The federal Conservatives are finally backing off on some of the measures in their proposed so-called "Fair Elections Act" (Bill C-23). Minister for Democratic Reform Poilievre is trying to claim he has listened with an open mind, but this is yet another misleading spin statement from him about the bill. The truth is much more that playing games with democratic voting issues was hurting the Conservatives with their soft supporters, and with swing voters, and they realized they would only recover by compromising.
In addition to being the biggest with 800-million potential voters, and most expensive at $35 billion, the Indian Parliamentary election also has the world's largest youth vote; political parties that reach all the way to our shores; reserved parliamentary seats for minorities; and electoral corruption on a mind-blowing scale. Here are five things you didn't know about democracy in India.
For years, Canada's politicians have wondered who the middle class are and what do they want. This week, we add a fresh question -- are they satisfied with being number one? So now it's our middle class that "appears to be the richest," in the satisfied words of the Globe and Mail. Yet regardless of how sustainable it may be in the long term, having the richest middle class in the world could still prove deeply disruptive for Canada's increasingly middle class-centric political debate -- which exists in no term but the short.
My mottled and confusing clump of skills, best set in service of those around me and my community, are crying out for me to contend. My capacity for leadership, diplomacy and frankness have the potential for good effect in my city, which I hold so dear. Then that is it, dear reader. It is settled. I will run for Mayor of Toronto.
Flaherty's family wasn't hardscrabble poor, but he had to deliver newspapers for months to earn enough to buy himself a pair of good hockey skates to make the team. It was to prove an investment that allowed him to soar to the very top of the world's political roster, skate with the best and earn many goals and assists.
Here I must trespass on the impolite, and I'll begin by restoring to the record the excised bits in which Jim Flaherty was a soldier of Mike Harris's "Common Sense Revolution." The idea that he was a non-ideological moderate would have been laughed out of the room, even by the man himself. Moderate was an insult he applied to his leadership rival, that pink and pale McGuinty imitation Ernie Eves. As Ontario's Attorney General and Finance Minister, Flaherty was one of Harris's most consistent and reliable true believers, mocked (like Harris himself) for applying his tough-on-crime universal restorative elixir to homelessness and poverty.
This month, Canadian students finish exams and begin hunting for summer jobs. A student working the counter at Taco Bell for minimum wage would have to work eight hours a day, seven days week, for almost the entire summer to cover tuition, never mind the cost of specialized or technical degrees. Students have a responsibility to work and pay for at least some of their education. Also a responsibility, when choosing their college or university program, to think about whether they are choosing a field of study where there is a real demand for jobs.
In just a few short years, relatively simple technology that enables people to find like-minded individuals with similar tastes in artwork, has eclipsed and then surpassed a 50 year old institution of government. Hopefully, governments will learn the lessons of other industries and choose to embrace this technological advancement for what it is -- the democratization of art
Jim Flaherty stared at me with tears streaming down his face. It was five years ago and I had been asked to speak at the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa to support a group that helped with African adoptions. Then when I looked up, Jim Flaherty was facing me with a tear-stained face. I was in shock. We often faced one another across the aisle and it was easy to see when he was mirthful or angry. But my favourite image of him will be of a dignified man, fully encompassed in emotion, who was yet capable of embracing another father -- a Liberal father, even -- and touching that human nerve in me that is the basis of all our compassion.
Expenditures on public health care in Canada appear to be slowing, raising the possibility that the health care cost curve is finally being bent and the system transformed. What does this mean? The economy will eventually recover and relax provincial health expenditure constraints, but federal health transfer growth will be reduced starting in 2017.
The elimination of the Health Council only further underlines this movement away from national planning for better outcomes. That the Council's disappearance is part and parcel of a larger strategy of the elimination of the dissenting and unbiased voice -- something that is so needed in a democracy -- is downright disturbing.
We must face the reality of people like Kenroy and Denville who are punished as a result of laws that do not recognize the situation on the ground. We must address the unfair conditions under which we bring people over for this program, and provide them the services they are due. Canada set out to have a universal healthcare system that covers everybody, and it's about time that we did just that.
The last days of the provincial electoral campaign have made me feel people's disillusionment and frustration at the lack of inspiring options even more profoundly. During the debates Marois, Couillard, and Legault behaved like they were in a cage fight, barking insults at one another. It took all the self-restraint that I had not to switch channels. But, contrary to everything around me, I'm hopeful. I'm convinced that I'm witnessing a new breed of Quebecer emerge. One that isn't so easily defined... and therefore not as easy to manipulate and pigeonhole. Nothing will ever be as black or white as it once was, because the world we now live in is a million shades of grey.