Politics and its Discontents: Lest We Forget

The Star’s Tim Harper reports that Kellie Leitch, one of the robotic but very malleable mainstays of the former Harper regime, has become the first declared candidate for the Conservative Party’s leadership. I hope no one forgets her appearance with Immigration Minister Chris Alexander during the Conservatives’ desperate and divisive bid to hold on to ...

Politics and its Discontents: More From Marg: Canada’s Barbaric Cultural Practices Tip Line

Marg Delahunty reminds us of one of the many offences against Canada committed by the Harper regime: Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: Senior Scam Alert

Although now retired as Canada’s longest-serving mayor, the redoubtable Hazel McCallion continues her life of public service: Meanwhile, over at Don Martin’s Power Play, watch the first two minutes of his questioning of Monte Solberg defending Harper’s hypocrisy of having well-known crack-user Rob Ford and his brother Doug at his rally in Etobicoke while his ...

Politics and its Discontents: I’ll Be So Glad To See The End Of This

I think most would agree that Terrence Young and the rest of his ilk are long past their best-before dates. Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: Something To Gladden The Spirit

During this campaign, while Harper has been appealing to the worst in Canadians, I have to admit that my faith in humanity has been faltering. The following, which I saw on Facebook, is something of a restorative. “You see, you’ve misjudged us… You’ve underestimated us.” A former Calgarian writes an open letter to Stephen Harper ...

Politics and its Discontents: Guest Post: The Values Edition

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, It seems a propitious time to reflect on the values that have been fostered and avidly promoted (especially during this election season} by the Harper government, values that no doubt will be on the minds of many as they head to the polls on October 19. The following was sent to ...

Politics and its Discontents: Some Things To Give Thanks For

H/t Toronto Star As we celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend, moving beyond the usual things we express gratitude for (family, health, etc.), here are a few other things I give thanks for: A high turnout in advance polls: Elections Canada says it estimates some 850,000 people voted on Friday, the first day of advance polls. The ...

Politics and its Discontents: Another Word From Harry Smith

Harry Smith, who I have written about previously on this blog, has some timely reminders for us this election season. …because so many Canadians of my generation had come from nations fraught with religious and ethnic tension, we tried to create a more tolerant society that crossed political beliefs. Inclusion and acceptance became a watchword ...

Politics and its Discontents: About That Pavlovian Response

It is enough to make a recovering cynic suffer a very bad relapse. As I noted earlier this week, to see what lurks just beneath the surface of Canadian sensibilities, something dark and ugly, is extremely disheartening. Amply revealed by the Machiavellian incitement of prejudice engineered by Lynton Crosby to maximize the Harper regimes re-election, ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Better Angels Of Our Nature

“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.” – Abraham Lincoln Stephen Harper, of course, is doing ...

Politics and its Discontents: We Aren’t As Good As We Think We Are

If anything, the racism and xenophobia that have become cornerstones of the Harper re-election strategy are showing us something we would prefer not to think about: when provoked, our own darker natures come easily to the surface. In his column today, Edward Keenan reveals a few things we should ponder: … if you have been ...

Politics and its Discontents: Lifting The Veil

Lifting the veil behind what has become a major part of the Tory re-election strategy reveals nothing good. Consider, for example, this shameful announcement by party stalwart Kellie Lietch, who has yet to meet a Harper directive she doesn’t salivate over: In other words, the directive has gone out: surveil your Muslim neighbours and acquaintances ...

Politics and its Discontents: He Sounds, On The Surface, So Reasonable

As I lamented in yesterday’s post, the issue of the niqab at citizenship ceremonies is apparently responsible for a resurgence of support for the Harper regime, whose leader has ruthlessly exploited the issue to his political advantage. Playing upon people’s prejudices against ‘the other,’ Harper is appealing the court ruling against a ban on its ...

Politics and its Discontents: Hope Fades ……

It is becoming difficult to hold on to hope. Despite all we know about the Harper regime, despite all that has been written about its corruption, its abuse of power, its undermining of our democratic institutions, its insidious appeal to the worst in our natures, it seems to all be coming down to an issue ...

Politics and its Discontents: Robert Fisk

Last evening my wife and I attended a talk given by Robert Fisk, the renowned British journalist who has lived in and covered the Middle East for almost 40 years. The talk was quite dense, given the complexity of the issues and dynamics of that region, and I realized how little we understand about what ...

Politics and its Discontents: Echoing His Master’s Voice?

People who read my blog regularly may have noticed that lately I have been posting videos and images more than I have been writing. The fact of the matter is that as a political junkie I have overdosed, something I suspected might happen due to this ridiculously long election campaign. Hardened cynic though I am, ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Code Deciphered

H/t Graeme MacKay Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: Clearly, There Is Method In Harper’s Madness

Recently, Robin Sears wrote a piece severely critical of the Conservative response to the Syrian crisis, a commentary prompted by Immigration Minister Chris Alexander’s disastrous appearance on Power and Politics. In it, he suggests that rather than the snarling and aggressive response Alexander gave P&P host Rosemary Barton, he could have said something like the ...

Politics and its Discontents: About Those Diversions, Mr. Harper

H/t Raeside Cartoons Meanwhile, always perspicacious Toronto Star readers will have none of it. Here is but a small sampling of their sentiments on Mr. Harper’s diversionary tactics: Re: Harper vows to end ‘terror tourism,’ Aug. 10 Travel restrictions to terrorist locations shouldn’t be election promises. When warranted I expect any government to take responsible ...

Politics and its Discontents: In Which Stephen Harper Tries To Change The Channel

One suspects it won’t work. Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: The Harper Regime In One Easy-To-Understand Graphic!

H/t Boycott The Harper Conservatives For those of you who are more text-oriented or want a comprehensive recounting of the depredations of the Harper years, I encourage you to check out and bookmark Rural’s Harper History Series over at Democracy Under Fire. Rural has taken on the unenviable and herculean but noble task of compiling ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Muslim Threat To Stephen Harper

Were I of the Muslim faith, I suspect I would have a deep and abiding contempt for Stephen Harper and his cabal. After all, he is the prime minister who has made Islamophobia a centrepiece of his re-election hopes and, unlike other groups that he has vilified for political gain, has persistently portrayed the religion ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Art Of Misdirection

Some, I guess, are better at it than others. Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: Breaking News On Omar Khadr

T The Harper vendetta against Omar Khadr has suffered another defeat: The Supreme Court of Canada ruled Thursday that Omar Khadr, the former teenage al-Qaeda member freed on bail last week in Alberta, should be treated as if he were sentenced as a juvenile. The federal government had argued that he deserved to be treated ...

Politics and its Discontents: Oh, And Another Thing

Without doubt, some readers will be wearying of my seeming obsession with Omar Khadr. A good part of my interest in him over the past few years stems from the injustice with which he has been treated, given the flouting by both Canada and the U.S. of International human rights law as it pertains to ...