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Alberta Politics: ‘Event logisticians’? Give us a break! They’re bouncers! What’s that tell you about the Tories?

PHOTOS: Prime Minister Stephen Harper meets a group of foreign event logistics consultants while travelling abroad (Government of Canada photo). Below: Pierre Trudeau does suppressed fury the right way; Mr. Harper does it with considerably less appeal. Clearly, the continuing uproar about Stephen Harper’s “event logistics team members” tells us something fundamental about the increasingly […]

The post ‘Event logisticians’? Give us a break! They’re bouncers! What’s that tell you about the Tories? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Accidental Deliberations: On balanced options

Dave McGrane offers a historical perspective on how deficits for their own sake shouldn’t be seen as an element of left-wing or progressive policy, while Excited Delerium takes a look at the policies on offer in Canada’s federal election to see how it’s possible to pursue substantive progressive change within a balanced budget. But let’s examine more closely why it’s wrong to draw any equivalence between the Trudeau Libs’ platform, deficits and progressive policies (despite their frantic efforts to pretend there’s no difference between the three).

Taking the Libs at their word, their current plan is to engage in deficit (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Justin Trudeau, the King of Growth, leads with honesty

Mulcair took a dangerous step with his pledge not to go into deficit:

Despite the low price of oil and Monday’s tumultuous day on the markets, Mulcair said he does not foresee having to go into the red.

“We’re of course going to finish the fiscal year on Mr. Harper’s watch – 2015-16 is his budget, but our first budget will be a balanced (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Justin Trudeau, the King of Growth, leads with honesty

Accidental Deliberations: On crystallized positions

I’ve largely held off on discussing federal polls since few of them seem to be out of line with my initial assessment of the election as a three-way race with the NDP in a narrow lead, but with plenty of room for movement during the election campaign.

But EKOS’ latest signals that we may have reached the point where more of the same is news in and of itself – particularly for the party which most needs to try to change the direction of public opinion.

While there might once have been reason to wonder whether public assessments of the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On statements of values

It’s true that a party’s policy book is not the same as its election platform.

But it’s also true that there is more to a party than a single campaign or platform. And considering that the difference between a policy book and a platform can be pointed out in a single sentence, I’m hard-pressed to see what the NDP stands to gain by limiting access to the policy goals developed by its members.

Accidental Deliberations: On needless machinery

Those of us who have seen the Libs focus much of this year on criticizing the Cons’ partisan advertising might be rather surprised to learn they don’t think there’s any room to cut or redirect any current federal spending, and in fact consider it offensive that anybody might suggest such room exists.

But on a closer look, there’s actually a consistent theme behind the Libs’ message. While their petition on advertising criticizes the Cons for wasteful spending, it doesn’t promise to change anything other than to create a new commissioner position to oversee future publicity – meaning that it could (Read more…)

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Our Addiction to Balanced Budgets May Need an Intervention

“There is always a storm. There is always rain. Some experience it. Some live through it. And others are made from it.” Author Shannon L. Alder Recently NDP candidate and former Saskatchewan finance minister, Andrew Thomson, stated on Power and Politics, that cuts were inevitable, in order to balance the budget. In Saskatchewan, he cut funding to education, though it still didn’t balance the books.  He had to take money from the province’s contingency fund, including almost a half million dollars for advertising, that he had balanced the books, when in fact, he had not. Hiding deficits for (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Our Addiction to Balanced Budgets May Need an Intervention

Alberta Politics: Now that CAPP’s president has called for quick energy royalty review, Wildrose and PC leaders can be expected to fall into line

PHOTOS: Never mind the Opposition parties, guys like these want Alberta’s energy royalty review to get cracking right now! Below: CAPP President Tim McMillan, Wildrose Opposition Leader Brian Jean, Progressive Conservative Party Leader Ric McIver and NDP Labour Minister Lori Sigurdson. While Alberta’s New Democratic Party government has been pushing ahead with its plan to […]

The post Now that CAPP’s president has called for quick energy royalty review, Wildrose and PC leaders can be expected to fall into line appeared first on Alberta Politics.

