Archive for November, 2013

Interesting Stories In Canadian Politics

November 28, 2013 3 comments

Head line  for reads, Justin Trudeau angers NDP by quoting Jack Layton and goes on to say,

  • Trudeau said New Democrat Leader Tom Mulcair is different from Layton, his predecessor.”
  •   “Make no mistake, the NDP is no longer the hopeful, optimistic party of Jack Layton. It is the negative, divisive party of Thomas Mulcair.”
  • That he stole a line from a Jack Layton speech when he said, “It is the Liberal Party tonight that proved hope is stronger than fear.”

I did not know that speaking the name, referring to, or heavens forbid quoting the late Jack Layton former leader of the New Democratic Party was somehow blasphemy, sacrilegious, or disrespectful unless you were in the NDP party, a family member, or a  supporter of his?  I must have been asleep when he was raised to God status from that of politician  and ordinary human being.  The NDP refer to dear old Jack whenever they can and use his name to sell a political brand that is not there anymore and that died with Jack Layton and the selection of  the Mad Hatter, Tom Mulcair as the new leader of the NDP.

I have heard quotes made by many people being used by all political parties and all political leaders, including Jack Layton. They all were quoting both the living and the dead, so what makes Jack Layton supporters think that it is taboo  to utter the words, or use a quote that Jack Layton used his breath to speak?  The problem the NDP has to deal with is their brand and by this I mean that:

  • Tom Mulcair is not and never will be, Jack Layton, nor does he want to be.
  • Tom Mulcair has his own vision on which direction the NDP should be moving in  and I do not think that his vision has anything to do with Jack Layton’s dream; barring the dream of winning a federal election.
  • It is no longer Jack Layton’s Party, it is Tom Mulcair’s Party now and it is wrong to expect nothing to change, or to expect Tom Mulcair to follow in the footsteps of Jack Layton.
  • If the NDP are to win in the next federal election, they need to stop asking, or expecting Jack Layton to lead them from the grave.

Everything that Justin Trudeau said in his interview about the NDP and Tom Mulcair is true.  Unfortunately for NDP supporters and party members, they elected the wrong person to lead their party, if they wanted to have a party that reflects the late Jack Layton’s dreams; to get that they should have made Olivia Chow, the late Jack Layton’s wife, the leader of the NDP.  Tom Mulcair has always went his own way, been abrasive in his style and in my opinion is and has always been a political opportunist of the worst kind.  Tom Mulcair is not a deal maker, but he is a power seeker.  Tom Mulcair is a street fighter, who will do whatever it takes to win even if that means pretending to agree with the principles and direction that Jack Layton believed in, he proved that during his leadership bid and by winning the leadership race of the NDP. Tom Mulcair is proving today that he does not care how he gets to be prime minister of Canada, what tactics he has to employ to achieve this goal, or how dirty he has to play. I believe that Tom Mulcair does not see winning as secondary to doing good for Canadians as the late Jack Layton was often heard saying; I believe that Tom Mulcair sees doing good for Canadians as secondary to his becoming prime minister of Canada.

Another funny, but interesting thing is the headlines on the internet today, like that of  that read, Chow and Mulcair fume after Trudeau uses Layton’s dying words to denounce NDP in victory speech”  I watched and listened to Olivia Chow’s response to reporter’s repeated prompting trying desperately to get her to say that she was angry at Justin Trudeau, to which she responded, “I am surprised that he would use the words of Jack, but we all know that it is Harper we need to get rid of right?”   At no time did she give the slightest indication visually, or verbally that she was angry, or fuming as the  headlines suggested in most of the press coverage that I have seen.  The fact is that the reporters had to tell her what Justin Trudeau had said and her response was, “I am surprised that he would use the words of Jack, but we all know that it is Harper we need to get rid of right?”   It would seem that the press was trying to create a story once again where there just was none, instead of sticking to the facts and reporting the story that was obvious and factual.  I find it crazy that for the most part members of the Canadian press can not be counted on to simply report the news, honestly, factually, without trying to invent hysteria, divisiveness and without putting their personal bias and feelings into the story.

I am no lover of Tom Mulcair, but then again I was no lover of Jack Layton either, but I do believe that once you are a leader of anything you must lead your way.  I think that the supporters of the NDP need to let go and let Jack Layton rest in peace. They need to stop looking at Jack Layton as if death has elevated him to saint hood, or demigod status. Jack Layton was and always will be just another human being, who was a loved and admired politician, husband, father and friend. In life he was able to be quoted, criticized and compared to others and so he is in death as well.

