Cowichan Conversations: RAFE: ‘Responsible Government’ and how it blocks democracy – Pt.1

Rafe is revealing what some will be surprised to learn. Jaded blogger types and other seasoned politicos have understood the party control aspect for years but somehow it still flies under the radar. Not Read more…

Alberta Politics: Was there just a coup in Portugal? Why did Canada’s media ignore the story?

PHOTOS: The São Bento Palace, home of the Assembly of the Republic, in Lisbon. Was it just the site of a constitutional coup with implications for Canada? You’d never know from the local media. Below: Portuguese President Aníbal Cavaco Silva; Portugal’s national flag. Did you know a coalition of the left has been denied the ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Prentice term-limit idea is gimmicky and probably unconstitutional

TweetYou are Jim Prentice. You have the podium and the attention of Alberta’s media. You are the next Premier of Alberta. You can dream big. You could promise to replace all of Alberta’s aging hospitals by 2020, to build a high-speed railway from Calgary to Edmonton, to forge a new relationship with municipalities through Big City Charters, or reinvent the ...

Politics and its Discontents: Back To Earth

I had planned this to be my first piece post-holiday, but Nelson Mandela’s passing yesterday prompted my post about that giant who walked among us. I purposely kept it brief, since thousands upon thousands of words will be written about him in the days to come, a testament not only to his stature throughout the ...

Politics and its Discontents: Some Inspiration From Kevin Page

There is an excellent piece in this morning’s Star by outgoing Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page. In it, he talks about how his son’s death was the catalyst for his abandoning a natural desire for job security and his subsequent pursuit of the job which has incurred so much Harper wrath while at the same ...

calgaryliberal.com: Budget 2013: Petty Politics in the PCs

The Conservatives, in a grand act of pettiness, have punted the Canadian Taxpayers Federation from the budget lockup on the 7th. It is likely in response to the organization holding the government’s feet to the fire. The budget lockup is a long tradition of the province that invites politicians from the opposition benches, the media, and ...

Impolitical: Only in Britain?

Only in Britain, you say. Pity: I only ask because a few days ago the government released a transparently self-serving “response” to a request from its own MPs, showing that it costs as much as $150,000 to respond to a question tabled by an opposition politician in Parliament, and therefore that opposition politicians should not ...

Politics and Entertainment: The Agonizing Challenge of Voting in 2015

“If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.” – Emma Goldman There’s been much talk of late about uniting the main opposition parties in some sort of delusional effort to defeat the Harper Regime come the next faux election either as a one-time strategic plan or by way of a more long term relationship.  Here’s ...

Politics and Entertainment: Over 120 Lawyers Ask for Proposed Environmental Changes to be Removed from Bill C-38

You would think that such a significant resistance from the law community might have an effect on the Regime’s thinking, but don’t count on it. The goal is the full implementation of a neoliberal agenda in the belief that it will be next to impossible to reverse – even were there to be a regime ...

THE FIFTH COLUMN: The Bill That Couldn’t Happen Here

Back when I worked for the House of Commons, every time an Omnibus Bill was proposed (and the usual discussions and negotiations around splitting it were occurring) we would joke about the ultimate Omnibus Bill – An Act for the Government of Canada, with everything a government wanted to do in one bill. Of course, ...

Impolitical: C-38 Speaker’s ruling reaction

Key point on Scheer’s ruling and the ongoing discussion over C-38, the government’s monstrous omnibus bill that jams unrelated and consequential bills into the budget process: “It’s something that clearly means we’re going to have to change the way Parliament does business,” Rae said. “If we can’t succeed in doing that under this government, we’ll ...

Politics and its Discontents: Andrew Coyne On The Decline Of Parliament Under Harper

Despite his right-wing orientation, there has been unmistakable evidence in the work of Andrew Coyne this past year or so that conveys a clear disenchantment with the Harper regime. Using the sad spectacle of David Wilk’s public humiliation, today in the National Post Coyne offers the re-education of the Kootenay-Columbia Conservative MP as an object ...

