Scripturient: Thoughts on local municipal governance

A popular political theory presents two basic and often contradictory models of how elected officials should (or do) behave as representatives. One is as a delegate: solely acting as a representative of the people who elected them. The other is as a trustee, serving (or attempting to serve) everyone under their governance. In practice, these ...

Scripturient: Honderich’s hypocrisy

In late January, the Toronto Star published a lengthy opinion piece by board chair John Honderich, titled, “We should all be very concerned by the crisis facing quality journalism.” But just in case you thought this was really just about journalism and not a political screed, there’s the telling subhead: “The Trudeau government has either ...

Scripturient: Fire and Fury reviewed

Dysfunctional. Childish. Self-centred. Narcissistic. Ideologically myopic. Illiterate. Cranky. Capricious. Arrogant. Scheming. Petty. Ill-educated. No, I’m not writing about our local council (although, yes, all those words apply equally to The Block). These are some of the words that came to mind as I read Michael Wolff’s book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Free Meds and Mental Health Care

Perfect timing. My son just finished telling me about his trip to our family doctor in which he tried but failed to get a form filled out that will enable our benefits to cover his ridiculously expensive drugs, when I came across this post on my Twitter feed from the perspicacious Jenny Lawson: I don’t ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Horgan’s right on Kinder Morgan, even if he got Site C wrong

On Kinder Morgan, John Horgan is standing up for British Columbians — as he should (BCNDP/Flickr) Dear Premier Horgan, I’m still mad at you for carrying on with Site C Dam, based on the utterly bogus reasons you offered the public. But when it comes to Kinder Morgan, I’ve got your back, because you clearly ...

Things Are Good: The Berlin Wall: Now Down Longer Than it was Up

The Berlin Wall marked a negative time in recent history in which two sides couldn’t communicate well and severed a country, and families, in two. During the Cold War people risked their lives tring to escape to West Germany from the oppressive East. The tearing down of the wall was a true turning point in ...

Politics – Toronto Lawyer | Omar Ha-Redeye: Ontario Liberal Party AGM

The Ontario Liberal Party held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Feb. 2-4, 2018 in Toronto. Karen Mock lights Shabbat candles at the Ontario Liberal Party’s AGM with Premier Kathleen Wynne, on Friday Feb. 2, 2018. The Premier and Cabinet members gather for a reception at the Ontario Liberal Party AGM.  

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: SK NDP Chasing Fossils

This was sent to me, and the person asked it be published anonymously: Tonight while scrolling though Facebook I noticed a statement from you about the pipeline in BC. I am actually very disappointed to see you support it. We don’t need any more pipelines in this country, we need to invest in solar and ...

Ken Chapman: What Do We Do Now?

The Political Paradox that is Alberta The political paradox for Alberta is that, while we have had majority governments since 1971 we have had unstable governance since about 2004.  In that election year Ralph Klein kept a majority government but was loosing popular support.  He gave up 12 seats that election, mostly in the Edmonton ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Conflict

We’re raised to understand conflict from the perspective of good guys and bad guys. But it’s rarely so clear. The battle for land and resources can be utterly nonsensical, particularly where there is plenty to go around. I watched the documentary Jane last night, in which Goodall described the horrors of the Chimp Wars of the ...

centre of the universe: Keep ’em separated

Recently the Government of Canada included on its summer student funding program a check box that asks whether the business (non-profit/agency/charity/etc.) applying for federal tax funding complies with Canadian law. Normally, that’s not a problem. Normally, if you apply for federal funding, you’re all, hells yes we comply with federal laws. It’s exceedingly rare for ...

Things Are Good: Replace GDP with Inclusive Development Index

Economic influencers and generally super-rich have occupied Davos, Switzerland this week to discuss how to get wealthier. They also discuss global issues that impact more than just their own wealth. Unsurprisingly interest in climate change and inequality during the Davos meeting increases every year. This year the host of the event, the World Economic Forum ...