I think that Jack Layton would agree with Justin Trudeau’s comments, because they are true and I think that Olivia Chow kind of agreed with what Justin Trudeau had to say about the NDP since Tom Mulcair took over as leader of the party. Although pressed by reporters over and over, Olivia Chow never made a single attempt to say that she disagreed with what Justin Trudeau said about the changes in the NDP’s brand and the negative, divisive style of politicking that has become the norm for the NDP, since Mulcair took over the leadership of the party.  Had one member of the press or the news picked up on that fact, they would have had a truthful scoop, but I guess they were too busy creating the news to just report it.

I find that this is an interesting story in Canadian Politics, because it shows how crazy Canadian politics has become; how sensationalized the coverage of each and every story is being made in the press and how we as Canadians are better served by live televised reporting.  At least with televised reporting we can see and hear for ourselves what is said and the reaction to it and not have to rely on a system of reporting that is fighting for its very survival and thinks that trafficking in gossip and non factual depictions of a situation is the best way to boost their readership, increase their market share and attract more advertising  dollars.


What Will It Be like In Toronto When the Celebrations Stop?

Mayor Ford is hog-tied and powerless. Torontonians who is next ?

Mayor Ford is hog-tied and powerless. Torontonians who is next ?

I asked the question in my last post, “How Can We Legally Get Rid Of A Corrupt Majority Government?”  Since I published that story 7 days ago, Toronto’s city council and the press have answered the question by saying with their actions, “Do not wait for corruption to occur, do not be concerned with the legality, morality of what you intend to do and for God sake do not worry about the precedent that your actions are setting”. The civic election process has been rendered moot in Toronto as far as I am concerned with the illegal forced reduction of Mayor Ford’s decision-making powers and the rerouting of is budget and his ability to do the job he was elected to do by the people of Toronto; figuratively speaking,  “hog tying the mayor”.  This is no solution and solves nothing in terms of getting Toronto city hall back to running with a modicum of normalcy. What it does do however is show the world that the democratic process has been pushed aside in Canada once again to get a quick short-term answer to an embarrassing situation.  There is no longer any need to run for mayor in Toronto because as of yesterday this mayor and every Toronto  mayor in the future has been reduced to a puppet, a figure-head, whose serves at the mercy of the press and city council and not at the will of the people who vote him/her into office.  I think that by reducing the power of Mayor Ford and refusing to call another election immediately to let the people of Toronto decide who they want to run their city, the city council has illegally changed the rules governing civic law in this city and rendered the civic code moot, making the whole election process a sham, proving that this whole Mayor Ford thing was not about corruption, or a violation of some long ago forgotten code governing his job, but about a city council removing a leader they did not like personally anymore and decided that they knew what the voters wanted better than the voters knew themselves and so figured they had the right to break the law, because the ends justified the means.

When the parties and celebrations stop and the cheering stops and the pats on the backs for a job well done have ended, what should be in the heads of any future politicians with aspirations of becoming Toronto’s next mayor?  I think they should be considering:

  • How they are going to function with the new powers given to the council to remove them without following the guidelines and mechanisms in place?
  • What it is now that constitutes a legal, fair process for their removal?
  • What is in their past as far back as they can remember and in the past of their families?  (Were they ever drunk and disorderly, did they ever do an illegal drug, did they ever make use of a prostitute, are all of their friends on the right side of the law)
  • What does the press think of them and what can they do to keep the press happy with them, so they do not have to keep their shades drawn, sneak into restaurants and become yet another victim of the freedom of the press gone wild?
  • How long before the candidates that lost decide to take the power given to them by the people of Toronto for themselves; city council now figures that they have gotten away  with it once and can do so again?

When the parties and celebrations stop and the cheering stops and the pats on the backs for a job well done have ended, what should be in the heads of the citizens of Toronto? I think that they should be considering:

  • What is the point of voting for a mayor if the city council can remove, or render powerless their choice, because they collectively do not like him personally?
  • If once they have removed, or render their choice for mayor powerless they refuse to call an immediate election so that the people can either reaffirm their desire to keep their choice or choose another; what is the point of voting for a mayor at all?
  • Why are they now paying the salary of a mayor who has been hog tied by city council and unable to do his job?
  • Why is city council not calling for an election immediately to lend some credibility to the idea that this was not a personal attack on the mayor, a power grab by the other city councillors and indeed was done for the good of Toronto and the people of Toronto?
  • Is this is how Toronto is to be run from now on with the press deciding who is to be mayor and for how long, after the election has been decided by the people?

