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Politics and its Discontents: Disingenuous At Best, Hypocritical At Worst

To listen to post-election Ontario Tories and to take them at their word would suggest that the lot of them were simply dupes of Machiavellian forces over which they had no control. Up to and including the day of the election, they all appeared to be solidly behind their leader and his plans. After their abject failure to win the hearts and minds of Ontarians, that narrative quickly changed, most notably in Lisa MacLeod’s disavowal of both her leader and his program.

The latest exercise in what many would describe as arrant hypocrisy was evident in newly-appointed Tory interim leader (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Big by-election in Fort McMurray? Never mind that! As goes Macleod, so goes Alberta…

Fort McMurray, before the Bitumen Boom. Things have changed. Below: Conservative Fort McMurray-Athabasca candidate David Yurdiga, Liberal candidate Kyle Harrietha, NDP candidate Lori McDaniel, former Conservative MP Brian Jean.

If the good people of Fort McMurray climb out of bed this morning and decide to elect a Liberal to represent them in Parliament, there will be shock, dismay and consternation throughout Alberta.

But, fear not my fellow Albertans, even in the unlikely event this happens, it almost certainly won’t mean whatever you are told it means.

Yes, today is the day after the weekend and the day before Canada Day (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: The Blame Game

The fact that I experienced physical and verbal abuse at the hands of my teachers during my Catholic education probably has a lot to do with my visceral response to arrogance. Having someone presume to sit in judgement on another is both a humiliating and ultimately enraging experience, one that most of us have probably experienced at some point in our lives; however, even that realization does not not in any way make the experience more acceptable or palatable.

It is therefore within the above context that I take great exception to politicians who presume to lecture us on our (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Lisa MacLeod’s Ambition

I’ll say right off the top that I am no fan of recently re-elected Ontario Progressive Conservative Lisa MacLeod, and not just because she is a member of what has become an extremist party. Her embrace of the politics of division, her strident hyper-partisanship, and now, post-election, her hypocrisy, rankle.

Tim and Lisa in happier times

Ostensibly a staunch supporter of her leader up to and during the election, now Ms. MacLeod, a rumoured leadership hopeful, has dramatically changed her tune. In an op-ed in today’s Toronto Star, entitled Ontario Tories need fresh leadership, she offers the (Read more…)

OPSEU Diablogue: The politics of “ableism” and hard-working babies

If there was a party game that could be applied to the recent provincial election, it would have involved some kind of participant action every time a politician uttered the words “hard-working families.” It’s an odd phrase – does that … Continue reading →

Calgary Grit: Wynne Wins

We know Kathleen Wynne likes to run, but this spring she was running against 10 years of baggage, a widespread time for a change sentiment, and more scandals than the opposition could fit in a 30-second TV spot. Luckily, she was also running against Tim Hudak.

Given these challenges, the election was Hudak’s for the taking (or Horwath’s – more on that later). Out of the gate, he claimed control of the agenda, dominating the headlines every day. This was a page out of the Harper 2005 Playbook, when he took a break from Gomery to announce his (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Red in Central Canada, blue in Ottawa an immutable rule that favours Harper’s Tories? Don’t bet on it!

Is Justin Trudeau finished because Kathleen Wynne just won in Ontario, like the mainstream media’s pundits are telling you? Don’t be too sure! (Say, as one Twitter commenter asked, who is that old man with Mr. Trudeau?) Below: The same guy with NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair. Weird! Below them: Lawrence Martin and Tim Harper.

It’s certainly true that the Ontario Liberals are going to miss Progressive Conservative Party Leader Tim Hudak. He was a gift that kept on giving.

But their federal cousins, and the federal NDP as well, can take comfort. They still have Stephen Harper.

So it’s (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Political Funeral of Tim Hudak

Well I wasn't invited to the Con funeral for Tim Hudak. And Stephen Harper hasn't said a word in public about his crushing defeat.

But since he sent in half his cabinet to campaign for him, and he hates the Liberals so much, I can only imagine how he must be feeling.

