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Montreal Simon: Harperland, the Con Monsters, and the Death of Reason

Once upon a time Canada seemed like a brighter, better place to me than it does today.A more hopeful, more optimistic, more decent country.A country where an opposition MP could write a polite letter to a Minister like this one. (PDF)And expect to get a reasonable reply.But this is Harperland, and this is Pierre Poilievre…Read more »

LeDaro: Stephen Harper -the Portraits

I did a picture of Harper on a horse in front of Parliament, as the leader who is set to conquer the world. Now a Canadian artist has done an interesting portrait of Harper on a horse. It looks good.

Mahshid Farhoudi

This one looks good too.

By Tony Clark

See more portraits here

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Canonization of Jimbo Flaherty

Well I knew what he was going to do from the moment he announced that Jim Flaherty would have a state funeral, for no good reason.And then let it be known that he had PERSONALLY written the eulogy he would deliver.And sure enough he did turn that solemn occasion into yet another giant photo-op for the glorification of HIMSELF. Read more »

The Ranting Canadian: "I can’t even get my friends to like me." Mark this date:…

“I can’t even get my friends to like me.”

Mark this date: April 16, 2014. Disgraced Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper tells the truth for the first time in his political career, as he campaigns at the state funeral of former finance minister Jim Flaherty. The rest of Harper’s speech was full of lies and propaganda, as usual.

Harper should be more like Flaherty (in his current state).

Alberta Diary: Redford-Hancock Government moves ahead with plan to gut public sector pensions

Alberta Environment Minister Robin Campbell, right, in one of the rather undistinguished jackets that are causing such a brouhaha in the provincial Legislature this week. Meanwhile, Finance Minister Doug Horner, below, is moving to attack the pensions of 300,000 Alberta public employees and no one is paying much attention. Below him, NDP Leader Brian Mason, who opposes his plans, and former prime ministerial chief of staff Nigel Wright. But you’ll have to read to the bottom if you want to know what Mr. Wright has to do with this story.

Alberta Finance Minister Doug Horner gave notice yesterday that the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Timothy Shenk discusses Thomas Piketty’s contribution to a critique of unfettered capitalism and gratuitous inequality: Seen from Piketty’s vantage point, thousands of feet above the rubble, the fragility of this moment becomes clear. Economic growth was a recent invention, major reductions to income inequality more recent still. Yet the aftermath of World War II was filled with prophets forecasting this union into eternity. Kuznets offered the most sophisticated expression of this cheerful projection. Extrapolating from the history of the United States between 1913 and 1948, he concluded that economic growth automatically reduced (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Is Stephen Harper Losing His Grip on Power And His Marbles?

As you know, I've been watching Stephen Harper closely for eight long and horrible years, like some people watch birds.And I can honestly say I've rarely seen him looking worse. Or more deeply disturbed.I can't get what what Tom Flanagan says about him in his new book out of my mind:“He can be suspicious, secretive, and vindictive, prone to sudden eruptions of white-hot rage over meaningless trivia, at other times falling into week-long depressions in which he is incapable of making decisions.” So the last thing I needed to see him talking about was the Third World War. Read more »

Alberta Diary: The ‘Self Preservation Society’ wants Jim Prentice for ‘The Alberta Job’ – but can he forgo his ambition to be PM?

“The Alberta Job.” Will the original “Self Preservation Society” get to keep the Tory gold? Is Jim Prentice – above, not exactly as illustrated – the man to help them do it? Read on to find out why we’ll probably never find out. Below: The actual Jim Prentice. Below him: Possible, rumoured, putative PC leadership candidate Stephen Mandel.

The question Jim Prentice really needs to ask himself is this: “Do I really want to ride that bus all the way to the bottom of the cliff and be sitting in it when it bursts into flames?”

The (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Michael Harris observes that the Cons’ vote suppression tactics match the worst abuses we’d expect from the Tea Party: Stephen Harper would make a good governor of Arizona.

