Friday, January 18, 2013

The Unintended Consequences of Military Intervention:

The Roots of Mali and Algeria Crisis in Libya. And let's not forget Canada's gung-ho involvement in Libya - which might partially explain the interest in Mali now. what was unleashed in Libya is coming home to roost.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Bill McKibben on #IdleNoMore | The stakes couldn’t be higher, for Canada and for the world

"The stakes couldn't be higher, for Canada and for the world. Much of this uprising began when Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper rammed through Parliament an omnibus bill gutting environmental reviews and protections. He had no choice if he wanted to keep developing Canada’s tar sands, because there’s no possible way to mine and pipe that sludgy crude without fouling lakes and rivers. (Indeed, a study released a few days ago made clear that carcinogens had now found their way into myriad surrounding lakes). And so, among other things, the omnibus bill simply declared that almost every river, stream and lake in the country was now exempt from federal environmental oversight. Canada’s environmental community protested in all the normal ways – but they had no more luck than, say, America’s anti-war community in the run up to Iraq. There’s trillions of dollars of oil locked up in Alberta’s tarsands, and Harper’s fossil-fuel backers won’t be denied. But there’s a stumbling block they hadn’t counted on, and that was the resurgent power of the Aboriginal Nations. Some Canadian tribes have signed treaties with the Crown, and others haven’t, but none have ceded their lands, and all of them feel their inherent rights are endangered by Harper’s power grab. They are, legally and morally, all that stand in the way of Canada’s total exploitation of its vast energy and mineral resources, including the tar sands, the world’s second largest pool of carbon. NASA’s James Hansen has explained that burning that bitumen on top of everything else we’re combusting will mean it’s “game over for the climate.” Which means, in turn, that Canada’s First Nations are in some sense standing guard over the planet."

Friday, January 11, 2013

Mission Accomplished for the shrewd person who decided on the Deloitte Audit Release

It’s difficult not to think that the timing of the release of  the Deloitte financial audit of Atawapiskat was calculated in its anticipation of a potential backlash against Spence and, by association, #idlenomore.  The audit prompted Spence to shut down media relations, a closed door thus leading to the media’s usual the-people-deserve-to-know resentment and dog-with-a-bone mentality about being squashed.  That in turn led to bad press, especially from the Coyne, Blatchford,  and Wente types, and bad press led to an apparent shift in public opinion.  The squabbling over today's meeting doesn't help. 
Mission accomplished for whoever it was who decided to release the audit.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Harper May Have his Coalition but he doesn’t have Canada

Stephen Harper keeps support of ‘coalition’ of voters: poll

“Among the findings in the Dec. 7-12 Ipsos Reid poll:

 * 44 per cent of Canadians think Harper’s majority government is “working well,” while 56 per cent don’t think it is.
 * 45 per cent like the way Harper is “handling his job as prime minister,” while 55 per cent don’t.
 * 44 per cent share Harper’s “values” on where Canada should be headed, compared to 56 per who don’t.
 * 48 per cent think Harper’s “approach to politics” has been good for Canada, while 52 per cent don’t think so.
 * 44 per cent think Harper’s approach to politics has been good for Parliament, while 56 per cent don’t think so.
* 43 per cent think Harper should run for office again in the next election, set for 2015, while 57 per cent think he should quit.”
Stephen Harper keeps support of ‘coalition’ of voters: poll
Yes, he has his coalition of old white men living in rural Canada, much of the immigrant “market” of suburbia, and the #BigOil country of Western Canada. But, as the poll makes clear, he still hasn’t got the majority of Canadians – which means he does not really have a fundamentally democratic mandate. He rules only because of flawed electoral and riding systems. See my post on this issue elsewhere on this blog:

The Agonizing Challenge of Voting in 2015

Wednesday, January 2, 2013