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Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Jared Bernstein discusses how fair and progressive taxes on the rich are a necessary element of any effort to improve the lot of the poor: The rising tide of inequality does more than create great economic distance between income classes. It also produces higher barriers to mobility. Increased investment in the poor’s economic opportunities and in their children, their health care, their housing and their education will be needed to overcome those barriers. To be more precise, there are three reliable ways to help or “lift” the bottom: subsidies that increase the poor’s (Read more…) - Alberta politics: Lewis Cardinal steps down as NDP candidate in Edmonton-Centre

TweetLewis Cardinal announced today that, due to personal and health reasons, he is stepping down as the New Democratic Party candidate in Edmonton-Centre for the upcoming federal election. Although he had been campaigning for longer than a year, on March 27, 2014, Mr. Cardinal was officially nominated as his party’s first candidate for the next general […]

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…)

Politics and its Discontents: An Eloquent Denunciation Of Harper’s Approach To Government

Watch as Thomas Mulcair denounces quite calmly, incisively and eloquently the myriad problems both of the Fair Elections Act and the entire diseased approach to governance embraced by the Harper regime.

Justin Trudeau also offers his view.

Recommend this Post - Alberta politics: Thomas Mulcair reminds me of Stephen Harper

TweetMore than 500 people packed into the lobby of the Winspear Centre yesterday to watch the New Democratic Party of Canada officially nominate Edmonton-Centre‘s Lewis Cardinal as the first candidate for 2015 federal election. The selection of Edmonton-Centre as the NDP’s first nomination demonstrates that party’s desire to turn Edmonton into a battle ground in the next […]

The Canadian Progressive: He called Nelson Mandela a terrorist, now claims Harper endorsement

by: Obert Madondo

Chances are you would never vote for Rob Anders even if you were a hard-core Conservative. The Calgary West MP is one of the most disagreeable politicians in Canada.

In 2001, the former Reform Party MP once called South African anti-apartheid icon, Nelson Mandela, a “terrorist“. He prevented the House of Commons from making Nelson Mandela an honorary Canadian citizen, and called the South African anti-apartheid icon a “terrorist.”

Then, as I blogged in October, 2012, he took his political grotesqueness to another level when he suggested that NDP Leader, Thomas Mulcair, had helped (Read more…) - Alberta politics: Harper endorses Rob Anders and more nomination updates

TweetWith Dave Hancock being sworn-in as the 15th Premier of Alberta and speculation running rampant about who will replace him in four to six months, I thought now would be a good opportunity to provide a quick update about nominations for federal election candidates in Alberta. Calgary-Signal Hill In what could be a deciding factor in one […]

CuriosityCat: Quebec election: The real ballot box question

PQ lobster trap for unwitting Quebecers

Try as they might, the PQ cannot direct the definition of the ballot question in the upcoming provincial election into fields of their choosing. They would rather talk about their Charter of Values, which has given them a good crack at Francophone votes to boost them into a majority government position. Or the bright prospects for a Quebec economy, with debt reduced and business booming. But every time they try, those pesky journalists keep asking about the PQ’s plans to launch a permament campaign as a majority government, disguised as a White Paper process (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Following up on yesterday’s column, David Atkins discusses his own preference for front-end fixes to poverty and inequality: The standard way you’ll hear most progressives address inequality issues is to allow the labor market to run as usual, but levy heavy taxes on the back for redistribution.

No doubt that is the simplest way of doing it. But it also creates some problems, including a perception of unfairness, the potential to simply lower the tax rates when conservatives are put in charge, and capital mobility in which the richest people simply leave (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On inspiring action

The NDP’s first National Day of Action last weekend looks to have received virtually no media attention despite involving numbers of participants comfortably within the range of similarly-timed conventions and conferences which routinely dominate national headlines for weeks at a time. And there’s reason for optimism that the NDP’s plan to hold several more may hint at a new stage in Canadian grassroots democracy.

But I’ll echo Murray Dobbin’s concern that while it’s well worth building a strong participatory structure, there’s reason to question the issue chosen for the first day of action: On February 22, in the aftermath of (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Thomas Mulcair Has A Change Of Heart About Working With Liberals

OTTAWA — NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair has changed his mind about working with the Liberals.

The Opposition leader was adamant he would never join a coalition with the Grits in an interview with The Huffington Post Canada when he was running for the leadership of the New Democrats but now he is open to the idea. Read the full story here

Finally, it has donned on NDP leader Thomas Mulcair that he and his party had better step away from their dreams of forming a federal government.

Many of us on the centre left were left bewildered by such claims when Mulcair and his (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On top priorities

If there’s anything to question in the latest reporting about possible post-election cooperation between the NDP and the Libs, it’s the impression that Thomas Mulcair’s willingness to pursue a coalition to replace the Harper Cons with a better government somehow comes entirely out of the blue. But while the story may not be entirely new, it’s certainly well worth pointing out: The leader of the New Democrats said on Tuesday he is willing to form a coalition in order to take power after the next election, even as the other opposition party leader, Liberal Justin Trudeau, played down the idea. … (Read more…) - Alberta politics: Interesting federal nomination races emerging across Alberta

TweetInteresting nomination races are emerging across Alberta as parties prepare to choose candidates to run in the next federal election, slated for October 2015. Below are some of the most recent updates from ridings across the province, where candidates are seeking nominations to run in two by-elections and the general election. By-elections Macleod Conservative Party […]

CuriosityCat: The Senate: Will Mulcair’s rabbits and doves flee in all directions as Mulroney’s did?

Constitutional twins?

