Archive for the ‘Governance History’ Category

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Canadians giveth, the taxman taketh away

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Taxes, and taxes alone, take more of our income than they used to. Canadians’ taxes, including business taxes hidden in the price of goods and services, have increased almost 2,000 per cent, nearly three times the rate of inflation. From a third of our income in 1961, all taxes combined now take more than 40 per cent. Why? … the list of things Canadians were presumed unable to do for themselves, or do well, has expanded on many fronts, from health care to charity. And so the state has expanded dramatically as it takes on added tasks.

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Stephen Harper, Canada’s true father of federation

Friday, May 27th, 2016

… when money became tighter in the 1980s and Ottawa pulled back funding for existing programs, only to propose new ones, provinces fought back, vowing not to be fooled again… [Harper] reshaped the federation by refusing to intrude in health care, education or other areas of social policy that properly belong to the provinces… For many, it is a cramped, meagre federalism. For others it is a recipe for harmony in a large, thinly populated and diverse country.

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Sanders at fulcrum of debate on progressives

Friday, February 5th, 2016

For most of the 20th century, left politics centred on economic justice… By the 1980s, it was clear that the right, the capitalist side, was going to “win.” Their world view would become the world’s. Many on the left made a strategic shift, from an economic focus to other issues: race, gender, human rights, identity politics… [But] if you awake each morning with a sick feeling because you’ve lost or might lose your job, your wage is declining, you have to cut back and back… it only works so far.

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When women got the vote

Monday, January 25th, 2016

From our perspective, her views were just as prejudiced as her male counterparts. She worried about the negative impact “foreigners” would have on the country and could not fathom how men who could barely speak English were given the right to vote, while white Anglo women were not. Together with several other leading female members of the so-called “Famous Five” — the women who fought the Persons Case in the late 1920s, which established that women under the law were “persons” and therefore eligible for appointment to the Canadian Senate — she was an advocate for eugenics and sterilization of the “feeble-minded.”

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A tale of two Canadas

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

… it was an engagement of emotions and values transcending feelings from previous elections and transcending generations — providing the first hint that the divide between older Canada and Next Canada may not be as deep and wide as previously thought. Old and young Canada together, along with much of the previously Conservative-blue suburban and new Canadian vote, became an awakened progressive majority who declared they had simply had enough… Harper’s absolutist approach to government with the backing of not much more than one-third of ballots cast (and the support of only 24 per cent of all Canadian voters) was branded a debasement of democracy.

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Trudeau’s Liberals a government without excuses

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

Besides a budget close to balance, Mr. Trudeau’s Liberals have low interest rates, low inflation and manageable unemployment. They have a country which finds itself, despite the divide-and-conquer politics of Stephen Harper, in an unusual state of harmony… Justin Trudeau has a low-growth economy, a low revenue stream, depressed commodity prices. No cakewalk is in store, but compared to the others, he has so little to lament, so much to build on.

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End of a Painful Era

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

… the Harper government waged an all-out war on civil society, parliamentary democracy, the environment, organized labour, First Nations, and anyone else that might pose an obstacle to its economic and social policy objectives. First among them was Harper’s plan to reposition Canada as a pro-business, deregulated, low-wage “energy superpower,” followed closely by the party’s ideological commitment to small government and low taxes.

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Trudeau’s victory is a triumph for decency

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

Millions were repelled by Conservative efforts to scare people into voting for the status quo… Trudeau spoke out fiercely and repeatedly for human rights… rejected a Tory economic model that left too many behind, and refused to be shackled by the conventional wisdom that budget-balancing trumps all. That progressive vision informed his promises of greater tax fairness, his bold investment in job-creating infrastructure and his pulling together of a generous, equitable child benefit from a hodgepodge of Tory programs that collectively favoured the affluent.

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Voters delivered a moral judgment on Stephen Harper

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

In electing Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, the voters were saying they’d had enough of mean-spiritedness in politics… But by this election, that non-Conservative majority was determined to see them gone… faced with a choice between the Liberals and a social democratic party posing as Liberals, voters opted for the real thing… The Liberal leader is hardly a radical. His father, Pierre, wasn’t either… But the Liberal leader is different in style. He is sunnier; he exudes optimism; he seems more open.

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The rise of a Machiavellian PMO

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

Political leaders like Harper have innately understood that power and continued electoral success are dependent on firmly controlling all aspects of a government’s day-to-day life, no matter how trivial or insignificant the issue may be. Based on past precedent, the thinking is that if you permit the media to dictate your agenda, attack or mock any inconsistencies in your policies or focus on a hasty remark made in a weak moment, then the journalistic knives will be out.

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