Archive for the ‘International’ Category

Adopting Campaign Styles

September 5, 2008 2 comments

The election is almost here, and all parties are showing previews of their campaigns.

It is interesting to note that the NDP and the Bloc in particular are discussing the use of campaign styles pioneered by other parties.

The Bloc is using an campaign style previously used by the federal Liberals: The “Harper has an hidden agenda style:”

Mr. Duceppe used the spectre of a Tory majority as a lever to draw Quebeckers’ support, saying Prime Minister Stephen Harper would use newfound power to push a “hidden” conservative agenda.

Of course, the “hidden agenda” style is a failure in achieving results, as shown by the 2004 Liberal minority and the 2006 Liberal opposition.

The NDP, on the other hand, is planning to use a style which focuses on the middle class (and almost everybody, from the working class to low and mid-level professionals, considers themselves middle class). Most notably, this style has been successful in securing the Democrat nomination for Barack Obama, and some pundits contend that the Conservative Party came out of the wilderness in 2006 to achieve a minority government using a campaign that focused stylistically on the middle class.

Of course, it is key to remember that, while these political parties are adopting campaign styles from others, they are not adopting campaign policy. After all, federalist Bloc and right-of-centre New Democrats just doesn’t work very well.


Dion, Obama, And Clinton On Pakistan

January 18, 2008 Comments off

A bit of ruckus has been made in regards to Stéphane Dion musing about sending NATO forces into Pakistani territory without permission for the purpose of counter-terrorism.

The thing here is, Barack Obama has similarly mused about sending counter-terrorism missions into Pakistan without permission. And Hillary Clinton.

Interesting. A lesson on US-Canada relations? A lesson on conceptions of sovereignty?

Independence Day?

December 21, 2007 2 comments

Has anybody heard of this: the Lakota Sioux Indians of the USA have declared sovereignty, by withdrawing all of their treaties. Supposedly, this action is legal under International and US Law.

“WASHINGTON, DC – December 20 – Lakota Sioux Indian representatives declared sovereign nation status today in Washington D.C. following Monday’s withdrawal from all previously signed treaties with the United States Government. The withdrawal, hand delivered to Daniel Turner, Deputy Director of Public Liaison at the State Department, immediately and irrevocably ends all agreements between the Lakota Sioux Nation of Indians and the United States Government outlined in the 1851 and 1868 Treaties at Fort Laramie Wyoming.”

Now I can’t say that I really know much about this at all, but if this is legal, it really poses an interesting question.

Could the First Nations of BC, most which do not have treaties with Canada, do the same thing?

I don’t think that a unilateral declaration of independence would be successful in the end, but I could imagine the cost, both financial and emotional, being high.

H/T: Rite Turn Only

“Scooter”, Dirty Bombs, Machetes, & Balls

July 2, 2007 Comments off

Today, I shall follow the lazy blogging tradition of bringing to your attention interesting news items and inserting my opinion.

Bush spares Libby from jail term. So much for the concept of the “rule of law“, Especially since the USA has been trying to spread the concept to other countries. Do as I say and not as I do, huh?

I can’t figure out the point of publicizing this scenario for a dirty bomb attack. Sure, let’s give terrorists ideas. Or maybe cause some public fear unproportional to the actual threat.

In Canada, the demands for political advertising rises during an election. In Nigeria, the same is true for machetes; the price has gone down by half since the general election. It just goes show one that even with Conservative attack ads, the Canadian political scene is pretty peaceful.

Finally, there is a product out to put artificial balls on your neutered animal. Sounds like a waste of money to me, but whatever floats people’s boats.

Categories: Federal, International

Nice To See Some Butter With Those Guns

February 26, 2007 1 comment

It looks like Harper is announcing $200 million in reconstruction aid to Afghanistan, in addition to $1 billion over 10 years.

While it is a pittance compared to how much we are spending on military combat over there, it is a least a step in the right direction. I believe we do have to have the troops there to protect any reconstruction projects taking place, and that removing the troops may leave a vacuum which would be filled by something that is not beneficial to the Afghan people in the future. I’m not sure that we need so much firepower though.

I do have the feeling that we are going to have to invest more money on reconstruction aid before we can say “mission accomplished.” I mean, we can kill as much insurgents as we want in Afghanistan today, but if the root causes of insurgency are not kept to a minimum, then everything we have spent in Afghanistan, including the reconstruction aid, would have been a waste.

But I do have the feeling that it is the NDP’s consistent position on Afghanistan, much as I’m not personally not sure about it, which lead to this announcement. As for the Liberals and Dion, well, they still can’t decide on a position regarding Afghanistan.

Venezuela’s Road To Dictatorship?

January 20, 2007 20 comments

It seems that Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela, has gained a heck of a lot of power in recent days. It looks like Venezuela’s National Assembly is going to give Chavez the power to rule by decree for 18 months, so that Chavez can make sweeping changes to the Venezuelan political system.

Now, this seems like a very strange move for a country that claims to be democratic to make. Especially since Chavez’s political party, the Fifth Republic Movement controls 114 out of 167 seats in the National Assembly.

I can’t see why any reforms in Venezuela could be done in the National Assembly – There is nothing to stop such a thing from happening.

This consolidation of power by Chavez makes no sense to me. It is not necessary. Unless of course, one wants to become a dictator. Remember, Hilter became all-powerful leader of Germany via legal means.

Now, I know many people who were looking at Venezuela with hope that it would become an example of socialism done right. I don’t think it is going to happen.

Furthermore, I believe that we, as social democrats, democratic socialists, and democratic communists cannot support a government that is eroding the basis of democracy, no matter how much they conform to the “correct” ideology.

Therefore, I think it is time for progressive organizations that have endorsed the Hands Off Venezuela campaign to remove that endorsement as soon as possible. Why? Because they support this action of Chavez’s that is attacking democracy.

I guess Lord Acton was right.

Update 1/20/2007, 7:42 pm:

Hands Off Venezuela’s support for Chavez’s actions, in case the link does something funny.

President Chávez: Nationalise Sanitarios Maracay!

Friday, 19 January 2007

We welcome the recent decisions of Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez to ask for an Enabling Law that will allow for the renationalisation of all privatised companies.

Categories: International

Faulty Comparisons

November 8, 2006 Comments off

It looks like Key Dryden and the Liberals are claiming that the recent US Elections should serve as a warning to Harper. How is it a warning to Harper, exactly? You know, considering that the political spectrum is different over there.

Somehow, I don’t think Harper’s quaking in his boots.

But think about it: the Republicans have had a majority in the House for a long time now, and Americans got tired of them and their antics and wanted a change.

Kinda like Canadians and the Liberal Party last election.