But don't tell that to our hapless Con media, because some of them, like his faithful fluffer John Ivison, would have us believe Boss Harper is not really mourning.He's CELEBRATING !!!Read more »

Alberta Diary: Waitin’ for the end of the world … Hear, O Ontario! Mr. Manning will be with you momentarily

Preston Manning readies himself before the mirror of his Seventh Floor office at the Prophetic Market Institute in Calgary, the Calgary skyline in the background obscured by a June rainstorm, one of those June rainstorms, as he ponders the frightening meaning of last Thursday’s Ontario election. Actual Alberta market fundamentalists and the names of their institutions may not appear exactly as illustrated or stated. Below: The real Mr. Manning and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.

“Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that (Read more…)

Scott's DiaTribes: Was Tim Hudak Ontario’s version of Michael Ignatieff circa 2011?

I was thinking about that comparison as I digest a surprising Liberal majority in Ontario this AM (but the folks at Forum and Ekos with their last polls called it – so kudos to them. I think Nanos also had 1 poll out that pretty well mirrored the results).

Thinking back to 2011, Harper was (and still isn’t) not a universally loved leader, but Ignatieff was less popular then him (due both to attack ads and his personality in general, I’d argue). In Ontario, the OLP as a whole were not obviously loved by all due to some of their (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The Amazingly Awesome Destruction of the Con Loser Tim Hudak

Well at the end of this long day, I guess it's safe to say that the people of Ontario weren't too impressed with Tim Hudak's vision of the future.They didn't like his Made in America plan to create jobs by killing them. Or the fact he couldn't count.And they did send him and his hideous Cons a clear and unmistakable message: Ontario is still progressive, and so is Canada. Read more »

Alberta Diary: Ontario election: OK, that didn’t really work … can we get back to being New Democrats now?

Ontario’s victorious Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne last summer. Below: Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak.

Well! That didn’t work out quite as well as we’d hoped, did it? Can we get back to being New Democrats now?

I speak, of course, of the results of last night’s Ontario provincial election – in which it seems to me from my vantage point out here on the Great Plains that there are lessons in the vote for New Democrats in the west and the New Democrats in Ottawa too.

I realize that the great Canadian tradition of (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links – #VoteOn Edition

This and that for your Thursday (and Ontario election day) reading…

- Joseph Heath makes the case against Tim Hudak’s PCs in particular, and the shift from public to private goods in general: (I)t’s fairly clear what the PCs are planning. They are proposing a general shift in Ontario away from consumption of public goods towards increased consumption of private goods. For example, they aren’t making any noises about privatizing things, shifting production out of the public sector into the private, but where the general profile of consumption would be the same. They are proposing that we actually produce and (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Are the Hudak Cons Trying to Steal the Ontario Election?

I guess it makes sense. Tim Hudak is incapable of coming up with an original idea, for obvious reasons.So he is always borrowing them from others.He borrowed his economic platform from the Koch brothers. Mike Harris' old gang is running his campaign.And now he's clearly taken his voter suppression idea from the Harper Cons. Read more »

Politics and its Discontents: A Timely Reminder Of Tim Hudak’s Magical Thinking

While we should be back from our trip tomorrow in time to catch the Ontario election news coverage, this seems an opportune time to remind readers of the kind of magical thinking so favoured by extreme right enthusiasts such as young Tim Hudak. Tim, as you may recall, has made even lower corporate taxes a major part of his plan to create one million jobs, despite the fact that Ontario’s rates are among the lowest in North American, and despite the fact that no apparent empirical data supports the equation that lower business taxes create jobs.

Here is a letter (Read more…)

OPSEU Diablogue: Who’s values will prevail on Thursday?

Whoever shows up to the polls tomorrow may determine Ontario’s next Premier and whether she or he enjoys a majority or minority government. The question is, will that be decided by a majority of Ontarians, or will it reflect a … Continue reading →

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Tim Hudak, the GOP and Voter Suppression

I posted recently about an Ontario conservative scheme to suppress the vote in the upcoming provincial election.

A Party calling themselves None of the Above could be traced back to Mike Harris.

Recently it was also discovered that several Ontario households received letters from the PC Party with incorrect information, that would have sent them to the wrong polling stations.

We also learn of yet another group Decline the Vote, urging young people not to get involved in the election.  Again, it is run by conservative strategists.  From Reddit: After seeing so much buzz around this “initiative”, (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Richard Shillington studies the Cons’ income-splitting scheme for the Broadbent Institute, and finds that it’s even more biased toward the wealthy than previously advertised: • The average benefit of income splitting across all households is only $185, though nine out of 10 households will receive nothing. When one factors in the $3 billion cost in lost federal revenues that will result from this tax policy, income splitting stands to impose net costs on many Canadian households.

