Hahahahahahaha holy fuck I can’t believe Alberta just turfed the Conservatives and elected a majority NDP government. With the Wildrose Party as opposition. The biggest goddamn Conservative stronghold in Canada just threw up its hands and said, “fuck it, we’re NDP now.”

This is glorious and was entirely worth staying up for.

I wanted to keep this account mostly fandom related, but if everyone could just bear with me a moment, I want to introduce this beautiful, brilliant woman who was just elected Premier of Alberta.

Her name is Rachel Notley, and after winning the leadership race for the NDP party just six months ago, she led her left-leaning party to win a majority government in the province widely known to be the most conservative place in Canada, where the PC party had reigned for almost 44 YEARS.  That government has been in power far longer than I’ve been alive, and now, after just a month long campaign, her message of compassion and hope was so powerful that, not only did she win the election, but her party’s overwhelming success lead to the PCs near absolute destruction.  Before the election, the PCs held 70 of Alberta’s 87 seats, while the NDP had 4; In this election, the NDP won 53 seats, and the PCs were reduced to just 11 and aren’t even the official opposition anymore!

I am just in awe of this fantastic lady, who not only flipped the political landscape of Alberta on its head in a single month long campaign, but brought with her what will likely be a record number of women into Alberta’s legislature.

There’s so much more to this story than I can realistically type here without putting everyone to sleep, but I just hope that everyone takes this victory to heart–no matter how awful your current government is, and how little you believe it can actually change, sometimes it actually does.  So never give up, and be sure to get out and vote every time you have the opportunity!

I’m sure that there were plenty of people laughing at the possibility of a NDP majority here, saying things like “maybe when hell freezes over.”

But when I walked into my polling station tonight, I knew that they’d be in for a surprise, because it was snowing outside. :)

In June 2010, the Canadian government unveiled a grand experiment in data collection. In the name of privacy, Prime Minister Stephen Harper ended the mandatory long-form census for the country and swapped it out with a voluntary survey.

Five years later, there is a mass scramble to make sense of a rapidly changing country. Despite an explosion of corporate data-mining in most nations, researchers interested in tracking poverty, immigration and public health in Canada know less and less about the country as time progresses. They’re not, for example, entirely sure if income inequality is accelerating, stagnant or closing. Across the nation there is a loud, collective uneasiness among them.

Harper is losing the argument on C-51 … with Conservatives

Bill C-51 was supposed to unite conservatives in the latest round of the War on Terror™. Instead, it’s dividing them — both on and off Parliament Hill.

This week, Conservative MP Michael Chong, never one to blindly toe the line, criticized the bill’s lack of oversight in a statement to the House of Commons: “However, while I fully support Bill C-51, I also believe we need greater oversight of Canadian security and intelligence agencies by a parliamentary committee of elected MPs, who are directly and democratically accountable to Canadians. That greater oversight is even more important as we give these agencies new powers to combat terrorism.”

That same day, at committee hearings on the bill, Connie Fournier, founder of the former conservative online forum FreeDominion, criticized the bill’s infringements on privacy and freedom of speech. Fournier is going a step further, reviving her website to fight Bill C-51 — and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

“I feel like we’re in some kind of alternate universe,” she recently told the Tyee. “You spend your life working for the Conservative party, and the Conservative party finally gets in, and (now) you’re saying, ‘I hope the NDP really steps up and protects us from our Conservative government.‘”

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“either stand with us or with the child pornographers.”

– Harper Government

"The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.”

– Adolf Hitler in Mein Kampf

do something

Best of '12: Canadian Political Quotes of Year

‘I should have called him an Honourable Asshole.’ - Pat Martin, MP for Winnipeg Centre

‘Mr. Speaker, […] I rise today to condemn the Conservatives for their boosterism and cheerleading of the asbestos cartel and the human misery it causes. […] Dante should have reserved a special level of hell for [these] charlatans and the fraudsters.’ - Pat Martin, MP for Winnipeg Centre

'I want my Canada back!’ - Justin Trudeau, MP for Papineau

'Rupert Murdoch is a bag of shit.’ - Pat Martin, MP for Winnipeg Centre

'This is a minister who uses extreme language, who shouts and sounds like the angry troll under the bridge in 3 Billy Goats Gruff.’ - Charlie Angus, MP for Timmins-James Bay

