Friday, June 26, 2009
When the debate appeared to have run its course, LeBlanc held up two fingers. “Two things,” he said, arching his eyebrows. “First, we cannot be seen to be manipulating all of this. Canadians are very mad at the Tories, and we cannot risk them getting mad at us, too. They do not want to see us taking political advantage of this situation. Secondly, we need to remind them – without it looking like we are reminding them – that these Tory ads are un-Canadian. We need to take them to a place, a room, where they look around, and say: ‘I don’t like where I am.’ Do you understand what I am saying?”
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
* The Progressive Pamphleteer #1 - 1 messages, 1 author
TOPIC: The Progressive Pamphleteer #1
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Date: Mon, Jun 22 2009 6:58 am
From: Neil Watson
*Some of the best progressive articles from the past week. Please pass
this on to others you think might be interested. To find more posts of this
nature, visit Progressive Bloggers <http://www.progressivebloggers.ca/>.*
Newly Disclosed RCMP Email Shocks Dziekanski Inquiry On What Was To Be The
* Auditor General working this
*Shamocracy - The Toronto Star series on the problems with Canadian
*A progression of tiny cuts make democracy a
Deborah Coyne on how to reverse this
The descent of national politics into irrelevance and insignificance: Can it
be reversed? (Part One:
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Monday, June 22, 2009
Turned-off Canadians tuning out
At the time it was hailed as groundbreaking. Fill out a one-page form, pay a $5 fee and Canadians had the right to ask for any federal government record. The introduction of the Access to Information Act in 1983 put Canada on the cutting edge.
"We were amongst the leaders in the world," says Robert Marleau, the federal information commissioner.
But the leader has become the laggard after 26 years of "static decline," Marleau says.
"Since then it's been the same song and dance, no effort by any government to have this legislation or these processes keep pace with time, change and technology," he said in an interview.
Today, the access to information system is collapsing from a combination of neglect and bureaucrats foiling citizens' right to know through foot-dragging and fees.
University of Toronto political science professor Lorraine Weinrib charges that Harper has an "extended track record" of showing disdain for the principles and practices at the heart of Canada's constitutional system.
"While Harper touts the democratic principle as his ideal, his actions align with another principle – an all-powerful executive authority that makes his own rules," she writes in an essay for a book titled Parliament Democracy in Crisis.
To make it clear this is the case, the Conservatives take another slice from the carcass of democracy:
In a significant policy shift, the Canadian government now believes that telling the country’s taxpayers the future cost of the war in Afghanistan would be a threat to national security, Canwest News Service has learned.
The Defence Department cited a national security exemption when it censored a request under Access to Information by the federal NDP for the military costs of Canada’s military participation in the NATO-led, United Nations-sanctioned military mission to Afghanistan.
When the NDP asked for the identical figures last year, the military made them public. Canwest News Service was able to disclose in April 2008 that the yearly incremental cost of the war would top $1 billion for the first time since Canada’s military became involved in Afghanistan in 2002.
The Taliban doesn't lack all measure of sophistication but the spending estimates are not crucial to the mission in Afghanistan. The need for a society to be appropriately informed of it's own affairs is paramount over the need for security in matters of this information.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
But the prime minister warned a fall election that he said "nobody wants" would bring "pretty dangerous results" for the country which is already struggling with a recession.
Harper also raised the spectre of the Liberals forming another proposed coalition with the NDP and supported by the Bloc, despite Ignatieff's repeated assurances the coalition idea was "dead."
"Nobody wants to see the opposition coalition we had at the end of last year," Harper said. "I think everybody in the public recognized the dangers that presents to the country."
He said his minority government has operated in an environment of "constant threat" of an election, which he didn't welcome or think was "useful."
"But when we're faced with them, we make sure we're prepared," he said.
His first comment carries the implication that an election that does not return him to power is a dangerous result. This is unconscionable for the leader of a democracy. I may detest the unfortunate fact that this creep is the Prime Minister of Canada but unless there is evidence of fraud I respect the results that put him there. Harper makes it evident that he does not believe anyone else should be Prime Minister. The only person facing a dangerous result in a Conservative defeat is this woefully unqualified imbecile.
Secondly, lay off the misrepresentation as to how our system works. The coalition, regardless of it's faults, was an entirely legitimate structure. A democrat would not work to erode understanding of the foundations of parliamentary democracy.
And finally the threat of an election has been very useful. That is how minority parliaments work; you fool.
If you can stomach listening to him, here is a link to the video. You can hear Harper misrepresent democracy beginning at 1:25
Lady Macbeth:Macbeth Act 3, scene 2, 8–12
How now, my lord, why do you keep alone,
Of sorriest fancies your companions making,
Using those thoughts which should indeed have died
With them they think on? Things without all remedy
Should be without regard: what's done, is done.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
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"Don't think that things of this sort don't happen in Canada."
Saturday, June 13, 2009
When your opponent is drowning, throw the son of a bitch an anvil.
"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative ( and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now".
