Democracy Under Fire: Stark choices…..

In a blog dedicated to commentary on Canadian Democracy how can I avoid discussing the upcoming Ontario Provincial election and when doing so how can I avoid being highly partisan in my comments given the increasingly divisive commentary coming from some, if not all, participants? I am not sure that is possible but at least ...

Politics and its Discontents: A Broad Canvas

If, like me, you are a retired senior to whom the fates have been reasonably kind, you have the luxury to contemplate the world around you at your leisure. If you are at all engaged in the larger world, however, that contemplation is rarely relaxing or enjoyable. You have seen too much in your lifetime. ...

Democracy Under Fire: Electronic Voting Not an Option…. yet.

Following the panel discussion on voter engagement of young people at Ryerson University recently backbench Liberal MPP Arthur Potts proposes that the voting age should be lowered two years, to 16. Scotland and Argentina are among the places where teenagers are allowed to cast ballots at that age, a time when many are taking on ...

Dead Wild Roses: Managing Dissent and the threat of Populism in the US

We’ve had a few pieces on the disconnect between the public and the political process.  This essay by Richard D. Wolff looks to answering the question why, despite there being two different political parties in the US, that the overall arc of the US body politic maintains the same general direction.   “In short, “democracy” ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: No room for dissent. No time for silence. #nlpoli

The controversy about The Rooms’ recent request for proposals is not about Muskrat Falls. Maybe someone at The Rooms or within the provincial government thought that was the problem when Des Sullivan raised concerns about it.  After all, Des is well known as a critic of Muskrat Falls.  That might explain why Dean Brinton, The ...

Democracy Under Fire: Democratic Renewal

Recently Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne, Progressive Conservative interim leader Vic Fedeli, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, and Green Leader Mike Schreiner recently gathered at Ryerson University to discuss – not to debate – the need for democratic renewal . Moderated by the Star’s Queen’s Park columnist, Martin Regg Cohn the forum focused on the urgent need ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Nick Falvo highlights some of the most important proposals in the CCPA’s alternative federal budget (parentheticals omitted): 3. Introduce a national pharmacare program. This proposal would help address the fact that many Canadians simply cannot access prescription medication; it would also result in reduced premiums paid by ...

Democracy Under Fire: The Tyranny of the Click

A new study has found that overwhelming majority of Canadians believe in the critical role of journalism to democracy, and support more policies to defend the industry. “Financial pressures have strained Canada’s news industry, with layoffs in newsrooms across the country. News Media Canada has proposed overhauling the Canadian Periodical Fund, which currently provides funding ...

The Disaffected Lib: It Wasn’t Just a Crazed Kid with an Assault Rifle At that Parkdale High School Yesterday. He had Company, America’s "Bought and Paid For" Congress.

I watched Lawrence O’Donnell interview a father whose 15-year old daughter was at the Parkdale, Florida high school where 17 people, mainly students, were gunned down yesterday. The man’s daughter had not been harmed but he was visibly upset by the event and what she had gone through as she and her classmates huddled to ...

Democracy Under Fire: Democracy Scale.

The Economist Intelligence Unit released on Wednesday its 2017 Democracy Index, which ranks 167 countries on a 0 to 10 scale. Only countries with scores above 8 are categorised as “full” democracies. The US was downgraded from a “full democracy” to a “flawed democracy”in the same study last year, which cited the “low esteem in ...

Democracy Under Fire: Democracy in Crisis

Freedom House, the U.S.-based institute which surveys the progress of democracy, civil society, freedom of speech and the media round the world has produced a report headlined “Democracy in Crisis” – a grim reportage showing that democracy’s “basic tenets – including guarantees of free and fair elections, the rights of minorities, freedom of the press, and the rule ...

Democracy Under Fire: Speaking Truth to Power.

