Pop The Stack: A Contrast in Leadership

This week we have seen a real contrast in leadership styles. First we have Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the UN.  What should have been a sure thing, Canada being chosen to fill the rotating two-year seat on the security council, became a huge disappointment.  Why did this happen? The reason seems to be that the ...

Pop The Stack: Democracy Around the Galaxy: A Hitchhikers Guide

In celebration of 42 day this Sunday here is an entry I offer from Pop The Stack for inclusion in that most remarkable of all books ever to come out of the great publishing corporations of Ursa Minor, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The subject is an introduction to some democratic systems in use around the galaxy.  This should ...

Ignatieff Makes Personal Appeal

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff sent out an email to his mass mailing list today, with a subject line of “This is personal.” Here it is: My mother got sick with Alzheimer’s when she was in her 60s — early, in other words — and my dad took care of her at home. I’ve never admired ...

Pop The Stack: Between a Bloc and a Hard Place

I’ve said it before, but coalition is not a dirty word. It’s a perfectly acceptable way to govern.  This week Iggy said that ‘there is no coalition, period‘. True statement. A true statement in the present tense, because there isn’t one, right now.  Even if Mr. Ignatieff is being coy, this is a good thing because ...

Pop The Stack: Who’s the Boss?

Congratulations to our new Governor General David Johnston. I hope you serve the office as well as Michaëlle Jean, I’m sure you will. As our new GG undoubtedly knows, he now has some reserve powers for extraordinary circumstances.  It seems that when our previous GG had cause to exercise these powers on that long morning ...

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: TVO’s The Agenda: The Rights of Vulgar Little Cowards – Akaash Maharaj Videocast

In this, my maiden broadcast essay for TVOntario’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin, I argue that freedom of expression is too fundamental a right to be casually abridged, and that the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal must be stripped of its power to regulate public expression.

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: TVO’s The Agenda: The Rights of Vulgar Little Cowards – Akaash Maharaj Videocast

In this, my maiden broadcast essay for TVOntario’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin, I argue that freedom of expression is too fundamental a right to be casually abridged, and that the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal must be stripped of its power to regulate public expression.

Census vote!

The House of Commons will vote on a motion to call on the Government to reinstate the long form census, about 40 minutes from now. It is known that the Liberals, NDP, and Bloc will all support the motion, with the Conservatives likely voting against it. At this point it is very likely that the ...

Gun safety and registry!

What with all the hoo-ha over the gun registry recently, I wanted to put my two cents in. I got in a Facebook argument with someone I don’t even know, and I was a little nervous that I might be wrong. I mean, I’m not used to being wrong — I’m pretty sure I’m right most ...

Pop The Stack: Can Canadian Democracy Begin A New Era?

There are a couple things I’ve had on my writing stack for a while that have yet to be popped, but time is an ever contracting resource. So a call out to ask for people’s opinions on how to fix our democracy, a rant about my frustration over the 5-way train wreck that is the ...

More Sports Talk in Quebec Politics

After reading an interesting article over on cbc.ca, it is interesting to note how much sports coverage is taking place at Parliament Hill these days and across many provincial political arenas. Oddly enough there have been a few stories on sports news channels these past couple of weeks that seemed more like parliamentary debates than ...

Tories take lead, or statistical anomaly?

The latest EKOS poll, released to the CBC, show that the Conservatives are holding a 32.4% lead, with the Liberals at 28.9%. The NDP are holding 16.6% support, while the Green Party maintains 10.7% and the Bloc are at 8.9%. Normally, the statistics would suggest that the Conservative have a minor lead of 3-4%. However, ...

Pop The Stack: Nanos Has No Idea

Pollster Nik Nanos, who gets quoted in the media because he runs a polling firm, has no idea what his statistics about Canadians means.  His latest poll shows that Canadians are fed up with minority government and have no faith in any of the leaders or parties.  True.  Apparently Mr. Nanos thinks this means that ...

Pop The Stack: Can Iggy and Jack Learn to Work Together?

