Archive for the 'NDP' Category

10
Nov
15

23rd Canadian Parliament


A decade and a half into this 21st century futurist of past generations would be greatly disappointed at the extent to which the mire of economic hardship and conflict of war conflates around the globe and, showing little sign of changing course.

A break in the clouds of darkness that envelopes this present era of humanity may, especially for those of us who reside here in Canada, pose a glimmer of hope reflected and encapsulated in the phrase: “Sunny ways my friends. Sunny ways.”

This phrase attributed to Sir Wilfrid Laurier was re-iterated by Justin Trudeau first when addressing campaign supporters following his October 19th, 2015 defeat of Conservatives and Prime Minister Stephen Harper. And, repeated again following his November 4th, 2015 formal swearing in as the 23rd Prime Minister of Canada.

Given that Prime Minister Trudeau’s electoral platform found its success on the promise to bring forth a sea of change to that experienced under the ten year reign of defeated government of Stephen Harper, it seemed a very appropriate and fitting way to communicate to all Canadians and, to the world, in much the same fashion as was Laurier’s intent, that a change of attitude will be forthcoming promising fair, equitable and transparent governance by Canada’s newly elected Cabinet. To make the point evidently clear not only was the swearing-in ceremony at the Governor-General’s residence of Rideau Hall open to general public and broader media, the newly appointed thirty-member Cabinet is comprised equitably of men and women as was promised in Trudeau’s election campaign. Note too after much speculation; each appointee regardless of gender is highly qualified to meet the rigors and obligations of their Ministry portfolio to which they are sworn to uphold.

As Canada and Canadians wait anxiously for the first seating of its new Parliament on December 4th, 2015; the majority of House of Common seats occupied by Trudeau’s Cabinet and Liberal Members of Parliament, the first test to his ability to meet his promise of critical change will be the final legislative outcome of files initiated under the Harper government such as the Security Bill C-51 and the Trans-Pacific Partnership international trade agreement. Both files will be critically watched as they undergo Parliamentary review to render their ratification subject to modification or possibly, be fully repealed especially in the case of Bill C-51. Other significant planks of the Liberal election platform such as legalization of marijuana, opening Canada’s borders to Syrian refugees to name but a few additional critical pieces of new legislation and processes promised will be closely scrutinized for their outcomes.

So what makes the successful election of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, predicated on a platform of `Change’, translated into a swelling of pride and hope for better times significant?

Since the election of President Obama in 2008 and re-election in 2012, many citizens of the United States feel let down, disappointed at the lack of change originally promised during Obama’s 2008 electoral campaign echoed in the campaign slogan: `Yes we Can. O, yes we can’. This failed-state can be attributed primarily to an intransigent, Republican-held, Congress and Senate and, somewhat docile Democratic membership when attempting to fulfil the promises that got a Democratic President elected. Though Obama’s promise to bring health-care to several millions of uninsured Americans has been fulfilled through the passing of the Affordable Care Act a.k.a. Obama Care, it remains under attack by Republicans pursuing nomination as their presidential candidate for the upcoming November 2016 presidential elections. Not to mention the inability to close Guantanamo; end the wars in the Middle East; and, make significant strides in restricting emissions and their effects on climate change.

Fuelled by Democratic President Obama’s apparent failure to fulfil his electoral mandate, beginning in the early months of 2015, continuing to the time of this writing, a field of individual elected and non-seated Republican members, at one point numbering as high as fifteen, have committed to pursuing the Republican presidential nominee to run against the Democratic presidential nominee candidate in the November 2016 election.

