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Canadian Politics
Canadas election another no-win scenario, but some no-wins are worse than others

Canada's undemocratic first-past-the-post system (which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to reform but didn't) permits only four possible election results in this or any other federal election: a Liberal majority, a Conservative majority, a Liberal minority or a Conservative minority. (For "Conservative" read "neo-fascist.") The most that the New Democratic Party or Green Party can hope for is to become a junior partner in some sort of joint governing arrangement with the Liberals. Therefore, the result on Oct. 21 should be a foregone conclusion: a minority Liberal government propped up by the NDP and Greens. READ MORE

Phoney Jody narrative continues to pollute the election and endanger the nation
(June 21, 2019)

When last we saw disgruntled Native MP Jody Wilson-Raybould, she and her trusty sidekick Jane Philpott were bemoaning their “unjust” expulsion from the Liberal Party and contemplating their political futures, assuming each had one. Now, it has been revealed that Canada’s Heroines of Hubris have decided to run as independent candidates in this fall’s federal election. This is welcome news, especially in the case of Wilson-Raybould. Her decision is a rare, overdue declaration of political honesty. The large Native emblem dominating the poster of her independent candidacy expresses her true, and only, political allegiance. It also vindicates my previous essay, in which I showed Wilson-Raybould to be a Native zealot masquerading as a cabinet minister. READ MORE

Canada’s prime minister paying a high price for placing identity politics over competence
(May 8, 2019)

As far as the mass media is concerned, the implosion of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s reputation, and possibly his government in the upcoming Oct. 21 federal election, will to a large degree be the result of his struggle with former attorney-general and justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould over how to prosecute the Montreal-based engineering firm SNC-Lavalin for allegedly bribing members of the Libyan government of Muammar Ghaddafi.

Citing unnamed sources, veteran Globe and Mail reporter Robert Fife broke the story on Feb. 7, after which time it mutated into a self-inflicted tragicomedy in which Trudeau and his advisors were cast as strong-arming, politically motivated villains, whereas Wilson-Raybould was beatified as a paragon of political and legal integrity for her refusal to intercede in the SNC-Lavalin prosecution. Regardless of which side one took, it made for highly satisfying infotainment since many Canadians need little encouragement to revile their feckless prime minister....

Which Canada are we supposed to commemorate?
(June 30, 2017)
A country’s history is the living inheritance of all its citizens; unfortunately, they have little say in how governments “spend” their inheritance. The elected “trustees” determine the direction that a country takes and so become part of history, which means that they have the power to edit and co-opt the past to promote their present political and popular legitimacy. In nominally democratic states like Canada, such co-optation is especially evident at a milestone, a time when a government stands atop the historical pyramid to bask shamelessly in the achievements and reputations of those who came before. Justin Trudeau, our current prime minister—or is that “photo-op minister”—is the very definition of such shamelessness: a callow, image-obsessed dilettante who brings no qualities to public office and equates schmoozing with governing. READ MORE

B.C. government a Royal farce
(June 13, 2017)
More than a month after the provincial election and British Columbia’s government is still in limbo. First, absentee ballots had to be counted and recounts done to confirm Election Day results—Liberal 43, NDP, 41, Green, 3. Next, Green Party leader Andrew Weaver took his time pledging his party’s support for John Horgan’s NDP. Then, on May 29, Horgan and Weaver submitted a 10-page document to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor attesting that they had an arrangement to provide B.C. with stable government for four years. In fact, it is the only viable governing scenario because Liberal Premier Christy Clark could not strike a deal with the Greens. READ MORE

Will failure teach the NDP anything?
(June 11, 2016)
For Canadians desperate for a national alternative to pipeline politics and general corporate stoogery, the NDP’s calamitous showing in last year’s federal election was devastating. The conditions were nearly perfect for victory: Stephen Harper’s detested dictatorship was headed for the dumpster, and NDP leader Thomas Mulcair had consistently upstaged the feckless Liberal leader Justin Trudeau. Once the smoke had cleared, however, Trudeau’s Liberals had a whopping majority and the NDP ended up losing seats. We got rid of Harper alright, only to end up with the continuation of Harperism by other, gentler means. more

Canada under Trudeau: Liberal revival or Liberal Obamanation?
Counterpunch, (November 11, 2015)
Nothing unifies a divided people quite like a common enemy. Fighting the enemy focuses people’s energies and generates a common frame of reference that delivers moral clarity. However, once the enemy is vanquished the unifying frame of reference vanishes along with it. Suddenly, a new, “peacetime” frame of reference fills the void, and old divisions redevelop, maybe even some new ones. Canadian voters are just now coming to appreciate that while winning a war may be hard, winning the peace is even more

Justin Trudeau and the Liberal majority: The triumph of strategic shallowness (October 20, 2015)
In March 2013, I wrote a prophetic column predicting a Liberal victory in this election with the concomitant return of the NDP under Thomas Mulcair to third-party status. I ended it by saying: “Whether Trudeau brings in a minority or majority Liberal government, voters will at least celebrate the fact that the Harper dictatorship will be in the hands of its enemies—Canadian citizens.” Indeed, the dictatorship is over. Harper has even announced his intention to step down as leader of the Corporatist Party of Canada. Canadians from coast to coast are jubilant as the rout of the Blue Meanies heralds the return to power of Canada’s natural governing party. more

An election is not just a numbers game (August 14, 2015)
In his July 20 article “Why Harper’s Tories Remain Best Bet to Win,” Tyee columnist and former Conservative consultant Will McMartin makes the case that Harper and his gang will be returned to power based on a numerical analysis of probable voting patterns and the likely outcome of the 30 new ridings. He presents his findings with the certitude of a true believer spreading revealed truth to a benighted audience: more

In politics as in war, advantage is not enough (April 28, 2015)
Near the outset of the U.S. Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln made Maj.–Gen. George McClellan General-in-Chief of the Union Amy. McClellan was highly popular among his men and a great organizer who built the Army of the Potomac into a formidable force. Unfortunately for Lincoln, McClellan the meticulous organizer lacked the courage and judgment to be a field commander.…McClellan was an administrator who proved to be more of a coward than a commander, notwithstanding the Washington Post’s risible attempt to rehabilitate him. There may be a lesson here for a certain Canadian leader, one who finds himself at the head of a large force in the run up to a political war. more

Medieval Renaissance
Transit plebiscite: heads we lose; tails we lose (March 25, 2015)
In 1790, “lobby” became a metonym for influence peddling. The change came about because people gathered in the large halls outside legislative chambers in London to “lobby” politicians to support this or that cause. I get a sense of this when I traverse the “lobby” of SkyTrain stations at certain times of the day.. more

Democratic Totalitarianism
2015—The Year of the Sheep(le) has arrived (January 6, 2015)
Around this time, we’re supposed to reflect on the people and events of the year that was and express some opinions about the year that is. It’s a highly rational thing to do and generally speaks to a reflexive optimism that comes with a new year. We can thank the Scots for the founding Western myth of linear progress. Unfortunately, we live in irrational times: theory does not fit with practice; fact and illusion are nearly indistinguishable; North American “democracies” have become police states; and the very concept of civilian rights is doubleplusungood. more

