Posts from our progressive community

Why Stephen Harper Has Suddenly Stopped Talking About the Russians

Montreal Simon - Sun, 08/16/2015 - 21:58


It's the greatest Arctic mystery since the Franklin expedition. 

Why after taunting the Russians and their leader for the last two years, in relentless pursuit of the ethnic vote. 

And shooting his mouth off like a cannon, as only that Con clown could...



Why is Stephen Harper suddenly not talking about the Russians anymore?

Why has he suddenly gone silent even after their equally desperate and deranged leader issued this disturbing challenge? 
Read more »

A "Must Read" from Canadian Dimension. The Ugly Face of Today's New Democratic Party.

The Disaffected Lib - Sun, 08/16/2015 - 17:23
It's probably too late for New Democrats to reclaim their party but at least they need to grasp how degraded it has become under their leader, Tommy Angry Beard.

They can start with two terrific articles from Canadian Dimension.

First up: Yves Engler's fine piece, "The 'N' in NDP Now Stands for NeoLiberal."

And next there's Richard Swift's, "Death of a Candidacy."

Tom Mulcair in completing what Jack Layton began has now Blairified the New Democratic Party. The New Dem faithful are clinging to a delusion that their party remains social democrat, somewhere to the left of centre. That's nonsense.

What do Mike Duffy and Tom Mulcair have in common?  1. They both chose parties they thought would float their boat.  2. Neither one of them truly did their respective parties any good.

Another Reason To Vote

Politics and its Discontents - Sun, 08/16/2015 - 14:37
If you know any young people looking for a reason to vote, please pass this on to them:

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National Pipeline Approval Board

Posted by Robin Chat on Saturday, August 15, 2015Recommend this Post

Anthony Weiner 

LeDaro - Sun, 08/16/2015 - 12:48
Weiner is an old story. I found this interesting picture of him. He is quite a character. I decided to post it.

That Whiff of Watergate

The Disaffected Lib - Sun, 08/16/2015 - 11:00


The mystery that intrigues me most is who was Harper's "DeepThroat"? Who sent the Duffy email to CTV's Bob Fife, that one little electronic message that sent this whole scandal snowballing out of Harper's control?

The one thing so obvious today is that when Harper's minions concocted this scheme, they had no Plan B for what to do if it blew up in their faces. I don't think they would have tried to rescue Mike Duffy if they had any inkling they could be exposed.

Who was in line to get his/her hands on a copy of Mike Duffy's email who was also sufficiently disaffected to send that bombshell to CTV?

One theory I've heard is that it was another Tory senator, one of perhaps several who might have been so inclined.

The arrival of Harper's "star" senators - Duffy and Wallin - put some noses out of joint as they eclipsed veterans who were expecting their own day in the sun. They resented the way their senate leadership and the PMO fawned over these upstarts with their big names and fancy ways. They felt passed over, forgotten, neglected.

I hope to live long enough to find out who was Harper's Deep Throat. We might have to wait a while.

You See, I've Got These Friends...

The Disaffected Lib - Sun, 08/16/2015 - 10:34


Some I've known for several years, some I've known it seems like forever.  These friends, well - they're Tories.  Real Tories.  The kind that would sooner get ass-raped by a gorilla than vote Liberal or NDP.

These friends like a lot of the same things just as they have some dislikes in common. One of their dislikes is Stephen Harper.  He's just not a very likable guy.  They like having their party in government well enough. They like having a majority Conservative government. It's just that they don't like the guy running the show.

A couple of them have never been able to get the "P" out of the "C".  They still cherish the days of Diefenbaker and Stanfield, even Joe Clark.  They're at that stage in life where they can look back on Brian Mulroney and see the good things that he did (hint: think "acid rain" and "apartheid").  They don't see much of Dief or Bob or Joe or Brian in this guy Harper.

One of my Tory friends is a close friend of Mike Duffy.  Those two were fast friends even while Duffy was Liberal. Did you not know that? He broke his dear mum's heart when he went to the Dark Side. But, like Mulcair, it came down to whatever party was willing to float his boat. Chretien wouldn't. Martin wouldn't. Harper, well what did he have to lose? It sort of reminds me of Mulroney's crack about Bryce Mackasey when John Turner appointed him Canada's ambassador to Portugal, leading Muldoon to quip "There's no whore like an old whore."

Still these friends of mine have dutifully held their nose and voted for Harper over Martin over Dion and, save for one, over Ignatieff.  Actually, I don't think they had to hold their noses in rejecting Ignatieff.  Hell, I did too.

One of them, a guy who hasn't missed an election since the railways introduced diesel engines tells me he's going to give this one a pass.  This is a guy who would have turned out to vote Tory if he was in an iron lung. When it comes to voting Tory, he's absolutely promiscuous. He'll dance with any of them - except not this time, not Harper.

Another Tory friend didn't vote in the last election and he'll not vote this time either. He's waiting for the clouds to part and Progressive Conservatism to shine down and make his Canada whole again. That's sort of the way I felt about the Liberals before I went Green.

I wonder how many other, self-identified Conservative supporters will also just stay home on election day.  Having party supporters is one thing, getting them to show up at the polls is another.