When the parties and celebrations stop and the cheering stops and the pats on the backs for a job well done have ended, what should be in the heads of all Canadians? I think that we should all asking ourselves:

  •  Does due process of law even exists in Canada anymore?
  • What has happened to the rule of law and does the law even matter anymore in this country?
  •  If as a nation we rewrite laws to appease and assuage the angry mob, or the greedy loser politician, then is it plausible that, The Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the very Constitution of Canada are not worth the paper they are written on?
  •   If we  no longer have the right to choose who we want to represent our needs in government, does that mean we are no longer living in a democracy and that the idea of elections is a sham, a mockery and a farce to make the world think that we abide by democratic principles?
  • Is the reality for most Canadians going to be, that the most fundamental part of a democratically run state has been pushed aside and ignored and that we the people’s right to vote has been marginalised and rendered moot, and the will of the people of Canada means little or nothing?
  • What is up Canada?

How Can We Legally Get Rid Of A Corrupt Majority Government?

November 13, 2013 1 comment

Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Canadian voters will never hear a leader of a political party call for the lessening of  power for a majority government during an election campaign even though they whined about the evils of them for about 4 years, because they the opposition that had a minority are too busy during an election campaign begging the Canadian electorate for a majority. 

Do you not think as I do that it is high time that this farce which is passing itself off as a democratic form of government in this country of ours comes to and end? If you think that I am talking solely of the Conservative Government of Canada led by Steven Harper, than  you are wrong, because there is not one government at any level, of any stripe that behaves any differently when they have been given a majority government.  Oh I would agree that they are not as bad as this one, or perhaps less arrogant, but the truth is that all political parties with the majority take advantage of the situation and use it to  avoid the spirit of democracy, using the age-old, tried and true, excuses and reasoning for why what they are doing is different from what this Conservative Government of Canada does and is doing.

I find it hypocritical of the Liberal Party of Canada which has enjoyed the power of a majority government several times in the history of Canada, but has never sought to lessen the power of a majority government in any time when it had the power to do so, is now complaining about the non democratic way that this government is conducting the affairs of this country. The New Democratic Party although it has never formed a federal government has never made the promise in any campaign that I am aware of to pass any laws that would reduce the power of a majority government, should they be elected with a majority, while they were in power.  I would suggest that no party sought to reduce the power of a majority while they had the power to do so through legislation, or put into place legally some mechanism to rid the country of a corrupt, or unjust majority government, instead of giving more power to the  government while taking it from the people, is because they are afraid that the power that they give back to the people will one day be used against them, because they know that given the chance at a majority government they will in time give into the temptation of absolute power and will become as corrupt as the government they are complaining about.  The Liberals for example have had a majority in both Houses on at least one occasion, but never suggested during that time that a law that would see the people of Canada being able to petition for the removal of a sitting government whether it had a majority or not, if a majority of Canadian voters  found said government to be  corrupt, deceitful and not being representative of Canada’s laws, customs and values?

 Both politician and layman know that the only way for  the government to change the power of a majority government is if a majority government was to enact legislation to take the power away from itself; can you say isn’t going to happen?  Can you think of any political party that is given the chance to govern with a majority actually cutting its own dictator like powers? Canadian voters need something, a political and legally binding mechanism, enshrined in law, capable of holding a majority government to the democratic principles of a democratically governed country and that also ensure that opposition parties do not needlessly hold up the passing of laws that do not go against the Canadian Constitution, or violate the Canadian Charter of Rights.

A panel of ordinary citizens and business persons representing a cross-section of the Canadian population, acting independently and without fear of any political party or leader, endowed with the legal authority and power to challenge a government who they determine to be constantly behaving in a non democratic way, or to be found guilty of needlessly disrupting the functioning of duly elected  government. I would suggest that this group of people needs to be chosen and changed with every new election, from say a lottery, or contest, so that it can be truly a random sampling of the population and next to impossible to predict or rig the outcome of. They would have the power to mediate a binding resolution to the problem, be it removal of individuals from their offices, the immediate passing of laws they believe are being held up without just cause, or the rejection of laws that are being proposed that are in clear violation of the laws of Canada and the Canadian Constitution, until the legality or constitutionality of the uncertain law can be resolved in the courts and in extreme cases have the power to call for the removal of the government through the petitioning the people of Canada and asking them to decide when certain conditions are met and depending o the results of that petition order a new election if the Canadian people indicate that is what they want.