Christmas—The Blackest Time of Year (December 14, 2014)
“If the U.S. sneezes, Canada catches a cold,” such is the dominant and domineering influence of the virus factory to the south. Once upon a time (for it seems so long ago) Canadian governments believed it wise to immunize this country from anti-democratic pathogens like military aggression, economic determinism and anti-statist extremism. Today, these are not only officially embraced, but are presented to the public a national ethos. The very idea of Canada as an independent, moderate democratic state is unthinkable, if not unutterable. more

Democratic Totalitarianism
WTFN—A single shooting and the death of a nation (November 9, 2014)
BRIAN COHEN: “Shock, horror, disgust—words that sum up the feelings of the nation and the world after the events on Parliament Hill. A nation once universally respected as a model of peace, law, and compassion has become a nightmarish parody of itself. Canadians no longer recognize the nation that was once a model of respect, reason and decency. Wherever Canadians went they took with them the reputation of their country and were treated accordingly. That country is now dead, murdered by a horrific act of violence.

“I refer, of course, to Stephen Harper’s coup d'état of Oct. 27 which did great, perhaps irreparable, violence to Canada's Constitution and rule of law. The random shooting of a soldier on ceremonial guard duty at the war memorial in Ottawa on Oct. 22 was the excuse Harper needed to introduce Bill C-44, which would grant the RCMP and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service virtual police-state powers of surveillance and arrest thereby nullifying the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and formalizing the fascist order of Canada. more

Teachers strike may be the best thing for our children;
parents, not so much (September 2, 2014)
As I write this, the provincial teachers strike that shortened the last school year by 2-3 weeks is still going on. The issue, as always, is not education per se, but power politics, specifically bad-faith bargaining and de facto union busting by successive Liberal governments. The current Liberal government of Christy Clark is incapable of negotiating in good faith because it has no interest in doing so. It worships at the alter of private business and treats taxation and public spending as exercises in waste rather than as essential features of a healthy, civilized society. That is why it can deliberately starve an essential service of funds while granting all manner of policy and tax concessions to corporations, which, not coincidentally, donate generously to Liberal political campaigns. more

Medieval Renaissance
Never trust a smiling corporation (June 7, 2014)
As reinvented in 2007, the South Coast British Columbia Transit Authority (“TransLink”) is an autonomous political entity with the de facto authority of a ministry to make and execute public transit policy. Its appointed board can levy taxes and borrow money, yet it is unaccountable to the provincial legislature or the auditor general. This authority is contrary to any known provincial structure as defined by the Constitution Act 1982:
… The legislature may use its exclusivity to extend revenue-raising authority to civic governments and Crown corporations, but in each case legislative and public accountability is maintained. This condition does not apply to the new TransLink, which does not even appear in the list of provincial Crown corporations. Consequently, TransLink does not appear to have any constitutional basis from which to raise taxes or incur public debt for provincial more

Democratic Totalitarianism
Open Letter to Canada’s Governor General (April 22, 2014)

The Governor General of Canada,
His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston
Rideau Hall
1 Sussex Dr.
Ottawa, ON,
K1A 0A1

Dear Sir:

For some weeks now I have been calling your office to get an answer to a simple question: “Why have you not dismissed Stephen Harper as prime minister under the powers granted to your office by the 1947 Letters Patent of King George VI?”

As you know, these powers, among other things, are to be used to protect the country against those who would abuse their office to the detriment of Canada and her people. For some reason, nobody in your office is capable of explaining your conspicuous failure to avail yourself of these powers specified in Paragraph V:

“And We do further authorize and empower Our Governor General, so far as We lawfully may, upon sufficient cause to him appearing, to remove from his office, or to suspend from the exercise of the same, any person exercising any office within Canada, under or by virtue of any Commission or Warrant granted, or which may be granted, by Us in Our name or under Our authority.” (my emphases) more

Medieval Renaissance
New transit fare system railroads the public (March 12, 2014)
Last time, I showed how and why B.C.’s ducal…er, provincial government went medieval on TransLink, Greater Vancouver’s public transit authority. The elected governing board stood for public accountability and fiscal prudence, so in late 2007 Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon legislated it out of existence for twice refusing to sign off on a grandiose project.

In its place was put a board of nine like-minded, pro-business appointees who could be trusted not to think critically or put political considerations ahead of economic determinism. To all intents and purposes, TransLink had become a de facto agency of the government with unfettered power to borrow and spend money beyond the supervision of the legislature or the auditor general. Soon, the full effect of Falcon’s harebrained medievalism will be inflicted on the transit-riding public. more

Democratic Totalitarianism
The Vassal King and the Emperor—A Grim Fairy Tale (February 10, 2014)
(THE SCENE: The set of the children’s early Saturday morning TV show Storytime. It’s a sunny playroom with craft tables and various types of artsy-crafty paraphernalia. Children are drawing, playing with toys, laughing and generally having fun. A simple theme song starts up as storylady “Sasha” enters, book in hand, to screams of delight. She is in her early 40s and gives off a wholesome Donna Reed vibe. The children drop what they’re doing and rush up to hug her. As the crush of people enters the middle of the floor, Sasha sits down on large floor cushion, and the children each grab a small cushion and sit a semicircle in front. The music dies down.)

SASHA: “Ready for another story?”
SOPHIA (age 5): “We sure are, Sasha. What do you have for us today?”
SASHA: “Our story today comes from medieval times and is called The Vassal King and the Emperor.”
BRANDON (age 7): “What’s a vassal king?”. more

Medieval Renaissance
B.C. government engages ‘Otto Pilot’ (January 28, 2014)
Here in British Columbia, democracy is dying a slow death, thanks to successive Liberal provincial governments that have reverted to old-style autocracy. Perhaps the most conspicuous example is the government’s treatment of TransLink, the public transit authority of Greater more

Democratic Totalitarianism
Canada’s activists haven’t the foggiest idea how to bring down Harper’s police state (August. 20, 2013)
A tyrant’s greatest power comes not from the authority he wields or the fear he instills in his people. It comes from the passivity of his victims. Believe it or not, Stephen Harper’s despotism might have been terminated long ago if this country’s high-minded, high-principled, ever-so-reasonable defenders had the courage and the will to do what was necessary. Instead, the minds of opposition politicians and public activists are addled by “The Fog of Populism,” a debilitating disorder that makes them define democracy as election fetishism, and makes them treat a morally righteous speech or protest as an end in itself, not a means to an end. “Once more unto the speech, dear friends; once more!” is the battle cry of these earnest failures. more

Even the most ridiculous media shill can become unintentionally useful (July 22, 2013)
Proof that Stephen Harper is not long for this political world comes not just from evidence of criminal and Parliamentary misconduct; it also comes from feeble attempts to defend him. For the most part, true believers, media whores and assorted sheeple have tried to downplay the seriousness of the Senate financial scandal, scoffed that Harper tried to cover it up, and vehemently denied the obvious similarity between Harper and Richard Nixon, who faced impeachment for his role in covering up the Watergate Hotel break-in
. more

