Archive for March 2010

Whatever happens with Senate reform in Canada, Washington is no model

Mar 30th, 2010 | By Counterweights Editors | Category: In Brief

The Canadian Press reports that the “Harper government is trying, for the fourth time in four years, to impose eight-year term limits on the Senate … Legislation introduced Monday [March 29, 2010] would limit senators to a single, non-renewable term and would apply to all senators appointed since October 2008.” On an earlier theory, this [...]



Can McGuinty government’s public finance in troubled times work?

Mar 26th, 2010 | By Randall White | Category: In Brief

It is not easy to know just what to make of the world of public finance these days. And the 2010 Ontario Budget introduced on March 25 doesn’t help all that much. On March 23 one of the deans of the Ottawa press corps, Jeffrey Simpson, published an article in the Globe and Mail, provocatively [...]



On a Sunday afternoon: cliffhanger in Washington .. Thailand .. niqab, Senate reform in Canada and Quebec

Mar 21st, 2010 | By Randall White | Category: In Brief

GANATSEKWYAGON, ON. SUNDAY, MARCH 21, 2010. As of just after 12 Noon today, the Washington Post online is reporting “House leaders express confidence they will secure enough votes to pass health bill.”  But it still seems no one knows for sure (well, maybe?). Up here north of the Great Lakes, we watch with some amazement. [...]



Will USA today become a sensible country again soon .. pushing toward a Sunday vote on health care?

Mar 19th, 2010 | By Counterweights Editors | Category: In Brief

MACKINAW CITY, MI. FRIDAY MARCH 19, 2010. This may or may not prove to be a historic week in the history of democracy in America. According to the Washington Post: “Pushing toward a Sunday vote that could transform the nation’s health-insurance system, House leaders announced a $940 billion compromise Thursday that would extend coverage to [...]



Alinsky, Brooks, Clinton, and Obama: more “outright fiction” on the American left

Mar 19th, 2010 | By L. Frank Bunting | Category: USA Today

David Brooks is an American conservative journalist who even non-conservatives can read with interest. His March 4, 2010 column in the New York Times on “The Wal-Mart Hippies” has attracted some wider attention — and been reprinted, eg, in the March 6, 2010 print edition of the National Post in Canada.  It seems to me, [...]



“Canadian values shifting right” — really?? (then why do only one-third want Stephen Harper?)

Mar 12th, 2010 | By Citizen X | Category: In Brief

The theory that consultants of any description will always at least try to give their clients what they want is nicely stiffened by a new “Harris-Decima survey for the [unabashedly right-wing] Manning Centre” (named after Preston and his father, etc, etc). This work of applied social science “conducted through phone interviews with 1,000 adult Canadians [...]



Go north young person: falling into the Ring of Fire on Open Ontario’s exotic last frontier

Mar 10th, 2010 | By Counterweights Editors | Category: In Brief

The vital last words on the McGuinty government’s new “Open Ontario” throne speech won’t be heard until the provincial budget a few weeks hence. Some think Premier Dalton just “wants to change the channel … to forget eHealth and the HST.” Others believe that while “his path converged with Harper’s during tough times, [the] Ontario [...]



Eastern Ontario provincial by-elections .. probably not too big a deal?

Mar 5th, 2010 | By Randall White | Category: In Brief

Much ink is currently being spilled — and even wasted, some would say — on the March 4, 2010 Canadian federal budget. But if you live in Canada’s most populous province, and count yourself among the small but wiry band seriously interested in its regional government and politics, you may have found the two March [...]



Welcome back boys and girls .. could the Canadian federal parliament actually surprise us in 2010?

Mar 3rd, 2010 | By Counterweights Editors | Category: In Brief

OTTAWA. WEDNESDAY, MARCH 3, 2010. [UPDATED MARCH 4]. The Canadian federal parliament is back in the business of democracy, after its controversial prorogation late last year. There will be a throne speech from the Harper minority government, read by Governor General Jean in the Senate Chamber, at 2 PM today, and then a federal budget [...]



Kudos to Vancouver and Western Canada (and Sid the Kid from Nova Scotia too) ..

Mar 1st, 2010 | By Randall White | Category: In Brief

At least something brief should be said about the Vancouver Winter Olympics 2010, now that they’re over. But just what is not altogether easy to figure out. The good news, however, is that, by and large, the news is good. (From our own Canadian point of view at any rate.) My favourite penultimate headline comes [...]