Small parties oppose Bill C-23, the anti-democratic ‘Fair Elections Act’

Bill C-23 Must Not Pass

Ottawa – April 11, 2014 — Registered political parties currently without representation in the House of Commons met in Ottawa to consider Bill C-23, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make consequential amendments to certain Acts. The parties listed below agreed to issue the following statement. These parties are also concerned about many provisions in Bill C-23 aside from those outlined in the statement and they encourage the media to contact them individually.

The Conservative Party of Canada, overseen by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, is hoping to steal the next federal election. Bill C-23, the so-called Fair Elections Act, is their game plan. We are working together to stop the Conservatives, and to protect every Canadian’s right to vote in a fair and honest election that is free of voter suppression schemes, of election fraud, of the denial of fundamental rights, and all watched over by an independent and effective Elections Canada.

The Conservatives and Stephen Harper are terrified because they can’t win a fair election; they hope they can win a rigged one. Continue reading

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Former finance minister and conflict of interest

Facts defy self-serving eulogies, undeserved praise and the Conservative’s crass opportunism. The glue that bonded Flaherty’s team was money and access to the federal treasury.

120311-TorontoRobocallProtestcr2(Excerpt from Wikipedia) – Flaherty said his office broke government contracting rules in hiring MacPhie & Company to help write the 2007 budget speech and provide advice on how to sell the document. MacPhie & Company was awarded the $122,000 contract without tender by Flaherty’s office.[37] On February 7, 2008, Liberal finance critic John McCallum formally called on Auditor General Sheila Fraser to conduct an audit into the untendered contract awarded by Flaherty to MacPhie & Company for work done in advance of the 2007 budget.[38] Continue reading

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The state funeral for former finance minister and the Conservative’s crass opportunism

Self-serving eulogies and undeserved praise, says TML Daily

(Apr. 10) – In today’s TML we are posting an article on the real accomplishments of the former Finance Minister who died on April 10. It is all about nation-wrecking with a program to pay the rich, increase funding for war and annexation and destroy the public authority by starving social programs. Despite this, the monopoly-controlled media are full of praise for the former Finance Minister and his budgets and it was announced that he would be honoured with a state funeral on Wednesday, April 16. All of this comes at a time the Conservatives are wracked with scandal and are railroading a bill through the Commons and the Senate, Bill C-23, that destroys Canada’s electoral process to favour their own re-election.

Now, the other shoe is dropping. Continue reading

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Flashback: Margaret Thatcher and misapplied death etiquette

Glenn Greenwald: The dictate that one “not speak ill of the dead” is (at best) appropriate for private individuals, not influential public figures. Thatcher was revered by the Harper gang, one of whom (John Baird) even named his beloved dog in her honour. (No kidding!) The death of Jim Flaherty took place precisely one year and two days after Thatcher’s.

Thatcher was notorious for, amongst other things, her support for her fellow reactionaries and their massive violations of rights

(Apr 8, 2013) – News of Margaret Thatcher‘s death this morning instantly and predictably gave rise to righteous sermons on the evils of speaking ill of her. British Labour MP Tom Watson decreed: “I hope that people on the left of politics respect a family in grief today.” Following in the footsteps of Santa Claus, Steve Hynd quickly compiled a list of all the naughty boys and girls “on the left” who dared to express criticisms of the dearly departed Prime Minister, warning that he “will continue to add to this list throughout the day”. Former Tory MP Louise Mensch, with no apparent sense of irony, invoked precepts of propriety to announce: “Pygmies of the left so predictably embarrassing yourselves, know this: not a one of your leaders will ever be globally mourned like her.” Continue reading

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A reflection on Dr Norman Girvan