In addition to the lies and sleaziness his government has been serving up during its majority, its sickening reliance on marketing over truth, its dishonest use of technology in political matters, and its shameful abuse of language, the prime minister is blighting democracy in the name of political advantage.

When Stephen Harper gave Canada fixed elections dates, no one expected a whole lot more “fixing” (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…)

A Different Point of View....: Flaherty’s Legacy – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The unexpected, shocking death of Jim Flaherty, the Conservative Party’s only Finance Minister until his retirement less than a month ago, has resulted in hundreds of warm tributes for his commitment to public life and praise from those in business and conservative circles who approved of his financial and economic policies.

Flaherty the man, who was only 64, was devoted to his family and one of the most popular Members of Parliament. Friends indicated that Flaherty was headed for a high-paying job on Bay Street, so he could make the hundreds-of-thousands of dollars he had sacrificed by taking a lower paying government job.

PM Stephen Harper with Flaherty: Nixing stimulus, killing revenue. Photo courtesy of The Tyee

While Jim Flaherty’s life achievements and humanity should be praised, it also needs to be said that his policies severely discriminated against the vast majority of Canadians.

Flaherty had control of purse strings . . . → Read More: A Different Point of View….: Flaherty’s Legacy – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Montreal Simon: Rob Anders: The Con Loon Finally Bites the Dust

He tried every dirty trick in the book to try to win his nomination battle.He smeared his opponents as closet Liberals. He used misleading robocalls against them. He called on his rabid religious base to save him.But nothing could stop the Con loon Rob Anders from facing his own personal Armageddon. Read more »

Alberta Diary: Rob Anders loses by a nose in Signal Hill as Cowtown Cons make the best of a bad choice

Lost by a nose … but what a nose! A 22-year-old Rob Anders in 1994, heckling an Oklahoma politician. Below: Calgary Signal Hill nomination victor Ron Liepert; Mr. Anders as he looks today.

There was blood in the water of the Bow River as it flowed through Cowtown last night.

After a while, it became clear the metaphorical blood had been shed by the ever-embarrassing Rob Anders, who at a mere 42 years of age had served an excruciating six terms as the Reform, Alliance and Conservative Member of Parliament for the Calgary West riding, which will soon cease to (Read more…)

The Ranting Canadian: Canadians will forever be indebted because of Jim…

Canadians will forever be indebted because of Jim Flaherty.

Regardless of what one thinks of the recently deceased man on a personal level, if one uses objective, non-emotional criteria, it is clear that he was probably the worst finance minister in Canadian history. Unfortunately for us, his replacement, Joe Oliver, will likely be much worse.

Almost immediately after Flaherty’s death became public, the fawning political praise and sickening historical revisionism flooded in like oil from an Enbridge pipeline spill. Over-the-top accolades for the small callous man have been stomach-churning, and is an insult to his many victims. It is (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: What happens now that we know there really is a cancer cluster in Fort Chip? Nothing?

Greenpeace Canada info-graphic showing connections among the far-right Conservative Party of Canada activists behind the so-called Ethical Oil Institute. Below: Dr. James Talbot; Dr. John O’Connor; Ezra Levant.

Alberta’s chief medical officer has now confirmed that statistics released a couple of weeks ago indicate there really is a cancer cluster in Fort Chipewyan, a predominantly native community about 280 kilometres north of Fort McMurray.

Fort Chip, as it is often known, has long been a subject of controversy about the health impacts of bitumen sands development because – possibly coincidentally, and possibly not – it is not far downstream and (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Paul Krugman’s review of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century includes his commentary on our new gilded age: Still, today’s economic elite is very different from that of the nineteenth century, isn’t it? Back then, great wealth tended to be inherited; aren’t today’s economic elite people who earned their position? Well, Piketty tells us that this isn’t as true as you think, and that in any case this state of affairs may prove no more durable than the middle-class society that flourished for a generation after World War II. The big (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Could Stephen Harper Soon Be Toast?