• To gain from income splitting, a family with children under 18 must have two parents in (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper, Tim Hudak, and the Con Climate Change Deniers

When I first saw this picture of Stephen Harper and Tony Abbott having breakfast together, I thought something had gone wrong with their "special relationship."I mean they both looked so tense, and the cat looked sooooo jealous.And that even after Abbott called Harper a "beacon" for Conservatives all over the world.But I guess Steve didn't like the way Tony called Canada CANADIA…

And neither did Tony, for obvious reasons…

But whatever was bothering those two climate change deniers, they soon got it out of their systems, by taking turns gang banging the very idea of a carbon tax. Read more »

. . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper, Tim Hudak, and the Con Climate Change Deniers

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: None of the Above and Latinos for Reform

During the 2010 U.S. mid-term election campaign, a group of “discontents” emerged, calling themselves Latinos for Reform.   President Obama had secured most of the Latino vote in 2008, so the group’s message was that Obama had let them down.  Given the Republican’s anti-immigration policies, LFR knew that voting GOP was not an option, so instead they encouraged Latino voters not to cast a ballot for anyone.

It turned out to be a scam

The founder of this group, Robert de Posada, was the Republican National Committee’s director of Hispanic affairs and worked for the Bush administration and a (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The Ontario Election and the Never-ending Con Nightmare

It was dull grey rainy Sunday on the waterfront where I live, but at least it gave me a chance to collect my thoughts, wonder what is happening to this country I sometimes no longer recognize.And of course try to figure out who the hell I'm going to vote for in the Ontario election.Because with only three days to go before voters go to the polls it's crunch time in the Big O. And it has been the weirdest election I've ever seen.As well as the worst… Read more »

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: So Why Does Tim Hudak Want to Kill the Ontario College of Trades?

Every Ontario Conservative is singing from the same Hymnal. “Close the Ontario College of Trades, close the Ontario College of Trades …. Hallelujah, Hallelujah.”

Seemed strange to me because before they starting singing about it, I’d never heard anyone wanting to make this an election issue.

I’ve been following Canada’s Neoconservative movement long enough to know when something is up. And it didn’t take long to discover what it was.

The driving force behind this, is a group calling themselves Stop the Trades Tax. Anytime a “grassroots” movement uses the terms “friend of” or “stop the tax”, you can be (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Political Eh-conomy Radio: 1,000,000 and $14, two numbers, two politics

This week’s podcast focuses on two numbers, one million and fourteen, that draw out some interesting links between economics and politics in Ontario and beyond.

https://politicalehconomy.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/podcast-140606-ontario.mp3

One million is the number of jobs that Tim Hudak has promised to create in Ontario if elected next week. This one million claim has been laughed out of the park by a consensus of economists. My first interview is with Toby Sanger, economist at the Canadian Union of Public Employees. Toby explains the faulty math and points to how it fits into an agenda centered on a variety of extreme economic (Read more…)

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Beware of Those Bearing Pledges. They Might Just Have to Honour Them

Men should pledge themselves to nothing; for reflection makes a liar of their resolution.  Sophocles

Pledges are nothing new for politicians.  Some are broad in scope, like FDR’s pledge to a New Deal for Americans, or President Obama’s pledge to not raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 a year.

In 1994, Newt Gingrich’s Contract With America, while mostly a treatise on “family values” laced with anti-government claptrap, helped the GOP win the primaries.  It was a pledge.

What a lot of Canadians are no doubt unaware of, is that Stephen Harper’s Reform Party helped to draft the Contract. (Read more…)

Scott's DiaTribes: Ontario Debate Aftermath #voteon

My initial (biased) impressions of the debate are:

- As someone who is supporting the OLP, I’d have much preferred if Wynne had started stronger, but the first two topics were always going to be the tough ones, and I’m not sure whether I’d have done much better. I did think she recovered after that and “held the line” as it were. I don’t think she was struck with any fatal blow per se. I know on social media some people were commenting on Premier Wynne’s hand movements, but I’ve always found Ms. Wynne to be a demonstrative person; she (Read more…)