There's a courtroom that's could soon resemble a bowling alley where the pins are prominent Conservatives closely tied to Stephen Harper and the guy rolling strikes is some fellow named Bayne. He just knocked the "choir boy" off Nigel Wright and he's got several frames to go right up to the eve of the election and beyond.

I'm thinking as those pins go down - Wright, Perrin, Novak, Tkachuk, Stewart-Olsen, LeBreton, Gerstein, Hamilton and others - more Tories will lose the will to live, or at least the will to vote.

With an election this tight, with all the parties polling in the high 20s/low 30s, turnout is going to be critical.  Harper can't afford to lose the support of disaffected Tories but it's hard to see what he can do to prevent that.






Donald Trump

LeDaro - Sun, 08/16/2015 - 10:15
Donald Trumps' perception of himself versus public perception.

Sunday Morning Links

accidentaldeliberations - Sun, 08/16/2015 - 09:39
This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Scott Clark and Peter De Vries discuss the need for a Canadian economic plan which involves investment in the long term rather than politically-oriented payoffs only within a single election cycle. And Joseph Stiglitz points out the obvious need for a global system of investment and financial regulation which better puts existing resources to work:
(D)eveloping countries and emerging markets have demonstrated their ability to absorb huge amounts of money productively. Indeed, the tasks that these countries are undertaking – investing in infrastructure (roads, electricity, ports, and much else), building cities that will one day be home to billions, and moving toward a green economy – are truly enormous.
At the same time, there is no shortage of money waiting to be put to productive use. Just a few years ago, Ben Bernanke, then the chairman of the US Federal Reserve Board, talked about a global savings glut. And yet investment projects with high social returns were being starved of funds. That remains true today. The problem, then as now, is that the world’s financial markets, meant to intermediate efficiently between savings and investment opportunities, instead misallocate capital and create risk. ...Private investment is important, too. But the new investment provisions embedded in the trade agreements that the Obama administration is negotiating across both oceans imply that accompanying any such foreign direct investment comes a marked reduction in governments’ abilities to regulate the environment, health, working conditions, and even the economy. 
The US stance concerning the most disputed part of the Addis Ababa conference was particularly disappointing. As developing countries and emerging markets open themselves to multinationals, it becomes increasingly important that they can tax these behemoths on the profits generated by the business that occurs within their borders. Apple, Google, and General Electric have demonstrated a genius for avoiding taxes that exceeds what they employed in creating innovative products. 
All countries – both developed and developing – have been losing billions of dollars in tax revenues. Last year, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists released information about Luxembourg’s tax rulings that exposed the scale of tax avoidance and evasion. While a rich country like the US arguably can afford the behavior described in the so-called Luxembourg Leaks, the poor cannot. - Doug Cuthand argues that western Canada needs to start paying far more attention to how resource policy affects our climate among other issues of long-term sustainability.

- Justin Miller discusses the importance of a $15 minimum wage in a banking sector which has been slashing wages for ages - offering an analysis which applies similarly to the federal minimum wage in Canada. Lydia DePillis and Jim Tankersley point out that the $15 level (unlike increases at substantially lower levels) would have a ripple effect large enough to grow the middle class. And Julie Alderman refutes the latest Republican anti-labour talking point by documenting how unionized workplaces offer far more fair wages for women.

- The CP lists the people who were in the loop about Nigel Wright's payoff to Mike Duffy at the time Stephen Harper previously claimed only two people were involved, while CBC compares what Harper said before to what's being proven now. And Justin Ling, Karl Nerenberg, Tonda MacCharles and Bruce Campion-Smith, Althia Raj look in more detail at the role of the inner circle of the PMO. [Update: And Andrew Coyne notes that the Duffy payoff can be explained only by the desire of Harper and his handlers to avoid having an unbiased audit look into his other expenses.]

- Finally, Anna Mehler Paperny reports that a growing number of Canadians want to see change in this fall's election and are happy to see parties cooperate toward that end. And Kyle Duggan examines a high level of voter interest which bodes well for turnout this October.

Fun With Stephen

Politics and its Discontents - Sun, 08/16/2015 - 06:46





As a Facebook wag described the above, Harper's caucus room post-election.





I have always respected Smokey's advice. At this critical juncture, Canadians would be foolish to ignore him.Recommend this Post

Harper on his Disgraced associates. . . . Please add more.

kirbycairo - Sun, 08/16/2015 - 05:23
Stephen Harper has a long history of associating himself with people who turn out to be criminals or movers and shakers in a culture of corruption. Here are a few quote from Harper defending such people. Given all the disgraced people that Harper has hired and defended, there must be many more quotes out there to be found. If you have any, please leave them in the comments. Maybe we can prompt one of the opposition parties make a good video piece on this. . .


Harper on disgraced Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro -

"He serves his constituents and this House honourably, and I think we should all treat each other with a little more consideration . . ."

Harper on disgraced Conservative MP Peter Penashue -

"…this is the best member of parliament that Labrador has ever had." 

