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Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Ian Welsh rightly points out how our lives are shaped by social facts far beyond individual’s control: If you are homeless in America, know that there are five times as many empty homes as there are homeless people.

If you are homeless in Europe, know that there are two times as many empty homes are there are homeless.

If you are hungry anywhere in the world, know that the world produces more than enough food to feed everyone, and that the amount of food we discard as trash is, alone, more than enough (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Philip Berger and Lisa Simon discuss the health and social benefits of a guaranteed annual income: At the community level, poverty also has deep and lasting impacts — some visible, some not. We’ve seen these visible impacts in Simcoe County Ontario, where one of us works. One in four single-parent families experience moderate or severe food insecurity at some point every year. A family of four receiving Ontario Works would have to spend 93% of their monthly after-tax income on rent and nutritious food alone, leaving little remaining for all other necessary expenses.

(Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Harper Lied In The House

Check out @LeslieCBC’s Tweet:

What the PM said then, and how it stacks up against evidence submitted in court: @pnpcbc #Duffy fact check #cdnpoli http://t.co/okoZsW4OBB

— Leslie Stojsic (@LeslieCBC) August 14, 2015

Duffy’s trial is giving facts about Harper’s criminal gang in his office.

Accidental Deliberations: On points of agreement

Let’s see if we can turn Stephen Harper’s otherwise laughable spin on his PMO’s widespread cover-up into a couple of points we can all agree on.

First, the ultimate responsibility for lies and cover-ups lies with superiors rather than subordinates – in Harper’s own words:

Second, exactly one person fits bears that responsibility when it comes to the unethical actions of the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff and central advisors.

And there are plenty of Conservatives ready to shout down anybody who tries to suggest otherwise.

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Althia Raj, Karl Nerenberg, Tim Harper, Jennifer Ditchburn and Kristy Kirkup, Lee Berthiaume and Jason Fekete, PressProgress and CTV News all point out some of the more noteworthy aspects of Nigel Wright’s testimony in Mike Duffy’s trial (along with the large amount of material brought to light as a result). Frank Koller observes that we should be insulted by Wright’s belief that full cover-ups can be bought, while Sandy Garossino highlights how quickly Wright’s talking points fell apart once they were subject to meaningful scrutiny. The Star, (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Good to go

A few images which may or may not become highly relevant in just a few minutes.

atypicalalbertan.ca: 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 (Flickr.com)

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…)

Accidental Deliberations: On final excuses

I’ll offer one more post arising out of the flurry of discussion about the Senate – and particularly the timing of an announcement which would seem to have been equally easily made during the campaign if it was intended solely for platform purposes.

Let’s remember that the last time Stephen Harper broke his promise not to appoint unelected Senators (give or take a Michael Fortier), his rationale had nothing at all to do with the passage of legislation. Instead, it arose in response to the prospect of a coalition government winning power – and Harper’s explanation was that if any (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On leadership failures

Among the many responses to the Cons’ latest Senate shenanigans, one (from someone who’s not exactly known for his recent NDP ties) stands out as being worthy of mention: In his 10 years in office how many meetings with the prov premiers did PMSH hold to discuss Senate reform or abolition ? Ans: 0 #cdnpoli

— Bob Rae (@BobRae48) July 24, 2015

That obviously represents an important rebuttal to the Cons’ claim that they’ve done everything they could – or indeed anything at all – to keep their past promises. But it seems to me an equally powerful argument against (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On common application

Between Stephen Harper’s combination of broken promises and ongoing scandals, I’m rather shocked that anybody thought the Senate would be anything but a political liability for the Cons. But let’s highlight what’s worth taking away from an announcement which came nowhere close to living up to its billing. Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he refuses to name any senators until the Senate is reformed, adding he hopes it will put pressure on the provinces to figure out a plan to update the institution.…The policy will remain in place as long as the government can pass its legislation, the prime minister (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: To Senate Or Not To Senate

There will be no questions. Well, almost none, as per usual.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaking with Premier Brad Wall at legislature today. #yqr #skpoli #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/MUHNM5gbcN

— Natascia Lypny (@wordpuddle) July 24, 2015

Gluttonous child has gorged himself on the ice cream; now declares a moratorium on more ice cream. #cdnpoli #SenCA https://t.co/h3NBZKX14N

— Saskboy K. (@saskboy) July 24, 2015

L. Lea ‏@YukonGale : “@althiaraj Basically he’s saying he won’t appoint any more senators but he can’t make that binding upon the next government, right?”

Not without a Constitutional amendment.

PM taking questions now. First (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- PressProgress makes the case that we can’t afford to risk another term of government neglect by the Harper Cons. Jeremy Nuttall discusses how the Cons’ fixed election date and anti-social economic policies each figure to cause direct damage to Canada’s economy in the course of a downturn. And Michael Harris discusses the utter implausibility of the Cons’ spin on the economic and security alike.

- Meanwhile, Sophia Harris tells the stories of a few of the Canadians already suffering the consequences of an anti-worker government. And Roderick Benns interviews Toni Pickard about the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Senate Wars V: The Harper Empire Strikes Back

“But surely,” said the Senate apologist, “even if an undemocratic upper chamber is utterly useless in actually reviewing legislation, we can still pretend it has value based on its willingness to study issues on something less than a wholly partisan basis.”

Then this happened. And the Senate apologist was once again reduced to complaining that change couldn’t be done.

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Armine Yalnizyan writes that reliance on temporary and disposable labour is utterly incompatible with long-term economic development. And Joey Hartman and Adrienne Montani comment on Vancouver’s efforts to support a living wage rather than grinding down employment standards.

