Democracy Gone Astray

Democracy, being a human construct, needs to be thought of as directionality rather than an object. As such, to understand it requires not so much a description of existing structures and/or other related phenomena but a declaration of intentionality.
This blog aims at creating labeled lists of published infringements of such intentionality, of points in time where democracy strays from its intended directionality. In addition to outright infringements, this blog also collects important contemporary information and/or discussions that impact our socio-political landscape.

All the posts here were published in the electronic media – main-stream as well as fringe, and maintain links to the original texts.

[NOTE: Due to changes I haven't caught on time in the blogging software, all of the 'Original Article' links were nullified between September 11, 2012 and December 11, 2012. My apologies.]

Sunday, October 04, 2015

RBC Manufacturing Survey Finds ‘Sharpest Deterioration In Business Conditions' In Its History

Those celebrating the end of Canada’s recession may want to recork the champagne, because it seems the economy isn’t out of the woods just yet.

The Royal Bank of Canada’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) recorded the “sharpest deterioration in business conditions in survey history” in September.

Oregon Sheriff Handling Massacre Fought the White House on Gun Control After Newtown

hereAs the sheriff in Douglas County, Oregon, John Hanlin was front and center following Thursday's shooting at Umpqua Community College, which left 10 dead and 7 others wounded.

Two years ago, Hanlin was one of hundreds of sheriffs around the country to vow to stand against new gun control legislation. In a January 15, 2013, letter to Vice President Joe Biden, he wrote, "Gun control is NOT the answer to preventing heinous crimes like school shootings."

Rachel Notley Says She's 'Disappointed And Troubled' By Niqab Debate

EDMONTON — Alberta NDP Premier Rachel Notley says she is disappointed and troubled by the way minority rights are being debated on the federal campaign trail.

Notley was asked Thursday whether she had any concerns with the way the federal Conservatives are campaigning about forcing Muslim women to removes their niqabs while taking the citizenship oath.

The premier said she was hesitant to weigh in, but did.

Kenney fires back at Calgary Mayor Nenshi over niqab ban

Minister of Defence Jason Kenney and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi are now in a war of words over the niqab issue.

Kenney hit back at Nenshi’s statement that Stephen Harper is playing a “dangerous” political game with his position on the niqab and “dog whistle politics” by accusing the Calgary mayor of playing dangerous politics himself.

Hands off Africa: Canada's 300 years of intrusions exposed

The strength of a myth is probably clearest in its capacity to seduce its victims as much as its beneficiaries. While white Canadians have an ego-massaging reason for believing that this country is faultless, a moral beacon, and a peacekeeping global citizen, the fact that some immigrants are equally misled is a testament to the myth's endurance.
I immigrated to Canada from Eritrea, a north-eastern African country, at the age of three. Since then, I've heard the myth of Canada's relationship with Africa -- from settlers and immigrants alike. It's embedded in the talking points of this country's state representatives, in our media's echoing of government press releases, and in casual conversations about good Canadians helping those poor Africans.

Voting While Abroad: Tories Would Rather You Didn't

Later this week I will cast my ballot in the Oct. 19 federal election. I intend to enjoy it. It may be the last time I get to vote as a Canadian for a while.

If the Conservatives secure another majority there's a good chance that the next time Canadians are allowed to vote, I won't be considered "Canadian" enough to count.

Black Parenting Matters: Raising Children in a World of Police Terror

My child's breath is a freedom song. In. Out. In. Out. In. Out. The rhythmic pulse of air he powers is love, is life, is liberation. In. Out. In. Out. My child is breath. "I am here," his body says with each inhalation. "I am alive," his body offers with each exhalation. Each breath is a life force and each life force is a gift, is Holy. He is Divine.

He is more than mere existence. He is complex sinew, meat, blood, mind, matter, running, laughing, playing, smiling, healthy. He is boy in motion, chasing balls, jumping rivers, leaping meadows, climbing trees.

He is an idea made flesh.

Virginia Republicans Admit They Rigged The State’s Congressional Districts To Elect GOP Lawmakers

Virginia is one of the most gerrymandered states in the country. During the last presidential election, President Obama won the state by three points, but Republicans still picked up 8 of the state’s 11 congressional districts under the GOP-friendly maps drawn by the state legislature.

