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Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Charles Demers points out the impact Svend Robinson has had on Canadian politics – and suggests that he should be the model for fellow progressives: Not only did Svend embody something different from the usual electioneering pabulum [sic] — a genuine belief in the righteousness and effectiveness of indigenous, environmentalist, and social movement direct action, for starters — but, as Truelove’s wonderful and readable and extremely well-researched book shows, he also showed how gadflies could still exercise real power and affect people’s lives. The episode in which Svend leads the successful campaign (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Senate Saves Canada… Again

How do you save democracy from itself? You appoint a Senate.

In 1990 the democratically elected House of Commons passed Bill C-43 which would have criminalized all abortions. That bill was defeated by the appointed Senate. To this day abortions remain legal solely because of the Senate’s actions. In 2013 the democratically elected House of Commons passed Bill C-377 which would have weakened labour unions. That bill was stopped by the appointed Senate.  Today the democratically elected House of Commons is preparing to pass Bill C-23 The Fair Elections Act which seeks to undermine democracy. The appointed Senate is (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Stealing Our Democracy: The Senate Takes A Swing

Okay, now the Senate is talking about wanting to see some amendments to the Harper Government’s bill to undermine Canada’s democracy.

The interim report recommends: 

— Removing a provision which would allow political parties to exempt from their election expenses any money spent to raise donations from anyone who has donated at least $20 over the previous five years. Experts have called this an unenforceable loophole that would allow rich, established parties with big donors’ lists to spend untold millions more during campaigns. 

— Requiring automated call service providers to retain records of campaign robocalls for three years, (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On vested interests

Shorter Linda Frum: As one of Stephen Harper’s hand-picked counterweights to the troublesome democratic rabble, I refuse to acknowledge any difference between “encouraging voter turnout” and “abetting electoral fraud”. The less people with a voice in how this country is run, the better.

The Right-Wing Observer: The Senate is drunk on partisanship

Unelected Conservative Senators have a surprising amount of electoral expertise. It must come from all those years of not getting elected.

@JDanAiken @bruceanderson Elections Canada should not have a vested interest in recording a high voter turnout. That’s a conflict.

— Senator Linda Frum (@LindaFrum) April 9, 2014

Every day these posers are proving the irrelevance of a partisan Senate…. this is not the stuff of sober second thought. Its stuff you expect from a bunch of drunks in a kitchen-party at 24 Sussex.

The post The Senate is drunk on partisanship appeared first on The Right-Wing Observer.

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: 2014 Stapleford Lecture on Senate Reform at #UofR

Part 1

I really have to disagree with Dr. Barnhart, who had the power to sign, or refuse to sign laws of Saskatchewan into effect while Lieutenant Governor, that he is a powerful person. Now his influence may be lessened, even to the point where Global TV won’t keep a promise to him, but he did get invited to to a prestigious lecture for the UofR too, didn’t he?

There’s a time to be modest, and a time to be real.

Part 2

LeDaro: Mike Duffy: The Rise and Fall – CBC Fifth Estate

                     Fitting caricature given his ego                     

It was a comedy, for real. Mike Duffy, the ultimate Ottawa insider, a cartoonish character who has become the leading symbol of Senate corruption, claiming living expenses for a cottage in Prince Edward Island he hardly occupied. The ultimate oversized sense of entitlement. He is a schmoozer who likes access to power, and has a giant ego to boot. A highschool dropout who made it big.

The documentary showed how Mike Duffy had been (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: TRANSCRIPT: Justin Trudeau’s speech to the Liberal biennial convention

by: Obert Madondo

Speech by leader Justin Trudeau to the Liberal Party of Canada’s biennial convention convention, held in Montreal, Quebec, over the weekend:

My friends, my fellow Liberals; what a great Convention!

Thank you for your work. Thank you for your time. Thank you for your passion

I want to paint a picture for you.

There’s a young woman, let’s call her Nathalie. She works hard. Maybe in an office in old Montreal. Maybe at a retail outlet along Sainte-Catherine Street.