In the ensuing months of 2015 several candidates have withdrawn for lack of critical financial or base support. However, those that remain, especially the front runners such as Ben Carson and Donald Trump appear to be gaining their support by they who reflect the worse of the American ethos. The spectre of racial and religious divisiveness centred on historical White-on-Black issues only to be further inflamed by hateful rhetoric directed at Hispanics of Mexican descent and increasingly, due to the conflicts the United States is embroiled in the Middle East, those of Muslim-Islamic faith are confronting a form of Islamophobe broaching persecution and attacks. Compounding this racially, inflammatory state-of-affairs is the significant financial inequity spawned from the 2007-08 global financial collapse from which the United States is only marginally recovered. A recovery that has yielded an even greater class divide with significant growth in profits for the one-percent.

Prior to the successful election of Prime Minister Trudeau, the state-of-affairs under the Harper government had Canada headed in the same direction as that presently occurring in the United States. The tight-lipped, media controlling Harper government seemed to take its legislative playbook from the doctrines of the Tea Party, the extreme right-wing segment that comprises and dominates the policy arm of the Republican Party. His government’s sweeping passage of monster omnibus budget bills crammed with secretive legislation and significant changes to standing legislation, muzzling of scientist and public employees, etc all serving to put a cold chill in the backs of many Canadians.

The final straw came with blatant divisive rhetoric around the treatment of new immigrants especially those of the Muslim faith, a staple factor in the defeat of Harper’s 2015 re-election campaign.

There is little doubt that the same `Messiah-complex’ bestowed Obama following his first election presides over Prime Minister Justin Trudeau however, we can only put our faith and hope that he is capable and able to fulfil his stated goals and promises; to prove to the rest of the World, real change is possible that can lead to “Sunny ways my friends. Sunny ways!”

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17
Aug
15

Climate in the 21st Century – Muted Voices


seasons

To start, go to your favourite search engine and type in the phrase: ` 21st century new realities’.

For the sake of this conversation, I sought out Google, Bing and Yahoo.

Scrolling through the results obviously in order of `rating’; the most sought or pursued search result, what becomes disturbingly obvious is the total exclusion of any mention related to climate change or global warming.

The reason this is most disturbing and troubling; given that the majority of aforementioned search results, the topics related to economy and education were the primary focus.

Though the anticipated changes to the global economic model for the 21st Century is relevant, as is the standard of education undertaken in response to these changes, they become moot if the shift in climate and conditions resulting from it, manifest in ways already being experienced around the globe.

To those who have not considered the gravity of the current and growing erosion of global climate, the following video will provide a quick update on the present status from a global perspective:

No doubt many may remain sceptical to the reality and/or seriousness of changes to climate now and in the future however, would it not be prudent to at least have the matter on the radar, to be discussing what and how humanity proposes to respond should all projected models prove to be accurate if not understated?

Truly, one need ask the long-range wisdom of those who have or are considering, birthing children into this 21st Century world. It would be reasonable to be considering what world condition their children innocently, are going to be subject to. Especially given the obvious lack of true concern and commitment to mitigating any of the scientifically documented contributors to the abysmal climate change conditions anticipated and, their direct repercussion on the quality of life and living standard future generations will be subjugated to endure. And through no fault of their own.

Compounding the potential for a more dire state of affairs are the dwindling resources, natural and monetary,to effectively respond to the excessive property damage and, financial and economic losses associated with increasingly severe weather conditions already experienced on a daily basis. An extreme shift in weather patterns currently find some areas of the globe suffering from prolonged periods of unusually high temperatures leading to severe droughts and critical water shortages contributing to multi-hectare size forest fires. From this state of conditions to torrential downpours contributing to excessive flooding and landslides.And the full impact of climate change as projected, has not been fully realised.

This article is not intended to `fear-monger’ nor open the flood-gates (no pun intended) of debate on the validity to the reality of climate change nor the conditions purported to be responsible however, in both Canada and the United States the election cycle for the leadership of both countries is well underway and, it behoves every voting citizen to make this issue an electoral issue, to pursue their favoured candidate and associate political party; to how they propose to deal with this urgent matter for the present and increasingly important, the future. Failure to do so may mean the difference of life to death for their children and generations yet to come should there remain no viable world into which to be born.

A related Poem written a couple of years ago.




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