What if all Senators, save for the 20 needed to make quorum, simply resigned en masse tomorrow? In the beginning of his mandate, Harper refused to appoint non-elected Senators to the Upper Chamber. He ended up doing so because the dwindling numbers compromised the Senate's functionality. This time around, the Prime Minister may very well stop appointing Senators for good.
Canadians' politics are local, not national. The lack of confidence in governments to take on the country's big issues means Canadians trust their governments with smaller, achievable goals. Affordable, doable policy solutions trump vague, grand promises, programs, or visions.
The use of incorrect statistics and skewed economic arguments to demand the exclusion of Temporary Foreign Workers by people all along the political spectrum hearkens to a lengthy history of exclusion of immigrants from Canada. While in the past racist headlines read "Immigrants are taking Canadian jobs," now they insist "Foreign workers are taking Canadian jobs." What's the difference? There is more afoot here, its xenophobia and it must be challenged. It is important that we do not repeat the injustices of the past. Full immigration status for all, full rights for all workers is the only way forward. Resist attempts to divide unemployed, migrant, and poor people.
It would be refreshing to see Tom Mulcair of the NDP and Justin Trudeau of the Liberals to forge coherent energy policies that lead to a more vibrant and sustainable economy. In short, we need to know they will stop burying our future with dead end pipeline projects.
Mulroney, the former prime minister known for his big projects and his checkered past, recently gave a startling speech admonishing Ottawa to get its act together managing our vast resource wealth -- including reaching a deal with native Canadians and on protecting the environment.
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.
I've been getting piles of emails, Facebook messages and invites about the Conservatives 'Fair Elections Act'. I haven't really responded to the...
It was exactly one year ago today that Justin Trudeau was elected Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. A year later, the positive mood continues. Politics shouldn't be a sour competition among unhappy people about who can make voters angrier. It should, instead, be about who and what to vote FOR, and the greater country we can build together for our children. That attitude is Justin Trudeau's greatest advantage.
Like every country with an aging population, Canada will have to implement some changes to make sure care continues to be accessible and affordable, but the U.S. model is not the example Ottawa and the provinces should follow.
Nomination battles are fascinating to watch and if you are part of one it is an exhilarating experience. The hype of "open nominations" will continue as all parties try to prove to the media and public that there is a new way of doing business now. Let us see how long it takes before we start hearing complaints from potential challengers about how they were dealt with during this "open" process.
Watching the NDP's feigned outrage at the Conservative's use (misuse) of government aircraft generates flashbacks to when the Conservatives were in opposition. At that time as head of the Conservative research group looking into Liberal misdeeds, we would often check the Challenger jet flight logs. Upon assuming office in February 2006 realty set in.
In 2004 voters barely had a clue who Stephen Harper was. So he appeared in those hilariously contrived ads in which he complained about the Liberals, offered some kind of solution, and then paused and added, slowly, "My name is Stephen Harper." Viewers came away wondering about his speaking style but pretty sure, whoever this guy was, his name must be Stephen Harper.
The most troubling concern about the Fair Elections Act is the restriction it will impose on our voting rights. In the past, the Voter Identification Card (VIC) used to be a legitimate and sufficient identification of voters, which is what happened in the last election with 120,000 citizens. Potential voters will need additional evidence of identity such as a driver's license or an address on a utility bill, items which some citizens do not have. Vouching, used in the past, will also be eliminated. The net result is that many young students, the unemployed, the homeless and First Nations Canadians will not be able to vote.
Even the most ardent Conservative supporters must wonder what principled position is behind the recent government-sponsored arms deal with Saudi Arabia that will send over $10 billion worth of Light Armoured Vehicles to one of the most anti-woman and repressive countries in the world. Outside its borders, the Saudi royal family uses its immense wealth to promote and fund many of the most reactionary, anti-women social forces in the world. The Conservatives have ignored these abuses, staying quiet when the regime killed "Arab Spring" protesters and intervened in Bahrain. Worse still, the Harper government's hostility towards Iran and backing of last July's military takeover in Egypt partly reflects their pro-Saudi orientation.
As citizens of the "free world" -- North Americans, at least -- we have a great power bestowed upon us: the right to vote. Yet this basic right is often taken for granted. Understandably, enacting one's support for politicians can be frustrating, but fundamentally they are chosen by us to manage our tax dollars. And listen up: you pay taxes.