Among other highlights of the Saskatchewan NDP’s leadership convention this month, I was able to meet and chat with longtime NDP MP (and later MLA) Bill Blaikie, who attended in large part to introduce party members to The Blaikie Report. And I appreciate the opportunity to review the book – particularly given that others have already had their say since its release.
Blaikie’s book reads in part as autobiography, in part as polemic. And on both fronts, he nicely highlights how little Canadian politics have changed over the past several decades, with the appropriation of religious messaging by the far
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Book Review: The Blaikie Report
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- Ruy Teixeira discusses Branko Milanovic’s finding that on a global scale, income inequality is almost entirely locked in based on an individual’s place of birth and parents’ income: Milanovic asks “How much of your income is determined at birth?” The answer: 80 percent of your income can be accounted for by the country of your birth and the income level of your parents. That leaves just 20 percent for age, sex, race, luck and, of course, hard work. Wow.
In the final section of his book, Milanovic looks at
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links
I’ve already pointed out the absurdity of Gordon Campbell anti-NDP acolyte Joyce Murray pretending to run as a pan-progressive candidate in the Libs’ leadership race. But if we needed any more indication that she can’t be taken seriously, Tim Harper provides it by looking at the fine print of her “cooperation” plan: Under the Murray plan, seats held by the Conservatives in which the governing party received less than 50 per cent of the vote would be targeted for co-operation.
She would blend the 2008 and 2011 results, to eliminate any onetime anomalies. One such anomaly, she said, was the
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On poison pills
I am pleased to introduce Brian Fisher to Cowichan Conversations readers. It is hoped that this will be just the first offering and that Brian will send us his thoughtful observations as we burst into spring.
He is an internationally known arborist with a degree in Psychology and Business. He is an R.P.Bio (retired).
Brian is a past board member of the International society of Arboriculture, the Tree Canada Foundation and Mid Island Co-op.
Brian supports Strategic Voting as way to advance progressive representation which is the subject of this post.
Many of us, who follow
. . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Opportunity To Demonstrate Strategic Cooperation
Richard Hughes-Political Blogger
PM Stephen Harper’s policies continue to divide Canadians. Much of his drop off in support has been caused by his undying dedication and promotion of the Alberta Tar Sands and his unconscionable sellout of Nexen to the China’s Communist Government State Owned Oil Corporation.
The threatened pipeline routes leading to the Pacific Coast where Oil super tankers could carry bitumen to China added more fuel to the fire.
NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair
It is becoming apparent that the Tom Mulcair led NDP stand little chance of repeating their last unprecedented electoral success. The NDP foolishly moved to
. . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Liberal MP Justin Trudeau Could Clinch A Majority, New Poll Shows
A couple of polls this week have been used as evidence that the Cons are largely in control of the federal political scene. But I’ll argue that while each suggests the limitations of a possible course of action, taken together they point to plenty of reason for hope over the next few years.
Let’s start with Ekos’ numbers, which suggest a current 32-26-24 three-party race – which is being interpreted by Frank Graves to mean that the Cons are in a strong position due to their relatively stable base and high anticipated turnout. But to my mind, a low,
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On alternatives
I’ve mostly avoided commenting on the federal Libs’ leadership race based on the need for the party’s own membership (and supportership in this case) to decide on a future direction for itself. But with one of the candidates explicitly running on a platform of cross-party dealings, I’d think there’s some room to analyze whether she has much prospect of reaching out to other parties.
Which brings us to this: With one lonely exception, the top tier of contenders for the Liberal helm has veered sharply to the right, much to the private consternation of some of the stalwarts of
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On dubious partners
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- Martin Kirk discusses the role governments play in allowing and facilitating the extraction of a substantial portion of the world’s wealth to tax havens (h/t to thwap): Tax theft is endemic all over the world. It is organised through an intricate system of tax havens; the PR around it is astonishingly good, as evidenced by the fact that most people have no idea of its scale and can get distracted by the misdeeds of a few bad apples rather than seeing the barrel they came in; and one of the most vibrant
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links
Assorted content to start your week.- Susan Delacourt comments on what’s often lacking from Canadian political coverage – and the challenge facing journalists looking to stop relying excessively on horse-race numbers which may miss what ultimately moti… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- Ed Broadbent comments on both the growing problem of inequality, and the one institution which can do something about it:Canada is not doing better. From 1982 until 2004, almost all growth in family i… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links
So in case you hadn’t heard there is a by-election coming up on Monday, three in fact, and the polls look interesting. The most exciting is the by-election in Calgary Centre where polls indicate a three way race between the Conservatives, the Liberals and (deep breadth) the Green Party.
Now I’m on the record as being very in favour of strategic voting in elections so I won’t go over all that again. Check out this amazing site run by 1CalgaryCentre which is trying to organize voters to choose a single progressive representative for their riding. If this works it could (Read more…)
There’s been plenty of talk in recent weeks about how the Calgary Centre by-election might serve as either the time for an inter-party pact to limit voters’ options opposing the Harper Cons, or a spur to future movement on the same front. But before we… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On competitive questions
The sun is shining. The flowers are blooming. We are in a year that is divisible by four. I think we all know what that means. In a matter of months, our American friends will once again start hanging chads or whatever it is they do to hold a presidential election, and the entire world, as usual, will be watching.
