversation to come of it. He ...

calgaryliberal.com: Rebranding: Not Interested in Scraps

The goal is government. I’m interested in a party that wants into government. Anything else is a waste of time. It’s a waste of time to just complain and oppose, along with it being fundamentally unnatural and strange. I want a value-based and focused support of ideas. Bottom feeding and walking by the edge of the major ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – No, there was never any doubt that any statement which could possibly be interpreted as insufficiently jingoistic in favour of the oil industry was going to give rise to a backlash from the Cons’ oilpatch base. But it’s well worth noting that Thomas Mulcair has had little trouble ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Politics of Public Spending

Check the local media for the past week and you’ll see a sudden bunch of stories about the series of fire truck announcements provincial politicians of the Tory persuasion are making across the province. Voice of the Cabinet Minister’s got one. CBC’s got one. Apparently there have been 19 announcements or unveilings of new fire ...

CalgaryLiberal: Globe and Mail: “Alberta’s Liberals see signs of hope on long road back to viability”

In turn, Alberta’s official opposition Liberals tossed open the doors to a failing party, hoping to re-invigorate it at a time of both challenge and opportunity – a run for their money down the centre of the spectrum from the upstart Alberta Party (a party long on potential but short on cash or organizational infrastructure), ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Political parties and debt: the Kennedy perspective

Political parties usually carry around debt.  Some carry more than others. Some parties don’t carry any. Is it an issue?  Maybe. Just for the fun of it, consider this portion of a speech Jack Kennedy delivered to a Democratic Party fundraiser in 1962.  It came on the first anniversary of his inaugural and a speech ...

THE FIFTH COLUMN: Minority Governments for Dummies (and Tory PMs)

the voters elect the House of Commons to govern the leader of the current government (the government before the election) has the right to meet the House and attempt to gain its confidence, however usually the party with the most seats gets the first opportunity to be Prime Minister and lead the government responsible government ...

THE FIFTH COLUMN: The Debate: Canadian Values Win

The most interesting thing I noticed about the debate was where all the leaders, or at least all of the federalist leaders, agreed. These were on what I would consider to be the most basic of Canadian values, but values that many of us suspect are not dear to the heart of Stephen Harper, yet ...

THE FIFTH COLUMN: Do You Really Support Stephen Harper

Are you a lifelong conservative, perhaps going back to the Progressive Conservative Party. Do you assume Stephen Harper represents you because he is the leader of the Conservative Party.Find out which party really represents your views by taking the Vote Compass survey.You might be surprised by the results. But don’t assume a Liberal Party bias, ...

THE FIFTH COLUMN: Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber Pushing for Two Party System

It started with Ignatieff joining Harper’s anti-coalition bandwagon, the common message being that the big boys don’t share power with the little guys and it’s extended to the push for a debate between just Harper and Ignatieff because they think that they lead the only two parties that really matter.It is clear that the fight ...