By now most readers will have read that Sen. Jeff Flake ripped Trump a new one last Wednesday in a speech in the U.S. Senate and perhaps read some extracts from that speech in news reports. If you have not already done so I encourage you to read the entire speech, it is no less ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Monbiot’s Out of the Wreckage

The book cover says the book “provides the hope and clarity required to change the world.” Well, he certainly tries. He’s got a plan of action that’s possible, but I didn’t get the requisite hope necessary to be spurred to action. It’s a bit of an overview of many ideas from different places, many of ...

Dead Wild Roses: Looking Back – Why Didn’t Obama Fix the System and Help the Working Class?

Now that we’re in the era of the 45th republican administration the battles we fight are more basic.  Defending basic rights of people and defending the societal institutions that promote equality in society.  That is where we are now.  But back in the first term of the Obama presidency he had it all, majorities in ...

Politics and its Discontents: If The Shoe Fits

For some strange reason, this resonates with me: Recommend this Post

Democracy Under Fire: Shades of Orwell

The thought police are increasingly active in Trumps Americka, ‘The Trump administration is prohibiting officials at the nation’s top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases — including “fetus” and “transgender” — in any official documents being prepared for next year’s budget. Policy analysts at the Centers for Disease Control ...

The Canadian Progressive: The FCC’s plan to repeal net neutrality threatens democracy everywhere

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposed plan to dismantle net neutrality threatens democracy and the free exchange of ideas and information via the Internet. Even if the FCC votes to repeal net neutrality this week, the fight to save the must continue. The post The FCC’s plan to repeal net neutrality threatens democracy ...

Democracy Under Fire: Tending the Garden

“You have to tend to this garden of democracy, otherwise things can fall apart fairly quickly. And we’ve seen societies where that happens,” Former president Barack Obama In these days of a clearly ‘unstable’ individual in a position of great power in the US of Eh who does not seem to realize that his words ...

The Disaffected Lib: A Fitting End to a Country Grown Too Old

Remember when North America was called the New World? Well, in some ways, it’s rather old, very old. The United States boasts of being the world’s oldest constitutional democracy and, even if that means brushing a few other nations such as Switzerland under the carpet, it clings to that claim. These are, however, technicalities. The ...

The Canadian Progressive: David Suzuki: Corporate influence inflames political cynicism

Even though elected politicians, especially those who end up holding cabinet positions, often prioritize corporate interests over those of their electors, David Suzuki still encourages us to overcome political cynicism and participate in the democratic process. The post David Suzuki: Corporate influence inflames political cynicism appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Disaffected Lib: Chris Hedges Looks at The True North.

The first two words give it away, “Pity Canada.”Chris Hedges looks at Canada and sees us succumbing to the U.S. contagion only behind the mask of moderation. On reading this you may think he goes too far, is too harsh. Perhaps, but not entirely. And, yes, it is harsh in challenging us to take a ...

Democracy Under Fire: The Demise of Democracy

A recent post by Owen over at Northern Reflections brought my attention to this highlighting an “investigation” by a long time former MP. Both major parties have made a mockery of Canada’s electoral system, which was on its sickbed when the Liberals came to power. It’s now on life support — according to the investigations ...

The Disaffected Lib: A Succinct Analysis of the Failure of Neoliberal Politics

Most of us know that neoliberalism, ushered in 40 years ago by Thatcher, Reagan and Mulroney, has run its course. If you bump into him, please let Justin in on that reality. So what happened? How did neoliberal politics fail us? And how is Trump the inevitable leftover of the neoliberal failure? Jacobin Magazine’s Corey Robin ...

Politics and its Discontents: A Chill On Democracy?

I think it is indisputable that thanks to the online world of social media, civil discourse has been hobbled. If, for example, one reads comments in newspapers or in public Facebook posts, usually the second or third person will lapse into tired, unimaginative words and phrases such as libtard, social justice warrior, communist, cuck, etc. ...

Parchment in the Fire: A despot in disguise: one man’s mission to rip up democracy

George Monbiot The Guardian It’s the missing chapter: a key to understanding the politics of the past half century. To read Nancy MacLean’s new book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, is to see what was previously invisible. The history professor’s work on the subject began by ...