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Accidental Deliberations: On cooperative priorities

As part of their new “Hope and Wild Flailing” campaign theme, plenty of Libs are looking for any pretext – however lacking in reality – to attack Tom Mulcair. And Mulcair’s latest comments on a coalition offer the latest flimsy excuse. So let’s look at how there’s still a huge difference between the NDP and the Libs when it comes to a willingness to talk about coalitions – but how Mulcair could do far better by working with the NDP’s longstanding willingness to cooperate.

To start with, let’s look at the obvious distinction between the parties’ respective stances.

Trudeau’s position (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Dylan Matthews reports on Joseph Stiglitz’ work in studying what kinds of systemic changes (in addition to more redistribution of wealth) are needed to ensure a fair and prosperous economy. And Martin O’Neill discusses James Meade’s prescient take on the importance of social assets: Meade therefore came to endorse the extension of the traditional welfare state through the parallel pursuit of both the spread of private property-ownership across all members of society – his ‘property-owning democracy’, which would involve steep taxation of inheritance and capital transfers – and at the same time building (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Harper’s new anti-Trudeau ad is hilarious and mediocre

The Harper Conservatives’ latest 2015 federal election attack ad targeting Liberal leader Justin Trudeau ignores Canadians’ appetite for regime change.

The post Harper’s new anti-Trudeau ad is hilarious and mediocre appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Alberta Politics: Does advertising plagiarism suggest Harper Government’s running on intellectual fumes?

PHOTOS: A screen shot from the new Harper Government anti-Tom-Mulcair advertisement. Actual Harper government plagiarism may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Scenes from the nearly identical 2011 Manitoba NDP 30-second spot and 2015 Harper Con spot. If political ads were popular songs, the Manitoba NDP would probably be getting ready to sue the Harper […]

The post Does advertising plagiarism suggest Harper Government’s running on intellectual fumes? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Accidental Deliberations: Staying the flawed course

John Ivison is right to note that the Cons’ latest ad reflects the Harper braintrust sticking to what seems to have been a long-established plan. But it’s worth highlighting how that plan has been overtaken by events – and how even the Libs may be able to use the message to their advantage if they’re smart in the approach to this fall’s federal election.

In principle, a “just not ready” message is tailor-made for a two-party race where a party’s ability to attach a single personality flaw to the opposing leader can make all the difference between victory and defeat.

(Read more…)

Susan on the Soapbox: An Open Letter to Stephen Harper about the Debates

Dear Mr Harper: I understand that you’ve decided not to participate in the traditional election debates hosted by the three major TV networks, Global, CTV and CBC. Incidentally, isn’t it convenient they’re known as The Consortium? Conjures up all sorts of sinister images of The Firm and The Company and lends a smattering of credence to your objection.

You’ve rejected The Consortium because you want “more opportunities for freewheeling interaction” and greater “diversity and innovation”. Apparently you expect to get these opportunities with other media organizations like Macleans.

Have you lost your mind?

May I remind you that the last (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On complexities

Bruce Anderson writes that as some of us have long suspected, a true three-party federal race is developing which will create some new complications for the Cons and Libs alike. But it’s worth pointing out one area where the Cons are in much worse shape than they’ve ever been.

Before the 2008 and 2011 elections, the Cons managed to render Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff radioactive with voters – with those leaders’ approval ratings running far below the Libs’ party polling results. And over the course of the campaign, an expected convergence between those numbers led to a natural (Read more…)

Driving The Porcelain Bus: NDP Support Pre-election 2011 Compared to 2015

Here is an interesting comparison between the NDP support 8-5 months before the election in 2011 compared to the same period now in 2015. Back in 2011, support was in the mid teens at this time and didn’t start to rise until closer to the election. But in 2015, support was in the upper teens and has gradually risen (with a jump at the end of the period) to close to 30 in the same period. So, the NDP support this time around is much stronger, double what it was at the same time before the previous election. They are (Read more…)

Alberta Politics: ‘Parson’ Manning, in the pulpit, preaches a formula of failure to Alberta’s New Democrats