Things Are Good: Canada to Monitor Behaviour of Corporations Aboard

Canada announced yesterday that, like other nations, the country will be monitoring how Canadian corporations behave beyond its borders. Over the years there have been too many accounts of corporations based in Canada getting into conflicts and abusing communities of people internationally. Obviously this sort of behaviour is bad for people and tarnishes any positive ...

cmkl: UNIFOR vs the CLC vs ATU vs UNITE-HERE vs what the hell are we doing here?

I’m no longer in the business, so take this rant with a bucket of salt and an understanding that I have no actual, credible insider information but I see UNIFOR’s Leave the House of Labour™ move as a short term tactic to win changes to the Congress’s raiding rules which I think they could resolve ...

Scripturient: Does poetry make things happen in 2018?

I was thinking about how little poets seem to matter to modern political administrations. Maybe to modern society as a whole. Their light has, it seems, been waning for several decades as our collective attention shifts. I was thinking about what an odd, awkward fit it would be for a poet to be invited to ...

Dead Wild Roses: On Capitalist Democracy – Daniel Tayor

Daniel Taylor writing in Red Flag, addresses some of the systemic problems with the economic system we currently have.   “When the system is under strain, the “democratic deficit” of capitalism becomes obvious. No matter how many elections take place, the things we want don’t happen; the things we don’t want, do happen; and the ...

Things Are Good: Courts vs. Climate Change

New York City launched a lawsuit against some of the larger polluters on the planet to cover the costs the city faces due to climate change (projected to be over $20 billion USD). A decade ago this case would likely have been thrown out, today with the effects of climate change so overt this case ...

Dead Wild Roses: Reforming Politics One Reefer at a Time – Priorities of the Canadian Government

In Canada it is easy to see where elite consensus lies. Marijuana legislation is barrelling ahead (potheads rejoice!) and electoral reform is dead in the water and slowly sinking out of the public’s consciousness. This is how electoral reform died in Canada: “In response, Trudeau pointed to a difference of opinions among the major political ...

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: I Didn’t Blog in December

I was distracted by things more awesome than blogging. What could that be? I’ll tell you some day. For now, I’m back, complaining about litter. Everyone is focusing on a crappy coffee shop chain in Canada, and giving them even more brain-space free marketing because too many people are addicted to the sugar and caffeine ...

A Puff of Absurdity: War is a Terrible Back-Up Plan

Noam Chomsky is certain that the only two things we should be worried about right now are climate change and nuclear war. Adam Ellick and Jonah Kessel’s article in the NYTimes from last month, “From North Korea with Dread,” is terrifying. Some think it’s not something to fear because of course the U.S. will win ...

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 ...

Dead Wild Roses: What Happens When you Run Out of Quick to Cut? – The Republican Tax Cut to the Rich

   The adage that says ‘a capitalism will sell you the rope to hang him with’ comes to mind while reviewing the latest round of Feed the Rich that is going in in the United States.  It is frightening the pace at which the plutocrats are lining their pockets and fleecing the general population of ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder

I finally got to this pocket-sized book, which is full of lessons passed down from my folks that I’ve been saying for decades, and many others that I’m hearing over and over in the past year. It’s nothing new, but it is good to be reminded. From a thorough understanding of history, Snyder gleaned twenty neat tips ...

politics – Christy's Houseful of Chaos: Nellie McClung and the challenge of history

Up until a few weeks ago, if I was asked my impression of Nellie McClung I probably would have said “oh, she was that suffragette, right? The one people say was racist and supported eugenics?” I started reading about Nellie McClung this past few weeks. I’ll still a newcomer to McClung’s story and I’ve already ...

Things Are Good: Boomers Destroyed the Planet & Economy, Millennials Trying to Save Both

For the first time in a very long time an entire generation will be worse of than their parents. The wheels are in motion for that truth to be a set reality that requires drastic change that society likely can’t handle. Still, millennials are going to try to make the world better than they found ...