“Get ready for an unnecessary election,” Rabble politics reporter Karl Nerenberg warns readers, citing as evidence the “Ottawa insiders” who, he notes, “are nearly unanimous in the view” that Canadians will be heading to the polls “long before the end of 2021.”
It is, he contends, a scenario that “media and political people talk about … in a matter-of-fact and nonchalant way, (but) never mention that the very idea is, at heart, utterly outrageous,” given the continued existence of the fixed-date election law, which was duly added to the Canada Elections Act in 2007, courtesy of what was then a Conservative minority government led by Stephen Harper.
“The fixed date would create a level playing field among parties, Harper (and many others) argued,” Nerenberg recalls, and “would remove one tactical arrow from the quiver of the governing party,” only for Harper himself to “disrespect his own law” by triggering an early vote just one year later.
“The truth is that political parties in power will inevitably use the tools they have at hand to their advantage — whatever the original intent of those rules,” Nerenberg acknowledges.
“Harper did it in 2008, and, if we are to believe the chorus of insiders, (Prime Minister) Justin Trudeau is now preparing to do the same, perhaps as early as this summer.”
Although he concedes that Harper “might have had an excuse in 2008, (seeing as he) led a minority government in a House where the other parties were all at least somewhat to the left of his,” Trudeau “does not even have Harper’s weak and self-serving rationalization,” as he sees it.
In the current minority configuration, the prime minister “needs the support of one of the three opposition parties with official status to pass any legislation,” Nerenberg points out.
“Jagmeet Singh’s New Democrats have made it clear they have no wish to bring down the government and force an early election — at least not while we are fighting a rearguard battle against the pandemic,” yet it appears the Liberals “are willing to abandon a good portion of their agenda in the interest of trying for a majority while the polls look favourable.”
Elsewhere in the Rabbleverse, Yves Engler weighs in on the internal party drama currently playing out within the Green party, and concludes that, while “Annamie Paul and her supporters are right to cite racism as a driving factor in her leadership crisis, (they) have misplaced the source of responsibility.”
It is “Paul’s inability to view colonized peoples — notably Palestinians — as deserving of equal rights that is the source of her current troubles,” he argues.
And while he acknowledges that, “as the first Black woman federal party leader with MPs in the House of Commons, Paul has undoubtedly faced discrimination during her eight-month tenure, (her) leadership of the Greens is in crisis, due to her anti-Palestinian racism amidst a rebellion against Israel’s ethnic cleansing and violence.”
What’s more, he says, “as leader of the Greens, Paul has stoked Sinophobia, as well, (with her) push to move the 2022 Olympics from China and instead hold the games in the U.S. and Canada … on unceded Indigenous lands in B.C.” She “has also called for sanctions against China.”
Given all that, he agrees that Paul “should confront all forms of racism as Green party leader, including racism against Palestinians, (yet), so far, she has failed miserably on that important issue.”
In a separate piece written for Canadian Dimension, Engler takes aim at the media coverage of the skirmish, noting that “while Paul’s deflection is transparently self-serving and damaging to equity struggles, much of the dominant media has echoed the establishment-minded politician’s framing.”
Elsewhere in the CD lineup, contributor Rodger Moran — a “founding member of the Democratic Socialists of Canada,” according to his bio — wonders just what the federal Liberals are “hiding this time,” what with their continuing refusal to release the full details of the government’s contracts with various vaccine producers.
“Canadians are used to their governments breaking promises, but this is different,” he argues.
“This time, the Liberals are hiding information in contracts directly related to our health and well-being during a once-in-a-century global crisis. How much did the pharmaceutical giants charge us for life-saving vaccines? What were the delivery expectations? Who failed us? How can we make sure this doesn’t happen again? These are all questions that Canadians deserve answers to, particularly those who lost loved ones during the pandemic.”
Over at Ricochet, Dan Darrah chronicles the ongoing efforts of the Canadian labour movement to pressure the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board to pull out of Brazil’s “far-right government’s … lucrative water-privatization scheme, (which) was bankrolled by nearly a billion dollars from Canadian workers’ pension funds.”
But while “public-sector unions in Canada — including the Canadian Union of Public Employees and the Public Sector Alliance of Canada — have decried the use of public money to fund privatization and demanded a change in course … the federal government has remained tight-lipped,” he notes.
“Neither Global Affairs Canada nor Canada’s Trade Commissioner in Brazil responded to a request for comments,” although that same trade commissioner previously “showed support for (Brazilian President Jair) Bolsonaro’s initial announcement of market reforms in the water and sanitation sector in 2020, claiming they would ‘create more certainty in the market, and increase market access and competition in a sector that has traditionally been controlled by state-owned companies.’ ”
Finally, Press Progress proves an on-the-spot fact check of “celebrity millionaire” W. Brett Wilson’s latest brush with fleeting social media fame, namely, a “misleading tweet about electric cars” that went viral after a boost from “right-wing Facebook pages.”
In fact, it was actually a retweet-with-comment of a tweet that claimed California had “just told everyone not to charge their electric cars due to a power shortage,” to which Wilson replied with a “sarcastic, ‘Well, shucks,’ ” PP points out.
“The original tweet comes from @leslibless, a Twitter account that also tweets about Donald Trump, reinstating Trump as president, the FBI’s refusal to investigate Trump’s claims of election fraud, her lack of interest in the Black Lives Matter movement, and the ‘value’ of ‘clean blood.’ ”
As for the claim itself, PP declares it to be “misleading,” noting that, “While the state did suggest electric cars not be charged during peak hours to conserve electricity on a temporary basis due to a heat wave, charging after 10 p.m. is still allowed.”
Trending on the right-of-centre side of the Canadian activist mediasphere:
- Rebel News now has “more than 1,800 Fight the Fines clients,” but, as Rebel Commander Ezra Levant points out, “1,800 cases costs a lot of money,” because they need “lawyers in the field, ready to, theoretically, run 1,800 trials.” The upshot: “So we’re approaching the point where we have a question: Is there a limit to the number of clients we can take?”
- The Rebel legal team did, however, come up short — at least for now, pending appeal — in its attempt to have the federal quarantine policies declared unconstitutional. Despite having “run circles around the government’s lawyers in cross-examination,” the judge ultimately “sided with the establishment, and against the people” with a ruling that, in Levant’s opinion, is “a political document designed to make this problem go away.”
- Meanwhile, Post Millennial writer Roberto Wakerell-Cruz offered an uncharacteristically complimentary — or, at least, not wholly critical — take on Trudeau’s on-camera response to “China’s negative comments on Canada’s treatment of … Indigenous peoples,” in which he “punched back” by wondering where China’s truth and reconciliation commission is, although he “did not use the term ‘genocide’ in his criticism.”
- Finally, True North News founder Candice Malcolm wonders why “nobody is standing up” to the “woke mob (that) wants to erase our history, tear our country apart, and cancel Canada Day,” suggesting it might be connected to how “baseless claims from the woke left are no longer being challenged, (as) political and media leaders allow radical woke leftists to use Canada as a punching bag.”