Democratic Totalitarianism
Harper’s impeachable misconduct invites allusion to Nixon’s Watergate cover-up (June 21, 2013)
In the wee hours of June 17, 1972, a security guard at the Watergate Hotel found some door latches taped over to prevent them from locking. He removed the tape but later found it had been replaced. He called Washington D.C. police, who proceeded to catch five “burglars” conducting an illegal surveillance operation inside the office of the Democratic National Committee. As it happened, the name of President Richard Nixon’s White House security consultant E. Howard Hunt was in the address book of two of the burglars.
Ultimately, the burglars along with two White House functionaries were convicted of conspiracy, burglary, and violation of federal wiretapping laws. On Aug. 9, 1974, Nixon resigned the presidency to avoid inevitable impeachment, but not for the break-in itself. He faced impeachment for his attempt to cover it up. more

WTFN—Zombies breathe life into moribund government (May 25 2013)
BRIAN COHEN: “Good evening. With a commanding lead in the polls and anti-government sentiment widespread, nobody gave the government of premier-designate Christy Clark much chance of re-election. Yet, by Election Day the opposition New Democratic Party’s 16-point lead in the polls had vanished. How did the British Columbia government, which did little more than generate public outrage and epitomize ineptitude, pull off the seemingly impossible? To shed light on this bizarre reversal of misfortune we are joined in the studio by WTFN’s political correspondent Eric Blair. (Camera pulls back into a two-shot and Cohen looks to his left). Eric, what happened?”
ERIC BLAIR (looks rather anxious): “Well, Brian, this was no ordinary election.…”
COHEN: “…You can say that again!”
BLAIR: “No, seriously! It wasn’t ordinary. Something very… disturbing took place!”
. more

Democratic Totalitarianism
Israel’s proconsul to Canada faces political defeat and a future on the fascist dungheap (March 19, 2013)
Though it’s been said, it bears repeating: Stephen Harper owes his political existence not to talent or popularity, but to the political exhaustion and enfeeblement of the opposition Liberal Party. After three majority governments under the strong leadership of Jean Chrétien, the Liberals spiralled into dissension and irrelevance under a succession of weak stewards—Paul Martin, Stéphane Dion and Michael Ignatieff—and became co-opted.

With the Liberals politically neutered and the NDP preoccupied with making electoral gains at the Liberals’ expense, Harper and his henchmen have had free rein to impose a zionist/corporatist dictatorship on the country. As they proceed to bully Parliament, eviscerate federal legislation, and wage war on our democratic political culture, Canadians might sense what life must have been like for Spaniards, Germans, Italians and other nationalities in the 1930s as they watched their countries succumb to fascism. more

Democratic Totalitarianism
Mutual admiration society lets tyrants indulge the illusion of political responsibility (November 1, 2012)
“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."
Thomas Jefferson

Behind all the arrogance and smugness, Canada’s Stephen Harper is just an insecure petty tyrant. Like any unjust, unconstitutional ruler, he must fight a relentless war against his own country so that he can force it to serve the foreign and corporate interests that put him in power. To do this, he disdains Parliament, violates Canadian law, persecutes critics, tramples on civil rights, and sabotages national institutions. As expected, Harper is increasingly isolated and loathed at home, so to maintain a power base he must increasingly count on support from a select political circle—of hell, presumably—consisting of corporate kleptocrats, media lackeys, pro-Israel pressure groups, and gormless true more

Democratic Totalitarianism
Half measures, pandering and posturing are the best enemies a fascist could have (September 4, 2012)
“The doctrine that the cure for the evils of democracy is more democracy is like saying that the cure of crime is more crime.” U.S. Journalist H.L. Mencken

Stephen Harper’s fascist grip on Canada was not established suddenly or by force. It developed gradually over six years in full public view, and largely with the public’s acquiescence, even approval. As we know, a sufficient number of Canadians voted to give Harper a majority in the May 2011 election simply because they deemed frequent voting for minority governments to be too much of an inconvenience. As such, Harper’s pre-meditated destruction of Canada’s democracy, however imperfect it may have been ante tyrannidem, is a tragedy in the proper sense of the word—it could have been prevented, but since it’s too late to talk about prevention, what, if anything, can now be done about it? A lot, actually, provided that Parliament’s defenders have the will to do what is necessary. more

Democratic Totalitarianism
Is this Canada’s last summer? (July 1, 2012)
The best way to illustrate the assault of democratic totalitarianism on Canada is by way of historical analogy, but therein lies a problem. Learning from this particular history is a dangerous undertaking because our governments and media actively sabotage it. Instead of being a living, instructive record of our culture, this history has become an ossified relic that we are allowed to look at but not touch. People and events are sealed in a discrete temporal “box” trapped in the morality its time. The historical consequences of this box, the “WWII box,” are what make up our political culture, and gives historical continuity and legitimacy to our government. more

Democratic Totalitarianism
The price of victory is our damned nation (May 23, 2012)
All culture is essentially exclusionary; beliefs and practices distinguish one people from another precisely because they are different. The two systems of government defined above, for example, look as dissimilar as any two dissimilar things could possibly be. One depicts a society of self-governing free citizens; the other depicts its polar opposite. For much of the last 100 years, these two systems of government were in a state of war (hot or cold), and out of this bi-polar world came the Western, democratic conceit that ours is the best of all possible worlds: free elections vs. rigged elections; rule of law vs. police state; civil society vs. coerced conformity; peace vs. war. more

Broadbent’s broadside hints at short shelf-life for a Mulcair-led Opposition (March 22, 2012)
Soon, the New Democratic Party will have a new leader. Whether it will have any meaningful political future is another matter. I’ve already shown that a Thomas Mulcair victory would formally complete the Israelization of Canada’s national political parties, thereby depriving voters of their last Canadian electoral option. Lamentably, many delegates to the NDP convention seem oblivious to this obvious fact, including one MP with whom I spoke after my earlier column came out. more

Facebook attack on my Mulcair essay lacks, er… honesty and sophistication? (February 13, 2012)
Politics is supposed to be “the art of the possible,” the means by which a citizenry debates and discusses the best way to govern itself. This art presupposes a free society where knowledge is respected, debate is rational, dissent is encouraged, and truth is the property of no single interest group. Only in a closed society, like a police state or theocracy, do the opposite conditions prevail. Much of the reaction on Facebook to my column “Will Canada’s social-democratic party be able to prevent a leadership coup?” reinforces my conviction that Canada now belongs in the latter category. more

Will Canada’s social-democratic party be able to prevent a leadership coup? (February 1, 2012)
On March 24, Canada’s New Democratic Party will do more than elect a new leader; it will face a test of character. As it stands, the NDP is the only major national party not led by an avowed zionist. Stephen Harper leads a cabal of governing “Likudniks,” who value subservience to Israel above all else, and the interim leader of the “Labour-Zionist” Liberals, Bob Rae, is on the board of the Jewish National Fund, an organization so criminal that it has been condemned in Israel as racist. The NDP, therefore, is the only apparently Canadian governing choice that voters have, but even this modest fig leaf will be blown away if Israel-firster Thomas Mulcair becomes party leader. more