Politics and Entertainment: Repressive Tactics Smack of History

Of course the so-called budget bill, stuffed to the gills with non-budgetary items as such, has multiple political purposes, but one of them is clearly to limit dissenting voices within parliament itself and to usurp parliamentary power and transfer it to cabinet – as can be seen, for example, in the new environmental regulation proposals. ...

Impolitical: There’s open government & then there’s not so open government

So Tony Clement was on the Twitter this late afternoon, having his picture taken while at the keyboard, tweeting on the #opengovchat stream during a Treasury Board Secretariat sponsored chat on open government. Open government to the datafiles has a specific meaning, where the objective is to enable open access to government data, documents, proceedings, ...

Impolitical: In Camera government

Beyond all the excitement on the Hill today, there is an important development that Kady O’Malley has noted at the parliamentary committee level that is worth a look. Apparently Conservative MP Mike Wallace of Burlington has put forth a motion at the Government Operations Committee that would mean that all future committee business conducted there ...

Runesmith's Canadian Content: Occupy: Why Voting Isn’t Enough

Overhead view of the Occupy Toronto encampment, St. James Park (from Torontoist) Al Gore’s book, “The Assault on Reason” is one of the best treatises on American democracy I’ve ever read. Written almost five years ago, the book goes into great detail about the many ways in which that democracy has been undermined in recent ...

Runesmith's Canadian Content: Occupy: Why Voting Isn’t Enough

Overhead view of the Occupy Toronto encampment, St. James Park (from Torontoist) Al Gore’s book, “The Assault on Reason” is one of the best treatises on American democracy I’ve ever read. Written almost five years ago, the book goes into great detail about the many ways in which that democracy has been undermined in recent ...

Runesmith's Canadian Content: Occupy: Why Voting Isn’t Enough

Overhead view of the Occupy Toronto encampment, St. James Park (from Torontoist) Al Gore’s book, “The Assault on Reason” is one of the best treatises on American democracy I’ve ever read. Written almost five years ago, the book goes into great detail about the many ways in which that democracy has been undermined in recent ...

THE FIFTH COLUMN: Minority Governments for Dummies (and Tory PMs)

the voters elect the House of Commons to govern the leader of the current government (the government before the election) has the right to meet the House and attempt to gain its confidence, however usually the party with the most seats gets the first opportunity to be Prime Minister and lead the government responsible government ...

THE FIFTH COLUMN: The Coalition is Dead – Someone Tell Stephen Harper

The idea of a coalition government is dead for the simple reason that it is not in Michael Ignatieff’s political interest to enter into a coalition that would require him to share power. Although it is in his political interest not to contradict Stephen Harper’s coalition fear mongering but to leave the impression he is ...

THE FIFTH COLUMN: Democracy Election

While thousands worldwide sacrifice their lives for the right to free elections Canadians complain about having one. That is not to say there are no reasons for some Canadians not to want an election. Certainly if you support the Reformatories you have it pretty good right now. With a minority in the House of Commons ...

Runesmith's Canadian Content: Another Decree from King Stephen I

I’ve been wondering what it would take to rouse me from my municipal campaign-induced indifference to federal politics. This did the trick: Ottawa bars ministers’ staff from appearing before committees New Conservative policy says ministers, not their staff, should be held accountable The Conservative government is launching another showdown with the opposition over the powers ...

Runesmith's Canadian Content: My Canada 150 Presentation: "The Creative and Competitive Economy"

What follows is an expanded version of what was supposed to be a five minute presentation at the Canada 150: Halton conference – and a MUCH expanded version of the 2 1/2 minutes I actually got to speak.____________________________Canadian Culture in the Digital AgeCanada has always faced unique challenges to establishing our cultural identity. We are ...

bastard.logic: Prorogation, Disengagement and Cutting the Democratic Deficit in Canada

by matttbastard With thousands of Canadians reportedly hitting the streets this past weekend to express their disapproval of Stephen Harper’s latest arrogant bird-flip to Parliamentary democracy, it seems apparrent that our political elites are out of touch with the people whose interests they profess to represent. A new report, to be released today, offers empirical ...