Categories

A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the Senate’s recent attempts to claim any relevance to Canadian politics, and what they should tell us about the failures of our actual elected representatives.For further reading…- OpenParliament’s status report on Bill C-14 (featuring the … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Andrew Coyne argues that the Senate’s role in overruling elected representatives – which only seems to be growing under the Trudeau Libs – represents an affront to democracy. And Duncan Cameron has some suggest… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.- David Crane identifies the good news in the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s report on climate change – which is that we can meet our greenhouse gas emissions targets through readily feasible policy choices as long a… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: On common values

There’s reason to be wary about the Libs’ handling of the Senate, as Thomas Walkom writes in his latest column. But it’s also worth noting that contrary to Walkom’s conflation of the two, there are important differences between selecting prospective Se… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On common values

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Owen Jones writes that the UK’s flooding is just one example of what happens when the public sector which is supposed to look out for the common good is slashed out of short-term political calculation. And J. B… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

The Tory Pirate - Politics & Policy: The NDP "is not planning any changes to our current form of the parliamentary system" 

It is not often I get to talk about issues related to the monarchy on this blog. I mostly keep that on the other blog I writefor. However the Monarchist League of Canada recently surveyed the main federal parties on their views towards theCanadian Monarchy. One of the answers was curious though. The NDP’s reply . . . → Read More: The Tory Pirate – Politics & Policy: The NDP "is not planning any changes to our current form of the parliamentary system" 

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: So Who’s the Dictator Now?

Recenty, former NDP MP, Bruce Hyer, has come out to the press about his former boss’s dictatorial style and problems he had with honesty; evident in the way that he is constantly contradicting himself.

When asked during his interview with Peter Mansbridge about this, Mulcair only said that Hyer did not want to vote with his colleagues.

In an email to HuffPost, however, Hyer called Mulcair’s statements “a total fabrication.”  “I always supported 95 per cent of the NDP party platform. I still support much of it! But I feel very strongly that my primary role is as the representative of my constituents,” Hyer wrote.  

“On some issues, an MP’s responsibility is to put … constituents ahead of the party line. It is interesting that Mulcair immediately contradicted himself and said that I was ‘someone who walked away from the party on a single issue.’ Again and again, I see and hear a man who in his pursuit of power will contradict himself.”

In fact as early as 2013, the Globe and Mail had already noticed the trend.

Much attention has been given to Conservative backbenchers who push socially conservative issues and are later overruled by cabinet. What is not well known is that Conservative MPs are far more likely to support motions from other parties – all of which are to the political left of the governing party. In contrast, the voting record of the official opposition under NDP leader Thomas Mulcair shows ironclad discipline. Not a single vote has been cast that is out of step.

This certainly lends credence to Hyer’s comments. One of Mulcair’s nicknames when he was in the Quebec legislature was objet immobile or immovable object.  He was very obstinate.  Recent analysis of voting patterns have shown that the NDP vote with their leader 100% of the time, while the Conservatives only 76%. So who’s the dictator now?

During the 2004 election campaign, many Canadians were concerned with Stephen Harper’s views on the Constitution, and fears that his platform would result in many court challenges.  It has.  But how is that any different from Mulcair’s platform?  He is also threatening the Constitution with his promise to abolish the Senate.

Harper was also antagonistic toward the Supreme Court, suggesting that they had too much power.  As a populist, he believed that all the power should rest in the hands of elected MPs.  Is this not exactly what Thomas Mulcair is suggesting today?

He claims that if elected the Senate will have to answer to him.  I find that rather frightening.  Yes, the Senate is wounded but it is not broken, and is a vital part of our democracy.  They are supposed to the sober second thought, that would protect us from leaders like Mulcair and Harper, who believe in an autocratic style of government.

Sadly, they have become little more than a partisan cesspool, but that is where we need change.  Senators should not belong to any party.  If they are caught campaigning for, or against, any political party, they can no longer be a senator.  We need them to represent us.  We are the ones paying the bills.

Both Harper and Mulcair want the Constitution reopened to push their own agendas.  It won’t happen because both Quebec and Ontario, have already said that they are not prepared to do that.

I have been accused recently of not being progressive because of my opposition to Thomas Mulcair. However, it is as a progressive, that I am sounding the alarm.

In November of 2009, Linda McQuaig wrote in the Toronto Star

If, as polls suggest, Stephen Harper is poised to win a majority, it’s largely due to the media notion that his past reputation for extremism no longer holds. In fact, apart from his reluctant embrace of economic stimulus, Harper has shown little of the “moderation” that supposedly now puts his government comfortably within the Canadian mainstream.

I feel as McQuaig did then.  The media is once again being blissfully ignorant, or intentionally misleading, by ignoring Mulcair’s past.  He was not an “extremist”,  but he was virulently right-wing.  Most progressive journalists warned of Harper’s devotion to the principles of Margaret Thatcher, yet most, including McQuaig, are now eerily silent on Mulcair’s.


We can’t make the same mistake twice.  If Mulcair is re-elected it will be as a Member of Parliament. Depending on the outcome of the election, he could be prime minister, opposition leader, or leader of the third party.

But under no circumstances will he be elected supreme being.  He will not dictate to the Senate.  He will not unilaterally change our constitution and he will not simply repeal anything, without the support of both Houses.

We’ve had a decade of this kind of government, and Canadians are weary of it.

Including this progressive.



. . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: So Who’s the Dictator Now?

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: So Who’s the Dictator Now?

Recenty, former NDP MP, Bruce Hyer, has come out to the press about his former boss’s dictatorial style and problems he had with honesty; evident in the way that he is constantly contradicting himself.

When asked during his interview with Peter Mansbridge about this, Mulcair only said that Hyer did not want to vote . . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: So Who’s the Dictator Now?

Accidental Deliberations: On caretakers

Since there’s been plenty of talk lately about caretaker governments and their duty to exercise restraint, I’ll raise one question as to the appointments made the last time a new federal government took office.

The day he and his Cabinet were sworn in, and two months before Parliament convened following the 2006 federal election, Stephen . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On caretakers

Accidental Deliberations: On practical changes

One of the main attacks on the NDP’s election platform has been the question of what support there is for the constitutional change required to abolish the Senate. But it’s worth distinguishing between the relatively limited constitutional role actually mandated for the Senate which requires following the constitutional amendment formula, and other past practices and . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On practical changes

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– Thomas Walkom discusses how Canadian workers are feeling the pain of decades of policy designed to suppress wages – and notes there’s plenty more all parties should be doing to change that reality. And Doug Saunders points out what we should want our next federal government to pursue . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

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 . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

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 . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Mind Bending Politics: Harper’s House of Cards is Falling Down

If you haven’t tuned into the Duffy trial over the past week, than you are living under a rock, or you’re missing one of the best political dramas in Canadian history. The cross examination of Nigel Wright in Senator Mike Duffy’s trial over inappropriate expenses, is becoming quite interesting to many Canadians. Canada seems to […] . . . → Read More: Mind Bending Politics: Harper’s House of Cards is Falling Down

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.

. . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: Harper Lied In The House

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 . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On points of agreement

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 . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Good to go

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

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Good to go

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 . . . → Read More: atypicalalbertan.ca: Harper is not serious about senate reform

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 . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On final excuses

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 . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On leadership failures

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 . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On common application

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 . . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: To Senate Or Not To Senate

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 . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

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 . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Senate Wars V: The Harper Empire Strikes Back