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Politics, Re-Spun: Help Conservative Senators Stop Harper’s Banana Republic

Emperor Stephen Harper and his double double.

Interesting times indeed.

8 Conservative senators have decided that Emperor Stephen Harper has no clothes. The Emperor has whipped and intimidated his backbench, cabinet and senators for a long time. Senator Hugh Segal stood up to him on bad legislation. Though he left the senate.

Jim Flaherty stood up to him on how bad a public policy that family income splitting would be. I think he quit politics to avoid the idiocy of Harper firing him from his finance ministry to replace him with the lacklustre lapdog Joe Oliver.

Now we have 8 (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Advice to progressives: Don’t airbrush Jim Flaherty’s record out of sympathy for his family

The late Jim Flaherty tries on the traditional new shoes just before delivering his 2012 federal budget. Below, some of Mr. Flaherty’s friends and colleagues: former Ontario premier Mike Harris, in whose government he also served; Prime Minister Stephen Harper; Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.

Decent people naturally feel sympathy with the loved ones of any person taken unexpectedly from life, as just-retired federal Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty was last week.

We are naturally more inclined to experience such feelings of vicarious loss when the person who has died is charming and engaging – as Mr. Flaherty was said by (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Caught in an apparent conflict like Chuck Strahl? No problem! Just double down!

Manning Centre-Security Intelligence Review Committee Chair and Enbridge lobbyist Chuck Strahl. Below: Former would-be Reform Party prime minister Preston Manning; Reform Party prime minister in waiting Jason Kenney. All these slightly out-of-focus profile shots were taken by your blogger during his infiltration of the 2013 Manning Centre conference in Ottawa.

When people at the top levels of Canada’s Reform-Conservative government are criticized for controversial behaviour, their instinct seems to be to double down and increase the size of their bet.

The latest example of this phenomenon is Chuck Strahl, the former Reform Party, Canadian Alliance and Conservative Member of (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Happy New Year! Get ready for generational change in Canadian politics

Expect the new faces of Canadian politics to be young faces – like those of Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson, 34, shown above with some clapped-out old geezer, and Manitoba MP and former NDP leadership candidate Niki Ashton, 31, below.

“Something is happening here, but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?” – Bob Dylan, 72, Ballad of a Thin Man

Happy New Year!

Something really is happening here and I don’t know exactly what it is. But I’ll tell you one thing: generational change is coming to Canadian politics.

You may not have noticed, but (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Strange political bedfellows are conjuring more than entertainment in Alberta

A poster advertising last night’s NDP-Wildrose leaders’ debate at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Below: Odd couple Brian Mason and Danielle Smith, captured in electrons by Dave Cournoyer of the Daveberta.ca blog.

Alberta New Democratic Party Leader Brian Mason and Wildrose Party Leader Danielle Smith debated each other at the University of Alberta in Edmonton last night.

According to those who were there, their verbal jabs were highly entertaining. “Ms. Smith and Mr. Mason playfully sparred over issues facing the energy sector, pipelines, the economy, post-secondary education, health care and public services,” wrote blogger Dave Cournoyer, who (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Is Chuck Strahl’s dual role on the Manning Centre and security committee appropriate?

Chuck Strahl listens to a participant in the Manning Centre conference in Ottawa in March. Below: Manning Centre founder and figurehead, Preston Manning.

Should Chuck Strahl be able to serve simultaneously on the board of the Manning Centre for Building Democracy, a partisan political organization tied to the ruling Conservative Party of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other provincial conservative parties, and on the apolitical Security Intelligence Review Committee?

The SIRC is supposed to be, in the words of its website, “an independent, external review body which reports to the Parliament of Canada on the operations of the Canadian (Read more…) Intelligence Service.”

“Parliament has given CSIS extraordinary powers to intrude on the privacy of individuals,” the website explains. “SIRC ensures that these powers are used legally and appropriately, in order to protect Canadians’ rights and freedoms.”