Democratic Totalitarianism
Canada’s wartime legacy ripe for pillaging (September 12, 2011)
In a free society, citizens share a common history. Though this history may be told from many points of view, every action has objective reality and the sum total of all events is the birthright of every citizen. History belongs to everyone equally and as such is—or should be—open to unfettered enquiry and defended against deliberate distortion. To borrow a medical metaphor, history constitutes the genes that make up a citizen’s “cultural DNA.” more

Democratic Totalitarianism
The Hill is Alive with the Sound of Silence (June 22, 2011)
BRIAN COHEN: “Good evening, and welcome again to Face of the Nation. Tonight we take a probing look behind the façade of government to the people whose job it is to tell us what’s going on. I’m talking about the legions of ministerial spokesmen and assistants who issue statements and give interviews to explain government policy to the media and through the media to you, the public. Tonight in our studio we are pleased to have two representatives of Ottawa’s Ministerial Communications Corps: Chris Day, spokesman for Foreign Minister John Baird, and Sandra Buckler, chief of staff for Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Peter Penashue.” (Cohen rises respectfully and the two guests walk across the studio, shake hands with Cohen and sit in the two club chairs opposite him. Cohen looks perplexed because his guests are wearing Styrofoam cones on their heads.) more

Democratic Totalitarianism
Tyranny of the majority is upon us. What do we do about it? (June 6, 2011)
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard. U.S. journalist H.L. Mencken

Over the last several years, I’ve written copiously on Stephen Harper and his fealty toward Israel. I have shown, convincingly, I think, that he rules not by the consent of Parliament but according to his own dictatorial sense of Divine Right, a toxic blend of neo-con economic theology and sociopathic biblical literalism. As the standing pic of him on my front page shows, Harper cannot really be considered the prime minister of Canada because that would imply he governs on behalf of Canadians, respects Canada’s institutions, and makes rational policy in the national interest. As we have seen, though, Harper and his cabinet of loyal sockpuppets unapologetically wage war on the civil service, censor scientific reports, intimidate critics, lie to Parliament, and send our military to die in foreign colonial wars. more

Democratic Totalitarianism
Canada’s election—stupid is as stupid does (
May 16, 2011)
By any rational standard, Stephen Harper and his minions should have been obliterated at the polls on May 2; instead, they will form a majority government based on 40% of the popular vote. Canada’s antiquated electoral system has produced many “minority majorities” and managed to survive, but never one so contemptuous of the law, Canadian institutions or Parliament itself. As I said last time, “until now no government had been so brazenly unethical and criminal that Parliament, itself, deemed it unfit to rule.” To help explain the absurd result of May 2, I have enlisted the aid of columnist Ethan Baron. Before I get to specifics, two things deserve special mention. more

This election cast a vote against tyranny (
April 14, 2011)
After threatening time and again to bring down Stephen Harper’s minority government, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff finally found his spine. On March 25, he introduced the non-confidence motion after Speaker Peter Milliken declared the Harper government guilty on two counts of contempt of Parliament. First, it was revealed that Canadian International Aid Agency (CIDA) Minister Bev Oda inserted the word “not” to a funding memo for KAIROS, a Christian aid agency, and then lied about doing so in committee testimony. Second, Harper did not, as required, properly disclose the cost of his crime policies or the cost of new F-35 fighter jets. more

Did the abandonment of Omar Khadr constitute treason?
The Canadian Charger (July 3, 2010)
Last week, a U.S. military court sentenced Canadian citizen and former child combatant Omar Khadr to 40 years behind bars for killing a U.S. soldier. Upon hearing the verdict, Khadr’s lawyer Dennis Edney uttered this priceless piece of understatement: “Justice was not served today..” “The fact that the trial of a child soldier, Omar Khadr, has ended with a guilty plea in exchange for his eventual release to Canada does not change the fact that the fundamental principles of law and due process were long since abandoned in Omar’s case,” he said. more

Doesn’t a national holiday presuppose an independent nation?
Montreal Gazette/ (July 3, 2010)
On July 1 we were supposed to commemorate, what exactly? Oh yeah, the founding of Canada as a self-governing dominion, but you’d never know it by the name “Canada Day.” The event in question, as every Canadian schoolchild should know, occurred in 1867 when the provinces of Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia formed a confederation to resist the spread of individualistic Yankee republicanism. The people of British North America, as the area was known at the time, were conservative (in the proper sense of the word), which means they did not look upon government regulation or state economic activity as a godless attack on the sanctity of individual liberty. Thus, “peace, order and good government” not “life, liberty and the pursuit of selfish… er, happiness” became the basis of Canadian parliamentary democracy. more

Nothing left of Canada’s political culture
Canadian Arab News (January 13, 2010)
Making New Year’s Resolutions is a ritual that I’ve never had much use for because the first of January is no more significant than the first day of any other month. Indulging the myth that a new year portends new beginnings invariably leads to disillusionment after the events and behaviours of the previous year show unexpected persistence. This painful fact is particularly acute for many Canadians who yearn for a genuinely national government, but will be forced to endure yet another year of servility and imbecility from Israel’s proconsul Stephen Harper and his ruling clique of hasbaratchiks. more

What’s Diana Dilworth, anyway?
Canadian Arab News (November 8, 2009)
…BRIAN COHEN: “Good evening and welcome to a special edition of Face of the Nation. We’re on location in New Westminster, B.C., on the eve of a byelection to fill the seat vacated by MP Dawn Black, who resigned to sit in the provincial legislature. Fin Donnelly, who hopes to retain the seat for the NDP, is the odds-on favourite. He’s a New Westminster native who served seven years on Coquitlam City council and is perhaps best known for twice swimming the length of the Fraser River. His main challenger is Conservative candidate Diana Dilworth—at least that’s the rumour.…” more 

To understand war criminals we must learn to respect the irrational mind
Canadian Arab News (January 13, 2009)
(THE SCENE: A graduate seminar in political psychology at a Canadian University. The professor enters and takes his place at the end of a medium-sized oblong table)
PROFESSOR: “Good morning, and welcome to Aberrant Political Psychology. I’m Professor Langston. Before we begin, a show of hands—how many of you are taking this course because you want to know what makes people become evil? (a few hands go up.) Hmm. You’ll save yourself and this class a lot of aggravation if you leave right now and sign up for a Bible study course. ‘Evil’ is a moral absolute found only in the simplistic, zero-sum world of religion and American movies. It has no place in a rational investigation of the human mind.”
REG: “Are you saying that evil does not exist?” more

Electile dysfunction 2008
Canadian Arab News (October 19, 2008)
Let’s see…Stephen Harper decides to waste $300-some million to con the electorate into giving him the majority government he so richly doesn’t deserve, and he…lost. Stéphane Dion, the only electable alternative to Harper’s one-man theocratic despotism, ran on a largely environmental platform—the carbon tax—and he…lost. NDP leader Jack Layton used hackneyed appeals to Mr. and Mrs. “Ordinary Canadian” to get him into 24 Sussex Dr., and he… more

