Babel-on-the-Bay: Is the political middle just one?

Nobody seems to be able to nail down this middle ground in politics. It is like the middle class that Justin Trudeau chased in the last federal election. Did Trudeau even suspect that they would add up to almost 40 per cent of the voters?  And were they all centre-right voters or was there a ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Poverty Reduction in Alberta

Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, I’m co-author of a blog post titled “Poverty Reduction in Alberta.” Points raised in the blog post include the following: -The NDP government of Premier Rachel Notley has undertaken important poverty-reduction initiatives since forming a government in 2015. -Alberta (relative to other provinces) has a ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Where are Ontario politics headed?

There have been some political polls in Ontario recently that have caused a buzz in the news media. If the media had just checked back to before the last provincial election, they would have seen a similar pattern in the public preferences a year before that election. It certainly supports the claim that the only ...

CuriosityCat: How Nathan Cullen can bring about electoral reform within months

Our Prime Minister clearly has limited knowledge of electoral reform, both the theories and the practice. This article rebuts his extraordinarily inaccurate claims about the dangers to Canada of electoral reform: The prime minister keeps making the bizarre argument that a partly proportional electoral system would allow anti-immigration Conservative Kellie Leitch to form her (Read ...

In This Corner: The Return of Stuff Happens, week 5: Horror hits home; Trudeau breaks a promise; Stupor Bowl ads

Events on Sunday in Quebec City served as a reminder, if we needed one, that Canada is not immune to madness. Last Sunday, a sad loser walked into a Quebec City mosque and opened fire on people who were praying. Yes, praying. He killed six,  injuring many others; it could have been so much worse. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A better role for NDP’s Nate Cullen.

Frankly, it has been disappointing. Nate Cullen MP from British Columbia has been so busy bitching and whining, he is missing the real opportunity. He has the right to complain about what seemed like a wasted summer of 2016 studying vote reform. It was no waste of time; it was the best exposure he has ...

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Trudeau’s Broken Reform Promise

At the Parliamentary Committee I spoke at, I told Nathan Cullen I was disappointed he wasn’t running for the NDP leadership. Listening to NDP MP Nathan Cullen rip Trudeau over electoral reform promise breaking, the PM must be relieved he's not running for leader. — Don Martin (@DonMartinCTV) February 1, 2017 Global really holds the ...

The Canadian Progressive: Nathan Cullen calls Trudeau a liar for breaking electoral reform promise [VIDEO]

Watch the NDP’s Nathan Cullen call Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a liar for breaking his promise that the 2015 federal election would be the last election under Canada’s anti-democratic first-past-the-post voting system. The post Nathan Cullen calls Trudeau a liar for breaking electoral reform promise [VIDEO] appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

In This Corner: The Return of Stuff Happens, week 4: Trump’s rule by fiat

We all know how powerful the President of the United States is. But I don’t know if we ever recognized just how powerful. Almost … dictatorial? Don’t agree? Well, what other kind of leader can decide, with the stroke of an expensive pen, to ban immigrants from 14 countries, on the basis that they belong ...

Alberta Politics: Canadian newspaper industry advances on Ottawa, hands out, awash in red ink and democratic platitudes

PHOTOS: Stop the presses! … I mean the losses! Put me through to the red ink department … I mean the tax department … Actual Canadian newspaper owners may not be as committed to jobs as the sign on the press suggests. Below: Edward Greenspon of the Public Policy Forum and late of the Globe ...

In This Corner: The Return of Stuff Happens, week 3: Welcome to the world of alternative facts

“The only thing we have to fear is, fear itself.” Franklin Roosevelt, 1932 inauguration. “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” John F. Kennedy, 1960 inauguration. “From this day forward, it’s going to be America first, America first.” Donald J. Trump, 2017 inauguration Well, it’s ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Premier Wynne: Colour her gone.

It seems more and more likely that Premier Kathleen Wynne and her Ontario Liberals are on the slippery side of the slope. Nothing says it more emphatically than the situation in which we find ourselves here in Babel. (You know Babel as Barrie, Ontario.) We are less than two years from a tough election situation ...