She makes 40k a year. It’s about what her spouse makes too.

She sits in traffic a lot. Often (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: The Senate as citizens’ assembly?

The best idea I’ve seen yet about what to to do with our constitutional albatross, the Senate, short of abolishing it, appeared in a recent issue of The Tyee. The article suggests random selection of “ordinary citizens to sit as senators for a limited period of time (perhaps one or two years).” The authors suggest that “with proper support and access to expert opinion, ordinary citizens can

Trashy's World: Canada West Foundation…

… endorses Trudeau’s Senate move… <sound of Trashy passing out on the floor> Some “first” here: First time the words “west” “endorses” “Trudeau” have even been seen in the same sentence First time The Canada West Foundation has endorsed anything connected to the Senate – except its abolition Upon seeing this headline, the first time […]

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Trudeau Makes Senate Change in Liberal Party

This is a clear about-face from being willing to welcome Mac Harb back into the Liberal fold. I really wonder which idea is actually Trudeau’s.

Trudeau kicks Liberal senators out of caucus… via @canadadotcom #PN #SenCA #cdnpoli— Christina Spencer (@Spencerpress) January 29, 2014

This explains some things RT @OttawaCitizen How Justin Trudeau and his advisers devised their Senate plan— Stephen Maher (@stphnmaher) January 30, 2014

True RT @ThomasHall17: @stphnmaher So far it's just separate caucuses for separate houses of Parliament. Lib ldr only sits in MPs' caucus.— (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Ken Georgetti discusses how the corporate tax giveaways of the past 15 years have hurt most Canadians: The Conservative government and special interest groups claim incessantly that cutting corporate income taxes is good for the economy and for individual Canadians. We have been led to believe that tax giveaways to corporations would lead companies to reinvest in research and development as well as machinery and staff training to boost productivity. This is supposed to stimulate economic growth and create better paying and more secure jobs. But that is not what has happened (Read more…)

Leftist Jab: Justin Trudeau’s Bold Masterstroke On Senate Issue Makes Him A Super Genius

“Well a lot of them are going to die soon, anyway.”

If Justin Trudeau is able to piss further, it is by standing on the shoulders of such giants as Pericles and George Washington.

In what is considered by just about every single Canadian media’s analysis a “bold move”, Justin Trudeau just removed senators from the Liberal caucus. No other adjective can describe this action as the CBC,

Trashy's World: Perhaps brilliant in the short term…

… but this may bite Justin’s butt after he is elected PM. However, critics can no longer point to a lack of direction or policies… This is a doozy! Good on him, this is the type of leadership many Canadians have been waiting for. (1) Trashy, Ottawa, Ontario

Accidental Deliberations: Deep thought

The Liberals, at their self-perceived best, lag many years behind the principled curve set by the NDP.

(Meanwhile, who’s taking odds as to the number of formerly-Lib Senators who will be recruited by the we’ll-take-anybody Greens?)

Accidental Deliberations: On official business

It’s no surprise that the Cons’ idea of accountability for themselves is to provide nothing but blank pages when faced with a request for information about their dealings with Senate reimbursements. But one of the reasons for the secrecy looks like a noteworthy story in itself.

Here’s the exemption being applied to several pages of the record: 21. The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act that contains … (b) an account of consultations or deliberations in which directors, officers or employees of a government institution, a minister of the Crown or the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On deflection

Shorter Preston Manning: Mike Duffy openly flouted the Parliamentary Press Gallery’s rules for years by seeking to trade his celebrity for a patronage appointment. When Stephen Harper was the only Prime Minister willing to offer that deal for political gain, Duffy proceeded to flout every new set of rules which applied to him as a Senator while serving as the Conservatives’ most prominent fund-raiser, setting up a scandal and cover-up reaching to the top levels of the Prime Minister’s office.

Obviously, this story demonstrates there’s a problem with the Parliamentary Press Gallery, and no other person or party involved. (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: PMO: Anger Betrayal Deception; Oil

Our lying Prime Minister felt betrayed and angry, and … deceived?