Electile dysfunction 2008
Layton can’t grasp reality of ‘un-election’ (October 6, 2008)
Would somebody high up in the New Democratic Party please take Jack Layton aside and slap some sense into him! (And while they’re at it, convince him to get rid of that insipid moustache.) If Harper does manage to hold onto power come election day, it may well be because of Layton’s overweening political ambition. I can appreciate that Layton, like any party leader, wants to promote his own candidates and try to win as many seats as possible—that is, after all, the purpose of an election—but he doesn’t seem to realize that he is not fighting an election. He is fighting an un-election, the object of which is to preserve what’s left of Canada’s more

Electile dysfunction 2008
Voters can end the tyranny of the minority (September 20, 2008)
What if the government threw an election and nobody came? Given Stephen Harper’s recent act of hubris, I wouldn’t blame people for voting with their butts—firmly wedged in the couch, that is. Harper has said he likely won’t do any better than form yet another minority government, and there’s no issue on which the public has to be consulted. (There have been plenty of times when the public should have been consulted, though, but more on that another time). more

Dominion Day done in by deceit
Canadian Arab News (June 29, 2008)
As Canadians prepare to celebrate their national holiday, few will realize that they are also celebrating a dirty bit of political chicanery. It all begins at 4 p.m. on Friday, July 9, 1982. The House of Commons meets in afternoon session, and only one item is on the agenda: Bill C-201, a private member’s bill to change the name of the July 1 holiday from “Dominion Day” to “Canada Day.” Fewer than 12 of the 282 members the House show up for work, which presents a procedural problem because a quorum of at least 20 members is required to conduct business. more

Israel’s most enthusiastic sycophant acts more like an ass than an asset
Canadian Arab News (February 11, 2008)
The Israel Lobby’s control of Canada’s foreign policy is sustainable if and only if the Canadian public can’t sense it. The illusion of a national foreign policy must be maintained, both to insulate The Lobby from public scrutiny and to prevent the government from having to explain to its own people why it puts the interests of a foreign power ahead of national and international law. Recent demonstrations of arrogance and a sense political omnipotence, though, have exploded this illusion. more

No one knows what goes on behind closed doors, which is why Harper must be tried for sedition
Canadian Arab News (August 23, 2007)
Stephen Harper has been doing a lot of laundry this past week or so. First, he sorted through his cabinet and put some of his ministerial sock puppets through the spin cycle. Despite the best efforts of our palace press to present the event as “real news,” it was a political nullity. A cabinet minister today is a micromanaged serf who cannot go to the bathroom without written permission from Harper’s Central Directorate, so the individual at the head of a given ministry is supremely irrelevant, unless he or she gets beaten up by the Opposition beyond the point of redemption and has to be replaced. more

Bad news for The Lobby means good news for the rest of us
Canadian Arab News (December 7, 2006)
As years go, 2006 has been dismal for Canada politically. On almost every front, the country’s reputation, civil liberties and self-respect have taken a shellacking. Among other things, Stephen Harper and his cabal of Christian-Zionist anti-statist wingnuts have:
• gutted this country’s environmental policy;
• presented Parliament with a softwood lumber deal that rewards U.S. thievery to the tune of $1 billion;
• committed Canada to a combat role in Afghanistan, contrary to the national interest;
• showed contempt for any standard of governmental accountability; and most conspicuously,
• reinforced Canada’s shame as a sock puppet of Israel. more

Remembrance Day—a delusional escape to a time when fascists were the enemy
Canadian Arab News (November 9, 2006)
Even though Remembrance Day and its symbols date to the end of the First World War, it is the Second World War that attracts the most attention. We still act as if our modern world could trace its origin to the end of hostilities in 1945, oblivious to the fact that we have become the new more

The World According to Garth (October 28, 2006)
On Oct. 18, Garth Turner, MP for the Ontario riding of Halton, was expelled from the Harper Party for having expressed an opinion on a matter of policy. In an interview, Mr. Turner explains his ouster as a product of Stephen Harper’s secretive, autocratic regime, under which an elected MP needs permission to ask a question, debate or even represent his constituents. more

Michael Ignatieff’s crime and punishment shows real face of Canada’s government
Canadian Arab News (October 14, 2006)
(THE SCENE: Evening, Oct. 11, 2006. In the centre of a darkened room stands Michael Ignatieff, candidate for the Liberal Party leadership. He is agitated and confused.)
MICHAEL IGNATIEFF: (shouting into the darkness) “Where am I! Who brought me here? I demand to know what’s going on!”
(After a brief pause, a calm but menacing voice answers.)
VOICE: “You have no right to demand anything, Mr. Ignatieff. On the contrary, it is we who will be demanding certain things of you.”
IGNATIEFF: “‘We?’ Who is ‘we?’ Do I know you?”
VOICE: “Yes, of course you do. Everyone does, though few have ever met us. We are as well-known to Canadians as hockey and maple syrup. They see us every day in their media, and when the government speaks, our voice is clearly discernable.”
IGNATIEFF: “What are you—some sort of ventriloquists?”
VOICE: “Interesting analogy, Mr. Ignatieff. Yes, you might say that. We put words in peoples’ mouths and work closely with all sorts of ‘dummies.’” more

Canada’s soldiers are dying to prop up Bush and Kabul’s embattled ‘mayor’
Canadian Arab News (October 5, 2006)
The number of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan since 2002 now stands at 39. Sgt. Craig Paul Gillam and Cpl. Robert Thomas James Mitchell, both of the Royal Canadian Dragoons, became the latest fatalities after a handful of Taliban insurgents attacked a road construction project in the Panjwaii district 20 miles west of Kandahar. This latest attack is noteworthy for three reasons. First, it occurred in a region that was thought to have been cleared of Taliban. Second, more than half of all Canadian fatalities have occurred in the last three months since the Harper government committed troops to combat operations in the south.…Third, a recent Decima Research poll published Oct. 2, found that 59 percent of Canadians believe that our soldiers are dying for a cause we cannot win. more

When truth is a threat to a government’s lies, honest opinion must adopt a satirical guise
Canadian Arab News (August 8, 2006)
Ugh! TV—what a wasteland! Hmm. What’s this? A new political affairs show? Let’s give it a shot. Click!
SONOROUS VOICE-OVER: “…and now Face of the Nation, with your host Brian Cohen.”
BRIAN COHEN: “Good evening. As the massacre in Lebanon continues to dominate the news, Canada’s uncritical support for Israel’s bombardment is having damaging repercussions at home and abroad for Stephen Harper’s new government. His party’s popularity is collapsing in Quebec, and even his own constituency office in Calgary is beset by anti-war protesters. Overseas, Canada’s reputation as a fair-minded, law-abiding nation is now in question. Has the new Harper government shot itself in the foot? How did the party come to adopt pro-Israel absolutism? To answer these and other questions, please welcome our guest, Foreign Affairs Minister Peter McKay.” more

Our liberties and sovereignty under assault as Harper remakes Canada in Bush’s image
Canadian Arab News (May 18, 2006)
Felton’s First Law of Electoral Politics: “The louder an Opposition Party rails against government unaccountability and the more it speaks of ethical reforms, the greater the danger that it will be even more unaccountable and unethical if it gets into power.”…In my March 16 column, I gave an early assessment of the Harper government’s promise of ethical government, and in so doing demonstrated the truth of Felton’s First Law. more.