The Canadian Progressive: Green Party platform criticized for being “anti-feminist”

The Green Party of Canada’s 2015 federal election platform is being criticized for being inaccurate, hypocritical, “anti-feminist” and harmful to women.

The post Green Party platform criticized for being “anti-feminist” appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Alberta Politics: NDP strength in Calgary-Foothills riding suggests May 5 election was no fluke – and could rattle federal Tory narrative

PHOTOS: A Chinook arch moves across the sky of Calgary in 2007, bringing warmer temperatures and, for some people, headaches. The same kind of thing happens in politics. Below: NDP Calgary-Foothills candidate Bob Hawkesworth, Conservative Blair Houston and Wildroser Prasad Panda. So, what happens if the Alberta NDP wins the Calgary-Foothills by-election on Sept. 3, […]

The post NDP strength in Calgary-Foothills riding suggests May 5 election was no fluke – and could rattle federal Tory narrative appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Accidental Deliberations: Lessons learned

As I noted here, it’s well worth comparing what’s happening in any given election to any recent precedents. While past performance never guarantees future results, we can tell both what lessons a party has drawn from experience, as well as how strategies change when they don’t work out as planned. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few of the choices which have shaped recent elections where provincial NDP parties were competitive – and how they’ve been applied at the federal level.

Staying Above The Fray

Let’s start with two examples from the leading example (Read more…)

centre of the universe: How to get engaged in Canadian politics: an educational resource

Here is a handy guide that will help you, disenfranchised Canadian, get engaged with and get involved in the upcoming (eventually, at the end of several more weeks of pre-election hell) federal election! The first step, as the number to the left would indicate, is to click every single link you see in social media […]

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Thomas Mulcair and Stephen Harper Dance to the Beat of a Shared Drummer

Someone posted a link to an interesting article yesterday, from January of this year.  At the time the NDP were third in the polls and going nowhere, so the party met in the Conservative caucus room, to discuss strategy.

Tom Mulcair is trying to turn around the NDP’s flagging fortunes as he gears up for a federal election within nine months, shaking up his office and campaign team and stepping up his attacks on Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

That the NDP has been more focused on Justin Trudeau, than Harper, has been evidenced for quite some time. However, there was (Read more…)

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: How Bernie Sanders and Justin Trudeau Have Changed the Election Narrative

Recently, one of my favourite journalists, Rick Salutin, weighed in on Justin Trudeau’s comment, that the Liberals wanted to grow the economy “from the heart outwards”, meaning from the centre or middle class.The media and opposition parties went crazy, calling him a Care Bear, not comprehending the meaning of his words.  Everyone is looking for that sound bite, to make them look clever, when in fact, it ended up making them look foolish.Salutin, on the other hand, did know what Justin was talking about, but preferred that it be the misinterpretation.  Why not economics from the heart instead (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: How Bernie Sanders and Justin Trudeau Have Changed the Election Narrative

The Canadian Progressive: Jack Layton would be proud of Canadians’ growing hunger for change

Canadians’ ever-increasing hunger for changer from the dictatorial Stephen Harper regime would make the late NDP leader Jack Layton proud.

The post Jack Layton would be proud of Canadians’ growing hunger for change appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: On separation anxieties

Following up on this post, let’s take a look at the first of Bob Hepburn’s theorized lines of attack against the NDP – which gets its own separate post since it needs to be analyzed in radically different ways depending on the party who launches it: Worse, the Conservatives are expected to unleash a furious barrage of attacks on Mulcair’s perceived weak spots, or vulnerabilities.  These weak spots include: 1) Quebec separation: Many Canadians could never vote for Mulcair because of the NDP’s policy that Quebec could split from Canada with a referendum vote of just 50-per-cent-plus-one. Mulcair (Read more…)

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Mulcair’s Confusing Stance on Security and C-51

Columnist Ralph Surrette had a piece in the Chronicle Herald this weekend:  Harper defeat won’t suffice; this calls for fumigation In it he questions why the NDP did not go on the attack when Stephen Harper announced that he’d institute a “ban on travel by Canadians to areas of terrorist activity “ This announcement sent a chill down the spine of many Canadians, and prompted experts to weigh in on the legality of such a move.  More importantly, however, it would mean the further deterioration of our rights. Says Surrette: After all, the arguments over the anti-terror law, Bill (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Mulcair’s Confusing Stance on Security and C-51

Accidental Deliberations: On guiding influences

Adam Radwanski points out in his latest column that several weeks into the election campaign, it’s hard to see what message might be used against Tom Mulcair and the NDP to any meaningful effect. But let’s note that the factors working in the NDP’s favour – and the challenges for the competing parties – are even stronger than Radwanski’s column might suggest.