PHOTOS: Preston Manning, Godfather of the Canadian right. Below: Alberta Premier Designate Rachel Notley, Liberal prime minister Wilfrid Laurier, Social Credit premier E.C. Manning and United Farmers of Alberta leader Henry Wise Wood. Preaching from the highest pulpit in the land, the opinion pages of the mighty Globe and Mail, Preston “Parson” Manning delivered a […]

The post ‘Parson’ Manning, in the pulpit, preaches a formula of failure to Alberta’s New Democrats appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Accidental Deliberations: Working across the aisle

Among the other lessons learned from Alberta’s recent election, let’s point out one more with implications for the federal scene.

While the main opposition parties recognized that they were too far apart in their general policy orientation to justify a formal coalition, both the NDP and the Wildrose Party were happy to point out some of the areas which were ripe for cooperation as part of their criticism of the governing PCs.

In other words, neither tried to pretend that there was no room to discuss post-election cooperation, nor to claim that some areas of disagreement or personal differences rendered (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On relative popularity

Jim Prentice is warning Albertans that they should vote for him lest they be governed by somebody like Tom Mulcair.

Jim Prentice’s approval rating in Alberta is 22%.

Tom Mulcair’s approval rating in Alberta is 42%.

Which means, shorter Jim Prentice: You may think you’re getting an exquisitely prepared filet mignon when you vote NDP, but what if you only get a juicy hamburger? Therefore, vote for gruel!

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Barrie McKenna takes a look at how the Cons are pushing serious liabilities onto future generations in order to hand out short-term tax baubles within a supposedly-balanced budget, while Jennifer Robson highlights the complete lack of policy merit behind those giveaways. And Ian McGugan writes that even as they’re trumpeted as attempts to improve saving none of the Cons’ plans have anything to do with actually improving retirement security, especially for the people who need it most: Our reliance on private savings to fund our retirements makes Canada an outlier among developed countries. (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: The petulant son

Shorter Justin Trudeau: When I say I plan to do politics differently, what I mean is that I’m willing to leave Stephen Harper in power based on the most petty and frivolous excuses anybody’s ever heard.

No longer is there any pretense that a flat “no” to a coalition with the NDP is based on policy differences (however implausible). Instead, Trudeau is ruling out the possibility of cooperation based on personal hostility toward Thomas Mulcair – which of course couldn’t be further from matching the public’s perception of the NDP’s leader, particularly among people with whom Trudeau supposedly (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: The Vindication Of Thomas Mulcair

Some will remember the abuse heaped upon NDP leader Thomas Mulcair back in 2012 when he said that Canada was suffering from the same Dutch disease that afflicted the Netherlands after natural gas fields boosting that nation’s currency reduced the competitiveness of its exports back in the 1970s. The culprit in Canada was the unrestrained exploitation of its oil fields, leading at one point to our dollar being valued higher than the American one. Exports suffered, manufacturing continued to decline, and the Harper regime gleefully denigrated the NDP leader for an inconvenient truth.

It would seem that Mulcair’s analysis has (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Andrew Jackson argues that contrary to the attempt of the Ecofiscal Commission to impose right-wing values like tax slashing and devolution on any action to deal with climate change, we in fact need the federal government to take a lead role: While it is sensible in the current political context that provinces not wait for federal leadership, this does not mean those pushing for climate action should lessen our pressure on the federal government to lead. At a minimum, the federal government should be requiring all of the provinces to take some modest (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Arthur Neslen reports on the Health and Environmental Alliance’s study of greenhouse gas emission reductions showing that we’d enjoy both improved health and economic benefits by pursuing ambitious targets to fight climate change. And David Roberts examines the massive cost and minimal benefit of carbon capture and storage schemes which serve mostly to increase how much oil we burn at public expense.

- Chris Simpson writes about the need for physicians to consider social determinants of health as part of patient care. And Carolyn Shimmin offers a primer for journalists (and others) to (Read more…)

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:

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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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