Political Honesty, Rovian Politics, and Evangelicals

March 29, 2009 at 4:38 pm | Posted in Politics | Leave a comment

Vancouver’s Canada Line to open in September:

Homeless relocations part of 2010 Games security plan:

Female war resister gets 11th-hour stay from deportation to U.S.:

Vote on War Resisters in Iraq is Monday:

Quebec pulls Tasers from police use until tests on guns completed :

Saskatchewan cancels RFID licences while Ontario looks for off-switch:

“Privacy advocates have voiced concern for months over the prospect of an RFID chip broadcasting personal information from new enhanced driver’s licences. With these licences set to roll out in June, Saskatchewan says they’re cancelling their program and Ontario is looking for a way to turn the licence off.”

Canada throws up yet another roadblock to Abdelrazik:

Creekside provides a good summary of the story of Abousfian Abdelrazik, a Montreal man stranded in Sudan since 2003. Canada won’t let him back into the country.

Harper’s former chief of staff gives surprisingly frank explanation for cutting GST:

“Despite economic evidence to the contrary, in my view the GST cut worked,” Brodie said in Montreal at the annual conference of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada. “It worked in the sense that by the end of the ’05-’06 campaign, voters identified the Conservative party as the party of lower taxes. It worked in the sense that it helped us to win.”

[ snip]

He made it in a panel discussion meant to try to address the question “Does Evidence Matter in Policy-Making?” To some of the other panelists, and I would guess to most of those in the roomful of academics and bureaucrats listening, the assumed premise was that evidence—facts, objective analysis, expertise—should matter a great deal more in policy than it does now.

But Brodie painted a picture of politics where that would appear to be a hopeless aspiration.

He ruefully recounted how the Conservatives tried to run in the 2004 election on a comprehensive tax-reduction platform based on solid policy thinking. But that meant they had to explain, he joked, “multi-year this, multi-year that.” Canadian voters tuned out the details and defeated Harper’s Tories.

Debates about the Employment Insurance Model:

Statistics just released showed that applications for unemployment insurance increased by almost 23% this January compared to last year. To deal with flood of applications, the government is providing an additional $60 million to hire more claim processors. But critics argue that the real problem is the model itself, which has such strict eligibility requirements that more than one-half of Canada’s unemployed remain ineligible.

Newfoundland and Labrador will set it’s own foreign policy:

ST. JOHN’S — The Newfoundland and Labrador government will push Ottawa aside in its dealings on the world stage, Premier Danny Williams said on the opening day of the provincial legislative spring session Wednesday.

After a Throne Speech that lacked the strong nationalist rhetoric of previous ones, Mr. Williams took aim again at Prime Minister Stephen Harper in their ongoing feud over Newfoundland’s ability to retain its offshore oil revenues.

Downtown dives get a makeover :

The VPD is enthusiastic about the province’s move to protect housing stock in the city. Nonprofit agencies, which are reaping the benefits of managing the hotels, also welcome the government’s promise to provide safe, secure places to live.

Housing activists generally approve of the government’s investment but are worried the purchases of the hotels will replace the need for new social housing.

Activists also point to the government’s attempt to score points with voters before the May provincial election as the real motivation behind the hotel purchases.

Judge strikes down election ‘Gag Law’ in B.C. as unconstitutional:

The Canadian Office & Professional Employees union (COPE 378) applauded the decision. The organization had started the MoveForwardBC website to cut costs on advertising to abide by Bill 42.

“We felt from the very beginning the law was put in place to silence the unions and silence the opposition to the government,” said Lori Mayhew, secretary treasurer of COPE 378.

“This ruling really just confirms that.”

Rovian Politics come to Canadian campuses:

What makes this so particularly disturbing is the nature of the manipulation. This is Rovian politics coming directly to Canadian campuses and I hate to put it this way, but I am not sure if the leftist progressive student groupss are ready for the level of garbage, manipulation, lies, and scheming that will be coming. If you read over some of the PDFs and listen to the presentations they gave on the wikileak above, it’s really quite disturbing. They openly acknowledge the shady ethics behind their actions and claim it’s for some “greater good.”

Evangelical activists promoted to top jobs by Stephen Harper:

The former head of Focus on the Family in Canada and another evangelical activist affiliated with Trinity Western University have been named key advisers to Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The new chief of staff in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is Darrel Reid, formerly president of Focus on the Family Canada, which is based in Langley. Before serving as PMO policy director, Reid (left) was an unsuccesful Conservative candidate in 2006 in Richmond.

Even though Harper downplays his own evangelical roots, Focus on the Family Canada is part of an American evangelical umbrella organization run by psychologist James Dobson (below), who is long been considered a dominant leader of the Religious Right within the Republican Party.

Focus on the Family, which has millions of adherents in the U.S. and Canada, opposes homosexual relationships, abortion, sex outside marriage and government daycare. Focus on the Family Canada created the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada (IMFC) in Ottawa as an advocacy group.

Russia planning dedicated military force in disputed Arctic region:

The report, released this week and reported by Russian media today, comes as Canada, Russia and other countries try to assert Arctic jurisdiction.

The dispute has intensified amid growing signs that shrinking polar ice is opening up new shipping lanes and allowing natural resources to be tapped.

On Feb. 18, two Russian Tupolev TU 95 bombers were turned away from Alaska and the Yukon about 200 kilometres from Canadian and U.S. airspace.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper later warned of “increasingly aggressive Russian actions around the globe and Russian intrusions into our airspace.”

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