Mr. Strahl is a former Reform Party, Canadian Alliance and Conservative . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Is Chuck Strahl’s dual role on the Manning Centre and security committee appropriate?

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Doug Christie, Lawyer For Canada’s Far Right, Has Been Diagnosed With Liver Cancer

This post came to my attention yesterday, from Christie client Arthur Topham, who I have written about on several occasions: Today it is my misfortune to have to share with you some very sad news regarding one of Canada’s foremost advocates in the struggle to retain our right to freedom of speech, Mr. Douglas H. Christie. Yesterday, February 22, 2013 I received an email from Doug’s office assistant in Victoria, B.C., Jeremy Maddock, marked “Urgent”. Upon opening the email I read: “Dear Arthur: I regret to advise that Mr. Christie has been diagnosed with an advanced form of . . . → Read More: BigCityLib Strikes Back: Doug Christie, Lawyer For Canada’s Far Right, Has Been Diagnosed With Liver Cancer

Alberta Diary: Preston Manning’s well-funded ideological hobbyhorse takes aim at civic progressives

Calgary City Hall: The next target for former Reform Party leader Preston Manning’s not-very-merry band of far-right ideologues? Below: Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and neoconservative ideological guru Manning back in the day.

Is the so-called Manning Centre for Building Democracy preparing to target Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and other progressive city councillors for a corporate-backed reprise of the far right’s domination of federal and provincial politics in recent decades across Canada?

So it would seem.

Indeed, it would be fair to say the benevolent sounding Trojan Horse founded by Preston Manning, the former Reform Party leader and unflinching market ideologue,

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Preston Manning’s well-funded ideological hobbyhorse takes aim at civic progressives

Alberta Diary: The Stephen Harper model for Wildrose power: promise free votes and deliver the Borg Hive

Singing along: What we were promised by the Reform-Conservative platform. Below: What we got.

Alberta’s Wildrose Party blossomed at the edges of the same muddy spring whence sprang the federal Reform Party of Preston Manning and Stephen Harper.

As is well known, the Reform Party went on to engineer the hostile takeover in 2003 of the old Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, after renaming but not successfully re-branding itself as the Canadian Alliance.

By this mechanism the Reform Party evolved over a short time from a populist Prairie uprising into the most autocratic and secretive government in Canadian history, including

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: The Stephen Harper model for Wildrose power: promise free votes and deliver the Borg Hive

Cowichan Conversations: Canada’s Democratic Structures Are Crumbling Under Authoritarian Rule!

Richard Hughes- Political Blogger Everywhere we look our democracy is compromised, in some cases it is underwater. From many of our local government bodies to the senior levels democratic processes go begging. Nationally our democracy has been hijacked… . . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Canada’s Democratic Structures Are Crumbling Under Authoritarian Rule!

Alberta Diary: Republican failure shows conservative parties must adapt, like Alberta PCs, or die

Psychological/political portraits of Stephen Harper and Barack Obama by Edmonton artist William Prettie. Used with permission. This too shall pass… Now and then throughout history, as with Whigs and Communists, international political-ideological movements of enormous influence wither and disappear, often quite suddenly. It is rarely their call. Neoconservatives – or neoliberals, call them what you … . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Republican failure shows conservative parties must adapt, like Alberta PCs, or die

An individual with opinions.: Breaking News: academic institutions and Canadian media continue to confuse Canadians over the Clayton H. Riddell Graduate Program in Political Management donor agreement at Carleton University.

Less than 24 hours ago, I pointed out the inconsistency and confusing manner in which Carleton is dealing with the Clayton H. Riddell affair. It almost seems as if they’re deliberately confusing.

Though, it’s not as if the press is helping. The Canadian Press has been issuing statements and “facts” that contradict what Carleton is saying in other places, and most recently, CBC adds further to this confusion and clusterfuck. A five-person steering committee — dominated by the patron’s appointees and headed by Preston Manning — no longer approves key hiring and curriculum decisions, but is asked to provide “timely (Read more…)

An individual with opinions.: Underlooked Stehepn Harper quotes P6: Miscellaneous

Part 6 of underlooked Stephen Harper quotes. Part one, two, three, four and five here.  Reform-Alliance takeover He [Stephen Harper] credits Manning for at least calling for a united alternative but notes the option is ‘seriously flawed’ because it is essentially a Reform to take over the Conservative Party.