In a court filing offered by the Republican members of Virginia’s congressional delegation, the lawmakers who benefit most from these gerrymandered maps admitted that the GOP intentionally rigged the state’s congressional districts in order to produce a lopsided delegation. The state legislature’s “overarching priorities” in drawing the maps, according to the court filing, was “incumbency protection and preservation of cores to maintain the 8-3 partisan division established in the 2010 election.”

Nenshi Chastises Harper For 'Dangerous' and 'Disgusting' Politics

Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi has some sharp criticism of Stephen Harper's handling of hot campaign issues, calling the Conservatives' approach to Syrian refugees "massively and disgustingly politicized" and their niqab stance "unbelievably dangerous."

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada defends Lethbridge Research Centre library closing

During the closing of the library at the Lethbridge Research Centre in August, “nothing of business, scientific or historical value was lost,” according to an email Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) media relations sent to National Observer late Wednesday night.

The federal governmental agency communications department was responding to a recent article in which an anonymous source described previously unreported details of the closing of the Lethbridge Research Centre library.

How John Baird bungled Mohamed Fahmy's release

Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy wasted no time in blasting the Harper government just 18 days before the federal election for overstating its role in securing his recent release from an Egyptian jail.

“When a Canadian citizen is in prison and caught up in a case so complicated, related to terrorism, the most efficient and senior officials in the Canadian government should intervene from day one," Fahmy told Canadaland’s Jesse Brown in an extensive interview on Sept. 28.

First Nations inspired by B.C. in battle against Energy East

Indigenous leaders from across Canada are forming a new national political alliance to support opposition to TransCanada's Energy East pipeline. The coalition of chiefs hopes to share B.C.'s lessons for thwarting oil sands pipelines with bands from the Prairies and Eastern Canada.

Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba First Nations chiefs voted unanimously at a Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs conference on Wednesday in Vancouver to develop strategies to work together to oppose Energy East, which they see as an unacceptable risk to their lands and waterways. A first-of-its kind “Indigenous Treaty” is also in the works to tackle oil sands expansion in general.

Poilievre won’t rule out ban on face coverings in public service

Employment Minister Pierre Poilievre said Thursday he would not rule out imposing restrictions on face coverings in the federal public service.

Speaking at a press conference on an open letter Conservative Leader Stephen Harper has written to the federal public service about the future of their pension plans and sick leave benefits, Poilievre would only say that any decision on a possible ban on bureaucrats wearing the niqab or other face coverings on the job would be “down the road.”

Conservatives defend calling Northern Gateway pipeline activists 'foreign radicals'

Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver says he isn't opposed to all environmentalists - just the foreigner ones who are trying to damage Canada's interest.

"We are not demonizing,'' Oliver said Monday after releasing a letter that referred to "environmental and other radical groups'' trying to "hijack'' with foreign money hearings on a pipeline that would bring Alberta oilsands bitumen to port at Kitimat, B.C.

First Nations take Harper government to court over Northern Gateway - just days from election

Eight B.C. First Nations are taking the Harper government to federal court Thursday in a high-stakes legal battle to overturn the conditional approval of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline.

The court challenge comes just 18 days before Canada’s federal election and fifteen months after Ottawa officially approved construction of Northern Gateway pipeline with 209 conditions attached.

Everything We Know About Kim Davis’ Alleged Secret Meeting With The Pope

The same day that Kim Davis’ lawyers at the Liberty Counsel had to admit that there was never a 100,000-person prayer rally for her in Peru, they issued a bold new claim: she met with Pope Francis when they were both in Washington, D.C. last week. Here is everything we currently know about this alleged meeting:

The story was first reported by a conservative Catholic magazine.

Why Did Pope Francis Meet With Kim Davis?

The pope has left the United States, but details are still coming out about his trip. Here’s a big one: Last Thursday afternoon, during his time in Washington, D.C., he met with Kim Davis, the Rowan County clerk who has refused to perform same-sex marriages, her lawyers say.

“She left at 1:15 exactly, and she was at the Vatican [embassy] a hour and a half or so, maybe up to two hours, waiting, and that also included the meeting,” said Mat Staver, her attorney at the firm Liberty Counsel, said. Davis and her husband, Joe, met with the pope for “under 15 minutes,” Staver said. “The pope came out and greeted her, held out his hand, ask Kim to pray for him, and she clasped his hands with her hands, and asked the pope to pray for her.”