It's all going horribly wrong. His foul voter suppression bill is only making even more Canadians want to vote to throw him out of office.He has more scandals than he can count. His Cons are fighting themselves or urging people to vote for another party.Pro-life Conservative MP Kyle Seeback told attendees at Campaign Life Coalition’s national pro-life conference on the weekend that when he was first elected three years ago, he would have told people to “vote Conservative” to make a pro-life difference in the country. “I don’t agree with that anymore. You have to find the (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: BREAKING: Con Minister Accused of Threatening an NDP MP

If you want to know what Stephen Harper and his ghastly Cons have done to our Parliament all you had to do is watch Question Period today.For I've rarely seen a more rowdy session. The Cons were howling like jackals, or drunks.So I'm not surprised that a Con Minister has been accused of threatening an NDP MP. Read more »

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Bill C-23: Accountability for Thee Not For Me

It’s not exactly news that Harper has never liked Elections Canada.  In fact, it’s less than news.  His outraged utterances about Elections Canada when he was head of the National Citizens Coalition (NCC) in the 1990s set the tone for the content of Bill C-23.

“The jackasses at Elections Canada are out of control.” 

In 2001, Stephen Harper was president of the National Citizens Coalition. That was his opening line in a fundraising letter. 

His loathing for the election overseers was almost pathological, recalls Gerry Nicholls, the conservative commentator who worked with Mr. Harper at the NCC. (Read more…)

reeves report: Rebuilding ‘science team’ at ELA a tough task

Researchers at the Experimental Lakes Area in northern Ontario.

When Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced on May 17, 2012 that funding for the Experimental Lakes Area would no longer be renewed by the federal government, scientists and environmentalists saw this for what it was—another salvo in Harper’s ever-expanding conflict with science and the products of that research.

Long before the ELA—a vast, 58-lake living freshwater laboratory near the Manitoba-Ontario border—was saved by an 11th hour deal between Ottawa, two provincial governments and (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Why Stephen Harper Also Lost the Quebec Election

I only wrote one post about the Quebec election, because I knew that Pauline Marois' hideous version of the Parti Québécois was going to lose, from the moment she embraced Pierre Karl Péladeau.And he raised his fist in the air and with a crazed look on his face demanded a country. Even though polls showed that an overwhelming majority of Quebecers didn't want another referendum.And would make absolutely sure that the PQ couldn't hold one. But who knew that the Concrete Lady would hit the ground so hard? Read more »

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: PC Party leadership race off to a very slow start

TweetNineteen days have passed since former Premier Alison Redford announced her resignation and not one candidate has officially announced their intentions to enter the race to become the next leader of Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives. But there is at least one unofficial candidate, maybe. Municipal Affairs minister Ken Hughes made the strange move of resigning from […]

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Time To Get Your Eye Back On The Ball, Tom

Apparently NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair hasn’t figured out what the ball is in Canadian politics today. He also took shots at both Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Trudeau.Trudeau, in particular, bore the brunt of Mulcair’s attack.The Liberals under Trudeau have been trying to court middle-class voters in the run-up to the next election, scheduled for Oct 19, 2015.

Let me be abundantly clear, Tom:  The problem in this country today is sitting two sword-lengths away from you in the House of Commons.  It is not the third party in the house, it is not the leader of that party, nor (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The Ghastly Cons and the Climate Change Monster

I went down to my favourite beach today to celebrate the Rites of Spring, only to find the last remnants of the Winter from Hell still clinging to the pier.And for some reason the sight of that ghastly chunk of ice reminded me of the monster in the movie The Blob.And of the climate change monster that is threatening our world. Read more »

Montreal Simon: Sheila Fraser and the Attack of the Con Rats

I'm sure Sheila Fraser knew when she called the Con's Fair Election Act an "attack on democracy" that the Cons would come after her like a pack of rabid rats.And sure enough, as I pointed out in my last post, the Cons are trying to smear her.

But if Pierre Poilievre, the leader of the rat pack, thought he could intimidate her, he must be very disappointed and very desperate.Because there she was on CBC Radio today. Gently, but firmly, taking his bill apart again…Read more »