The CPC's push for its absurdly named Fair Elections Act would make infamous Republican strategist Karl Rove proud. At best, it has been a campaign to mislead the public, at worst, an attempt to rig the electoral system to favour the Tories in 2015. Conservative Senator Linda Frum says its a conflict of interest for Elections Canada to promote voter turnout. But the real conflict of interest lies with the Conservatives, who are pushing through a bill that radically reshapes our electoral process just one year before they'll seek to win a second majority government.
For a real-life example of how scaling back government has led to positive and practical economic benefits, Americans should look north. In Canada the conventional wisdom for much of the second half of the 20th century favored increasing the size of government. This led to significant growth in government as a share of the economy.
If Health Canada spent as much time and money on researching medical marijuana and creating a properly run system as they have on court battles against patients, then we'd all be a lot better off. But unless you've just taken a big bong-hit, I wouldn't hold your breath.
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.
The Fair Elections Act, when you examine all its parts, is designed to fix the next election so the ruling party who are the Conservatives win. That is not fair or democratic for 2015 or any future elections. So here are five things that are unfair about the Fair Elections Act.
It's funny. For all the squawking on the left about the need to preserve and strengthen democracy in this country, no one on the progressive side seems terribly interested in standing up for one of the key principles of the practice. Namely, the right of the elected part of our government to make law and the obligation of the unelected part -- the bureaucracy -- to respect and enforce it. we shouldn't tolerate the emergence of a political culture in which an elected government's ability to pass legislation is understood -- if not encouraged -- to be subject to the veto of unelected civil servants with the most to lose.
After 20 years of providing uncompromised abortion services to women in New Brunswick, and from PEI, the Morgentaler Clinic is being forced to close its doors due to funding shortfalls. It is shameful that Canada now has two provinces that refuse to uphold a woman's right to choose, and provide necessary medical procedures free of cost to women.
Although we got to know each other through politics, my own favourite memory of Jim is entirely personal. Whenever we ended up at the same event, same function -- as soon as we spied each other across the room, he'd smile a big grin, as would I. His eyes would twinkle. Thank you, Jim, for your friendship and your service.
The only scenario in which the NDP may be organised and stable enough to enter the Québec fray would be if it were to win consecutive mega majorities federally. That would bring us to 2023. This is neither a sustainable nor a realistic political alternative.
The seized marijuana all came from designated growers who were licensed to grow for up to two patients each under the old system. These are the same home gardens which Health Canada ordered to be shut down, claiming that they are all mold-ridden, unsafe and unhealthy. Yet at the same time, it's allowed for these growers to sell their product to the newly licensed producers, who can then flip it to patients at a profit? How does any of this make sense?
Should we trust a political leader who does not understand basic economic notions? This question is becoming more and more relevant as the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Justin Trudeau, keeps making absurd statements about the economy. He also seems not to understand that government spending does not create wealth and that to stimulate the economy sustainably, we must do the opposite. There's not much harm in it as long as Mr. Trudeau cannot act on his absurd beliefs. But if the Liberal Party of Canada ever comes to power again, these ideas could become a threat to Canadians' economic security. Can we afford to take such a risk?
Will the Government of Canada support the threatened peace talks in Addis Ababa by offering mediators to the warring parties and other stakeholders? Will it support civil society coalitions, which are working for reconciliation inside South Sudan? If the violence does not stop, South Sudan could slip further into ethnic conflict.
There is a message from the Quebec election for Prime Minister Stephen Harper: ideas matter while dangerous, unfair ones will come back to haunt you. In a result few would have predicted at the outset, Quebec's Liberals unseated the reigning Parti Quebecois and won a solid majority after running a straightforward campaign of better government for a better economy. So what does this mean for the Harper government, which could take the country to the polls in the coming months? It will all come down to whether constituents, especially in vote-rich Ontario, are tired of the bad ideas and divisive overreach of their government in Ottawa.
The sky above Montréal is ominously grey. On social media, particularly Facebook, it's a different story. There's so much noise, so much anger, so much petulant giddiness. I'm severely disheartened to see so many friends, colleagues and acquaintances bursting with joy over the prospect of four years of majority Liberal rule.
Was the rise in voter turnout linked to an increase of immigrant and visible minorities voters? Was it the Charter or the spectre of another referendum for them to "steal" that drove them to the polls in record numbers? If Premier Marois had access to better polling data surveying minorities who make up a sizeable chuck of the electorate, would she have pulled the electoral chain to begin with? As pollsters drown in the sea of complacency and/or mortal fear of uncovering the uncomfortable truths, the necessary examination of voters will continue to falter.
Premier Marois sought to achieve her goals in spectacularly absurd fashion -- a separate country for French-Canadians and a ban on religious headgear for everyone else -- and on Monday, her extremism was rejected. Hardly definitively, however. The Parti Quebecois remains Quebec's official opposition, and the rise of new nationalist parties, coupled with a sharp split in the popular vote, suggests much of the Marois agenda has merely scattered elsewhere. More than a trace can even be found in Mr. Couillard.
I have gone so far to argue that my experience in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban was equally as damaging to me mentally as the fight I face every day on the home front in Canada, with Veterans Affairs Canada. The ineptitude that the department operates under led to my first blog post and I can attest that I am not the only soldier who feels they have not been taken care of when coming home. Documentation of these abuses will be our greatest asset, because as the system gets inundated with the claims for sanctuary trauma, along with them will come testimonies of veterans about the glaring deficiencies within VAC.
An enduring lesson from the Rwandan genocide -- not unlike the Holocaust -- is that it occurred not only because of the machinery of death, but because of state-sanctioned incitement to hate and genocide. Indeed, as the Supreme Court of Canada recognized, and as echoed by the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda, the Holocaust did not begin in the gas chambers -- it began with words. As the jurisprudence of the Rwandan tribunals demonstrates, these acts of genocide were preceded by -- and anchored in -- the state-orchestrated demonization and dehumanization of the minority Tutsi populations.
The industry undeniably preys on those who are desperate for a way in, and capitalizes on their insecurity with unpaid internships. But the demand doesn't justify the exploitation. The fact that it's a standard practice doesn't mean people have to accept it. Future journalists can, and should, fight back against this standard. This is why I am genuinely pleased by the government's crackdown. It will not solve all of the problems facing prospective journalists like myself, but it is a great way to eliminate one.