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The Scott Ross: We Should All Be Able To Cross The Floor

Instead of bashing politicians who cross the floor, we should instead be more like them. It’s more likely than not to be a good thing that people change political parties. First it shows our competing ideologies are similarly moderate and not extreme; second it shows that we aren’t as polarized and as dysfunctional as other countries are; and thirdly it proves we balance principles with pragmatism. Of course changing parties can be done for selfish reasons, but so can any good deed. I want a moderate political system where compromises are made for the good of everyone. If selfish (Read more…) . . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: We Should All Be Able To Cross The Floor

The Scott Ross: Wikipedia’s Entry On Momentum

Political momentum is nothing like the momentum of physics. In the world of Newton and Einstein appearances don’t cause forces, whereas in politics, appearances are forces.

Stephen Harper became Leader of the Conservative Party in 2003, he faced two subsequent general elections before finally winning a minority government in 2006. Up until 2011 his Conservative Party only increased the number of seats it held in Parliament; since then however, the Conservative Party has only seen its numbers decline.

Thomas Mulcair became Leader of the NDP in 2012, under his guidance the New Democrats have faced numerous by-elections and instead of (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Flaherty’s Curtain

Jim Flaherty was unethical, incompetent and he should have been fired. Those aren’t my words, they’re Thomas Mulcair’s, spoken just last year in Question Period. Yet after the former Finance Minister’s death, Mulcair has called him a good man and a great public servant.

There’s no doubt that the NDP Leader genuinely mourns the loss of  Jim Flaherty, but this recent death and the response to it by all politicians, not just Mulcair, shows the real tragedy of a political life.

Because it’s only now, after resorting to the lowest denominator in attacks against Mr.Flaherty for his whole political (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Quebec Election Shows Hypocrisy On Clarity Act

Stephen Harper, Justin Trudeau, and Andrew Coyne, among others, are wrong to suggest separatism was recently defeated by Quebec voters. Well they aren’t just wrong, they’re hypocritical.

Since the close defeat of separatism in the 1995 referendum, federalists have demanded a clear question for any public decision on Quebec sovereignty. Parliament even passed the Clarity Act, enshrining such a requirement into law.

Considering the need therefore of a clear question to decide whether Quebeckers want to stay in Canada or not, it is mind-blowing to see our country’s politicians and pundits claim that the Parti Quebecois’s (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Conservatives: Only The Rich Can Benefit From Nonprofits

Conservatives believe Justin Trudeau is wrong to take money from nonprofit organizations because to them that’s the job of rich investors on Bay Street.

According to this current government and its recent announcements on social impact bonds the only people who should be making money from nonprofit organizations are financiers, speculators, and venture capitalists.

With Justin Trudeau having earned speaker fees from nonprofit organizations the Conservatives have hastily and hypocritically attacked him.

Hypocritical not just because they have attacked Trudeau for doing something which by its very nature is economically conservative, Trudeau merely applied free market principles to properly allocate (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Trudeau Was Conservative With Nonprofit

In the free market prices reflect demand, instead of choosing a few events to speak at arbitrarily, Justin Trudeau set a price to attend those gatherings that wanted him the most. This method of relying on market prices to benefit charities and businesses is a rather conservative idea.

So yes before he was Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau set a price to reflect the demand of those wanting to hear him speak, Stephen Harper for years did too, it just happened no one would pay to hear him talk.

Now the irony is that as Prime Minister we all pay when (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: The Day John A. Macdonald Died

If there was no John A. Macdonald, there would be no Canada.

Our most important founding father and first Prime Minister died 122 years ago today. Canadians of all political persuasions should take a moment and remember John A. Macdonald because they share so much in common with the man who made this country.

For Conservatives they owe much to Macdonald. Their majority government was elected because of moderation and stability, two values Macdonald owed his 19 years as Prime Minister to.

Jack Layton undeniably shared perhaps the most valuable trait with Macdonald, and that is being a man of (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: How Harper Made The Senate More Accountable, Even If Just A Little

If Justin Beiber was in the Canadian Senate it would be the most watched institution in all of government, and, undoubtedly, the most accountable.

For if the Biebs walked down the Ottawan red carpet into that similarly coloured chamber, his every action would be televised, sensationalized, and scrutinized. There wouldn’t be a Bieber vote that wouldn’t make a headline.

And not only would every single one of his receipts be analyzed by the Toronto Star and every other news agency, there would be over a hundred pictures documenting the young star in racking them up.

Though he would still be (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Liberals Down In All Major Polls, Arrogance Is Up

Justin Trudeau is popular? It doesn’t matter.