04/1998

Harper knows what’s up.

Criminals in the government “We’ve been skeptical about whether someone convicted of anything while sitting in the House should continue to sit, if anyone in our caucus was convicted of something, they would certainly be asked to resign.”

The ultimate irony.

(Read more…)

An individual with opinions.: Underlooked Stephen Harper quotes P5: Canadian indepedence

Part 5 of underlooked Stephen Harper quotes. Part one, two, three and four here.   Quebec and Americanism/Corporatism

And ironically, says Mr. Harper, that same aspect of Quebec’s social distinctiveness is what makes it unsuitable for independence. ‘The only real independence is economic independence’ he says. ‘When you don’t have that, you don’t have anything.’ 19/02/1996

Harper, again, with the truth! This is a really wonderful quote, because it can be perfectly applied to the situation between Canada and America.

America is the largest foreign owner of anything Canadian, naturally, with NAFTA that opened up our markets (Read more…)

An individual with opinions.: Underlooked Stephen Harper quotes P4: Harper is an eloquent polemic.

Part 4 of underlooked Stephen Harper quotes. Part one, two and three here.

One party dictatorship and our fleeting Parliamentary democracy There’s a semi-famous paper written by Stephen Harper and Tom Flanagan when they were younger floating around the progressive pointing out, quite eloquently and accurately describing one of the biggest issues facing Parliament in our time. Take a gander at Our Benign Dictatorship, here’s a quote: Only in politics do we still entrust power to a single faction expected to prevail every time over the opposition by sheer force of numbers. Even more anachronistically, we persist in

. . . → Read More: An individual with opinions.: Underlooked Stephen Harper quotes P4: Harper is an eloquent polemic.

An individual with opinions.: Underlooked Stephen Harper quotes P3. Neo-nazis and right-wing extremists

Part three of the underlooked Stephen Harper quotes from the leaked documents.Part one and two here.

Neo-nazis and right-wing extremists. He [Stephen Harper] likens the current anti-racism climate to medieval hysteria over witch-craft. ‘We’re talking about fighting unseen enemies,’ he says. ‘It’s getting spooky.’16/04/2001

To provide context, this was commentary over some obscure event involving the Minister of State for Multiculturalism at the time brining up cross-burnings that weren’t actually happening or something.

Regardless, Harper downplays the activity of racists and right-wing extremists in Canada. Which is strange, considering his history and close-involvement in the Reform Party.

. . . → Read More: An individual with opinions.: Underlooked Stephen Harper quotes P3. Neo-nazis and right-wing extremists

CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE WORLD: Harper v. Canada: Stephen Harper Addresses Right Wing U.S. Think Tank

Understanding the Canadian prime minister’s war against our democratic institutions, freedoms and legitimate dissent

Editor’s Note: In June 1997, Stephen Harper addressed a Montreal meeting of the Council for National Policy (CNP), a right-wing U.S. think tank. His speech unequivocally foreshadowed his ongoing war against Canadian democracy. Harper described Canada as “a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term” with “a standard of living substantially lower” than that of the U.S. On our cherished bilingualism he said “the important point is that Canada is not a bilingual country.” The Senate then was a

. . . → Read More: CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE WORLD: Harper v. Canada: Stephen Harper Addresses Right Wing U.S. Think Tank

What if Thomas Mulcair was Jewish?

#cpc #ndp #tm4pm #cdnpoli

Now that I have your attention..

The last two leaders of the Liberal Party of Canada were eviscerated by the Conservative Party attack machine as a way to define their new leader before the Liberals got a chance to define their own leader. So far, the Conservatives have taken a relative hands off approach to Mulcair, aside from some of the usual ‘tax and spend’ drivel they usually drone on about when it comes to NDP and Liberal politicians.