Canadian voters will never hear a leader of a political party call for the lessening of  power for a majority government during an election campaign even though they whined about the evils of them for about 4 years, because they the opposition that had a minority government are now too busy begging the Canadian electorate for a majority.  You will never hear any political party during an election campaign say, “Give us a majority government and we promise to make it possible for you the people to remove us and any other government from office whether sitting with a majority or not  by setting up the means legally to do so if certain conditions are met such as when:

  • It can be proven that the party in question won the election by knowingly using illegal methods, or tactics, such as Robo Calls, illegal campaign contributions, or any other violation of the Election Act whether it be a local riding, or a whole federal, provincial, or civic election; no matter how small the violation, or how big.
  • It can be proven that the government of the day deliberately attempted to thwart the spirit of democracy that this country is supposed to governed by, by deliberately withholding or denying access to information, without just cause, putting it in violation with existing access to information laws.
  • It can be proven that the government of the day is found to have deliberately misled the House and finds that the government is in contempt of parliament; whether or not the government is sitting with a majority.
  • The government goes totally against the platform and refuses to implement any of the campaign promises that got them elected.

I think that examples why absolute power must be removed from a government with a majority has never been more clear and have been met by the Conservative Government of Canada right now, but they have used their majority status in both houses to prevent such a challenge to their governance, but if we had this mechanism I speak of they could no longer hide behind majority status when they violate their office and trust of the Canadian people.

I say this because in the last federal election the court found that although the Conservative Party of Canada cheated, the court did not feel that, their cheating was enough of a reason to put Canadians through another election.  I say  that the court erred in its finding and set in place a dangerous precedent, making it okay for politicians and political parties to break election laws and get away with it.  What they did in effect with their finding was take away the only part of the democratic process left for the voter and that is the choice of whom to vote for on election day.

Our politicians must stop playing Canadians for fools, but they will not as long as they can keep the power that they stole by playing against the rules. This government has:

  • Told some pretty bad lies and is constantly misleading both houses and in doing so is guilty of misleading Canadians.
  • Denied access to information to Canadians that Canadians have the right to know through the Right to Information Act.
  • Denied  opposition parties the information necessary to  do their job either all together, or not in a timely enough fashion shutting down their ability for them to perform their jobs effectively.

They have done all this because their right to govern cannot be challenged until the next election, because they are sitting with a majority government. Think about something that you as a Canadian citizen that you just cannot get behind and that the majority of Canadians would not get behind and just do not want Canada to do; now understand that if the government of the day is sitting with a majority government there is not anything legal that anyone could do to stop them from doing it, if that government chose not to back down.

 At the end of the day maybe another political party needs to be formed whose primary priority would be to create the mechanism and process I have talked about, or another that would allow and make possible the removal of  a corrupt government from office that is sitting with a majority status, without having to get their approval. This new political party would see to it that this mechanism is enshrined in the rules of parliament, or in the laws of this land with a provision that only by 51% yes vote from a country-wide referendum of the people of the country could these powers ever again be altered and that 60% of eligible voters must have voted in order for the 51% to be valid.  After achieving its goal the party would disband, its mandate fulfilled and the people of Canada’s political power and will restored to them.

Is it possible, is it true that we are now living in a time when what is good for Canadians is not what is good for Canada?  I ask this question, because this is what our government is telling us when they say that they have had to make some pretty tough choices for the good of Canada that the Canadian people may not see as good for them.  If we are to look at Canada as just a big business like the government would have us see this nation, devoid of compassion and integrity, where all that is important is the bottom line, then where do the ordinary people fit in?  Are we just mindless worker ants forever destined to toil for the good of country day in and out never to dream, never to feel and never to have a say? Unless something changes real soon, this is our destiny as Canadians, so what is up Canada?

Mayor Ford Not The Only One Needing To Say Sorry

Mayor Ford not only one that needs to publicly apologise for bad judgement.

Mayor Ford not only one that needs to publicly apologise for bad judgement.

God bless the Rob Fords of the world lol, they kind of make you feel like politicians are really humans after all and not the pretentious, pompous, pious idiots they often portray themselves to be.  I have lived long enough to tell a witch hunt from honest reporting and I am still not impressed with Gawker, the Star, or the Globe’s style of just trust me  reporting.

When the chain-smoking, drunk driving, one time premier of Quebec was reported to have left the scene of an accident to avoid his drunkenness being detected by the Montreal police I watched fascinated as the story was dropped by the press and ignored by voters, and the legal authorities  ignored this premiers illegal activities refusing to press charges like it was all some big misunderstanding.  The whole affair was dropped as if it had never happened. No one lost their jobs, a single penny of pay; in fact no one was sanctioned at all.

