Author Topic: Canadian Politics 2021  (Read 4781 times)

Jubal

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Re: Canadian Politics 2021
« Reply #30 on: June 12, 2021, 12:53:48 PM »
I think it's at times underrated when watching politics how much difference a functional (or not) working environment can make. I've certainly seen working groups etc where the policy preferences of the group if polled probably weren't well reflected in the outcome, because people who were easier to work with and volunteered to do more stuff thereby ended up with their preferences on the outcome being better represented.
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dubsartur

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Re: Canadian Politics 2021
« Reply #31 on: June 12, 2021, 11:51:31 PM »
I think it's at times underrated when watching politics how much difference a functional (or not) working environment can make. I've certainly seen working groups etc where the policy preferences of the group if polled probably weren't well reflected in the outcome, because people who were easier to work with and volunteered to do more stuff thereby ended up with their preferences on the outcome being better represented.
Another challenge is that drama tends to drive out people who just want to do things, and leave the people who enjoy being at the centre of personal controversies or just want a title and a generous salary.

One challenge to building a small party from a broad national base in Canada is that the first few MPs have disproportionate power and don't have much chance to build experience working as part of a caucus.  If 5-10% of the popular vote brought 5-10% of the House of Commons, the federal Greens would be better at handling personal conflicts.

I wish Ms. Atwin all the best but I have trouble being optimistic about the federal Liberals.

dubsartur

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Re: Canadian Politics 2021
« Reply #32 on: June 17, 2021, 03:20:26 AM »
Green Party of Canada leader Annamie Paul passed the vote challenging her leadership of the party.  Some sources within the party say that there is a struggle between former leader and first MP Elizabeth May and her as elected leader, with some officials ignoring her and taking Elizabeth May's direction.

Atwin, like many Israelis, had said that the government of Israel practices apartheid.  I think current Green policy is not to be so frank.

The National Post, Canada's big Tory paper, printed part of the letter of complaint against Paul.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2021, 03:26:43 AM by dubsartur »

Jubal

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Re: Canadian Politics 2021
« Reply #33 on: June 17, 2021, 11:32:18 AM »
The Greens in the UK have a similar issue though I think they've managed to avoid the personal problems: their sole MP (for Brighton Pavilion) and former leader Caroline Lucas is often treated as de facto leader despite them having other people as their co-leaders, Jonathan Bartley (a councillor in London) and Sian Berry (a London assembly member). They don't seem to get on badly though (not that the party is lacking internal drama, but most of it is among figures too minor to be known by anyone outside the party itself and a few dedicated nerds elsewhere in the political world).
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dubsartur

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Re: Canadian Politics 2021
« Reply #34 on: June 20, 2021, 06:03:47 PM »
Some of you may remember the story of how Jason Kenney used ingenious and possibly criminal means to unite the upstart Wildrose and establishment Progressive Conservative parties in Alberta.  As it turns out that he can't make oil prices rise or other provinces and states approve oil pipelines, some of the remaining right-wing parties coalesced into the Wildrose Independence Party with provisional leader Paul Hinman.  He is the only candidate for first official leader.  One poll has them with the support of 17% of voters, although since they were founded in July 2020 its hard to know if that will stick.

If I had to guess I would say that Alberta politics will remain in its two-party system of United Conservative Party vs. NDP, but other systems are possible.  Its definitely more exciting than the old one-party system.

dubsartur

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Re: Canadian Politics 2021
« Reply #35 on: July 09, 2021, 04:14:44 AM »
The CBC has a pretty good human-interest story on one of the communities isolated by the restrictions on border crossing https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/point-roberts-border-pandemic-1.6093133  Granted that the US was in a situation until 7 January 2021, but there would probably have been a way to solve Point Roberts' problems in spring 2021 if governments had willed to do so.

dubsartur

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Re: Canadian Politics 2021
« Reply #36 on: August 06, 2021, 12:00:25 AM »
Physics professor and former BC Green leader Andrew J. Weaver has something to say about local municipal politics (4 municipalities with their own mayors, councils, and police forces in one continuous urban area you can drive across in 40 minutes, and 9 nearby municipalities) in the local city paper:

Quote
There is no doubt that over the years most of the Capital Regional District’s 13 municipal councils, including Victoria, have shown commendable leadership on the climate change file. But unlike most councils, Victoria council’s decision-making process is mired in never-ending controversy. It strikes me that ideology, rather than evidence-based decision-making, is what guides many in their council chambers.

And this brings me to the teachable moment.

When you justify a poor decision by evoking climate change, you end up polarizing the electorate into two camps: Cheerleaders who blindly, and unquestionably, follow along; and those who recognize the illogical string of arguments in the justification.

Many in the latter group will inevitably start to question other worthwhile climate change mitigation initiatives. The danger is that ideologues on the far right of the political spectrum will take advantage of the growing cynicism embodied in the second group to advance their own causes.


Many in the so-called “progressive” movement need to take a good hard look at themselves in the mirror. I suggest that their virtue signaling and intolerance of dissent or competing views is not too dissimilar from the actions of the alt-right who deny even the very existence of global warming.