The federal Liberals are still extremely behind in the polls. The last three major polls conducted, with 100% accuracy, show the Liberal Party is far behind the Conservatives and in fact the Grits are at their lowest level of support in Canadian history. Those polls were of course conducted in the last three general elections and they are the only ones that matter.

A lot of Liberals will take refuge in a new opinion poll out that shows their party with an incredible lead, 44% to the Conservatives’ 27%, with the NDP even (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Mike Duffy & Why An Elected Senate Would Have Made This Worse

Nobody really thinks Senator Mike Duffy received $90,000 in return for some political favour, but that public perception would most certainly change if he and every other Senator faced regular expensive election campaigns that depended on large contributions and even larger political favours.

An elected Senate requiring hundreds of thousands of dollars every four years for its members to run for office in much larger ridings would without a doubt only increase the likelihood of Senators exchanging votes for large financial contributions, both over and under the table.

In contrast, appointed Senators aren’t as vulnerable to bribes or shady deals.

(Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Trudeau, Soldiers With Guns, and Ironic Pride

In 2006 the Liberal Party was ashamed for accusing Stephen Harper of wanting to put armed soldiers on every street; yet somehow in 2013 Liberals are proud that their next Leader fondly recalls how his father actually did put armed soldiers on every street.

Two weeks ago Justin Trudeau was asked whether he could really defeat Stephen Harper, his response was, “Just watch me.”

The phrase was of course first his father’s. Pierre Elliot Trudeau had made the remark in answering a question of how far he’d go in reducing civil liberties during the October Crisis of 1970.


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The Scott Ross: The Need of a Canadian National Monument

Canada has no real national monuments.

Mostly it’s because of the irony; towering statues and obelisks that promote pride in Canadian humbleness or simplicity would tend to miss the point. But that problem assumes Canadians would look upon a 100ft copper maple leaf with arrogance and not their common reverence for the natural world around them.

Some may say we don’t need any large showy structures, that national monuments are grandiose and idealistic. However there’s nothing more idealistic than believing Canadians are so above human nature that they have no need for symbols to inspire them.

We are known for

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The Scott Ross: How A Bad Economy Is Not Harper’s Fault

Canada’s economy is set to grow less than the government thought, but it’s not our Prime Minister’s fault.

True under Stephen Harper the World Bank has downgraded Canada from being the 4th most Business Friendly country in 2006 to 17th in 2013, but, as most Conservatives know, businesses have nothing to do with the Canadian economy.

Yes, Stephen Harper was Prime Minister when the World Economic Forum said Canada is becoming less competitive, dropping in global ranking from 9th place in 2009 to 14th place in 2013, but our government can’t be responsible for federal regulations,

. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: How A Bad Economy Is Not Harper’s Fault

The Scott Ross: The Defence Of Tom Flanagan

To a calm and rational observer, the statement “viewing child pornography is victimless” is true. To an emotional person prone to sensationalism, for writing that first line, I should be reported to the RCMP.

On Wednesday night Tom Flanagan, a former adviser to Stephen Harper, spoke to a small crowd in Lethbridge, Alberta, where he was recorded making controversial statements regarding child pornography. Much of what he said was completely misunderstood, not helped by the CBC which has inaccurately reported the story.

The unedited video of the event begins with a speaker in the audience asking a series of pointed

. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: The Defence Of Tom Flanagan

The Scott Ross: Why Liberals Should Fear Gerrymandering

Recently Saskatchewan MP Ralph Goodale wrote a post echoing a sentiment surprisingly popular among what’s left of the Liberal Party membership, and that is, this Conservative government is going to use its influence to gerrymander ridings to maximize support to guarantee future victories.  

But Liberals shouldn’t be worried that the Conservatives will actually gerrymander, or for that matter that it will work, Liberals should be worried that this, fearing a contrived unrealistic threat, is how far they’ve fallen.

On Ralph Goodale’s website, the Liberal MP begins by describing the history of gerrymandering, it’s most notable case in

. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Why Liberals Should Fear Gerrymandering

The Scott Ross: Canada’s Innovation Is Patent-ly Declining

Starting in 1902, Albert Einstein spent seven years as a Swiss patent clerk, not only did it pay well but his “cobbler’s trade” as he referred to it, gave him ample time to do his scientific work.

With less and less patents being applied for in Canada, Einstein gives hope, albeit slim to Canada’s dismal state of innovation. Because though our patent clerks aren’t preoccupied with reviewing new technologies that could salvage our weakening economic growth, perhaps at least one of them is just days away from proving unified field theory.