- Andy Skuce points out that our already-worrisome best estimates as to the effects of climate change may underestimate the damage done as land-based carbon sinks turn into carbon producers. And Charles Mandel reports that this summer’s spate of wildfires across Western Canada may become the new normal as droughts become more common.

- Meanwhile, (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Jerry Dias sees the forced passage of an unamended Bill C-377 as a definitive answer in the negative to the question of whether the Senate will ever justify its own existence. And Nora Loreto emphasizes that the bill has no purpose other than to attack unions: The amendments contained in C-377 to the Income Tax Act are sweeping, broad and idiotic. If Canadians need any example that the Harper Conservatives care more about personal vendettas than good governance, the proof is wrapped up in C-377.

C-377 requires a ridiculous level of compliance from (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On rewriting

There’s plenty of justified outrage over Stephen Harper’s unelected Senate lapdogs choosing to tear up the Parliamentary rule book to force through an attack on unions in the form of Bill C-377. But I’m wondering whether the procedural move used to end debate might itself affect the validity of the bill.

On that front, is there any precedent for a bill becoming law after being passed as a private member’s bill in one chamber, but as a government bill in the other given that both chambers have specific rules governing the review and approval of each type of bill?

And (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Conservative Senate Overthrows Speaker #cdnpoli #SenCA

Whoa, whoa… chaos reigns…. they might have just overthrown the speaker…

— Paul McLeod (@pdmcleod) June 26, 2015

Housakos rules the government’s attempt “violates a fundamental distinction in our rules and practices."

— Paul McLeod (@pdmcleod) June 26, 2015

Jesus you really can do anything you want with a majority in Canadian politics

— Paul McLeod (@pdmcleod) June 26, 2015

You mean election fraud 3 elections in a row didn’t already tell you that?

Now the government is overruling the speaker and making its illegal notion legal. It is surprising this is even able to happen.

— Paul McLeod (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Mark Anderson reports on the Change Readiness Index’ findings that the growing concentration and inequality of wealth is making it more and more difficult for countries to deal with foreseeable disasters. But Jon Queally points out that a concerted effort to quit abusing fossil fuels could do a world in making our world both more fair and more sustainable.

- James Galbraith suggests that the EU is guilty of gross malpractice in how it continues to treat Greece in the face of overwhelming public opposition to austerity. But as David Dayen points (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Guy Standing discusses the political and social importance of Canada’s growing precariat, as well as the broader definition of inequality needed to address its needs: The assets most unequally distributed are fourfold. First, socio-economic security is more unequally distributed than income. If in the precariat, you have none. How will politicians ensure that everybody has enough security to give them reasonable control over their lives? Second, there is inequality of control of time. If in the precariat, you have no control, and must do this and that all the time, under stress, (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how the Senate’s failure to provide any second thought on C-51 may serve as the ultimate signal that it has nothing useful to offer Canadians.

For further reading…- PressProgress’ look at the Senate’s sad history is well worth a read. The CBC reports on the Auditor General’s findings about the widespread abuse of public money. And Ian Austen offers a U.S. perspective on what comes next for the Senate.- Meanwhile, Karl Nerenberg explains why abolition is well within reach if anybody is willing to take a leadership role in pursuing it without reopening other (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Saving Canada $90,000,000/year not worth Wall’s “effort”

“The Senate is never going to run properly and it’s never going to be worth the money we put into it. So it should be scrapped.”

.@PremierBradWall Couldn't SK start the constitutional amendment process by proposing and adopting an amendment to abolish the Senate?

— Mike Burton (@Mikefromregina) June 9, 2015

Wall continues… “I’m not going to actively campaign for the Senate to be abolished.”

“even in light of this latest mess, then it’s not really worth the effort to try to change [the provinces’ {opposed to abolition}] minds.”

I don’t think Premier Wall is the (Read more…)

OpenMedia.ca: Heroes and Zeros – here’s how your Senators voted on Bill C-51

Yesterday we witnessed how the Senate passed Bill C-51. Once again, the government used its majority to ram the unpopular legislation through the Senate by 44 votes to 28, a much closer margin than many expected. The legislation - opposed by a whopping 56% of Canadians with just 33% in favour - will now become Canadian law. But many are wondering who were the Senators who sided with Canadians, and who were those who sided against them.

read more

OpenMedia.ca: Bill C-51 Just passed. Where do we go from here?

This just in from Ottawa: The Senate just passed Bill C-51 today by 44-28, despite massive opposition from hundreds of thousands of everyday Canadians and the country’s top privacy experts. Reckless Bill C-51 will now become Canadian law.

read more

Bill Longstaff: Bill C-51—a chance for the Senate to redeem itself

In the words of Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, the Senate was created as a place of “sober second thought.” In the eyes of most Canadians today, it is more a place of corruption and sinecures for party hacks.

But now it has been given a chance to redeem itself. This Tuesday it will vote on Bill C-51, the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015, the government’s omnibus security bill.

LeDaro: Mike Duffy Saga

Harper sure knows how to appoint Senators, Pamela Wallin, Patrick Brazeau, and the notorious Mike Duffy. Harper campaigned against an appointed Senate, against privilege and corruption, in 2006, only to embrace it full on when he became Prime Minister. He appointed Mike Duffy, a so-called journalist who abused his position to gain the Prime Minister’s favour and get a Senate appointment. Duffy would promote stories favourable to the Prime Minister, even saying no one could question his integrity.

Duffy relished in a 2008 tape of then-Liberal leader Stéphane Dion stumbling, which was shown repeatedly even though the network had assured (Read more…)