One of the most important tasks for Canadians right now is stamping out infections of madness from the USA and UK whenever they drift over the border.  We can't help folks there in their current state of mind, but we can make sure that our societies keep running so when they can see the outside world again, it still exists.  And my experience in the 2010s taught me that imitating the kind of politics which does well on English-language corporate social media is as counterproductive as self-medicating against COVID with something a friend of a friend shared on Instagram.



Oh, and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh sent an open letter to the new Governor General asking her to refuse any request to dissolve parliament and trigger an early election in the near future.  The Governor General does many things which can be criticized (see proroguing, use of by Stephen Harper) and when the fixed-term election act was passed in 2007 there was talk that the Governor General might enforce it.  But for the Governor General to refuse such a request would be rather unusual. and get many professional sharers of opinions in Ontario excited.



Independent MP for Vancouver-Granville Jody Wilson-Raybould published the following letter on her script-heavy website:

Quote
I would like to share some news. I will not be running as a candidate in the next federal election to be the Member of Parliament for our riding of Vancouver Granville.

This was not an easy or quick decision to make. It came about through long reflection on and writing about my own experiences in Ottawa, insights others have shared with me, and a growing realization of the depth of the shifts needed in our political culture.

I have not made this decision in order to spend more time with my family or to focus on other challenges and pursuits.

From my seat over the last six years, I have noticed a change in Parliament, a regression. It has become more and more toxic and ineffective while simultaneously marginalizing individuals from certain backgrounds. Federal politics is, in my view, increasingly a disgraceful triumph of harmful partisanship over substantive action. In 2015, I ran to be the MP in our newly created riding of Vancouver Granville to drive change on the critical issues facing our community and all Canadians, including Indigenous reconciliation, climate change, social and racial justice, and building an enduring economy in a rapidly shifting world. Fighting for transformative change on these matters is what I was doing before becoming your MP, when I was the Regional Chief of British Columbia. And this is what I will continue to do in our community and across the country after my time as MP ends.

I am leaving to carry on this work in different venues.

The letter continues but I won't link because its one of those SquareSpace sites which are blank unless you enable scripts.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2021, 09:06:04 PM by dubsartur »

dubsartur

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Re: Canadian Politics 2021
« Reply #37 on: August 09, 2021, 05:50:16 AM »
Since I have criticized the federal government for its handling of communities in the US whose only land border is with Canada, I should say that Canada is doing something for them: residents of those communities can enter Canada without proof of vaccination as of Monday 9 August.  Right now, Canadians still can't enter any part of the USA, but that may change in the near future.

dubsartur

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Re: Canadian Politics 2021
« Reply #38 on: August 16, 2021, 05:26:31 AM »
Neither pandemic nor Elections Act nor the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban before friends could be evacuated has stopped Justin Trudeau from calling an early election in hopes of getting a majority government before the next budget.  The approximate date to dissolve parliament was decided months ago, probably based on polling and projections about the pandemic.  I think the best plausible outcome would be for him to end up with a weaker minority but we will see.

There are now Canadian special forces in Afghanistan (the previous military mission ended in ?2014?).  The post-Harper Liberals and Conservatives like special forces because the Prime Minister's Office can send them to fight in places like Syria and Iraq without the parliamentary or journalistic oversight over the main Canadian Forces and Reserves.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2021, 01:33:47 AM by dubsartur »

dubsartur

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Re: Canadian Politics 2021
« Reply #39 on: August 18, 2021, 07:57:19 PM »
Would anyone be interested in posts on this election?  I feel like there is not much to add since 2019 and I have no idea how many people are reading these any more.

Its not clear at all to me what Justin Trudeau could do with a majority that he can't do with a strong minority, other than shut down awkward questions from parliament about his various abuses of authority.  More voters have their wishes represented in a minority government than a majority government where 40% of the votes grant 99% of the power.

Jubal

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Re: Canadian Politics 2021
« Reply #40 on: August 19, 2021, 10:58:48 AM »
I read these, and election stuff is probably easier for me to engage with than the scandals and policy shifts of local politics in Canada, I guess because it's a more familiar system.

I also agree regarding minority governments - majority governments in any sensible electoral system should be an extreme rarity really. Unless there are any specific liberal policies that both the NDP and Conservatives hate. This would be the case if e.g. there was a Lib Dem government in the UK, but the Canadian liberals seem a bit more typically centrist and the NDP less socially conservative than Labour such that it's probably easier for a Can-Liberal minority to get most things done by being able to reach either left or right?
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dubsartur

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Re: Canadian Politics 2021
« Reply #41 on: August 20, 2021, 03:10:00 AM »
I read these, and election stuff is probably easier for me to engage with than the scandals and policy shifts of local politics in Canada, I guess because it's a more familiar system.