The scheme only became public after a CTV news report on the evening of May 14.

The next morning, said Harper, he met with Wright, the successful Toronto financier he had brought to Ottawa in 2010 to be his right-hand man.

“He told me what he had done,” said Harper.

“I think, to be frank, my first series of reactions were probably in the realm of more stunned and disbelief.

“I, for the life of me, still can’t figure out – I don’t think anybody can figure out – (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Dagenais illustrates why women avoid politics

“If you can’t stand the heat, etc.” … the usual justification when one politician objects to the boorish behaviour of another. And no doubt MP Charmaine Borg heard a lot of that when she objected to the recent attack on her by Senator Jean-Guy Dagenais.

The heat you are expected to stand ought to refer to passionate debate based on knowledge and reason. The letter Dagenais wrote to Ms. Borg

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Jim Stanford counters the myth of labour shortages by pointing out Canada’s significant – and growing – number of potential workers who lack a job. And Janet French reports on how PCS’ job cuts have affected both the workers who were laid off, and the communities who depend on their spending to support local economies.

- CPJ’s infographic makes the case for a guaranteed livable income in Canada:

- CBC reports on the misleading statistics underlying claims that there’s no need to discuss rail safety in Canada – featuring cases of runaway trains (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Hassan Arif theorizes that a failure to identify and address growing inequality may have played a significant role in the rise of Rob Ford’s destructive anti-socialism: The Toronto of towering new condos, of downtown coffee shops and trendy restaurants and stores, is far removed from the Toronto of these low-income, suburban, and largely visible minority residents. A “plain-talking” politician who rails against downtown elites, against “slick talking lawyers”, “consultants”, and recipients of “research grants” appeals to those who feel left behind.…These concerns, about suburban alienation, about inequality, are concerns that need to (Read more…)

Canadian Political Viewpoints: Why Reform Will Fail

Source: CBC News: Conservative MP Michael Chong Makes Bid to Fix Parliament

Even with Perrin’s e-mails being found amongst the clutter, and some shake ups in the Senate, let’s take a bit of a break and look at a ‘non-releated-but-totally-releated’ consequence of the Senate Scandal fallout.

Ontario Conservative MP Michael Chong is bringing forward a bill to redistribute some of the power of the Prime Minister, and all party leaders. It would take the leadership establishment out of the nomination process, and even establish a method by which the party caucus could remove a leader from power.

The biggest change (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Alison chronicles how the definition of “accountability” has changed since the Cons’ own actions started to come under the microscope, while Paul Wells writes about the three different interests at play in the Cons’ scandal. And Tonda MacCharles explores how the Senate bribery scandal developed – though her willingness to take Con talking points at face value seems questionable given how consistently they’ve crumbled when compared to actual evidence, particularly when the likes of Chantal Hebert and Don Martin are eviscerating the Cons’ ever-more-farcical spin.

- Meanwhile, Don Lenihan discusses why gratuitous secrecy (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- The Economist takes a look at the effect of international trade agreements – and confirms the long-held concern that the erosion and non-enforcement of labour standards consistently follows the signing of government suicide pacts: Some results are rather unsurprising. Countries with better civil liberties tend to have higher labour standards. Countries in the OECD, which are richer, do better than those outside (only one OECD member, Turkey, has a score less than 15). But other results in the paper are alarming. During the 1980s and 1990s, the labour-rights index fell precipitously (see (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- John Ibbitson reports that the Cons’ obvious priorities have finally been made explicit: as far as they’re concerned, the sole purpose of international diplomacy is to serve the corporate sector. And Ian Smillie documents how the Cons hijacked Canada’s foreign aid program (while signalling that the same path is likely to be followed by the Cons’ Australian Liberal allies).

- Meanwhile, CBC uncovers a offshore tax avoidance scheme perpetrated by one of the Cons’ hand-picked tax advisers (and chair of the Royal Canadian Mint).

- Rhys Kesselman highlights the fact that contrary to (Read more…)