Friday, June 12, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
New inspectors not dedicated to meat plantsIncompetence requires non-confidence.Recommend this Post
None of the 57 newly hired inspectors at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are dedicated to meat inspection, despite a promise by Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz at the height of the deadly listeriosis crisis that they would be on the "front lines."...When Ritz announced the new positions last August after a definitive link was made between tainted meat produced at a Maple Leaf plant in Toronto and the deaths of 22 Canadians, he said the government was "targeting another 58 people to be on the front lines."
The CFIA was responding to a request from the NDP's food safety critic, Malcolm Allen, who asked for a status report on these new hires, and whether they were "doing meat inspection or are they doing other things."
Allen said the revelation shows Ritz wasn't being forthright with Canadians.
"The minister left the impression with Canadians that all the inspections that were hired in the last little while were meat inspectors, and now we know this is untrue," he said. "The CFIA has unequivocally said to us this is not what they're doing.
"So the difficulty we have, Canadians have, how do you have confidence in a minister who tells you ... 'This is our remedy, we will hire people to do meat inspection,' and then they hire people and they don't do meat inspection."
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Is the incompetence of the Harper government as currently manifested in Raitt-Gate in conjunction with the Listeriosis outbreak and their history of inept financial management reason enough to move non-confidence?
Recommend this Post
Officials at the main European reactor that produces medical isotopes have their fingers crossed the shuttered Chalk River facility will be running by early next year, when they must close their own operation for five to six months.
"It would be pretty difficult to see how the medical community could manage to cope if we have to go out for a long period before the (Canadian) reactor gets back," said Kevin Charlton, commercial manager of isotope supply at the Petten HFR reactor in the Netherlands.
The phenomenal incompetence of the Harper government is having a global impact. It is too late for calls for the resignation of Lisa Raitt or (John Baird for that matter). Notwithstanding the relative merits of EI reform as a pretext for a non-confidence vote there are no valid reasons to not move non-confidence based on the ongoing Chalk River fiasco. This is worth fighting an election over.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Will an extremely right wing prime minister leading a government elected with the lowest ever level of popular support be able to hold a pillow over the programs that helped make this the best country in the world?
It looks like, if Harper has his way the answers are yes, yes and yes.
Will the infrastructure built up over generations be taken away from our descendants so that a discredited dogma can have one last kick at the cat?
Will an economic event that has been needlessly and purposely exacerbated be used to justify converting Canada into a neo-con dystopia?
Monday, June 1, 2009
Here's a rundown, year to year differences:Conservatives 4,361,540.04 (39,432 donors) 2009Conservatives 4,954,550.22 (44,345 donors) 2008
As of today, the ads have been running for just over 3 weeks with no end in sight. So let us say the attack ad campaign has cost $225,000.00. Give or take. And this doesn't include the cost of the chairs for Angry Steve to kick now that this ad foolishness appears to be a flop.
Following a week of bad news for Stephen Harper’s Conservatives, today it gets even worse. His one hope to divert attention away from his government’s incompetence—the personal attack ads against Michael Ignatieff—can be completely neutralized. We need your help to do it, it doesn’t take much effort and it won’t cost you a penny.
An independent Angus Reid study published today finds that Stephen Harper’s strategy is backfiring and that Michael’s honest and personal response to the attacks resonates strongly with Canadians. Stephen Harper is spending an estimated $750 000 dollars a week on this campaign, but you can help beat it with nothing more than a few clicks of your mouse.
Watch Michael's response to the attack ads
Let’s take this message Canada wide. Forward it to everyone you know and show Stephen Harper that Canadians won’t be distracted from the real story—the economy—and are ready for a new kind of politics.
National Director, Liberal Party of Canada
So the Conservatives have spent approximately half of their first quarter fundraising on an ad campaign that has been about effective as their fiscal stimulus. During a time of apparently declining revenues. Last year they may have dropped a million on legal fees for the Cadman litigation. To what end?
One of the most difficult managerial tasks is controlling expenditures. The Conservatives have champagne tastes. If they find they have to get by on a beer budget there is a lot of hurt coming their way. There is some talk from the Liberals of limiting pre-writ spending. The Liberals should encourage the Conservatives to spend more.
Hello, I am a Malawian and a Christian minister. I would like to comment on your post. I am saddened by this development and pray that the Canadian government will rescind its decision to pull out of Malawi as they plan to do - or at least explain to the Malawi government why they are doing simply as a matter of courtesy. Hopefully, the Harper government will remain committed to the cause of development work not just in Malawi but in that whole region of Africa where the needs are great and the ground is "fertile" for development. As a Malawian, I am very proud of my country especially at this time after the successful and peaceful elections that we just had - the cleanest and most civil election we have had as a democracy. That makes me very proud to be Malawian. I have never been more proud to be Malawian than I am now. I thank God for the President that we have now, Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika. He is a man of vision and sound economic principles. With or without Canada's support, I have every reason to believe that as Malawians we have the capacity to pull ourselves out of poverty, grow our economy, change our political landscape and take our place in the world as a nation that loves peace but takes our lives seriously. We are thankful for the support that we have received from Canada so far and we wish the Canadian government and people God's blessing. We will continue to move on with faith for we know that the best is yet to come for Malawi. Maybe someday, the Harper government will wake up and realize that there is really no justification for withdrawing support from a thriving economy and young democracy.