Posts Tagged ‘Liberal Party’

It has been a unique and stressful last 6 months in my family. We have taken a journey that happens with children with special needs, and understanding what is linked to Cerebral Palsy and epilepsy, worst case scenarios for neurosurgery or SUDEP, to have the Universe bless us at the light at the end of the tunnel for the spells to not be seizures, but rather Attention Deficit that there was 3 options for treating: do nothing, Ritalin, or a mild natural stimulant (coffee, a cuppa in the morning to re-align the brain properly) until he outgrows.

This leads me to ponder more into our world, and my specialty of holistic psychology, and health. Think about it. We are a new world in the 21st century that due to technology has removed activity of the conscious and subconscious mind. We are without routine, that allows for times of activity, times of relaxation and a structured day. This is a recent development, even when I was a kid I remember coffee and/or tea time depending on the family that we were with. I remember playing outside, reading and watching television, a structures school day, where we learned structured sports, rules, and how to be a participant in society as a healthy citizen.

yes I was part of the generation on the cusp of mass attention issues and drugging, yet it has exploded as a cottage industry for Big Pharma, that in a majority (not saying all, as sometimes pharmaceuticals are needed) could be corrected by a different paced life style that allows for proper activity, rest, and yes natural stimulants.

End Rumination 1.

Rumination 2

begins with the Dying with Dignity laws, and rumours coming out of Ottawa. I can understand why they are looking at the person seeking this needs to be an adult deemed competent. Unfortunately this removes dying with dignity from a section of the adult population who will be ravaged by dementia and Alzheimer’s. Makes me wonder what role Personal Directives will take prior to these diagnosis to ensure legally wishes can be respected.

End Rumination 2.

Rumination 3

ties into Pope Francis’ address on family, birth control and same-sex unions. The “well-duh” moment if you will for Catholics in that the clerics are basically said be like Christ, and the faithful are told to follow their conscience and what they have been taught. For the ultra-conservative Catholics though the Irony of believing the Pope Infallible, yet that the Pope is wrong on this.

End Rumination 3.

Rumination 4

Tom Mulcair as the NDP leader, and his review starting up this weekend at the convention in Edmonton. The cracks in the party are showing with the Alberta Governing NDP and membership up in arms over the Federal wing’s stance on fossil fuels, and a major driving point of Alberta’s economy (oil) now in recession. Will it shatter the “solidarity” of the party that one membership encompasses both federal and provincial parties? Or is it just good sound bit media to aid a government under attack by the Right?

Also will Mulcair the man who decided to play safe, and fight for the centre instead of going for broke in Canada’s historic socialism thus loosing the “Official Opposition” position, and possibly the Federal Government to be reduced once more to the “Conscience of Parliament” survive his leadership review?  As a former candidate and member I for one would love for the ravenous socialists with economic sense to once more be running the party.

End Rumination 4

Rumination 5

Through the practice of simplicity every so often I give away things. This year’s spring cleaning saw some comic books/graphic novels go to an affordable housing program we support. It was great to see how people of all ages and backgrounds were brought back to a safe memory time by picking up comics and spending time reading.

There is much to be said, and Joseph Campbell has written a lot about meta-narratives; and Carl Jung on archetypes, but truly the comic book is this for the 20th-21st century, a bonding story much like the gods and heroes of mythology in the ancient world.

End Rumination 5.

Rumination 6

How much of an overproduction marketing machine is Disney when much of their graphic novels and toys from Disney, Marvel and Star Wars winds up a Dollarama. Not complaining as it has been great to pick up graphic novels for cheaper than a monthly comic ($3 each) whoo hoo.

End Rumination 6.

So yes just some time to exhale, decompress, let the stress leave the body and monitor how this bundle of energy affected one throughout the time with down days of sickness for no reason, but even in the glow of a blessing how it still takes time for the mind, body, and soul to recover fully when you leave the heightened state.


An excellent non-partisan, investigative look at the Canadian Government since 2006 under PM Harper is to be found in Michael Harris’ Party of One (2014, Viking). Harris may not be a household name like Peter Mansbridge, but his works include Unholy Orders, which revealed the systematic sexual abuse of children within Canada’s Catholic Church. Moving back to the topic at hand however, this was a well resourced, thought provoking look that brought to mind an issue that has been on the minds of Canadians since at least re-repatriation of the Constitution in 1982.

The Senate. The upper chamber of sober second thought. In the British system it is the House of Lords. Under our Constitution Senators are appointed for life (mandatory retirement at age 75 years old), and by the Government. It was never supposed to be a highly partisan institution, but because it was unelected was supposed to be able to give unbiased feed back on laws and policies to make life better for Canadians.

In practice however it became highly partisan as PM’s would use it to make political appointment’s under their party’s banner. Even taking it as far as making these Senators members of the party caucus so as to be able to “whip” their vote. PM Paul Martin with his last round of appointments tried to break this political appointment by naming senators to the Conservative, Liberal and NDP ranks (the NDP senator sits as an independent as the NDP does not hold to the senate, more on that later).

Now let’s be transparent, to fully renew and restructure the senate would take constitutional amendments. Any Canadians witha  long memory remember PM Mulroney’s failed and divisive attempts with the Meech Lake and Charlottetown Accords (if not go to your local public library and read up, it is quite a unique piece of political history in attempting to get Quebec’s signature on the 1982 Constitution Act, and as to why it is not there, I refer you to dive in on that account as well).