You should read this interesting article at Macleans by Peter C Newman on the trials of the Liberal leader this summer. It sounds like Iggy really has come a long way in understanding Canadian politics, good for him. (Of course, if they’d picked leader, ahem…Bob Rae…ahem, who already knew all this they could have recovered ...

Australia Decides 2010 (Finally) – My Predictions for the Next 3 Years

After weeks of indecision following the closest-race-in-Australian-electoral-history (probably?), Australia finally has a government. On 21 August, every Australian went to the polls (because they were illiberally forced to by their rights-denying government) to vote for the new government. Prior to the campaign, Labor leader and incumbent Prime Minister Julia Gillard enjoyed considerable support and was ...

A. Picazo: Ezra Levant vs Reality – A Prelude To Fox News North

The battle between supporters and opponents of Sun TV News – the Fox News style channel headed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s former communications director Kory Teneycke – reached new heights when members of the ‘Fox News North’ team took issue with a growing online petition urging the CRTC to reject Quebecor’s (QMI) request to “make it mandatory for cable ...

On things that aren’t like the long gun registry.

[My original thoughts on the long gun registry, dated in November 2009, are here. I have seen nothing in the past few months that changes my mind one iota.]The Press ReleaseThere was a press release making the rounds yesterday, allegedly released by the Liberal Party of Canada. I’m not sure if it was legitimate or ...

Pop The Stack: A Simple Solution to the Gun Registry

It seems the opposition NDP and Liberals are dancing around each other, both wanting the same result yet shouting at each other about how to get there; and the Conservatives are providing the music they are dancing to. The Liberals support the gun registry in principle, but would introduce legislation if they form government to ...

On Rob Ford.

IntroductionI’m not worried about Rob Ford becoming mayor of Toronto. And you shouldn’t be either. Given what he’s presented right now as part of his platform, over at his website, the man seems to be well on his way to becoming another Mel Lastman. Embarrassing, incompetent, but incapable of serious long-term damage. Note that I’m ...

UN Confirms: Genocide Committed in Eastern Congo

A draft of a forthcoming UN Panel of Experts report has accused the Rwandan army and its allied rebel groups in the DRC (including the AFDL) of committing genocide against Great Lakes-region Hutus between 1993 and 2003. The findings are seminal for confirming the long-debated existence of a genocide against ethnic Hutus occurring at the ...

Pop The Stack: Free Votes Are Nice But…Who Do Those MPs Represent?

Ah, the gun registry. I agree with FarAndWide completely on this.  The NDP are planning to allow a free vote of all their members on the issue, even though the party advises savng the regsitry. Free votes are nice in principle, and if we had a truly representative parliament where the people in Ottawa actually ...

A. Picazo: Canadian Immigration, Conservative Xenophobia

In the United States, debate surrounding Arizona’s new harsh immigration policy – the ‘papers please‘ law – moved from arguing the merits, necessity and constitutionality of SB1070, to a nonsensical discussion about the 14th amendment; the part of the constitution which guarantees American citizenship to all persons born in the United States. Republican lawmakers, seemingly ...

On cooperatives and housing.

I’ll get back to my electoral series eventually, I swear. But I had this weird idea today and I wanted to spell it out. It’s not an argument; more just thinking out loud. (Well, so to speak. “Speak”.)We don’t have enough housing going to the people who need it. The people who have housing often ...

Pop The Stack: Vote, Check, Stalemate

Just saw this post about NDP-Liberal Coalitions by Gregory Morrow over on democraticSpace and my comment was getting so long it might as well be a blog post. Greg makes the point that with all this talk of how the NDP and Liberals should form an alliance or coalition before or after the election one ...

Pop The Stack: A nod is as good as a wink to a blind bat

Another day, another justification for dropping the mandatory long-form census by the Conservative government.  Today’s argument comes from Finance Minister Jim Flaherty; he basically argues that because a bunch of policy wonks came voluntarily to a meeting when invited by the Federal Finance Minister that most Canadians will fill out a 40 page census form if they ...