Posts Tagged ‘CBC’

DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 29JAN11 - Olafur Ragnar Gri...Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, president of Iceland since 1996, is an antidote to anti-government pessimism porn peddlers in the alternative media, like the late Murray Rothbard, who claimed that government is nothing but a “gang of thieves writ large.”

Appearing on the July 8, 2012 episode of CBC’s, The Sunday Edition, President Grimsson explained how the majority of the Icelandic government supported caving into the demands of Britain and the international banking establishment, while he and the majority of the Icelandic people ultimately prevailed in opposing them through referenda.

So much, then, for the pessimism porn that there’s no good politician, and that they are all in it for themselves.

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Rex MurphyPresident Lyndon Johnson is reported to have said: “if I’ve lost [Walter] Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America.

In searching for a source, I learned that this quotation is disputed, but when Cronkite publicly turned against the Vietnam war, it signaled a turn in the tide of American public opinion, and Johnson decided not to run for re-election.

In the same way, it came to my mind that if you’ve lost Rex Murphy, you’ve lost most Canadians.

I first considered this with the September 30, 2011 Cross Country Checkup episode, “What are your thoughts on ending the long-gun registry?“, where he reflected the shift in public opinion that, at best, it was a feel-good failure, and its time had come to be scrapped.

I saw it again with the February 18, 2012 episode, “Does the proposed law to allow police easier identification of Internet users go too far?“, where he challenged Public Safety Minister Vic Toews’ rhetoric that you’re either with us or you’re with the pedophiles if you don’t support Bill-C30 to create a database of names, IP addresses and other information of every internet user that police can search without a warrant.

While private, corporate-controlled C-SPAN Washington Journal hosts keep their personal political views to themselves — under the guise of providing a non-partisan platform for callers to air their views — Rex Murphy, to his credit, lets his personal political views show when they reflect the overwhelming sentiment of Canadians on particular issues.

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English: Canadian Flag

Reporters without Borders has released their 2011/2012 Press Freedom Index, and Canada came in 10th place, while its only neighbour, the United States, came in 47th place.

Now, certainly, there is an element of subjectivity to the ratings, and they can even be politically motivated, but the gap between the two suggests that it’s outside the bounds of those two explanations alone.

It’s no surprise to me that France came ahead of the United States, as a friend once told me: if you really want to know what’s going on in American politics, read the French newspapers.

The fact that a former Soviet republic — Lithuania — came out ahead of the U.S. is very telling.

Canada can thank Quebecers for some of their better press freedom than the United States, since French-language media are by their very nature, not completely establishment, and some are sufficiently anti-establishment.

Ironically, Canadians can also thank their strong public broadcaster, the CBC, and Ontario provincial broadcaster, TVO, for increasing press freedom, since they allow for discussion you won’t find to the same degree in the private sector.

But, so that Canadians don’t get full of themselves with feelings of moral superiority, the fact is that Canada’s media is less of an attractive target for control than the American media, and that factor has contributed to Canada’s press being more free.

While the First Amendment was intended to only apply to Congress not being permitted to abridge an individual’s natural right to freedom of speech, it was later applied to the States, and the courts imposed restrictions on speech, such as understandably not being allowed to cry “fire!” in a crowded theatre.

But it was the unqualified First Amendment right to freedom of speech vis-a-vis Congressional interference that Canada itself never embraced, with no explicit recognition of the freedom of speech outside of the interference from either the federal or provincial governments in its original Constitution of 1867.

When an explicit recognition was made with Canada’s patrioted Constitution of 1982, it was made subject to limitations by the judiciary and a complete suppression by a simple majority vote in Parliament or any of the provincial assemblies, through the “notwithstanding” clause.

Those who continue to wax on about how superior the American form of government is to all others, without tempering it with talk of the current reality, are definitely missing the mark.

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Jack Layton on the 5th anniversary of his lead...

Since Jack Layton’s untimely passing on August 22, 2011, much has been said in the mass media about what a great guy he was, and how he was such a great uniting figure in Canadian politics.