Haper on suspended Senator Pamela Wallen -

"I have looked at the numbers. Her expenses are comparable to any parliamentarian..." 

Harper defends disgraced chief of staff Nigel Wright -

"I have full confidence in Nigel Wright." 




help my christian friend vote, or why the harper government must go

we move to canada - Sun, 08/16/2015 - 04:30
A friend of mine is undecided about which party to vote for in the upcoming federal election.

She normally votes Conservative, but may not this time. She dislikes the Trudeau Liberals, and is deciding between sticking with the Conservatives or voting New Democrat. Strategic voting is not an option for her. She wants to vote with her conscience, something I applaud.

My friend is a committed Christian, a person of deep faith with a strong moral compass and a clear sense of justice. She is a mother, also a working woman. I am privileged to know many people whose spirituality informs their daily lives, and she is one of them.

She is researching how to vote. The NDP's platform is out there for all to see. Whether or not one believes that they will (or will be able to) deliver is a separate conversation. But we do know what the NDP stands for.

The Harper Conservatives first formed a government in 2006, and have been in power ever since. They have a long, consistent track record, but you won't find it in their campaign information. You can't just Google up an answer to my friend's dilemma. (Although if you do, the results are very fruitful!)

I was speaking with my friend about the great sense of urgency I feel around this election, and I remembered this wmtc post from 2008: we don't want another harper government because..., a wrap-up of an earlier post called play the "why we don't want another harper government" game.

So I thought... let's play another round of this game. This one's for all the money, because we've never been closer at ridding this beautiful country of this horrible government as we are right now.

Wmtc readers, join me in listing the many ways in which the Harper Government has been un-Christian, has repudiated family values, and has made Canada less democratic and less just.

I don't know if this format will work again, how many people will join in, or if everyone will answer on Facebook. But let's give it a shot.

The rules:

1. One item per comment.

2. Be as factual and specific as possible. Saying "C-51" is not enough. You must explain something you dislike about bill C-51.

3. No duplicates. If someone else has already posted that item, think of another. Different examples of the same item are ok, though. A different problem with C-51 counts as a separate comment.

As we count down to October 19, help my friend decide how to cast her vote.

I'll go first. The most difficult thing will be choosing one!

Canada's Economic Federation

Northern Reflections - Sun, 08/16/2015 - 03:22

                                            http://free-stock-illustration.com/

Scott Clark and Peter DeVries write that the economy is not in good shape. It hasn't been healthy for the last seven years:

The economy has been seriously underperforming for the past seven years and there’s little to suggest this will change over the next five.Business fixed investment, as a share of GDP, is virtually unchanged since 2008. The unemployment rate remains stuck around 7 per cent, and both the labour force participation rate and the employment rate are below 2008 levels. These trends are dragging down the growth potential of the Canadian economy, which is estimated at around 2 per cent a year, down from 3 per cent.
Unfortunately, when it comes to economic policy, all three of the major parties are entangled in the web of neo-liberalism:

The Conservatives’ growth strategy has always been clear — cut taxes, cut spending, balance the budget, cut the size of government, hope the U.S economy recovers, and pray for higher oil prices. The entire April budget is based on this failed strategy and on projections that are pure fantasy.

What is strange is that the Liberals and NDP are twisting themselves into knots to put together growth strategies that are supposed to be different from that of the Conservatives, while at the same time adopting the Tory orthodoxy that all deficits are bad, all debt is bad, and small government is good.
Wise economic strategy requires federal-provincial cooperation -- something which has been totally absent during the Harper years:

A credible long-term growth strategy should focus on strengthening the economic efficiency of the economy. This would require renewed federal-provincial trust and co-operation, with strong federal leadership — something that has been painfully lacking for years.

It would require, too, an acknowledgement that the tax system has become a serious impediment to economic growth and must be simplified. But it will take real political courage to remove inefficient and unjustifiable tax entitlements.

If we can negotiate international free trade agreements, then why is it so difficult to create a real economic union in Canada, with free movement of goods and services among provinces? Our infrastructure at all levels of government (especially municipal) is collapsing and a national financing strategy is needed to begin rebuilding it. We need a national environmental and energy strategy that includes developing new energy-saving technologies.
Canada is -- or used to be  -- a federation. Until we return to that notion, our economic future is bleak.

Stephen Harper's Disastrous Possibly Fatal Duffy Mistake

Montreal Simon - Sat, 08/15/2015 - 23:52


When Stephen Harper decided to launch the election campaign into the midsummer storm of the Duffy trial, he must have thought he could get away with it.

His criminal mind must have hoped that the campaign would distract Canadians, and limit the damage to him and his Cons.

But as even John Ivison points out, with every passing day that decision is looking more and more disastrous. 
Read more »

A New Poll Suggests the Cons Are In Third Place

Montreal Simon - Sat, 08/15/2015 - 20:43


It's never easy for me to leave Scotland, the idyllic little country where a progressive government has driven the Cons to extinction.

And it wasn't easy for me to blog as I biked from one small fishing village to another with my lap top in my haversack. But I did my best, for this time I couldn't wait to get back.

And this couldn't have been a better homecoming present. 
Read more »

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