Norman GirvanI had the honour to meet and briefly discuss with Dr Norman Girvan, when he spoke at a most interesting two-day symposium held in October 22009 at St Mary’s University SMU) in Halifax, along with the Cuban, Bolivian and Venezuelan ambassadors and several other invited guests from Latin America. Dr Girvan gave a terrific presentation on ALBA, pointing to a number of forces that have combined to bring about positive change for the majority of people in the region who have been marginalized for centuries. The topic of our own discussion was the actual role that Canada plays in the Caribbean and Latin America, which is nefarious and long-standing. Unlike imperialist academics who come to Canada to lecture, he was most open to our views, experiences and researches. (He visited SMU again in November 2013, speaking at a conference on alternative trade.) That encounter led me to read some of his writing and studies on his website. I share all the positive sentiments expressed by David Abdulah and Isaac Saney about Dr Girvan, his internationalist outlook, life and work, and his enduring legacy. Continue reading

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A reflection on Patrick Seale, journalist and historian

PatrickSealePatrick Seale has died from a brain tumor.  While he was on his death bed, his ex, Rana Qabbani, was tackily badmouthing him on Twitter over inheritence issue.

Seale belong to a generation when Western correspondents in the Middle East were among the best graduates of Middle East studies centers in Western universities (outside the US, of course – we don’t believe in expertise here in the US). Seale studied aat St. Anthony’s college at Oxford and was a student of Albert Hourani, who wanted him to become a historian. (The father of Seale was an Arabist by the way). Hourani thought very highly of Seale and wanted him to become a historian. The young Seale published his first book, the Struggle for Syria, fresh out school. It was for years one of the best book (classics really) on the Middle East. I do believe that the book inspired many people to study Syrian history and certainly inspired Philip Khoury in his work on modern Syria. [No public library in Ontario has a copy, and used copies online start from circa $150 – TS]

Struggle for coverSeale became a foreign correspondent in the Middle East when Western correspondents in the region were real experts and historians of the region. Seale had an unusual gift: he knew how to amass a wealth of information on a subject without being overwhelmed with the data, and with the ability to tell a gripping story in a commanding style. You don’t see that style in writing on the Middle East these days.

Seale’s later books paled in comparison to his first book. His book on Asad was more of an advocacy and hagiography and failed to tell the other point of view. He presented Asad in heroic terms. He said that he believed in the case that Asad was making (not sure which is worse, to believe in Asad’s case or to not believe in it).

His book on Abu Nidal was based on the account of Abu Iyad: Seale became a successor of sorts to Muhammad Hasanayn Haykal and Middle East figures wanted to tell their story to him because they hoped that would come across as Asad came across in that book.

Seale retired from journalism and then wrote sort of “court biographies”. I asked him once: how could you write that book on Khalid bin Sultan? He said: it was a lot of money (around half a million dollars from what I heard). His last book on Riadh As-Sulh was commissioned by Sulh’s grandson, Al-Walid bin Talal, for $400,000 (I know that for a fact). But the book reads more as the work of talented graduate students and does not have the flourish and style of Seale.

I miss the times when Western correspondents in the Middle East were real experts and historians of the region and not like today: how much Middle East history do the present-day correspondents in Beirut know about the region? I bet that they know more about Gen. Dr. engineer Salim Idriss than about Jamal Abdul-Nasser or George Habash. I bet. His writings for Al-Hayat (the mouthpiece for Khalid bin Sultan) mirrored the foreign policy of Saudi Arabia: it supported Syrian regime for years before turning against it in 2005.

As’ad AbuKhalil, Angry Arab News Service

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The mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Obama’s Asia Pivot


Malayasian airlines graphicTHE 227 passengers and 12 crew members aboard are still missing. The search continues for the aircraft, which took off from Kuala Lumpur on March 8. It is now in its fifth week, and the only credible information that may give clues to the whereabouts of the missing jumbo aircraft come from satellite images and pings from the floor of the Indian Ocean.

The images publicly cited have all come from Chinese, French and Thai satellites. At the time of writing, not one single image revealed to the public has emanated from a U.S. satellite. Yet all the data analysis has been conducted by one Pentagon-linked company. Why is this? Continue reading

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