Thomas Mulcair gives the impression that he relishes the views of some of him as a tough guy. In Question Period, faced with a cornered Prime Minister Harper who has to appear (sometimes) and answer questions (even if with non-answers), Mulcair is the diligent, remorseless, forceful, and effective cross examiner. He shows that he has done his homework. He shows that he fears not his wily opponent. And he shows his obvious enjoyment in the detailed, meticulous and vast interchange of the minutia of political give and take and policy discussions. This is a man who revels in (Read more…) - Alberta politics: Five ways to save the Senate of Canada

Tweet Is the Senate of Canada broken? And if so, is it worth saving? Here are the positions held by Canada’s federal political parties: 1) Abolish the Senate The New Democratic Party of Canada, the official opposition since 2011, are staunchly in favour of entirely abolishing the Senate of Canada. “Unelected party hacks have no […]

Politics and its Discontents: I Shop, Therefore I Am

First and foremost, how do you see yourself? Are you a citizen more than a consumer, or vice-versa? Are high-minded principles and vision your defining characteristic, or is how to get the best value for your money what drives you?

The questions that I just posed are, of course, on one level ludicrous, inasmuch as they suggest an either/or answer. Realistically, or at least ideally, we can be both. Yet to examine the rhetoric of our political ‘leaders’, our lives are defined by angst over cable selection, gasoline prices, and cellphone bills, and little else.

One of the books I (Read more…) - Alberta politics: Big names running for federal party nominations in Alberta

TweetThere has been plenty of activity this week as candidates from all political parties put forward their names to run in Canada’s next federal election, scheduled to be held in October 2015. Wooing voters and potential candidates alike, both New Democratic Party leader Thomas Mulcair and Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau travelled through Alberta this week. […]

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Robert Reich confirms the seemingly obvious reality that poverty and inequality are in fact major obstacle facing the poor. And Paul Krugman explains why any successful progressive movement in the U.S. will need to discuss inequality and the hoarding of wealth to challenge the entrenched (and expanding) influence of those who already have the most: (J)obs and inequality are closely linked if not identical issues. There’s a pretty good although not ironclad case that soaring inequality helped set the stage for our economic crisis, and that the highly unequal distribution of (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On consensus positions

I won’t break down in detail the bevy of reviews of the current position of Tom Mulcair and the federal NDP – including pieces by Bruce Stewart, John Ibbitson and John Geddes. But it’s worth highlighting the areas where I’d see no need to challenge the consensus reflected in those articles – as well as the one where some pushback is absolutely needed.

On the bright side, there’s little reason to see anything but opportunity in the public’s views of both the NDP as a voting option, and Mulcair as a leader. As Geddes in particular notes, the main (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Justin Trudeau’s Culture Code for Canadians: Keeping it, with Fun

Dr. Clotiere Rapaille

Within 18 months of so Canadians will elect a new prime minister and a new government. Of the three contenders for the top job – Stephen Harper, Thomas Mulcair and Justin Trudeau – which one offers Canadians a leader best in tune with what Canadians really, really want in their leader, deep down in the innermost recesses of their hearts?

Because if you are a leader offering them something else, that does not fit that deepest desire, you will not be the next prime minister. So what do Canadians want in their prime minister? Dr Clotaire Rapaille (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Jim Stanford writes about the myth of a labour shortage in Canada: In this context of chronic un- and under-employment, it is jarring that so many employers, business lobbyists, and politicians continue to complain about a supposed shortage of available, willing, and adequately skilled workers. Employers routinely claim they can’t find qualified Canadians to perform even relatively straightforward jobs. They can’t entice Canadians to move from depressed regions, to areas with jobs. They can’t elicit desired levels of effort, discipline and loyalty.

According to this worldview, the biggest challenge facing our labour market (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Fear & Loathing in Calgary Signal Hill: rumble on the right breaks out in Calgary

Your blogger in 2011 with Ron Liepert, Alberta’s former Worst Provincial Cabinet Minister. Below: Calgary West Member of Parliament Rob Anders, Canada’s worst MP, with his friend and supporter, Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Coming soon to the new federal riding of Calgary Signal Hill: fear and loathing on the campaign trail.

Come with me on a savage journey into the heart of Alberta’s never-ending Conservative nightmare: Alberta’s former Worst Provincial Cabinet Minister is about to challenge Canada’s undisputed Worst Member of Parliament for the Conservative Party of Canada nomination in the redistributed southwest Calgary federal riding!

In the corner (Read more…) - Alberta politics: Ron Liepert versus Rob Anders: the next PC-Wildrose proxy war?

TweetWill former provincial cabinet minister Ron Liepert make the jump into federal politics? With the launch of the website today, rumours began to spread that the former two-term Calgary-West Progressive Conservative MLA turned consultant could challenge ultra-conservative Rob Anders for the Conservative Party nomination in the new Calgary Signal Hill riding. Mr. Liepert’s candidacy […]

CuriosityCat: The Battle for the Soul of Canada’s NDP

Tony Blair wrested control of the British Labour Party away from the hardliners who had successfully run that party into the ditch in election after election, by concentrating on a small core of voters, and offering policies that were outmoded, anti-capitalistic and unappetizing to most British voters. Thomas Mulcair faces the same problem that Blair faced: how to move a sluggish, redestribution-motivated, and out of date socialist party into the mainstream, so as to position it to gain power and implement its policies. Bruce Anderson describes Mulcair’s battle this way in the Globe & Mail: But becoming Official Opposition (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On concern trolling

Shorter Montreal Gazette: We suggest the NDP stay away from Quebec provincial politics in order to preserve its federal success which we tried so hard to squelch.