My main beef with the kind of journalism the Globe, Gawker and the Star exhibited here is that they had no proof of their story that they could show their readers; not one witness that would have come forward  and they did not have the tape and asked the public to trust them.  I found it harder and harder to trust them as they continued to tell the lie that they did not have anything against Mayor Ford, they were not singling him out and they thought that everything that they had done to him in terms of reporting was news worthy and not sensationalized gossip / tabloid like reporting.  I find it hard to trust someone when they start off with a lie and then say trust me.

I think that Mayor Rob Ford acted like an irresponsible ass and I have no love for him and wish he would resign and get some professional help, but what was the problem with the reporters and editors of these papers, were they on crack cocaine as well?  I laughed until my sides ached as editor after editor went on television flanked by their reporters trying to explain how reporting on the  Mayor’s going to Kentucky Fried Chicken was news worthy and they were not trying to embarrass the mayor, but rather thought that Canadians and more importantly Torontonians really needed to have that vital news about their mayor.

I listened with shock and concern as they widened the story to attack the mayor’s family next in print with only the word and credibility of crack cocaine takers and dealers and of these not one of these suspect witnesses would go on the record.  What made it worse for me is when they asked the police about the criminal history of the Fords selling hash, crack or using any drug hash, crack for example and they were told point-blank that their was no evidence of the Ford brothers ever being arrested for anything along those lines, but this did not stop the 3 amigos from printing their at this point improvable story.  The press decided that if they could not get the elected officials then they would go after their sister. They found out that the sister of the Ford brothers had drug related problems in her past and decided to exploit them, not caring what affect their story could have on her rehabilitation, or the rest of her life. The press decided that her privacy was not important and so made her private life fodder for public consumption. Why did the press think that it was news worthy and good reporting to run such a story? Why did the press think that it was ethical to report on this non public figure’s private and very personal life as well as problems, for no other reason than to try to attack her brothers with? I think they were wrong and I think if they are allowed to get away with this type of reporting then anyone of us could be their next target.

It matters little to me in this post that the mayor has finally admitted that he in fact did smoke crack cocaine and whether he is forced out of office because of it matters to me even less, my problem right now at this very moment is where the freedom of the press is headed in this country when reporters violate the fundamentals of good journalism and start reporting and printing stories that they are incapable of proving and have to say trust me, you know we wouldn’t lie.  It is unimportant to me that they saw the video of the mayor smoking crack cocaine, in my opinion no video we wait on the story, unless there is other evidence that can be used to back it up other than a reporter working for a news paper that obviously had bad blood with the mayor.

This is the perfect example of why law makers do not like the notion of freedom of the press.  When the press behaves in such a cavalier way with the trust that it has been given and chooses not to follow its oath not to abuse the privilege it has been given to report only that which it can prove by two independent witnesses, or with authenticated hard evidence, I think we all have something real to fear far more important than if the mayor of Toronto smoked crack cocaine.  This story had nothing to do with bringing important news to the people of Toronto and everything to do with getting at a mayor whom the press did not like.  What has changed for the people of Toronto?  Is mayor Ford gone, driven out of office by the story that just had to be told, whether or not it could be proven?  I would warn Canadians to keep your blinds at your home closed at all times, where a mask when you are entering or exiting a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet, refrain from telling anyone that you are going to lose weight and always keep the scale hidden, or you could be the next Gawker, Globe and Star breaking news story that the 3 amigos think the world needs to know about.

In closing I would say this, “Mayor Rob Ford, finally said sorry to the people of Toronto.  There  will always be debate about the sincerity of the apology and there will always be those who believe that the apology did not go far enough and feel that he should have to go into every dirty detail of what he is sorry for, but I am not one of those people.  I think that the mayor should step down, but if there is no way to force that to happen other than rehashing the same tired old story in the news, than let us move on and vote him out at the next election; that is the legal, democratic and only solution left on the table.  I think the Globe, the Star and Gawker owe their colleagues, the profession of journalism and the people who trusted them to delivery the news and not create it, a big apology.  The mayor can claim substance abuse for his lapse of good judgement, irrational behavior and the shame he has brought not only to his city but to politicians in general, but what can these three news papers claim was their reason for breaking every journalistic rule in the book and hurting the credibility of their fellow journalist, their right to freedom of the press and the trust of the people reading their papers?  In a time when the written word in print is not selling so good and people do not trust the press I have to ask, did the press as a whole really need this kind of negative attention; what is up Canada?”