Though innovation is hard to measure or quantify, patents

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The Scott Ross: Cold Conservatism & Canada Without A Jacket

Most Canadian kids don’t leave home without their mother telling them, “Don’t forget your jacket.” Always offering the reminder so her child doesn’t catch a cold. Canada may not have a mother looking out for us, at least on this continent, but Stephen Harper is a big boy and he should know better that in this cold global economic environment our country should be better insulated.

Protecting Canada from the worsening global economy would not mean staying home and reducing trade, it would mean the opposite, improving trade without being vulnerable to every cold breeze. In fact if Stephen

. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Cold Conservatism & Canada Without A Jacket

The Scott Ross: Sex and the Senate

Winston Churchill is credited with an exchange that when adapted illustrates, not only the similarities between prostitution and politics, but current inconsistencies in the popular view of our Canadian government.

Churchill: “Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?” Socialite: “My goodness, Mr. Churchill… Well, I suppose… we would have to discuss terms, of course… “ Churchill: “Would you sleep with me for five pounds?” Socialite: “Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?!” Churchill: “Madam, we’ve already established that. Now we are haggling about the price

The Canadian adaptation, not as

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The Scott Ross: Conservatives Bad At Selling Out

What’s worse than oil companies spending millions to buy off politicians? Oil companies getting them for free.

The oil sector is vital to Canada’s economy, but so are a lot of industries and you don’t see them drafting government policy. From the CBC:

A letter obtained by Greenpeace through access to information laws and passed on to the CBC reveals the oil and gas industry was granted its request that the federal government change a series of environmental laws to advance “both economic growth and environmental performance.”

Within 10 months of the request, the industry had almost everything

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The Scott Ross: Idle No More Might Be Popular No More: Polls

A few online polls suggest Idle No More is not supported by a majority of Canadians.

Though there appears to be no major polling done as of yet, three recent online polls give some idea about the popularity of Idle No More.

The larger of the polls was on Jan.3, Winnipeg Free Press had an online poll of over 14,000 respondents, 32% supported Idle No More while 47% opposed it and 21% were unclear what the movement exactly was.

Niagra Falls Review on Jan.5 had a much smaller poll with only 332 respondents: 93 supported Idle No More

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The Scott Ross: Trust In Trudeau

Because Stephen Harper was a self-described “radical right-wing ideologue”, he was the only one who could make the conservatives more Liberal.

Because Barack Obama was so anti-war, he was the only one who could make the Democrats more pro-war than Republicans.

In both cases it was each man’s close association to a particular cause that gave him the credibility and therefore the power to fundamentally change it.

And it is because Justin Trudeau is perhaps the most identifiable Liberal that he, and he alone can make the party more conservative, and, as they aren’t mutually exclusive, more progressive. Trudeau has

The Scott Ross: Canada Is R&D-ing A Decline, With Graphs

In 2006 Canada was spending 2% of its Gross Domestic Product on R&D. In 2012 it will spend just 1.69%.

While a large portion of the decline is due to the business sector spending less on R&D, the current Conservative government has responded by cutting its own share of spending while also reducing incentives for businesses to increase theirs. Innovation is not just necessary for businesses to compete, it’s necessary for Canada to compete internationally. But with Canada spending 20% less than the OECD average on Research & Development the future looks bleak.

Hopefully Canada can do something about

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The Scott Ross: Idle No More Will Fail Unless Votes Follow

Idle No More will fail, not because aboriginals don’t matter, but because they don’t vote.

Elections Canada has tracked federal voter turnout on First Nations Reserves since the 2004 general election, and over that time period aboriginal turnout was on average 28% less than that of all Canadians.

Accounting for the growth in the aboriginal population, that lower turnout could have meant the loss of 200,000 to 300,000 votes in each election, which would have dramatically affected not just the outcomes, but how subsequent politicians and parties competed for aboriginal support.

Imagine instead of going hungry for the chance that

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The Scott Ross: A Conservative Canada Is An Uncompetitive One

It’s odd that Conservatives advocate competition in the economy when under this Conservative government our economy has only become less competitive.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has recently lowered Canada’s ranking in global economic competitiveness from 12th last year to 14th place in 2012. This has been part of a steady decline since 2009 when Canada had been ranked 9th most competitive country for business. The WEF index compares a wide array of data; Canada’s fall over the years is attributable to poor scoring on macroeconomic policies, higher education and training, innovation, and business sophistication.

This drop in competitiveness since

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The Scott Ross: Stephen Harper Flip-Flopped On Gun Registry Too

Conservatives are calling Justin Trudeau a flip-flopper for first voting for the long gun registry and then recently admitting it was a failed policy. That’s fine, but lest Conservatives forget, Stephen Harper did the exact same thing. This Conservativ… . . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Stephen Harper Flip-Flopped On Gun Registry Too