One of the more dispicable attacks was the use of dual citizenships to smear former leader, Stephane

. . . → Read More: What if Thomas Mulcair was Jewish?

Politics, Re-Spun: Springtime for Hitler in Ottawa

 

Last week, our favourite sweatervest hoarding Prime Minister made the world’s laziest Nazi/Hitler invocation during Question Period. This is the latest in a string of Hitler references made by sundry politicos in Ottawa during 2012, and we’re not even half way through the year. His gaffe brought jeers and tears of laughter to denizens of the House and online. For your viewing pleasure, witness the exchange between Mulcair the Bearded Sandwich Explainer and Stevie Soulless Eyes HERE.

After I was done laughing and wiping tears of hilarity from my eyes, I went back to the Politics Respun crew, and

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Springtime for Hitler in Ottawa

Politics, Re-Spun: Deconstructing the Wildrose Effect

So what happened in Alberta’s election yesterday, other than people telling pollsters that they want change, then chickening out when it came time to mark an X.

The Politics, Re-spun crew deconstructs the Wildrose effect here:

Are you surprised that the Wildrose Party did not win? No. Discontent polls well, but people sobered up when they cast their ballots. – Stephen

Surprised – no. Even Alberta isn’t quite ready to drink that special purple Kool-Aid tonic that Wildrose was offering up. Clearly they have a large number of sympathizers, and had the potential to do some damage in traditional PC

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Deconstructing the Wildrose Effect

atypicalalbertan: Will recall remain a priority for a Wildrose government?

Democratic reform is a popular part of opposition party platforms, especially for populist parties who are trying to toss out a long standing party in power that is seen to have accountability issues. And so it goes for the 2012 Alberta general election. The Wildrose party is attempting to push aside the Progressive Conservatives whom have governed this province for over 41 years.

The Wildrose is sending the message that 40 years is enough and advancing rhetoric like, “The politics of entitlement and corruption must be replaced by a culture of accountability where doing what’s right is the rule, (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Vic Toews’ Prison Shock Doctrine Recipe

Closing prisons from the 19th century is surely a good idea, but I have no faith that the Conservative Party cares to replace them with anything progressive based on research from any time since the 19th century.

So here’s a Canadian prison Shock Doctrine perfect storm:

The Conservatives [Reform Party] want to spend billions on new prisons because they believe prisons are good. I expect them to be privately run, for profit. Prisons are over-crowded already so we need more, but ideally more that are effectively designed and operated. Don’t hold your breath. Dickens-era prison philosophy is in vogue among . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Vic Toews’ Prison Shock Doctrine Recipe

Politics, Re-Spun: Is It Just Me, or Do These Pork Barrels Reek of Bitumen?

Once in a while, something crosses my desk that makes me cross my eyes and pound my head against the desk in frustration. This is not one of those things.

This is one of those things that makes me crinkle up my face and exclaim “What the hell?”

If you haven’t been rubbing up against radicals in the Facebook/Twitter forums that manufacture and ooze dissidents, let me bring you up to speed.

Last night, Kim from Sister Sage’s Musings posted a snippet of political incest that is so odd and fascinating, that just begs for further investigation.

Behold:

EthicalOil. . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Is It Just Me, or Do These Pork Barrels Reek of Bitumen?

Topp is the wrong choice for NDP leader

Almost as soon as Brian Topp announced his candidacy for leader of the federal NDP, he stepped into the Conservative trap regarding electoral re-distribution. Conservatives have been long advocates of an equal distribution of seats based on one formula… . . . → Read More: Topp is the wrong choice for NDP leader

ParliamANT Hill: Turmel defends links to parties with soverAnty ties

Inspired by these links: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2011/08/02/pol-turmel-bloc-quebecois.htmlhttp://www.harperindex.ca/ViewArticle.cfm?Ref=0034 . . . → Read More: ParliamANT Hill: Turmel defends links to parties with soverAnty ties