Canada’s pathological political system

Canada’s social-political structure is pathological, Salmon Arm MD Dr. Warren Bell told the Joint Review Panel on the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline at its hearings in Kelowna on January 28, 2013. The relentless marginalization of First Nations; an electoral system that generates non-representative governments; the huge concentration of political power in the Prime Minister’s Office; and the rise of corporate influence have created a pathological society.

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Posted in Canada, environment, society | No Comments »


Time for a Liberal-Green Coalition?

Elizabeth May and Michael Ignatieff - opposite reactionsWhile the national media pundits have been fantasizing about the possibility of a coalition between the remains of the Liberal party and Jack Layton’s frothy orange NDP, the Green party’s unexpected success in Saanich North has opened up a juicy, sizzling, and wholly tantalizing new prospect.

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Posted in Canada | 3 Comments »


Losing Confidence In Elizabeth May

Losing Confidence by Elizabeth MayBook Review Canadian Green Party leader Elizabeth May has written an interesting and useful book on the precarious and dysfunctional state of Canada’s failing parliamentary democracy. Although an excellent lay-person’s guide to Westminster-style politics, her book provides no real insight as to how this inauthentic, fractious, and ethically corrupt mess can be cleaned up and genuine democracy attained. She knows the score, but fails to understand the nature of the game.

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Transforming democracy

Transforming Power by Judy RebickBook Review Political activist Judy Rebick has written a visionary and inspiring book that shows how applied people-power can transform politics from being élitist, secretive, and corrupt, into genuinely open, grassroots, and democratic systems. Her writing is highly-charged and visionary, but her focus on South American politics glosses over the fact that Canadian political culture is very different. Can western democracy be transformed, or are we just too affluent to organise for change?

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In Search of Canadian Political Culture

In Search of Canadian Political Culture<span class="smallcaps"Book Review University of Toronto associate professor of political science Nelson Wiseman retraces the well-worn historical path In Search of Canadian Political Culture. It’s an erudite, insightful, and sweeping analysis of Canadian political history, but in the opinion of our reviewer it misses the mark in that it fails to provide guidance to those struggling for social and ecological justice on this planet at at time when the dominant human culture is out of control.

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Canadian democracy, past and future?

Canadian political culture, past and future

Introduction Will Canadian politics simply perpetuate the battles of the past, or have globalisation and the Internet brought about a political sea change that will result in a radically transformed and more polarised political landscape? These two books represent radically different visions of Canadian democracy.

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The Age of Razor Wire

razor wire with bloodstainA trip to a ferry terminal turned into a reminder of the fragility of democratic rights and the insidious way that both Liberal and Conservative governments have secretly adopted the self-serving corporate agenda of North American integration. Is the repressive, anti-democratic Security and Prosperity Partnership the beginning of The Age of Razor Wire?

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Posted in Canada | 2 Comments »


The divine right of Prime Ministers

Court government and the collapse of accountability book coverBook Review If you’re wondering why all recent prime ministers start behaving like autocrats once in office, it’s because Canada and the UK have moved to a Court system of government, explains University of Moncton public administration professor Donald Savoie. Not light reading, but an invaluable book if you want to understand Canadian federal politics.

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Posted in Canada, reviews, UK | 2 Comments »


Harper's anti-environment trickery

Ecojustice lawyer Will AmosAn environmental time bomb that could put all of Canada’s rivers and coastal regions under threat of energy, resort or industrial development has been quietly hidden under cover of the billions of dollars of economic stimulus in the 2009 budget bill. Passing it would make the Liberal Party complicit with Harper in gutting Canada’s environmental protection legislation.

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Posted in Canada, environment | 1 Comment »


Israel's ultra-right example

Avigdor LibermanWith none of Israel’s major political parties gaining an outright majority in that country’s recent election, Avigdor Liberman, leader of the extreme ultra-right Yisreal Beitenu party, holds the keys to a right-wing coalition government that at least reflects public opinion in that country. Whether that may lead to Armageddon in the Middle East is another matter.

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