'It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to connect the dots’ - Pat Martin, MP for Winnipeg Centre

'Who the hell uses a burner cell phone when they’re not trying to hide something? [..] Only dope dealers, and Hell’s Angels, and Tony Soprano use burner cell phones.’ - Pat Martin, MP for Winnipeg Centre

'We do not want any smartass gibberish from the member for Peterborough. We have had enough of that.’ - Pat Martin, MP for Winnipeg Centre

'Don’t you threaten me you little pissant.’ - Pat Martin, MP for Winnipeg Centre

'The good new is I wrote 'Fuck You Stephen Gordon’ then erased it. But I reserve the right to call you a pompous dickhead’ - Pat Martin, MP for Winnipeg Centre

'Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for 8 Mile for the question. […] I will simply say I am not afraid to stand and defend our party, but he is not The Real Slim Shady.’ - Dean Del Mastro, MP for Peterborough and Parliamentary Secretary

'The Ballad of Justin and Patrick’ - Rodger Cuzner, MP for Bras d'Or—Cape Breton

'This is such an asinine process that the Conservatives have put us in.’ - The Honourable Scott Brison, MP for Kings-Hants

“If the arse falls out of the Euro, even with primary creditor status these are uncharted territories.” - The Honourable Scott Brison, MP for Kings-Hants

’The PM doesn’t know his arse from a hole in the ground’ - Ryan Cleary, MP for St. John’s South-Mount Pearl

Is the guy that stupid or is he that stupid? I know he sleeps a lot, but I didn’t realise he was also that stupid. […] It symbolises he’s an idiot and shouldn’t be sitting in parliament. […] What a dickhead, I’d say it stronger than that, but what a complete dickhead. - Peter Stoffer, MP for Sackville-Eastern Shore

’[The BBC] told us to fuck off’ - The Honourable John Baird, MP for Ottawa West-Nepean and Minister of Foreign Affairs

I hear [my Twitter followers] say, you know, 'Bob Rae, you’re an asshole’. […] I’m working my way and trying to represent the people and speaking in Question Period and here we have vox populi, the thoughtful man on the street, 'you are an asshole!’. Thank you very much. I read it on my Twitter and I get up and ask a question.’  - The Honourable Bob Rae, MP for Toronto Centre and Interim Leader of the Liberal Party

“Listen, I would never judge someone who screwed their babysitter for years or knocked up their secretary, so don’t ask me to.” - Pat Martin, MP for Winnipeg Centre

“I’m not ‘worked up’ so much as ‘fed up’ with the rat faced whores in the Conservative Party who neglect to invite me to announcements in my riding.” - Pat Martin, MP for Winnipeg Centre

Cases of missing and murdered aboriginal women should be viewed as “crimes” rather than a “sociological phenomenon,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Thursday.

Rejecting a formal inquiry into the more than 1,100 cases of missing or murdered aboriginal women in Canada, Harper said the issues are “first and foremost” crimes and should be dealt with by police.
“I think we should not view this as sociological phenomenon. We should view it as crime,” Harper told a crowd at Yukon College in Whitehorse on Thursday.

“It is crime, against innocent people, and it needs to be addressed as such. We brought in laws across this country that I think are having more effect, in terms of crimes of violence against not just aboriginal women, but women and persons more generally. And we remain committed to that course of action.”

The Northern Foundation was established in 1989, originally as a pro-South Africa group … lists among the founding members of the Foundation both William Gairdner and Stephen Harper …

Murray Dobbin Goodread , Preston Manning and the Reform Party.

Pro-South African means pro-apartheid in this context. Said foundation distributed literature promoting apartheid, was financed by businesses with ties to South Africa and undertook pro-apartheid letter writing campaigns. Many of its members later joined the Reform Party along with Harper, now known as the Conservative Party of Canada.

Former Sun News executives, reporters join Conservative Party

Media figures who enter politics, or political figures who join the media — it’s an old story going back to Canada’s early days.

And sometimes people take an extra spin through the revolving door.