I hope my southern neighbours (yes, we spell it with a “u” up here) will not take offence (with a “c”) if I offer a little advice. Barack Obama is without doubt a much better choice than Mitt Romney, but
. . . → Read More: Song of the Watermelon: Friendly Canadian Input on the US Election
“What was I thinking?” A progressive Alberta elector contemplates what he’s wrought by voting “strategically” for the Redford Conservatives. Alberta voters may not be exactly as illustrated. Below: Premier Redford.
Later today, Alberta Premier Alison Redford will announce whom she has picked to fill her cabinet.
As a consequence, today is almost certain to be the start of a disappointment for the thousands of Alberta teachers, health care workers, union members, soccer moms and other progressive citizens who cast their ballots strategically, some might say foolishly, for the premier’s Progressive Conservative Party on April 23.
. . . → Read More: David Climenhaga’s Alberta Diary: Today’s cabinet appointments likely to disappoint Alberta’s ‘strategic’ voters
Monday’s election results in Alberta demonstrate once again the strange outcomes that our First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) voting system can create. A difference in vote percentage between 43% and 34% leads to 61 vs 17 seats for the PCs. Meanwhile the remaining parties which received about 10% of the vote each get only 4 out of 86 seats, or 4% of the power in the legislature each. How many distorted election results of this kind do we need to see before we admit we need a change to our voting system? Wilf Day has run the numbers and gets a very different (Read more…)
When you know the PCs are going to take 70% of the vote in your riding and 80% of the seats in the province, there’s not a lot of strategy involved in your vote. You vote your conscience, knowing there is no way your check mark could possibly make a difference. It’s no surprise the majority of Albertans didn’t bother voting in 2008.
This time, the Alberta election is all about strategic voting, which is why longtime Liberals like Warren Kinsella have done the previously unthinkable and saddled up with the PCs.
The strongest pitch to date for a strategic
. . . → Read More: CalgaryGrit: Alberta Votes Day 25: "Fuck it, I’m voting PC"
“I never thought I’d vote PC” … just embarrassing. Below: Ralph Klein back when he was premier of Alberta; Saddam Hussein.
If you have any doubts left there are only three more sleeps before the end of the Progressive Conservative Era in Alberta, look no further than the video and website called “I never thought I’d vote PC.”
Whether or not the PCs under Alison Redford had anything to do with this vain effort to encourage hip, edgy young people to vote for the clapped out Conservative party in a last-ditch effort to prevent a Wildrose Apocalypse, there could
. . . → Read More: David Climenhaga’s Alberta Diary: If you have any doubts left Alberta’s Conservatives are done like dinner, this should settle ’em
“Hi there, I’m progressive and she’s conservative…” Some Alberta political parties may be about as different as shown … and as creepy! Below: Pastor Hunsperger, Perfesser Morton and Rev. Trudeau. I know which one has my vote!
Astonished to find itself with its back against a Wildrose wall, rejected by its traditional supporters, Alberta’s so-called Progressive Conservatives are putting the full-court press on New Democrats and Liberals to hold off a Wildrose Apocalypse by voting PC.
Polls suggest lots of voters are wavering. As a Conservative cabinet minister told me yesterday in Calgary Airport, many genuinely progressive voters in that
. . . → Read More: David Climenhaga’s Alberta Diary: Alberta needs a real progressive opposition, not a fake progressive conservative one
Here, on the open questions as to whether Nathan Cullen’s plan for pre-electoral cooperation would serve any useful purpose.
For further reading expanding on the points in the column:- I’ve previously posted on some of the practical considerations involved in Cullen’s proposal, while also questioning whether we should write off the possibility of the NDP winning a true majority on its own and pointing out the failures of strategic voting schemes in 2011.- Alice ran through her own list of pros and cons to the Cullen plan.- Malcolm crunched the numbers as to the vote retention
I’ve suggested this before but here it is again in brief, can anyone explain to me what the downside of this would be for the Liberals? Nuclear Option: The Liberal party makes a statement in the last two weeks of the campaign such as If we form government, our party will put forward legislation to [...] . . . → Read More: Pop The Stack: The Liberal Nuclear Option
Progressives, by which I mean those concerned with issues of a thriving democracy, the environment, and social and economic justice, are once again not being well served in the coming election. Indeed, the middle of political discourse has shifted so f… . . . → Read More: spurs: Message to Progressives Thinking of Voting "Strategically" and Why the Progressive Vote in Parkdale High Park Should Go To Peggy Nash
Fellow DemReform blogger CuriosityCat has a great post today on a little tidbit that passed the lips of Jack Layton: “The way to stop Stephen Harper from getting a majority is to take Conservative seats one by one, and defeat the MPs who are there. That’s how you stop Mr. Harper from getting a majority,” I [...] . . . → Read More: Pop The Stack: Every Vote is a Strategic Vote
In a historic vote today, the Canadian government was found in contempt of Parliament. It’s a shame they couldn’t have also been found in contempt of the Canadian people, of logic, of sound policy-making and in contempt of a host of other principles t… . . . → Read More: Pample the Moose: Too early for a post on strategic voting?