But this brought forward ideas from all walks of life around the upper room, the most catchy came out of the Reform Party, which was the Triple E Senate: Equal, Elected and Effective. For the Senate is not equal representation from each province, for it is used to balance power from the representation by population formula, that allows for more seats to be allotted to different provinces within the Senate. Essentially under Triple E, the first step is each province has the same amount of seats, all senators would be elected and thus held accountable and removing the ability of political partisanship from the Prime Minister’s Office.

There are also other issues it could create, but that is up to you reader, and your community to discuss. Since the idea was floated, part of every Alberta Provincial Election has held a ballot for the Canadian Senate where usually Conservatives run and the winners names are put forward to the PM for appointment when an Alberta seat opens up. PM Harper is the first Prime Minister to acknowledge this would be his preferred method of senate reform, again though without the constitution being reopened it is not binding.

Third Party Leader, Justin Trudeau (Liberal Party of Canada) in the House of Commons took a drastic step to move forward with Senate Reform. Trudeau expelled all senators from the Party Caucus essentially making them independent of the party structure and not allowing them to be “whippable” by the party structure. Since the ex-Liberal Senators have come to their own cooperative agreement, but it was a healthy step that provided separation of the levels for better laws, as of now the Conservative Senators are still within the party caucus on Parliament Hill and answerable to their leader, Stephen Harper.

What created this new wave of senate reform talks? Simply the senate scandal with PM Harper’s appointments from everything from fraud to white collar crime to drug/abuse charges, and one Liberal Senator wrapped in fraud charges. Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin, Patrick Brazeau and Marc Harb have left a fowl taste in the average Canadians mouths and revealed the largess of this institution.

Now, what does Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition the New Democratic Party, and their Leader Thomas Mulcair believe should be taken as action? Simple, their stance harkens back to when the New Democratic Party was founded as the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation in 1933 (and the Labour party movements before), that the Senate should simply be abolished.

Before their is outcry of losing this institution, remember each provincial legislature/parliament/national assembly is also supposed to have a “Senate” that they have abolished with no ill-wind to the function of government so it is a legitimate solution.

As we move towards our vote in 2015, with this issue, ask your local candidate their thoughts, talk with your neighbours and friends. Let us raise the level of dialogue from the “attack ad” and the “response ad” to the… “This is our nation, our dream of a Just Society, and as such we are part of the conversation and for the Senate I/We believe…will you as our representative stand with us?”

Yup you read that right. Now I know we are Canadians, and as such like to keep our politics, like our religion, on the down low. But as we move towards the 2015 Federal Election I do want to encourage an informed vote, for which ever local candidate one decides to support.

Some key points to remember under the Constitution Act 1982:

1) We do not vote directly for the Prime Minister, if fact this is not even a constitutional role, basically it is perfunctionary in that the party that wins the most seats’ leader becomes the first minister.

2) Know the local candidate more than the brand, because it is the local candidate elected to represent your local communities and be your voice. Ask yourself if they would adhere to an old Reform Party principle, current Green party practice, that the constituents will overrides the parties ideology of votes in the House of Commons. That is that the MP’s are not whippable (when all MP’s are informed by the party how they are to vote).

3) The only vote that can truly be an automatic no confidence vote in the House and send us back to an election is on the budget, unless the vote is called to be a non-confidence vote.

4) Currently we have a law on the books for a fixed election date every four years, but under the Constitution the Majority party can call for an election with consent of the Governor General within 5 years of being elected, unless having lost the confidence of the House.

5) The Loyal Opposition is not there to oppose outright, they are there as sober second thought within the House of Commons before the bill goes to the Senate, to improve the laws for the people. As are all Opposition parties.

6) Our government is not a label of the majority party it is not “Conservative” or “Liberal” or “Green”; it is The Government of Canada, speaking for all Canadians, and our constitution guarantees that it is to be one of “Peace, Order and Good Governance under God”

7) Do not let Religious or Ideology Fundamentalists state that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is anti these things, for it was written in consultation with all aspects of Canadian Society.

Informed Community:

If we as a nation are supposed to expect our politicians to move beyond ideologies and work together for the greater good, we must hold them to a higher standard. We must be anti-attack ad, anti-cult of personality, we must challenge for a higher discourse, one of ideas, one of wisdom, one of true leadership at the community level. These are the discourses that built our nation under the Greatest Generation.

And where did these discourses happen? In family homes, community centres, church basements. Whether they were gathered around televisions, radios, books, or simply cups of tea/coffee. These are conversations that changed our world, crossing ideological boundaries.

This is the informed community we need to rebuild, and what I want to encourage Canadians to do in their own homes. Whether it is documentary night, or a book and brunch, or just coffee clatches. But the idea is to let go of our ideological groundings and to open up a simple discussion:

What is Canada to us?

Which candidate best represents that?

Some great reads to inform these discussions I would like to suggest (and please in the comments leave other ones and some documentaries or websites) are:

Think Big by Preston Manning (2003, McLelland & Stewart)

Who We Are by Elizabeth May (2014, Greystone Books)

The Longer I am Prime Minister by Paul Wells (2014, Random House)

How We Lead by Joe Clark (2014, Random House)

Hell or High Water by Paul Martin (2009, McLelland and Stewart)

The Right Balance by Hugh Segal (2011, D&M Publishers)

Speaking Out Louder by Jack Layton (2011, McLelland & Stewart)

I would also encourage reading any works by the abover writers as well as Pierre Trudeau, Lloyd Axworthy, Peter C. Newman, J.S. Woodsworth, Tommy Douglas, Lawrence Martin, Andrew Cohen, Chantal Hubert, Romeo Dallaire, and Donald Savoie.