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Babel-on-the-Bay: Who leads Canada’s progressives?

Canadian media are a lazy bunch. They follow the paths of least resistance and false assumptions. Take this past week when some supposed progressives were gathered at the Broadbent Institute in Ottawa for its Progress Summit. The one question that was never answered was ‘Who were the Liberal Progressives at the gathering?’

Ed Broadbent never invited this progressive Liberal. Nor would this Liberal attend. This is not sour grapes. We know that Ed Broadbent is not progressive nor are the sponsors of the meeting. Ed Broadbent is a staunch unionist with a closed mind. He believes in the collective (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Dollar for dollar

Thomas Mulcair’s Progress Summit commitment that an NDP government will redirect the value of a stock option tax loophole toward families in need will surely make for one of the most important moments of a summit directed at developing exactly those types of ideas.

So it’s unquestionably important that Mulcair is willing to take Canada in the direction of redirecting corporate giveaways toward people with a genuine need. That said, it’s worth taking a look at the numbers as to how far today’s announcement will go.

Canadians for Tax Fairness estimates the stock option loophole at a cost of $1 (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Both Edward Keenan and the Star’s editorial board take note of Thomas Mulcair’s plan for urban renewal, with particular emphasis on its appeal across party lines: Speaking directly to Toronto city council and Mayor John Tory, who won election largely on the basis of his promised SmartTrack “surface subway,” Mulcair said he would be a partner on transit: “Together we will get the people of Toronto moving.”

No wonder Tory declared himself “gratified and pleased” with Mulcair’s approach. Other elements of the NDP’s urban agenda include: Appointing a minister responsible for urban (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Police State Canada–Will This Be Our Future Under PM Harper?

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

It’s a rainy West Coast Saturday morning, mild and quite beautiful but the direction that PM Harper is taking is chilling, surreal, shocking.

Clearly our Prime Minister is launching a police state to spy on Canadians, arrest, detain, and imprison those who dare to publicly criticize this lurch to the extreme right, essentially we are being driven into a police state.

The Harper Conservatives are well organized and ruthlessly riding roughshod over our democracy at every level imaginable.

Our opposition leaders, with the exception of Elizabeth May, seem unable to fully grasp and adequately respond to the threat facing Canadians.

Harper (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Edward Keenan is the latest to point out that any reasonable political decision-making process needs to include an adult conversation about taxes and why we need them: This week, when asked about the prospect of raising taxes beyond the rate of inflation in coming years, John Tory called the idea “an admission of failure.”

This is distressing to hear. Consider the context: Tory’s current budget turns out to require a lot of dipsy-doodling that edges the city perilously close to its debt ceiling while hiking TTC fares and garbage fees. Meanwhile the (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Rob Anders still lurking around the Wildrose Party

Twice denied an opportunity to run for the leadership of the Wildrose Party, controversial Conservative Party Member of Parliament Rob Anders is still lurking in the shadows of the deflated Alberta conservative opposition party. As reported by the Medicine Hat News,… Continue Reading →

Politics and its Discontents: Thomas Mulcair And Joe Clark On Bill C-51

H/t The Toronto Star

Yesterday, Tom Clark on The West Block asked both Mulcair and Clark for their thoughts on Harper’s ‘anti-terror’ legislation. You will note that by the end of the interview, it would seem that Mulcair’s ‘principled’ stand against the bill is perhaps less than what it seems as he hedges his political bets:

Your browser does not support frames. Click here to view the frameless video..

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Accidental Deliberations: On proper fixes

Since this headline seems to be getting far more attention than the actual accompanying interview (if mostly from people with a strong vested interest in distorting the NDP’s position), let’s take a moment to discuss what we’d expect a responsible party to do upon taking power – and what we can tell from a party’s actions while in opposition.