Harper prefers to serve the criminal designs of Israel and The Lobby than uphold Canadian law
Canadian Arab News (April 5, 2006)
Most Canadians were understandably dismayed when Ethics Commissioner Bernard Shapiro suddenly decided not to investigate Prime Minister Stephen Harper over the defection of Liberal MP David Emerson. According to Shapiro, the question of MP defections is a matter for Parliament to decide. Of course, Harper claimed victory, but so what? Shapiro’s decision is far less significant than the judgment of the vast majority of Canadian voters, who rightly see Harper’s Hillbillies as hypocritical, moralistic amateurs. The electorate will have a chance to pass its own judgment fairly soon, because ineptitude and arrogance will surely bring the government down before year’s end.. more.

Harper’s Bush-league government quickly rises to the level of its own incompetence
Canadian Arab News (March 16, 2006)
How closely does our Prime Minister follow George Bush? Let me count the ways: imperial contempt toward the press, refusal to respect the national legislature, letting the Israel Lobby make foreign policy….I could go on. Eventually, though, this autocratic arrogance will be his undoing just as it’s proving to be for King George the Dim and his court of sociopathic sycophants. The only variables are time and the Canadian public’s abuse tolerance threshold. more.

Stephen Harper sets idiocy record—commits political suicide during swearing-in ceremony (February 8, 2006)
Near the end of my Jan. 5 column I said that if the Harper Party managed to form the next government, it would spend so much time in damage control mode that it would have no time to govern. At the time, I thought the government benches would at least be warm before the first disaster struck, but I misjudged Stephen Harper’s propensity for self-immolation. Before the first Throne Speech is delivered, Canada’s new prime minister has managed to destroy his own credibility, infuriate his own MPs, and negate his party’s moral authority to govern. more

Appearances to the contrary, the Liberal Party was the big winner on election night (January 28, 2006)
It should have been a blow out. All things being equal, the Harper Party ought to have crushed the Liberals, just as the Liberals crushed the Progressive Conservatives in 1993. At that time, public revulsion at the chicanery and sliminess of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s government led to the near annihilation of the PCs. The luckless sacrificial leader Kim Campbell led the party to oblivion, falling from 169 seats to 2. The Liberals ballooned from 83 to 177 in the first of three consecutive majority governments. more

Democratic guise cannot hide the real face of anti-Arab, pro-Israel propaganda factory
Canadian Arab News (January 19, 2006)
Barring a last-minute jolt of sobriety, Canadian voters seem ready to choose Stephen Harper and his posse of pusillanimous populists to run the country… into the ground. A PR makeover by the advisor to Australian prime minister John Howard—a staunch supporter of Bush’s anti-Iraq crusade—and uncritical, lazy media coverage have given Harper an unwarranted air of competence and electability. Also, popular anger over Liberal political scandals, and fatigue with 13 straight years of Liberal rule, has bred a “change for change sake” attitude.. more.

Voting for another Liberal minority might make us queasy,
but the alternative would surely embarrass us to death

Canadian Arab News (January 5, 2006)
It’s now well into the first week of January, and most of the world has recovered from any lingering effects of a New Year’s hangover. Here in Canada, though, the pounding headaches and nausea will last 2.5 more weeks. Hanging over us is the Jan. 23 federal election, which means an endless barrage of polls and negative advertising. (Oh the pain, the pain!) In the end, we’ll likely end up with another Liberal minority propped up by the NDP, which is where we started. Still, the unthinkable could happen. If voters are angry enough at the government and sucked in by the kinder, gentler media image of Stephen Harper, we could end up electing a full-blown U.S.-Israeli proxy government that would reduce Canadian political independence to a joke—more so. more.

Polls paint apathetic political picture
Canadian Arab News (December 8, 2005)
It’s time for Canada’s political opposition to put up or shut up. They brought down Paul Martin’s minority Liberal government, and forced us into a winter election.  I hope they’re satisfied, because voters certainly aren’t. more.

Canada’s Muslims need a swift kick in their political allegiance
Canadian Arab News (September 15, 2005)
…When I think of the lack of respect our media shows toward Muslims or how our law virtually assumes them to be guilty until proven innocent, I wonder if they might not be partly to blame for their plight. How can Arabs and Muslims expect the political climate to improve if they rush to defend their enemy, assail one of their own publications, and develop laryngitis when one of their own is vilified. more

VanCity gives Arab business one month to close account
Canadian Arab News (September 1, 2005)
B.C. Market, a convenience and Arabic food store in New Westminster, B.C., has been a member of VanCity Credit Union for five years, but on Aug.15 its owners were summarily told their accounts would be closed within a month. VanCity stated in separate letters to the two owners that it had been unable to fully understand the nature of the business revenue, but Hanna Kawas is certain the motive was more personal than professional. more.

Nobody expects the Jewish Inquisition!
Canadian Arab News (September 1, 2005)
Yes folks, time for another episode of Flip Your Yarmulke!—the unintentionally funny reality show where members of Canada’s Jewish Lobby go berserk on scholars and journalists who challenge the verities of zionist dogma and seek justice for Muslims. The rules of the show are simple. A Lobby representative impugns the integrity of a writer or publication by invoking the stale epithets “anti-Semitism” and “anti-Israel bias,” and then advocates censorship under the guise of fighting racism. more.

Better the lesser evil than the greater folly
Canadian Arab News (May 12, 2005)
Last month, I weighed in on the pending collapse of Paul Martin’s minority Liberal government. Ever since he ordered an inquiry into the sponsorship scandal, the media have feasted on revelations of financial impropriety and backroom shenanigans. Under normal circumstances, the government should be voted out, but these are not normal times in Canada. The usual alternative to the Liberals, the Conservative Party, has been missing in action ever since Brian Mulroney and his band of Yankee sycophants signed away Canada’s economic future with the Free [sic] Trade Agreement. more.

Canada’s self-respect is an election issue and voters (sigh!)
have no choice

Canadian Arab News (April 14, 2005)
Allegations of pervasive corruption and cronyism have proven enough to topple Paul Martin’s minority government and force the electorate back to the polls for the second time in 18 months. To what degree Martin and his ministers can be held accountable for misconduct committed under Jean Chr
étien’s leadership is not clear, but... here are four words that should make every self-respecting Canadian reach for an airsick bag: “Foreign Minister Stockwell Day.” In this nightmare scenario, the government would effectively farm out all Middle East policy directly to Israel, and not even make a pretense of defending Canadian interests. more.

