Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

Alberta Politics: The story thus far from Alberta: the Western Alienation narrative starts today

PHOTOS: A couple of typical alienated Westerners discuss what to do next now that another Trudeau is about to be sworn in as prime minister of Canada. Head for the hills, I guess. Below: The elder prime minister Trudeau, Pierre, and Alberta premier Peter Lougheed toast the mutually satisfactory deal they signed in September 1981 […]

The post The story thus far from Alberta: the Western Alienation narrative starts today appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Politics, Re-Spun: Mulroney’s Gift to the NDP

Thanks Brian Mulroney!

You’ve done what no one else in Canada could do: by endorsing him, you’ve explained just how bad Trudeau and the Liberals would be for Canada.

Sure, Mulroney, you are sad that Harper’s Reform Party has eradicated your Progressive Conservatives and started using the “Conservative” word.

Sure, Mulroney, you know that Harper is bad for Canada.

But so were you and your Liberal counterparts:

Trudeau started the Free Trade Agreement with USA and you finished it. Then there was NAFTA and the GST which you and Chretien handled. Then there was Martin’s Liberal budget of 1995 (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Stephen Harper Is Such a Bad Economist!

He says he’s awesome, but he’s so bad, that on the economy he’s the worst prime minister since WWII.

And his campaign is “don’t change horses in mid-stream, I’m a great economist, we aren’t in a recession, we have a balanced budget and only I can protect you from the terrorist onslaught that wants to kill us all.”

All lies.

And here’s some data that demonstrates Harper’s delusion that he knows anything useful about economics:

December 11, 2013 How Harper is Gutting Canada: THE LIST (0) August 11, 2014 Welcome to the 1,000th Politics, Re-Spun Editorial! (1) (Read more…) Harper is not serious about senate reform

Stephen Harper is not serious about senate reform.

Despite his announcement last week that he plans to stop filling vacancies in the upper chamber until the senate is reformed, his track record on the issue is very poor.

Stephen Harper, cc: pmwebphotos (

Harper was first elected to parliament in 1993 as the Calgary West MP for the Reform Party, which was well known for its stance favouring a Triple-E (equal, elected, effective) senate. Since becoming Prime-Minister nearly 10 years ago, his only substantive action on senate reform has amounted to just two things: appointing senators elected in ad (Read more…)

Alberta Politics: Reunite Alberta’s right? The Great Wildrose Experiment is going to be hard to undo

PHOTOS: Wildrose Party Leader Brian Jean at the Calgary Stampede. Too country to be electable in the new Alberta? (Photo from Mr. Jean’s Flickr account.) Below: Former Harper strategist Ken Boessenkool and former Harper speechwriter Paul Bunner, both involved in Alberta’s “reunite the right” movement. (Photos grabbed from their Facebook accounts.) Well, no one can […]

The post Reunite Alberta’s right? The Great Wildrose Experiment is going to be hard to undo appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Cowichan Conversations: Peter McKay to announce that he is stepping down as Justice Minister later today-Harper shellshocked!

Peter McKay has been one of the most significant players in the Harper government from the beginning. No loss to Canada but this significant departure hurts Steve’s re-election efforts.

Is Justice Minister

Read more…

The Disaffected Lib: It’s Like The Good Old Days of Reform, All Over Again.

Preston Manning’s legacy might just be his relentless efforts while Reform leader to keep the bigotry in his caucus under wraps.  Those who were too obvious to be ignored were sometimes shown the door although it did have to be pretty outrageous.

But we all know there’s plenty of them still around even if they have been trained to bite their tongues.  Every now and then one of them stumbles to remind us. The latest is “Lardass Larry” Miller.

In a conversation with a caller to CFOS in Owen Sound, Ont., Mr. Miller said he was baffled (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Stephen Harper: Racist AND a Hypocrite!

Just WHO should be covering up?

I recall once that Stephen Harper believed in championing religious freedom. Except for people he doesn’t like.

Now he’s appealing a federal court ruling allowing people to exercise their religious freedom by becoming citizens while not publicly removing their niqab.

But why, you ask?

Because Canada is transparent, open, equal and just. And Stephen Harper is our leader, so he too is transparent, open, equal and just.

Except he’s not. At all. He’s a racist and a hypocrite. Read on!

“I believe, and I think most Canadians believe that it is — it is (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Tory income-splitting tax policy: It’s about creating and preserving gender inequality and making rich guys richer

Whew! This income splitting is a killer. Actual perfect families as seen by the Harper Government may not appear exactly like Canadian reality. Below: Queen’s University tax law professor Kathleen Lahey.

A fundamental purpose the Harper Government’s ideologically driven income-splitting tax scheme is to undermine women’s equality, Queen’s University tax law professor Kathleen Lahey told the Parkland Institute’s annual fall conference yesterday.

That’s a statement that may cause some readers to react with skepticism – but if you’re one of them, let me suggest it’s because you haven’t really been paying attention.

Dr. Lahey told a plenary session of the (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Welcome to the 1,000th Politics, Re-Spun Editorial!

Steve Harper, the greatest threat to Canadian security in the modern era.

Happy August! Happy Day!

I have a few comments about this, the 1,000th editorial at Politics, Re-Spun. But you can read them below, about my sabbatical plan, new visions for this almost 12-year-old website, and other things.

But at the top of this post, I have something slightly more urgent to delve into before I check out for a break.

That great sick freak, Donald Rumsfeld is generally credited with popularizing the concept of unknown unknowns to our modern/post-modern era. Being a sick freak, he spun that bafflement (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Whatever the ‘Canadian Taxpayers Federation’ is, it’s certainly not a ‘tax watchdog’ – let’s stop calling it one!

“Canadian Taxpayers Federation” Alberta Communications Director Derek Fildebrandt dressed up for a typical CTF stunt, which the media falls for every time. Below: Mr. Fildebrandt back in the days he was part of the Reagan-Goldwater Society at Carleton University; CTF board members Karen Selick, Adam Daifallah and John Mortimer. (Thumbnail photos grabbed from CTF’s website.)

While the Canadian Taxpayers Federation claims to be a “tax watchdog” that opposes waste and advocates transparency in government, evidence suggests its principal purposes are to provide partisan support for the Harper Government, fulfill the corporate agenda and undermine the rights of working people.

(Read more…)

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Harper’s Balancing Act : How to Accept Anti-Semitism Abroad While Making a Mockery of it at Home

Gaitana, born Gaita-Lurdes Essami, is a beautiful Ukrainian singer and songwriter, who had represented her country in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest; Europe’s answer to American Idol.

Not everyone was happy with Ukraine’s choice, however.

Yuriy Syrotyuk, a high-ranking member of the ultranationalist Svoboda (Freedom) Party, claimed that “Gaitana is not an organic representative of the Ukrainian culture … we want to be accepted to the European Union, it could be our opportunity to show the Europeans that we are also a European nation. Gaitana “will provoke an association of Ukraine as a country of a different continent.” (Time, (Read more…)

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 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.


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…)