The NDP has rightly taken the position that C-51 deserves to be defeated. And it’s thus making a strong push to challenge the bill both in premise and in its details – in stark contrast to the Libs, who have pledged (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Rex Murphy Praises Thomas Mulcair’s Stand on Bill C-51

Regular readers of this blog will know that I have no particular use for Rex Murphy. Yet last night I found myself in total agreement with him as he offered an eloquent rebuke of Harper’s Bill C-51 by praising NDP leader Thomas Mulcair’s opposition to it. You can watch his reasons below:

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Cowichan Conversations: We Must Not Be Afraid-Elizabeth May -This Legislation is Sweeping, Dangerously Vague and Likely Ineffective-Mulcair

Project Democracy

Elizabeth May and Thomas Mulcair have both shown great leadership in standing up against Harper’s reckless, vague and unnecessary Secret Police bill.

Send them a thank you by tweeting at them.

Tweet at Mulcair by clicking here: http://bit.ly/thank-mulcair

Tweet at May by clicking here: http://bit.ly/thank-EMay

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the Cons’ attempt to spin an election narrative out of a fictional bogeyman rather than protecting or helping Canadians.

For further reading…- The National Academy of Sciences offers a comparison of death rates from multiple causes in Canada and elsewhere, while Statistics Canada has more detailed data. And it’s also worth a reminder as to the large number of deaths caused by inequality.- In contrast to the real risks we face and accept every day, even the Cons’ attempt to fabricate a paper trail around terrorism resorts to labeling arrests as failures or dangers (rather (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: The more things change…

Tim Naumetz’ comparison between the NDP’s place before the 2011 federal election and its current position is worth a read. But what’s perhaps more noteworthy is how little has changed.

Remember that the 2011 campaign was initially portrayed as a two-party race between the Cons and the Libs. And looking solely at party support numbers until midway through the writ period, that conclusion might have seemed justified.

(In that respect, the NDP is in a much stronger position now than four years ago. Even its worst recent poll results are well above the low-teens numbers which caused so many in (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Even the Globe and Mail is Alarmed Over Harper’s Surveillance-Anti Terror Bill C-51

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

The Liberal and NDP response to PM Stephen Harper’s far reaching attempt to decimate Canada’s civil rights and privacy laws left a lot to be desired.

Justin Trudeau rolled over in support and showed us up close that he has a long way to go before he is ready to assume the role of Prime Minister.

Thomas Mulcair- is opposed to Harper’s anti terror bill

Thomas Mulcair’s early responses , although in opposition to the so called anti terror bill, was pretty tame, wishy washy, understated.

Mulcair did not support the bill but the severity of Bill C 51’s deserved, demanded a (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Gregory Beatty reports on Saskatchewan’s options now that it can’t count on high oil prices to prop up the provincial budget. And Dennis Howlett writes about the need for a far more progressive tax system both as a matter of fairness, and as a matter of resource management: Just a few years ago, the question of tax fairness was relegated to the world of activists and progressive economists. But you know something has shifted when a U.S. president goes on national television and talks about the urgent need to eliminate tax loopholes (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: More On Our Opposition Leaders

Two posts I recently wrote were highly critical of both Justin Trudeau and Thomas Mulcair for their apparent embrace, for political purposes, of Bill C-51, the bill that will serve only to further erode our civil liberties in the chimerical hope of containing terrorists threats to Canada. I expressed my disgust over the fact that both leaders seem ready to abandon the broader interests of Canada for the sake of their own quest for power, fearful of being labelled by the Harper machine as ‘soft on terrorism.’

I may have been too quick to judge Mr. Mulcair.

According to (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Frances Russell writes that NAFTA and subsequent trade agreements are designed to make it difficult for democratic governments to exercise any meaningful authority. And Rowena Mason discusses how the EU-US TTIP is particularly directed toward throwing the public to corporate wolves, while Glyn Moody notes that there are plenty more similar agreements in the works even if the TTIP fails.

- George Monbiot discusses Amanda Lang’s interventions on behalf of her business connections as a prime example of how far too much of our media is trying to serve the wealthy rather than (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Evening Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Jeff Begley criticizes the Cons and the Quebec Libs for their refusal to even recognize inequality as an issue – which of course results in their only exacerbating the gap between the rich and the rest of us: While Couillard and Harper find the “courage” to attack workers, starting with those in the public sector, they are completely silent when it comes to the growing social and economic inequalities. Worse still, they are working actively to heighten those inequalities!