I also agree regarding minority governments - majority governments in any sensible electoral system should be an extreme rarity really. Unless there are any specific liberal policies that both the NDP and Conservatives hate. This would be the case if e.g. there was a Lib Dem government in the UK, but the Canadian liberals seem a bit more typically centrist and the NDP less socially conservative than Labour such that it's probably easier for a Can-Liberal minority to get most things done by being able to reach either left or right?
I think that this government (and the previous Harper minority governments) gets legislation passed by making deals with whatever opposition party seems most supportive of a particular measure.  That might be the Bloc for an act with some money for Quebec or the NDP for healthcare spending. 

Its hard to talk about policy because this government does not have a set of big new agendas like the 2015 Liberal government.  Its hard to see why providing clean water to all First Nations is taking so long.  Health care is a provincial responsibility, so Ottawa has splashed around some money and handled US relations but nothing like the situation in the UK.  And I'm not really in a position to talk about the details of everyday policymaking and the management of the federal bureaucracy.

Edit: Harper had a clear goal in everyday policy: to degrade the capacity of the Canadian state to help Canadians and to make evidence-based decisions.  His concept of the role of the federal state was out of the early 19th century.  I have trouble saying anything about the day-to-day activity of the 2019 Trudeau government, other than things like the SNC Lavalin affair where he wrote legislation side by side with a specific company which wanted to apply it.  There are many things worse than 'vaguely competent, lefty in rhetoric but small-c conservative in practice' but its hard to talk about.

The election was probably called when it is because every adult in Canada who wants a vaccination will be vaccinated, but the winter wave of COVID will not be bad yet, and the next federal budget with accounting for pandemic spending and losses is not yet due.  So if your goal is to get a majority, its probably a good time, but if your goal is to enact specific policies I am not sure what the Liberals have in mind.

The Tories have apparently released their platform already but I have not browsed it.  In my riding the candidates are not yet announced (people can be nominated until 31 August, the vote is on 20 September).  My MP has a lot of lawn signs out already.  I will wait to see what the Liberals say they want to do with a majority.


MP Derek Sloan, who was ejected from the Conservative caucus in January, has decided to run again not in his Ontario riding but in a riding in Alberta where the incumbent Conservative MP got 71% (!) of the vote in 2019. 
« Last Edit: August 20, 2021, 09:49:13 PM by dubsartur »

Jubal

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Re: Canadian Politics 2021
« Reply #42 on: August 22, 2021, 11:10:46 AM »
Out of interest, has that tended to include many Lib-Con deals on legislation, or are the vast majority of these deals with opposition parties actually done with the slightly smaller parties?
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dubsartur

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Re: Canadian Politics 2021
« Reply #43 on: August 22, 2021, 05:26:30 PM »
During a Canadian federal campaign the party leaders fly around and speak to audiences in the tens and low hundreds with the occasional larger rally or press conference.  The Conservatives seem to be trying to raise the profile of their leader Erin O'Toole and his more moderate flavour of conservatism, while the Liberals are trying to use "why don't you require all candidates to be vaccinated?" and abortion rights as wedge issues against them.

Edit: in my riding the major parties have all nominated candidates, but apparently Elections Canada does not record them until the end of the nomination period.  Meanwhile almost all the lawn signs I see are for my MP.

Out of interest, has that tended to include many Lib-Con deals on legislation, or are the vast majority of these deals with opposition parties actually done with the slightly smaller parties?
I would have to check bill by bill at https://www.ourcommons.ca/Members/en/votes  I note that bill C-254, a private member's bill introduced by a Bloc MP, passed its second reading without much support from the Liberals.

The third reading of Bill C-30, the implementation of some pandemic spending and tax credits, was basically a party-line vote with the Conservatives plus Derek Sloan and one other Independent against and everyone else for.

The Conservative platform does present them as victims of "the Liberals, NDP, and Greens."



Its also worth noting that in Alberta we now have the United Conservative Party (provincial), a Wildrose Independence Party (provincial), an Alberta Party, a Maverick Party (formerly Wexit Party), Maxime Bernier's People's Party of Canada, and Derek Sloan's campaign.  There is a lot of ferment among the hard right in the prairie provinces as people feel the old Tories and Progressive Conservatives are not meeting their needs (and hard right Anglo-Canadians heading to Alberta because they think it is the stronghold of hard right beliefs in Canada).  I can't think of anything similar on the left.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2021, 01:25:35 AM by dubsartur »

dubsartur

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Re: Canadian Politics 2021
« Reply #44 on: August 29, 2021, 07:47:23 PM »
Twice while campaigning in BC, Trudeau has had to hide from youthful and indigenous protestors complaining about police violence at the Fairy Creek old-growth forest and oil pipelines.  He has disappeared inside his van or an airport.  In Southern Ontario, his events are being disrupted by groups of protestors shouting slogans about lockdowns and using foul language and racist and misogynist slurs.  He and his campaign staff are happy to talk to reporters about that.

Doug Ford, the Progressive Conservative premier of Ontario, is not only on vacation, he has allegedly ordered ministers not to campaign at federal Conservative events and if they do attend not to post any record of their presence on social media.



The Toronto Star has a piece on the back-room negotiations between the Ontario Progessive Conservatives and federal Liberals which control what we see of those parties during the campaign.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2021, 06:15:00 AM by dubsartur »