For all the talk about what a great uniter he was, here are some things you probably didn’t know about:

  • He was extremely belligerent and overly confrontational, to the point of being downright rude, in the 2004 English-language television debate. To his credit, he did mend his ways in the 2006, 2008 and 2011 debates.
  • He preached more openness and representation in Canadian politics, yet tried to keep Green Party leader, Elizabeth May, out of the debates, by threatening a boycott, until the Canadian people eventually forced him to relent.
  • He called for abolishing the Canadian Senate under the guise of it being an undemocratic and outdated institution, yet his efforts to keep May out of the debates shows that it really had everything to do with the fact that the NDP didn’t have a single senator.
  • He huffed and puffed about how bad the Harper minority government was, yet propped them up to eventually become the longest-serving minority government in Canadian history.
  • When it became evident that NATO had violated the terms of the UN Resolution that called for enforcing a no-fly zone to protect civilians in Libya, he delivered the war-mongering Harper government full NDP support for extending the mission until September, 2011, which is conveniently when the deadline was set for Gadhafi to be ousted from Libya. Green Party leader, Elizabeth May, was the lone MP to vote against the extension.
  • In a bid to pander to soft nationalist Quebec voters in the 2011 election campaign, he undermined the Clarity Act, saying that a simple majority was all that was necessary for Quebec to separate, despite the Clarity Act being the law of the land, and requiring a “clear majority.”

His pandering is most evident with his waffling tone from this interview aired on the April 24, 2011 episode of CBC’s, The House. Despite the Clarity Act being a disingenuous and impractical piece of legislation concocted by Jean Chrétien, Layton didn’t call it as such, and instead tried to play both sides by giving the false impression that a simple majority is in accordance with the Clarity Act.

Looking at the history of the Clarity Act, it is clear that a “clear majority” is something greater than a simple majority, given that former Prime Minister, Jean Chrétien, panicked the night before the 1995 Quebec referendum where the country was nearly broken up with what was almost a simple majority.

Layton did do some very positive things, especially in bringing an end to official party representation in Parliament for the Bloc Québecois, which originally promised to disband if they hadn’t achieved independence for Quebec after a certain amount of time, which had long since passed.

Underneath all the rosy reviews of the past two weeks, there is a more balanced picture of Jack Layton — that of the consummate politician.

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Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

On May 28, 2011, appearing on CBC’s The House, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said of the Libyan mission at 5:31:

You know, I think, as you know, the government is very committed to the mission, and we, I think, can report to Parliament that it has both gone well so far, and that its continuation is essential for the original reasons we embarked on it. We’re only three months into it. We had unanimity before. I don’t know whether we can get that again. I’d obviously welcome that, but I think we’ll have a good debate. And as I say, I think all the reasons all parties agreed to go into Libya are still present. I think we should be encouraged by the success.

The illegal mission, he means, ever since NATO forces bombed targets that didn’t present an immediate present danger to flights, such as Gaddafi’s compound, which was bombed, and one of his sons was reportedly killed.

Where did that, or even the bombing of roads, bridges and non-offensive radar installations fit into the UN Resolution authorizing a no-fly zone, “in order to protect civilians?”

On May 25, a report was released, saying, “Canadian fighter jets have dropped 240 bombs over Libya in 324 flights.

But, unlike President Obama, Prime Minister Stephen Harper actually did have constitutional authorization to declare war against Libya through its mission, and the only thing Parliament can do to stop it is cut off funding, which won’t be happening so long as Harper’s Conservatives have a majority.

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In a little town in Quebec, Canada, a gold mining company is just one property away from developing Canada’s largest open-pit gold mine.

From the July 22, 2010 episode of CBC’s The Current:

Ken Massé is literally sitting on a gold mine. And he refuses to budge. Massé is the last thing in the way of Osisko Mining Corporation’s plan to develop Canada’s largest open-pit gold mine in tiny Malarctic, Quebec. All of Massé’s neighbours have sold out to the mining company, or have been relocated. But Massé won’t give up his childhood home without a fight.

What strikes me most about this case is the possibility of the taking of private property for private use, without the owner’s consent.

Unlike the U.S. Constitution, Canada’s constitution doesn’t require just compensation for the taking of private property for public use. Even worse, it doesn’t require any compensation, which even the communist Chinese Constitution requires.

Here, we’re talking about the taking of private property for private use, without the owner’s consent — something that the U.S. Constitution implicitly prohibits, but which, unfortunately, has been permitted with cases like Kelo v. New London.

The CEO of Osisko disclosed that they had sought an expropriation order of the property, which is understandable from the perspective of a publicly-traded corporation whose primary responsibility, both in law and dominant business culture, is to maximize shareholder’s wealth (as the Board and executives best see fit).

However, from the perspective of higher principle, as I believe is embodied in the U.S. constitutional requirement for just compensation, Canada’s lack of such a provision, both in law and practice, I believe, will lead to its long-term decline in the economic prosperity it currently enjoys.

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Previously, I wrote the article, “The first step in health care reform: recognizing that health care is not a right.”

Health care, at least, is related (though not equated) to the life of a person, one of the enumerated rights in the Declaration of Independence.

As an example of how radically the Western understanding of rights versus privileges has changed since 1776, Canada’s national broadcaster, CBC, featured an episode entitled “A/C as Human Right” on The Current on July 16, 2010.

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