In our video message over the holidays, I indicated that we hoped this (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On predictable arrangements

Aaron Wherry nicely summarizes the possible outcomes of the next federal election so the rest of us don’t have to. But let’s take a moment to consider what we can expect if we indeed have a hung Parliament, requiring parties to deal with each other to determine who will hold office.

To start with, Michael Den Tandt’s theory about the NDP having any interest in propping up continued Con government is utterly out to lunch. But CuriosityCat’s Lib spin is far from the right way to look at the NDP’s position as well.

No, Jack Layton’s tenure as leader (and (Read more…)

In This Corner: Everything you need to know about 2015 right here.

As a dues paying member of the blogosphere, I feel compelled to do at least one of the annual blogs: the year in review, or the predictions column. Since the year in review blog takes lots of work, guess which way I’m going? Besides, it’s really easy to write a predictions blog, because you can predict only what you want to talk about, and by the end of the year, nobody remembers any of what you’ve said.

Prediction no. 1: RIP Keystone XL

The Keystone XL pipeline was first proposed in 1922 to transport kerosene from Alberta’s vast kerosene fields, (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Michael Den Tandt is wrong: Mulcair knows what a mess of pottage is

Den Tandt: Muclair cannot count

So, what will our next federal government look like? Today is the last day of the year 2014, and most commentators have hidden their heads in the sand rather than venture a public guess.

Michael Den Tandt is one of the braver ones.

In an article in the National Post he forecasts a minority government for Stephen Harper, without any attempt by the two opposition parties – which combined will have more MPs than the Tory minority government – to vote him out in a no-confidence vote. Den Tandt believes that Harper will survive for (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: The PM’s Christmas Message reimagined: What are Canadians willing to do about our most dangerous Arctic enemy?

The so-called Santa Claus, a militant socialist leader who poses a serious threat to Canada’s national security, lights up a cheap Russian cigarette and relaxes after persuading a group of Canadian children unschooled in Austrian economics to give up the benefits of the free market for socialist dependency on government handouts. Below: the sinister “Øverste Leder” of the Danes, the icy eyed Helle Thorning-Schmidt, and the doughty Canadian Rangers, defenders of Canada’s Arctic sovereignty as they bravely prepare to engage in another lonely Sov Pat.

A Christmas Message from the Prime Minister of All the Canadas:

It’s Christmas, and (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Mulcair leads the way to a more democratic Canada

Mulcair: The man who would bring democracy to Canada

Thomas Mulcair, that very capable MP who is leader of the NDP, has publicly committed himself to remedy our democratic deficit, as this post indicates. Mulcair is to be commended for two things. First, for signing the Fair Vote Canada declaration (click herefor the full text). Second, for strongly coming out in favour of a modified proportional representation system of electing our federal MPs. The Fair Vote Canada declaration has this very important commitment:

What is important about the Fair Vote Canada declaration is that it is the modern equivalent (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Mulcair leads the way to a more democratic Canada

Progressive Proselytizing: The NDP’s 7% problem

The NDP’s biggest problem electorally isn’t a question of policy or values or leadership or connecting with voters or just about anything else perennially brought up to explain their difficulties in the polls both federally and provincially across Canada. Their big problem comes down to one stat: only 7% of Canadians think they will win the next federal election, less than a fifth the number the Liberals get. If nobody thinks they can win, there are going to be hordes of theoretical supporters who will vote instead for the person they think might win, typically a Liberal.

Of all the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On targets

Shorter Chantal Hebert: And just think how much more successful Jack Layton could have been as the NDP’s leader if only the Cons had spent years attacking him rather than Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff!

Of course, it’s true enough that Canada’s political scene has changed – and indeed for the better in terms of the NDP’s position. But if the NDP can engage its supporters, keep itself in the consideration set of potential governments and build further support for an already-popular leader in relative peace, I’m at a loss as to why Hebert thinks it should envy the (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Stephen Harper And Dean Del Mastro: The Bromance Continues

I think this video amply illustrates their relationship:

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