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…)
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 […]
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…)
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. […]
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
TweetWill former provincial cabinet minister Ron Liepert make the jump into federal politics? With the launch of the TimeToDoBetter.ca 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 […]
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…)
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.
Two of these men could be PM in the next 18 months
Thomas Mulcair says he and his NDP have learned from the disasterous provincial NDP election: “It’s not enough to look at the electorate and say, ‘vote for me, I m good.’ You have to say, ‘vote for me, I’m a good person to replace the party that’s there, and the government has to be replaced for the following reasons.’ “And I don’t think they did a good enough job of defining what those reasons were.” Mulcair, who keeps a scuffed-up hardball on a table behind (Read more…)
January: SunTV applies for corporate welfare, arguing that they cannot survive unless the government forces people to watch them.
Later this year, they would give Rob and Doug Ford their own show…before cancelling it faster than Lucky 7.
Whoever could have guessed this fine young man would find himself at the centre of so much controversy?
February: Patrick Brazeau is knocked out of the Tory caucus. While the Senate has yet to change rules around travel expenses, they were quick to pass a “no pictures of senators in thongs” bill.
March: In what was really the only (Read more…)
Tweet This year was a tumultuous time in Alberta politics. What does 2015 have in store for Albertans? December 20, 2014 Story by: Dirk Pranter, Edmonton Journal-Sun Building the next Alberta With the new year just weeks away, speculation is rampant Albertans could go to the polls early next year, less than four years after the last provincial […]
You know what they say: Dress for the job you want, not the job you have
Those left-wing media elites at the Toronto Sun have always had it in for Ford.
Tim Hortons provides the ultimate pick-me-up for a normally subdued Rob Ford
Harper deals with the Senate scandal.
Even at 79, he still looks better than Stockwell Day in a wetsuit
$20 says they’re telling Paul Martin jokes
Mulcair’s “pro-lettuce” stance is the kind of populist policy sure to excite voters
While Harper’s help with flood relief was appreciated, I can’t help but think the owners of this flood (Read more…)
. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: The Year in Photos
Scroll to the bottom to vote on your favourite quote…
“I am Conservative. I am a traditionalist. I wish I left Cabinet in the traditional way – with a sex scandal!” -Stephen Fletcher, after being removed from Cabinet
“When I stand back and look at the cast of candidates, even I would pick me. I have to be plain about that.” -Sandra Pupatello
“You know, there’s a level of of admiration I actually have for China because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime and say ‘we (Read more…)
Assorted content for your weekend reading.
- Jim Stanford counters the myth of labour shortages by pointing out Canada’s significant – and growing – number of potential workers who lack a job. And Janet French reports on how PCS’ job cuts have affected both the workers who were laid off, and the communities who depend on their spending to support local economies.
- CPJ’s infographic makes the case for a guaranteed livable income in Canada:
- CBC reports on the misleading statistics underlying claims that there’s no need to discuss rail safety in Canada – featuring cases of runaway trains (Read more…)
The recent byelection in Toronto center – won handily by the Liberals’ Chrystia Freeland in a race against the NDP’s Linda McQuaig – ruffled quite a bit of feathers. Justin Trudeau’s victory speech in particular gained a lot of attention, in part because of the controversy it drummed up of quoting Layton’s final letter while accusing the NDP of running a negative campaign.
Linda McQuaig has now issued a post election op-ed, addressing the charge of the alleged NDP negative campaign head on: As the NDP candidate who ran against Freeland, I disagree. My campaign was heavily focused on issues, (Read more…)
Source: CBC News: Conservative MP Michael Chong Makes Bid to Fix Parliament
Even with Perrin’s e-mails being found amongst the clutter, and some shake ups in the Senate, let’s take a bit of a break and look at a ‘non-releated-but-totally-releated’ consequence of the Senate Scandal fallout.
Ontario Conservative MP Michael Chong is bringing forward a bill to redistribute some of the power of the Prime Minister, and all party leaders. It would take the leadership establishment out of the nomination process, and even establish a method by which the party caucus could remove a leader from power.
The biggest change (Read more…)
Welcome to the 1980s, everybody. Above, Pierre Trudeau, saying just that. Below: Justin Trudeau, embracing victorious Liberal candidate Emmanuel Douburg last night in Montreal’s Bourassa riding. (Montreal Gazette photo.)
“Well, welcome to the 1980s!” He haunts us still.
I don’t know about you, but I could almost hear Pierre Trudeau’s familiar, scratchy, defiant, weirdly challenging voice last night, reaching out to us all from whatever corner of the Universe he now resides in and welcoming us all back to the ninth decade of the Twentieth Century as the federal by-election results started rolling in.
It may be (Read more…)
Who would’ve thought we’d find a suitable reference to Riders Nation and Ethical Cannabis in one photograph? But courtesy the Calgary Sun, there it is! Note the hat, bottom right. Just saying. Below: Some guy standing in front of Rob Ford’s office.
Those of us who don’t regularly wear melons on our heads or particularly care about Canadian football are waiting impatiently for the results of today’s federal byelections so that we can spin them in ways that reinforce our personal political preferences.
For example, if you’re a conservative of any stripe, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s (Read more…)
Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.
- Sean McElwee discusses the crucial distinction between wealth and merit – while recognizing which actually serves to improve the condition of those around a particular individual: Because the wealthy are no longer willing to use their wealth for good, they have decided to glorify the wealth itself as good, thus, Harry Bingswanger writes in Forbes, Imagine the effect on our culture, particularly on the young, if the kind of fame and adulation bathing Lady Gaga attached to the more notable achievements of say, Warren Buffett. Or if the moral praise showered on (Read more…)
This and that for your Thursday reading.
- Glen Pearson theorizes that inequality will be the defining theme of the current political era. Tavia Grant and Janet McFarland document the extreme (and continually-increasing) disparity between the top 1% and the rest of the world. And Eduardo Porter writes that education can only go so far in creating fair opportunities for everybody in the face of political and economic structures designed to leave most people behind.
- David MacDonald highlights the fact that the Cons’ needless program cuts and their brand-new fire sale of public assets both reflect utter mismanagement rather (Read more…)
Justin Trudeau at left, with some boring white guy in a tie that’s too wide. Don’t ever underrate the power of pixie dust! Below: The same boring guy with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and with well-known cage fighter Patrick Brazeau. Weirdly, everyone in these pictures appears exactly as illustrated!
Repeat after me: Rookie mistakes. Rookie mistakes. Rookie mistakes…
Do you think if we say it enough times, it’ll be true?
Plus, don’t forget Ladies’ Night, Red China and marijuana… I mean, like, really, is this a meme yet?
The entire Canadian punditocracy now seems to have jumped on the Justin-Trudeau-is-a-totally-flaky-rookie (Read more…)