Two founding executives at the now-defunct Sun News network are joining Conservative Party of Canada headquarters, after having left Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office for the network.

Kory Teneycke, former vice-president, and Dennis Matthews, former marketing director, will be taking on roles within the party.

Teneycke was Harper’s director of communications and Matthews was PMO’s advertising manager and staff director, before Sun News went on the air four years ago.

Continue Reading.

I could make the typical sectoral balances analysis about the new Canadian budget. I could point out that, in a situation where there’s a business sector surplus and a household sector deficit, there’s going to be an increasing debt load, putting the stability of the financial system at risk. I could point out that this could be made up for by increasing government sector deficit, which transfers money to people generally in ways different than lending. I could also point out that at a time where the trade deficit is big ($13 billion as of the last quarter), that government deficits have to be bigger than ever to counter this outflow of money. But the thing about the new budget is, it’s a deficit budget. The Tories can’t square their election year tax cuts with a surplus, so they put on their best David Stockman impression and bullshitted their budget. Employment Insurance is a closed system, paid for by money flowing in from a specific (regressive) payroll tax, moving out directly via cheques, and needing no other source of financing. It has a $3.4 billion surplus this year, money that could be going to the 60% of unemployed Canadians who aren’t receiving benefits. Instead, there’s a liability on the EI balance sheet as the Tories just decided to include that surplus on the spending side of their balance sheet. They also raided a rainy day fund that’s supposed to be used for times of low liquidity for $2 billion, and sold their shares in General Motors for $2.1 billion. As a result, this is a $6.1 billion budget deficit in reality, because what’s written on paper doesn’t matter. Now, none of these actions make any sense from a surplus-minded viewpoint. Keeping the GM shares for instance would gain dividends that would certainly outnumber the amount of money gained from a one-time fire sale. We can conclude that deficit-mania is low on the Tories’ list of priorities. Instead, this is a normal Neoliberal budget, in line with business class expectations for the state set at the end of WW2. Typically, the state is needed periodically to intervene in markets in order to prevent Capitalism from tumbling in on itself. At the same time, the business class views any sort of state interference in the markets, no matter how pro-business, as intrinsically evil. It contradicts their idealistic vision of themselves as self-made entrepreneurs pulling themselves up with their bootstraps. This was the crisis that created the Great Depression.

At a time where the business class was the most powerful in the entire 20th century, it was able to prevent the state from taking the actions needed to save Capitalism because it viewed them as too onerous. It was only with a massive destruction of the capital of the rich and a vast campaign of class warfare by the poor that the state was persuaded to restore Capitalism to functioning order. It’s like somebody who gets wounded and then refuses to treat the sore with anti-septic fluid because it’s too painful, and then complains profusely when it festers. After WW2, a compact was built with the rich, even more powerful than the Keynesian social contract, that the state would always undertake those actions even if the business class didn’t consent, and in return, the state would then take every action possible to win back the business class’s trust. It’s like promising that person earlier that you would definitely give them anti-septic fluid even if they didn’t want it, but you’d then profusely apologize for putting them through such a horrible experience and take them out for ice cream and a trip to the fucking circus. The 30-year Keynesian effort to restore Capitalism to health in a world where free trade had disappeared and then the Neoliberal turn in the 70s can be viewed through this lens. So too can the bailout of GM.

The government of Canada was forced to take ownership of GM in order to ensure its survival. Now, it has to sell GM shares to show the business class that, at a time of record levels of dividends, the budget will be balanced only through tax cut attrition to shift the burden of paying for services onto the backs of the working class. To unfortunately mix my metaphors in order to give one that seems more relevant: Imagine a group of protesters peacefully occupying a businessman’s lawn. The city would first have to send in the riot cops and smash some skulls to ensure the businessman’s constitutional rights were respected. The mayor then has to go to the businessman’s house and apologize to him for getting blood all over his lawn, for forcing him to see people in pain, etc, and to say that the city will cover all costs. Finally, things can go back to normal, and the businessman can continue to operate in an environment built by the city for his benefit but where he doesn’t notice anything the municipal government does because its atrocities have now gone back to happening in poor neighborhoods, as usual.