Pettigrew and Cotler test critical extremes
Canadian Arab News ( March 31, 2005)
On March 23, two cabinet ministers came under fire for advocating policies that one way or another pertain to Israel. One criticism was justified; the other wasn’ more

Acute disasters reveal Canada’s chronic shortcomings
Canadian Arab News (January 20, 2005)
One year ago, I wrote the second of several columns about the cabal of government MPs who are subverting Canada’s foreign policy to serve Israel. I focused specifically on the most influential member of this cabal, Justice Minister Irwin Cotler, because he meddles directly in Middle East policy and propagates the bigoted nonsense of the “new anti-Semitism.”...The telling point is [his] abominable expression “threshold of mass atrocity.” more

Rock rolls over to kiss up to Israel
Canadian Arab News (December 23, 2004)
I began the year with three columns on the “Little Knesset,” and its pernicious influence on Canada’s sovereignty and foreign policy. It looks as if I’ll have to end the year the same way. The latest Canadian official to endorse this sell-out is Alan Rock, ostensibly our ambassador to the United Nations. In what must be seen as a blatant repudiation of principle and international law, Rock has declared that Canada’s vote in the UN General Assembly will serve Israel’s public relations. more

York University’s Zionist Star Chamber fails to intimidate student, professor
Canadian Arab News (December 9, 2004)
When last I wrote about Daniel Freeman-Maloy on July 8, he had just been banned from the York University campus for three years for using a megaphone. You read that right...Well, Freeman-Maloy returned to class in September, but my demand for the vowel replacement still stands. The university withdrew the punishment, not out of a sense of honesty or justice, but because it failed to manoeuvre Freeman-Maloy into a rigged Star Chamber-like “discipline tribunal.” Now, York is facing a $850,000 lawsuit for abuse of power, defamation and breach of academic freedom. more

Israel Lobby, weak leadership debasing our Middle East policy, says MP Carolyn Parrish
Canadian Arab News (November 25, 2004)
Carolyn Parrish decided her political career needed a boost, so she got Prime Minister Paul Martin to expel her from the Liberal Caucus. “I forced him into it. I taunted him. I was so filled with anger and he provided me with what I wanted,” she said in an interview Tuesday evening. more

Prejudice and distortion constitute honest reporting when a Muslim speaks plainly
Canadian Arab News (November 11, 2004)
Canadians who never heard of Mohamed Elmasry before last month, likely do now. The president of the Canadian Islamic Congress made a comment on Michael Coren’s television show that threw the zionist lobby and their media minions into a collective tantrum. At issue was Elmasry’s definition of the acceptable use military force by Palestinians. more

Zionists putting the screws to Canada’s foreign ministry
Canadian Arab News (October 28, 2004)
Like any subversive group, Canada’s Israel lobby conducts its nefarious doings out of the public eye. If Canadians had regular reports on how this cabal and their MP sock-puppets try to control our foreign policy a furour would erupt, or at least I hope it would. more

Prior restraint proves Canada’s hate laws must be repealed
Alberta Arab News (August 5, 2004)
As we all know, what’s good for democracy is bad for the Jewish Lobby, so its role in sabotaging last month’s bid by cable companies to carry al-Jazeera should surprise no one. Yes, the CRTC approved the Arabic satellite channel, but set such onerous conditions on cable companies that the legal and financial risks of recording and monitoring all of al-Jazeera’s programs outweighed any potential benefits from new subscribers. more

To speak: perchance to be expelled—ay, there’s the rub!
Alberta Arab News (July 7, 2004)
Now is the winter of discontent for one glorious student at the University of York. The cloud of intellectual and political conformity that hangs o’er the campus has unleashed its fury upon the head of Daniel Freeman-Maloy. Because of what? Words. Words. Words. To hear university president Lorna Marsden tell it, Freeman-Maloy twice disrupted classes this year by leading two protests and using a megaphone—what she generically called “an unauthorized sound amplification device.” The second one, on March 16, marked the anniversary of the murder of Rachel Corrie. more

Christian populists, Israeli apologists and U.S.-style Republicans do not a Conservative Party make
Alberta Arab News (June 24, 2004)
Four days from now, Canadians will decide if they want to legitimize Paul Martin as prime minister and give the Liberal Party a fourth majority in the House of Commons. If indications are accurate, they’ll do the first, but not necessarily the second. more

Jewish student sacked for having mind of her own
Alberta Arab News (June 10, 2004)
As I’ve previously argued, the real battle between the Palestinians and zionists is a propaganda war being waged in North America. The domestic Israel Lobby works to ensure that nothing interrupts the flow of armaments and billions of U.S. tax dollars to the zionist entity. Without the Lobby’s legions of extortionists, influence peddlers, inquisitors and dissemblers, Israel would take its rightful place on the ash heap of history. more

Canada’s hate laws have selective application
Alberta Arab News (April 29, 2004)
On April 5, the United Talmud Torah elementary school in Montreal was firebombed. Fortunately, nobody was hurt. In the Globe and Mail, Canada’s only credible national newspaper, the firebombing earned a banner headline, and the story with picture covered the entire front page above the fold and then some. Martin even solemnly intoned: “This is not our Canada.”* The key point here is the implicit equation of “anti-Semitism” with anti-racism. Sadly, this is our Canada, and nowhere is this fact made more obvious than in the utterances of Justice Minister Irwin Cotler, Israel’s de facto agent in Cabinet. more

Zionists show poor powers of concentration
Alberta Arab News (March 18, 2004)
If pro-Israel lobby groups keep shooting themselves in the foot, none of them will have any support. In my last column I described how B’nai Brith Canada went to absurd and unethical lengths to smear Liberal MP Pat O’Brien for his use of “concentration camp” to describe the effect Israel’s apartheid wall would have on the Gaza Strip and West Bank. more

B’nai Brith—preposterous purveyor of propaganda
Alberta Arab News (March 4, 2004)
As surely as night follows day, B’nai Brith can be counted on to rubbish any politician who dares criticize po’ l’il Israel. The most recent recipient of abuse is Liberal MP Pat O’Brien, who said Israel’s wall denies basic rights to the Palestinians and further reduces the West Bank and Gaza Strip to concentration camps. more

Human rights reputation obscures the real Irwin Cotler
Alberta Arab News (February 5, 2004)
As we saw last time, Justice Minister Irwin Cotler’s history as a propagandist for Israel calls into question his ability to represent Canada’s interests in Cabinet. Most Canadians aren’t aware of this side of Cotler because it is obscured by his reputation as a human-rights lawyer.… Unfortunately, Cotler’s passion for justice and regard for legal appearances do not apply where Israel and the rights of Arabs are concerned. more

Irwin Cotler: Israel’s main man in Cabinet
Alberta Arab News (January 22, 2004)
Canada’s new justice minister and attorney-general, is not what he seems. Irwin Cotler’s much-vaunted career as an international human-rights lawyer and ivy-league law professor matters less than his reputation as a propagandist for Israel.… The most telling evidence of the threat Cotler poses to Canada’s policy comes from his support for the “new anti-Semitism.” more