In This Corner: The Return of Stuff Happens, week 1: The taxman cometh

Here in the Glorious People’s Republic of Alberta, we have begun the process of saving the Earth, 4.5 cents a litre at a time. The NDP government introduced its Climate Change Plan Jan. 1 , slapping taxes on the stuff that we use to drive our vehicles and heat our homes. The fuel tax is ...

Song of the Watermelon: Vancouver Sun Letter

For what is likely to be my last letter to the editor of 2016, see today’s Vancouver Sun (fourth letter from the top). The gist of my argument is that Kinder Morgan is bad. Fun fact: this ain’t the first time I’ve responded to a pro-Kinder Morgan op-ed by former NDP Premier Dan Miller. Filed ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Alex Hemingway reviews the evidence on two-tiered medicine from around the developed world, and concludes that a constitutional attack on universal health care would only result in our paying more for less. – Marc Lee takes a look at the national climate change framework released last week and ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The empty chair of Tom Mulcair.

In a much condemned political schtick by actor-director Clint Eastwood at the Republican National Convention in 2012, he talked to an empty chair. The chair was supposed to represent President Barack Obama. We always thought it helped get Obama elected to his second term. We were reminded of it recently when reading an op-ed piece ...

In This Corner: Stuff Still Happens, week 49: On the ‘lock her up’ chant, and the woman they DID lock up.

Last Saturday, the right-wing rabble rouser, Ezra Levant, roused the rabble just enough to host an anti-carbon tax rally at the Alberta legislature. The crowd of probably a few hundred heard the usual stuff from the usual suspects, and the event was mostly uneventful. The Edmonton Journal’s story on the rally, in the Monday paper, ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Citizens for Public Justice laments the Libs’ and Cons’ joint effort to vote down the NDP’s push for a national anti-poverty strategy. And Sean Speer and Rob Gillezeau make the case for an improved Working Income Tax Benefit which should be palatable across the political spectrum. – ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – David MacDonald examines how Canada’s tax expenditures systematically favour higher-income individuals over the people who actually have a reasonable claim to public support: This study finds that Canada’s personal income tax expenditures disproportionately benefit the rich and cost the federal treasury nearly as much as it collects in ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Tommy Douglas was a “macroeconomist”, not a “provincialist”!

A guest blog post from Mario Seccareccia, Professor of Economics, University of Ottawa The NDP went through a roller coaster ride in 2015. It would seem that the party still hasn’t fully recovered from the outcome of that election, and it will probably remain so until it elects a new leader and gets its “policy ...

In This Corner: Stuff Still Happens, week 48: Why we (sigh) need pipelines

This week, the Trudeau government approved two pipelines, and rejected one other. Trudeau is winning lavish praise for his bold, statesmanlike decision in some quarters, hyperbolic, end-of-the-world scorn from others. Trudeau’s decision to allow two of three is simply the right thing to do, in some ways because we have no choice. The simple, sad ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Thomas Frank writes that a progressive party can only expect to succeed if it places principles of equality and workers’ interests at the core of everything it does – rather than serving mostly as the voice of a wealthy professional class: Somewhere in a sunny corner of the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Does Wynne cry for liberalism?

Did you hear that Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne got all teary at the Liberal Party gathering this past weekend? Not being there, are we to assume these were crocodile tears or tears of frustration? Or were they just a notation on her script saying ‘tears here’? You never know what her reaction is to being ...

Accidental Deliberations: On decision points

Needless to say, it’s disappointing that there now doesn’t seem to be any prospect of a shift to a more proportional federal electoral system without a referendum. But the NDP’s move to build a consensus among the opposition parties on a referendum offering a choice between mixed-member proportional representation and first-past-the-post makes sense given the ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, comparing the Conservative Party’s leadership race based on fear and division to the NDP’s which looks set to bring a progressive coalition together. For further reading…– Bob Hepburn also notes that fear and hatred are the main themes emerging from the Cons’ candidates so far. And while it’s fair enough for Andrew Coyne to ...