For example, for all the talk of a polarized electorate when it comes to policy, all indications are that Mulcair has a huge advantage over his competitors over a range of issues.

On every single one of the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On twisted outcomes

At the moment, plenty of Canadians are looking forward to waking up on October 20 and finding that Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have lost the election, to be replaced by a government determined by the MPs elected by voters. And we should certainly be hoping for, and working toward, that outcome.

But imagine if the electoral process worked differently, potentially rendering all of our efforts useless.

Imagine if the Conservatives could dictate that incumbents would keep their seats unless they were defeated by some amount which was never stated in advance. Stephen Harper could then retroactively set the required opposition margin (Read more…)

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Andrew Thomson’s Candidacy Exposes a Much Bigger Problem for the NDP

The media has been in a frenzy recently over the decision by former Saskatchewan finance minister, Andrew Thomson, to run for the NDP against Joe Oliver. According to Thomson: “My time in government, and we’ve seen the record of NDP governments — there is a strong attention to spending discipline,” he said.  

“We are obviously committed to social spending, but at the same time are also committed to making sure budgets are balanced and that governments live within their means.”

Sounds good right?  This man claiming to have balanced the Saskatchewan budget, while stating that Oliver has (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Andrew Thomson’s Candidacy Exposes a Much Bigger Problem for the NDP

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Ian Welsh rightly points out how our lives are shaped by social facts far beyond individual’s control: If you are homeless in America, know that there are five times as many empty homes as there are homeless people.

If you are homeless in Europe, know that there are two times as many empty homes are there are homeless.

If you are hungry anywhere in the world, know that the world produces more than enough food to feed everyone, and that the amount of food we discard as trash is, alone, more than enough (Read more…)

Alberta Politics: The #AngryCon: he learned those attitudes about the media from the party he supports

PHOTOS: A screen shot of the man identified by the Toronto Star as Earl Cowan at the moment he informs a reporter she’s a lying piece of … something. Below: Tory operative Fred DeLorey and Toronto Star columnist Heather Mallick. I have to confess I felt the tiniest bit of empathy for the aged Harper […]

The post The #AngryCon: he learned those attitudes about the media from the party he supports appeared first on Alberta Politics.

wRanter.com: Who will be the next big-name Jewish MP?

Last week, we examined four “Jewish” battleground ridings, including two – York Centre in Toronto and Mount Royal in Montreal – where, one way or another, a Jewish candidate is likely to win. This week, we look at Jews running for all four major parties across the country. Jews have served in the House of […]

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Not A Communist: Tom & Maggie

Actually this doesn’t look bad on him.  Equivalent to finding out that Harper once played drums in a Hendrix cover band (he didn’t).  Not sure there was any reason for the campaign to even formally address a clip that old unless they figured it worked in their favor.  And it does; if Tom secretly dug Thatcher  he can’t be that bad, some might think. I imagine any real problem will come from the party base.  Mulcair has the delicate task of convincing the nation that the NDP’s not  communist anymore while assuring the faithful that it still is.

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Mulcair’s Environmental Record #2: Minister of Hog Development

Recently Morris W. Dorosh had a piece published in the Financial post:  Tom Mulcair’s incoherent farm policy. In it he questions Mulcair’s logic and math, when discussing agriculture and supply management.

Incoherence is the expected thing from Mulcair. His arithmetic seems a bit off. Supply management nationally provided 16.9 per cent of farm-gate cash revenue in 2014 and 17.0 per cent the prior year, so Mulcair must have been referring only to Quebec. In that case gross revenue from milk, egg and poultry sales in Quebec was 2.55 per cent of Canadian farm cash income. Employment allegedly (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Mulcair’s Environmental Record #2: Minister of Hog Development