Who Stands on Guard for Democracy in Canada? Not the Conservatives, Liberals or NDP
Here we go again. The Conservatives, Liberals and NDP claim that they are champions of democracy, but the Globe & Mail is today reporting that all three parties are now in agreement that a bill to add federal seats in urban parts of Ontario, Alberta and B.C. to address under-representation will be scrapped. This week, over 120,000 voters in the urban Ontario riding of Vaughan were able to cast their ballots in a federal by-election; in the rural Manitoba riding of Dauphin-Swan River, only about 51,000 voters were eligible to participate. This is democratic inequality write large: if you live in Vaughan, your vote is worth less than half of a rural Manitobans. And it's like this across the country. The Cons, Liberals and NDP don't seem to care that urban voters are disadvantaged. They may say that they do. Indeed, I was hopeful that at least the Conservatives, who introduced (the admittedly imperfect) Bill C-12 in the first place, might actually take action to address this inequality. With this Bill now set to die without the support of any elected political party, it's clear that the mainstream parties don't really care that much about democracy.
More "Degrees of Change" Embarrassment for Canada and Climate Prosperity Nonsense
Canadian Youth Delegate Maggie Knight is attending COP-16 in Mexico. She blogs about a disturbing trend regarding Canada's stance on limiting warming to 2 degrees celsius. The stance itself, while potentially problematic for many reasons, isn't what disturbs me today. It's the fact that the Canadian government appears to be using the completely discredited NRTEE "Degrees of Change" poster as a justification for its position. This is the same document which was used to launch Canada's "Climate Prosperity" program, which talks up the positive economic impacts for Canada in a warming world! Green Party Leader Elizabeth May referred to this poster, which is apparently also being distributed to school children across Canada, as being embarrassing, misleading and incredibly callous propaganda. May is absolutely right about this. I've blogged about this poster and the incredibly disgusting campaign underway through the Conservative government to convince Canadians that global warming will put money in our pockets. I'm very concerned that our government appears to be taking its own discredited propaganda seriously on the international stage. Thanks, Maggie, for keeping us informed about what's happening with the Canadian delegation in Cancun.
Neo-Con Power Grab in Ontario Progressive Conservative Party Underway?
All is not well within the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party: Looks like ultra-right-wing neo-con Randy Hillier's friends in the Landowners Associations are trying to take over the PC's from within. If successful in implementing their agenda, Hillier and Co., are sure to make Mike Harris look like Mother Theresa. PC MPP Norm Sterling knows this. It was his riding which was recently under attack by these right-wing demagogues, who want to see land use controls and conservation authorities abolished. That Tim Hudak continues to allow the likes of Hillier and Bill Murdoch, MPP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, participate in his caucus is very problematic for the PC's, and for the citizens of Ontario whose government Hudak desperately wants to lead as Premier. Can the PC's keep a lid on this rift? Maybe. But Hillier and Murdoch are mavericks who are not afraid of speaking, and acting out against their leaders. Keep an eye on this troubling trend.
George Monbiot vs. Greenwasher Patrick Moore
A scathing and deserved indictment by George Monbiot of Canadian Patrick Moore. Moore has for too long been coasting on his past association with Greenpeace as a "leading environmentalist" and go-to guy for the mainstream media. Read Monbiot's article to find out how Moore has lately been employed by one of the worst environmental polluters in the world, Indonesia's Asian Pulp and Paper (APP), whose products are being dropped like hot potatoes by companies such as Staples over concerns about unethical practices. Moore's attempt to greenwash APP's business practices are very disturbing. And the media's apparent lack of interest in who is paying for Moore's services is equally disturbing. Despite this guy's past (and significant) participation in Greenpeace, he's long since joined the dark side.