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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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The Canadian Progressive: Ottawa Shooting: NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair’s Speech

Here’s NDP leader Thomas Mulcair’s address to the nation following the fatal shootings at the National War Memorial and Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday.

The post Ottawa Shooting: NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair’s Speech appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Trudeau Liberals lost Canadians’ support, NDP gained: Poll

A new poll by Abacus Data suggests that, in the the last month, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals lost the support of Canadians and the NDP made game-changing gains.

The post Trudeau Liberals lost Canadians’ support, NDP gained: Poll appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Alberta Diary: New Democrats yesterday were ready for Rachel – can Albertans reach the same conclusion?

Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley, about to be interviewed by the media, moments after her victory speech in Edmonton yesterday. Below: Three scenes from yesterday’s NDP leadership convention, one of Ms. Notley’s buttons, her father, Grant Notley.

Rachel Notley’s campaign buttons asked: “Are you Ready for Rachel?”

There was never much doubt Alberta’s New Democrats were ready for Rachel, and they proved it yesterday by overwhelmingly choosing the scion of this province’s second-most-famous political dynasty as leader of their party in voting at Edmonton’s Sutton Place Hotel.

This has been clear since former leader Brian Mason announced his intention (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Political Eh-conomy Radio: Looking towards childcare in Canada, with lessons from Sweden

https://politicalehconomy.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/podcast-141016-childcare.mp3

 

This week, the federal NDP reignited a national debate over childcare by proposing a universal $15 per day childcare program. This is the focus of today’s episode, which features two guests. First up, Angela MacEwen. Angella is an economist with the Canadian Labour Congress and has long been a strong advocate for public childcare in Canada. I spoke with her about the economics of universal childcare.

My second guest is Petter Nilssen, who is the press secretary for the Left Party in the Stockholm municipality and is a board member of the Institute for Marxist (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the similarities between the federal political scene now and in the lead up to the 1988 federal election – and how the Liberals may soon face the NDP’s hard-learned lesson that personality politics may not go far in a sharp policy debate.

For further reading…- The NDP unveiled its child care plan here. And the commentators taking a close look at the plan – and its contrast against the Cons’ anti-government nihilism – include Karl Nerenberg, Jeffrey Simpson, Chantal Hebert and Linda McQuaig. – Meanwhile, Les Whittington reports on the Cons’ latest tax baubles, (Read more…)

Canadian Political Viewpoints: War Is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength.

I am a great admirer of George Orwell, the man whose quote has provided the title of this post. The first and last part of it are, sadly, greatly applicable to the situation we now find ourselves facing.

Since the 1950s, the Western World has found itself clenched in the jaws of the Military-Industrial Complex; an idea so insipid that former General, and outgoing President, Dwight D. Eisenhower found it necessity to condemn it to Americans in his final televised address. Learned men who fought wars, from Eisenhower to Confederate General Robert E. Lee, often found it necessary to condemn (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how leaders who stand up to hysterical calls to abandon peace and human rights in the name of fleeting threats tend to be vindicated by history – and how Thomas Mulcair is carrying on the NDP’s legacy on that front even in the face of criticism from Very Serious People.

For further reading…- The two prime examples of media attempts to strong-arm Mulcair into writing a blank cheque for war in Iraq (based a combination of threat hype and a general affinity for hippie-punching) come from John Ivison and L. Ian MacDonald.- Meanwhile, Janyce (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Conservatives Kill NDP Motion To Civilize Question Period

On Tuesday, the House voted 144-132 to defeat an NDP motion seeking to empower the Speaker to police irrelevant answers during Question Period.

The post Conservatives Kill NDP Motion To Civilize Question Period appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Canadian Political Viewpoints: To Hell With Tradition

Source: CBC News: Speaker Andrew Scheer Warns Mulcair and Others over Bias ClaimsSource: Library of Parliament: Standing Orders, Chapter One, Section 11.2

Anyone who has bothered to turn on the news during Question Period over the last, oh I’d say nine years, probably finds themselves in a continuing series of disbelief when the whole spectacle is over. This wasn’t a trend that was started by the Harper Conservatives, but it was certainly perfected by them. Especially when one views the actions of one Paul Calandra.

Calandra rose out of the fall of Dean Del Mastro taking Dean’s place (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On choosing sides

Shorter L. Ian MacDonald: Anybody doubting whether it’s worth going to war in Iraq based on minimal information and questionable reasoning had best take a cold, hard look at the dangers of being on the wrong side of history. But of course, anybody demanding a war in in Iraq based on minimal information and questionable reasoning can count on the full and indefinite support of Very Serious People around the globe, no matter how appallingly wrong the decision proves to be.

The Canadian Progressive: Harper Lied About U.S. Requesting Canada’s Military Help In Iraq

American officials say Canada offered further military help to fight the Islamic State in Iraq – not the other way around as Harper told the Wall Street Journal earlier this week.

The post Harper Lied About U.S. Requesting Canada’s Military Help In Iraq appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Harper Lied About U.S. Requesting Canada’s Military Help In Iraq

American officials say Canada offered further military help to fight the Islamic State in Iraq – not the other way around as Harper told the Wall Street Journal earlier this week.

The post Harper Lied About U.S. Requesting Canada’s Military Help In Iraq appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Conservative MP, Commons Speaker Desecrated Parliament

A simple question by NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair during Question Period led to a bizarre exchange with a Conservative MP and exposed House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer’s incompetence and lack of neutrality.

The post Conservative MP, Commons Speaker Desecrated Parliament appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Politics and its Discontents: On The Further Debasement Of Parliamentary Debates

In which Parliamentary Secretary Paul Calandra, a loyal Harper soldier, does his utmost to discourage Canadians from watching the misnamed debates.

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