‘Dirty Dozen’ threaten integrity of Canada’s foreign policy
Alberta Arab News (January 8, 2004)
On Dec. 12, after much pressure from within the Liberal Party, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien resigned. For Canadians long accustomed to criticizing his Liberal government over the last decade, last year was a time to be unabashedly proud of him. Despite incessant hectoring from the U.S., Canada’s Jewish Lobby, and the Lobby’s mouthpieces in Parliament, Chrétien prevented Canada from being sucked into George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq. His refusal to go along with this aggression will go down as one of the great examples of Canadian statesmanship. more

Zionist power play a desperate, futile act
Alberta Arab News (December 30, 2003)
Throughout Canada, and indeed the world, a crisis of faith is destroying one of Western culture’s most deeply ingrained religions. Myths once thought to be sacred are openly profaned, and preachers are shouted down. Critical, informed debate of verities is now so rife on university and college campuses that the religion’s hierarchy is scrambling to mount a propaganda counter-offensive. … I am, of course, referring to “Holocaustianity,” and the crumbling edifice of zionism. more

Zionists practice art of repression
al-Shorouq (October 3, 2003)
…Where political dissent is repressed, artistic repression is inevitable. Here in Canada, artistic freedom should be automatic, but those who depict life from a Palestinian perspective know better. Take the case of Phyllis Simon and her crusade against Elizabeth Laird’s children’s novel A Little Piece of Ground. more

Without reform, electoral choice is no choice at all
Vancouver Courier (August 6, 2000)
Last month, I wrote about the dilemma that Stockwell Day presents to voters and managed to elicit some hilariously excited reactions from true believers. For example, in his July 23 letter Brent Rooney disingenuously employs medical data to rail against abortion, conveniently ignoring the fact that his data are beside the point. It’s not the business of government or Rooney to superintend women’s reproductive practices. The right to choose an abortion is a matter of civil rights, and whatever risks a woman chooses to run is up to her. more

Speed enforcement should be above board
Vancouver Courier (July 30, 2000
In last week’s column, I showed that the province’s speed enforcement program, in particular photo radar, is methodologically unsound. Ironically, this program might never have become necessary if police hadn’t changed reporting procedures in 1994. Citing the top three causes of an accident, instead of the one major cause, inflated speed’s role in a crash from third to first. Consequently, the notion that speed is the leading cause of fatalities is nothing more than a fiction derived from padded statistics and unreliable crash investigation reports. To someone of a cynical cast of mind, it might seem as if photo radar were brought in to solve a specially created problem.. more

Uncommon candour clobbers photo radar
Vancouver Courier (July 23, 2000)
Astonishment—that’s the only word for it. After years of arrogance on a host of matters, the NDP government is now trolling for the public’s advice on, of all things, road safety. The Attorney General’s Ministry this month issued Traffic Services Study Discussion Paper to stimulate discussion on the effectiveness of police traffic enforcement. Comments and recommendations from the public will be factored into the study’s analysis of how to make our streets safer. more

Political reality hasn’t yet dawned on Day
Vancouver Courier (July 16, 2000)
Punditry is a perilous pursuit, as I have found out. Like a lot of columnists, I was certain Preston Manning would lead after the first ballot, and then the mutually hostile Stockwell Day and Tom Long camps would reduce the election to a game of keep-away. Little did I realize how out of touch with his party Manning had become. Clearly, new blood was needed, and the Renamed Reform party found its new standard-bearer. more

No amount of rhetoric can save ICBC’s monopoly
Vancouver Courier (June 4, 2000)
Though a few naysayers and Polyannas would have you believe otherwise, the NDP is on the fast-ferry to electoral oblivion. For Bob Williams and Thom Thompson, the big kahunas of the Insurance Corporation of B.C., this means think fast or die, because when the NDP goes down, B.C.’s automobile insurance monopolist goes with it. It’s hard to know where ICBC stops and the NDP begins, now that the People’s Insurer has been gene-spliced to the department of motor vehicles and is made to foot the bill for many road-related matters that ethically should come out of general revenue. more

Leaderless Conservative Party drifts into oblivion
Vancouver Courier (May 7, 2000)
The putative leaders of the Canadian Alliance party are kidding themselves if they think the party can pander to Ontario Tories and keep faith with Alberta populists. The whole enterprise is not only preposterous, but the name “Canadian Alliance” is highly presumptuous—it describes something that doesn’t exist. The only “alliance” is Reform’s infatuation with its own reflection in Lake Ontario. more

After 100 years, Canada hasn’t come far
Vancouver Courier (January 2, 2000)
World still spinning counterclockwise? Check. Canada still in one piece? Check. The Second Coming still overdue? Check. Worldwide computer meltdown? Nope. Between the religious freaks and computer geeks over the past two years, you’d have thought that yesterday was supposed to be the end of civilization as we know it. Admittedly, that doesn’t sound entirely bad-the world would undoubtedly be better off without Adam Sandler movies, political correctness, sport-utility vehicles and the Vancouver Grizzlies-but some doom ‘n’ gloom scenarios have resembled panicky Cold War-era survivalism. Computer glitches, like the one that afflicted a British bank, were dealt with in an orderly manner. How like the British! more

Canada can forge new respect out of passport scandal
Vancouver Courier (October 12,1997)
For a brief, shining moment in the post-war era, Canada stood proudly in the first rank of the world’s diplomatic nations. Thanks to its war-time role, Canada emerged from World War II with prestige and influence among the European allies and the United States. When Canada spoke, countries listened, even the U.S. more

Fraud of Multiculturalism
Part I—Referendum casts long shadow over 1996
Vancouver Courier (January 7, 1996)
I have always enjoyed New Year’s Day because, more than any other holiday, it represented pure optimism. However bad the previous year may have been, Jan. 1 is a chance to start over: I make new files for my clipping library, store last year's tax receipts out of sight, at least for a while, and take solace in the fact that Christmas is 51 weeks away (Yikes, is it that close?!) more.

Part II—Trudeau built national unity at expense of English Canada
Vancouver Courier (January 14, 1996)
As defenders of multiculturalism go, perhaps no one is more articulate than Orest Kruhlak, regional executive director for the Department of Canadian Heritage. A civil servant who began his career during the Trudeau years, Kruhlak says that what critics says about multiculturalism and what multiculturalism actually does are two entirely different things. In an interview conducted last November, he said those who condemn multiculturalism do so out of ignorance and misperception. more

Part III—Pluralism the answer to our distemper
Vancouver Courier (January 21,1996)
Canada became a sovereign state on Dec. 11, 1931, when the British parliament passed the Statute of Westminster. It would turn out to be a rather brief fling with unfettered self-determination. Soon after a depression and another world war, Canada again came under the hegemony of a great power, this time the United States. Thus, we have the great existential dilemma of Canadian nationhood: how to pursue an independent domestic and foreign policy, maintain a sense of cultural identity, and present itself as an independent actor on the world stage, all the while remaining dependent upon American economic and military might. more