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Calgary Grit: 2013: Year in Review

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…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: What a year 2014 has been in Alberta politics!

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 […]

Calgary Grit: The Year in Photos

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

Calgary Grit: Quotes of the Year

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…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

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…)

Progressive Proselytizing: Linda McQuaig’s cognitive dissonance on negative campaigning

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…)

Canadian Political Viewpoints: Why Reform Will Fail

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…)

Alberta Diary: He haunts us still: ‘Welcome to the 1980s’

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…)

Alberta Diary: ‘Ethical Cannabis’: Is it time to make … ‘The Case for B.C. Bud’?

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…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

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…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

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…)

Alberta Diary: Repeat after me: Justin Trudeau is making rookie mistakes… have you got that?

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…)

CuriosityCat: The Senate Scandal: How to hold the Prime Minister to account in Question Period

Thomas Mulcair in Question Period

The leader of the NDP has done Canadians, and Canadian democracy, a service through his dogged, skillful, meticulous and highly professional questions posed to the Prime Minister during Question Period. Mulcair has clearly spent a great deal of time researching the facts of the Sentate expenses scandal, reviewing previous statements by the PM and other government spokespersons, and zeroing in on the essence of the manner. Of late, he has made a point of highlighting the evasions of the Prime Minister to questions, clearly spelling out exactly when the PM has refused to answer very (Read more…)

Canadian Political Viewpoints: Deja Harper

With much more of a whimper than a bang, Harper’s three ‘disgraced’ Senators have been suspended from the Senate. No doubt, Conservative insiders are patting each other on the back and sitting back and assuming that this headache is finally about the pass.

But is it?

Recent polling data has shown that the government, and particularly the Prime Minister, have taken a hit in popularity. Harper’s own personal credibility is in tatters, as many Canadians have stated that they do not believe Harper’s chain of events. Perhaps the biggest success story here is what Mike Duffy accomplished when he returned (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Halloween 2013: a meditation on power

Prime Minister Stephen Harper just one year ago. Actual Canadian prime ministers may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Senator Mike Duffy and former Harper cabinet member Jim Prentice.

Last Halloween, when Prime Minister Stephen Harper went trick ’n’ treating, he was monarch of all he surveyed.

This year, he’s a ghost.

Oh, Mr. Harper is still corporeal enough. He passed through security Wednesday on his way to Calgary, I suppose, although one imagines prime ministers don’t have to take off their shoes and shuffle along in their stockings, or answer to why they failed to stow their toothpaste is (Read more…)

Driving The Porcelain Bus: Latest Ipsos-Reid Poll Shows NDP Rising At The Expense of The Liberals

Ipsos Reid just released new federal poll numbers. Their latest poll was conducted between Oct. 25 and 28, 2013. Their previous poll covered Oct. 16 to 20, 2013.

Here is a comparison between their 2 polls

            Oct. 20       Oct. 28 NDP      27%            31%   up 4% Lib         33%            31%  down 2% Con       31%            30%   down 1% Grn          2%              2% Blc           6%              6%

With the Senate scandal being front and centre in the news for the past couple of weeks, and with the performance of Thomas Mulcair hammering away at Harper in Question Period, I think we can see Canadians (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: The ghosts of senate reform haunt the Harper Conservatives

TweetThe ghosts of Senate reform will haunt Prime Minister Stephen Harper as his party establishment gathers in Calgary on Halloween to discuss and debate party policy. After more than seven years in office, Mr. Harper’s Conservatives have accomplished little on the issue of reforming the Canadian Senate. Who would have thought that a Senate scandal […]

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Tom Bergin reports on a predictable corporate attack on the very idea of government sovereignty – as tax evaders are insisting that their own demand for “certainty” in the availability of tax havens should trump the ability of tax authorities to assess where revenue should be taxed: The companies said the existing practice of recognizing inter-company transactions gave business greater certainty and encouraged trade by helping ensure the same profits were not taxed more than once.

Business groups were also cool on a proposal tabled in June by the Group of Eight (G8) (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: ‘Conservative activist’ seeks Brent Rathgeber’s Edmonton-St. Albert Parliamentary seat

Michael Cooper, left, celebrates after a fashion the May 2, 2011, federal election victory of Edmonton-St. Albert MP Brent Rathgeber, as Mr. Rathgeber celebrates it in a more traditional and energetic way. (St. Albert Gazette photo.) Below: Mr. Cooper’s official campaign website photo; Mr. Rathgeber not long after his break with the Conservative caucus.

St. Albert, Alberta

When you hear the term “Conservative activist,” watch out! You might even want to run screaming from the room.

So it was not exactly reassuring to learn Wednesday that Michael Cooper, “lawyer and Conservative activist,” has announced his intention to seek the (Read more…)

Blevkog: A (re-)Introduction

We live in interesting, but not unprecedented political times. Darth Harper, the Controller-in-Chief, has done an admiral job of keeping things quiet, but the fruits of his autocratic nature are ripening quickly. The Senate expenditure scandal exposed that he vetted his appointments about as vigorously as John McCain’s campaign committee did when looking at Sarah […]

Driving The Porcelain Bus: Thomas Mulcair speaks to the CUPE 50th Anniversary National Convention

http://new.livestream.com/cupescfp/convention-2013/videos/32856759

Calgary Grit: How I spent my summer vacation

Summer vacation lasted a bit longer for MPs than for the rest of us. If you’re just tuning back in now as our parliamentarians head back to the House tomorrow, here’s what you may have missed.

For Justin, this was very much the summer of love. He ditched the suit for a pair of cargo shorts, got his wife pregnant, went on tour, and spent a lot of time talking about pot.

Even though Liberal Party members voted to legalize marijuana at their last convention, I don’t think anyone expected much more than a decriminalization promise (Read more…)

Canadian Political Viewpoints: Taxing Through Taxes

Despite not hailing from Nova Scotia, I suppose its time that we sat down and talked about what happened in the province. Though, this post will only touch on the topic; rather, we’re going to focus on something a bit grander that comes out of that discussion.

Now, as a non-resident, I can only form opinion and sift some aspect of truth from what resources I have at hand. There have been numerous explanations as to what happened in Nova Scotia that led to a collapse of the NDP, and a rejection of the party at the polls in an (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.

- Benjamin Radcliff discusses the proven connection between progressive policies and a higher quality of life across all levels of income: Happier people live in countries with a generous social safety net, or, more generally, countries whose governments “tax and spend” at higher rates, reflecting the greater range of services and protections offered by the state. (These findings come from analysis of data from the World Values Surveys for the 21 Western industrial democracies from 1981 to 2007 for my book “The Political Economy of Human Happiness.” Similar findings have been reported in (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Management of Economy is Achilles Heel of Liberals and Dippers

Three stewards a-waiting …

The latest IPSOS-Reid poll shows that the Harper new Tories maintain their lead amongst voters when it comes to the critical issue of who is the best choice to manage the country’s economy. Voters believe that Harper and his Conservatives are the best by a whopping margin:

But the Conservatives continue to lead the way on economic issues. Among voters who said the economy is the most important issue, 45 per cent believe the Conservatives are the best economic policy managers, followed by 28 per cent who chose the Liberals and 14 per cent who chose the (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Management of Economy is Achilles Heel of Liberals and Dippers