Showing posts from October 10, 2015

Six reasons the Greens are Canada's most progressive party

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[I'm a Green Party supporter, so I will allow myself one piece of blatant advertorialising during this election! :-) *RON*]
By David Taub Bancroft,, 9 October 2015

In the midst of a campaign dominated by horse races and attack ads, by fear and scandal and appeals to our basest political instincts, it is easy to forget that elections are meant above all to be about policy. Which party offers the kindest, most equitable, and most sustainable vision for the country?

The answer, in my opinion, is clear. Here I present six important ways that the Green Party of Canada is the most progressive of our major national parties.

1. Climate

Climate change is the defining challenge of our generation, one that is inextricably linked to our well-being and survival, yet politicians typically treat it as some trifling matter to be addressed only when there is nothing more pressing on the agenda. For the Green Party, however, climate considerations are c…

Interest in electoral reform spikes dramatically

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[Mentions of electoral reform in Canadian media and documents have risen about twenty-fold in the last ten years - by some massive coincidence, this coincides precisely with the time that Stephen Harper has been in power. *RON*]
By Christopher Majka,, 9 October 2015

In an article in The Globe and Mail entitled Majority governments may soon be a thing of the past, columnist Jeffrey Simpson examines the potential change of the electoral system in Canada from the first-past-the post (FPTP) approach currently in use to a system of proportional representation (PR).

As Simpson points out, given that the New Democratic Party and the Green Party are both committed to electoral reform and proportional representation, and that the Liberal party has also committed to scrapping FPTP (they haven't settled on whether they support a system of PR or of ranked balloting) the chances that FPTP is headed for the political dustbin are very high indeed, …

Politics behind Harper ad that cites mentally ill dad who killed kids: lawyers

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[Promoting bigotry and a 'revenge' mentality toward the seriously mentally ill. "Stephen Harper is interfering with Canada's justice system in an election advertisement that unfairly puts the label 'criminal' on a father who killed his children while extremely mentally ill... Lead counsel Peter Wilson said he's offended by Harper's 'prejudicial' statements. Because a prime minister essentially appoints judges, he said, Harper is effectively lobbying for a particular outcome... Bernd Walter, who heads the B.C. Review Board that handles Schoenborn's file, called Harper's statements 'either deliberately misleading or woefully misinformed.'" *RON*]
The Canadian Press, Vancouver Observer, 10 October 2015

VANCOUVER — Stephen Harper is interfering with Canada's justice system in an election advertisement that unfairly puts the label "criminal" on a father who killed his children…

RCMP Take Protesters Away From Harper's Surrey, B.C. Rally

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[Because in a thriving democracy, people who disagree with your views should naturally be hauled off by the cops. Is this part of a trend? See also: Congress-backed Interstate Oil Commission Call Cops When Reporter Arrives To Ask About Climate. *RON*]
By The Canadian Press, Huffington Post, 9 October 2015

SURREY, B.C. — A man ran towards Prime Minister Stephen Harper during a rally in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday evening and was grabbed by RCMP officers before being taken away.

The incident came minutes after another protester at the Conservative event attended by many members of the South Asian community stood up with a sign reading "Climate Justice" before being taken away.

A third person who stood up to shout was also taken out of the hall where about 300 people were attending the speech by Harper.

Stephen Harper denies report his office vetted refugee applications

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[Let's get Harper jailed under the Barbaric Cultural Practices Act. He is splitting hairs, at best. Note that Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander confirmed a news report Wednesday that the Prime Minister's Office directed Canadian immigration officials to stop processing a preliminary group of Syrian refugees, pending an audit of their cases. During the worst refugee crisis since World War II, Stephen Harper is personally ordering that Christian refugees be given priority, calling them "the most vulnerable," despite the fact that these are all resettled refugee candidates, safely located in places like Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. *RON*]

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair says Stephen Harper should apologize for the Prime Minister's Office intervening in Syrian refugee applications. The PMO's bureaucratic arm ordered a security review in June on government-assisted refugee cases.

OTTAWA—Conservative Leader Stephen Har…

The Trans-Pacific Free-Trade Charade

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[The TPP is not 'free trade' - it is a way to yield our national sovereignty to a bunch of corporate lawyers in back rooms who will make binding decisions concerning our nation's economic and social future. *RON*]

Joseph Stiglitz and Adam S. Hersh, Project Syndicate, 2 October 2015

NEW YORK – As negotiators and ministers from the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries meet in Atlanta in an effort to finalize the details of the sweeping new Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), some sober analysis is warranted. The biggest regional trade and investment agreement in history is not what it seems.

You will hear much about the importance of the TPP for “free trade.” The reality is that this is an agreement to manage its members’ trade and investment relations – and to do so on behalf of each country’s most powerful business lobbies. Make no mistake: It is evident from the main outstanding issues, over which negotiators are still hagglin…

Republicans Finally Admit Planned Parenthood Did Nothing Wrong, Investigation Was A Sham

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["Carly Fiorina demanded that we 'watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.' The footage used belonged to a miscarriage, and did not take place in a Planned Parenthood, and may not even have been inside the United States." *RON*]
by Colin Taylor, Occupy Democrats, 9 October 2015

After months of hurling vile slander and gruesome accusations at Planned Parenthood, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) announced that his investigation of the beleaguered healthcare provider has, predictably, turned up no wrongdoing of any sort. During a judiciary committee meeting, he admitted that “did I look at the finances and have a hearing specifically as to the revenue portion and how they spend? Yes. Was there any wrongdoing? I didn’t find any.”

It is a bitter vindication for pro-choice advocates. Planned Parenthood, an organization which was granted its f…

Twin bombs kill 86 at pro-Kurdish rally in Turkish capital

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[Brutal and shameful - civilians bombed during a peace rally. *RON*]
By Ece Toksabay and Orhan Coskun, Reuters, 10 October 2015
At least 86 people were killed when two suspected suicide bombers hit a rally of pro-Kurdish and leftist activists outside Ankara's main train station on Saturday, weeks ahead of an election, in the deadliest attack of its kind on Turkish soil.

Bodies covered by flags and banners, including those of the pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), lay scattered on the road among bloodstains and body parts.

"Like other terror attacks, the one at the Ankara train station targets our unity, togetherness, brotherhood and future," President Tayyip Erdogan said in a statement, calling for "solidarity and determination".

Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu told a news conference that 86 people had been killed and 186 wounded, 28 of whom were in intensive care. The death toll could rise further…