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Today In History
On July 8, 1911
Nan Aspinwall is 1st woman to make solo transcont trip by horse

musiclibre web media sharing and recommendations

IF YOU’VE GOT QUESTIONS ABOUT SOLAR ENERGY ... Not all that long ago now President Barack Obama "announced that ... grants will be available for those wishing to do research in renewable energy ... such as wind [and] solar." The next day "German industrial conglomerate Siemens AG said ... it will acquire a 28 per cent stake in Archimede Solar Energy S.p.A. to expand its expertise in solar thermal power plants." Meanwhile, for mere mortals who just want to know more the OpenSolar blog in the San Francisco Bay Area has been expanding its resources for letting you "ask questions about solar technology and get personal answers from experienced solar professionals and installation owners." All this remains one big piece in the big new clean-energy future that lies ahead. You can check it out in depth at ABOUT OPEN SOLAR!

FALL ELECTION .. or first steps towards a new minority-government political culture in Canada?  
Written by the counterweights editors  
Wednesday, 17 June 2009  

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 17, 2009. “No summer election as Harper, Ignatieff reach deal” is the headline for a Canadian Press story run in the Halifax Chronicle Herald today. Yahoo Canada is carrying a later revised version, re-titled “MPs brace for fall election as summer vote averted.” Other variations include “Harper and Ignatieff reach deal” (Globe and Mail), “Harper, Ignatieff agree to study EI reform” (Vancouver Sun), “Election talk put off till fall” (Toronto Star), “Le huis clos s'étire à Ottawa” (Le Devoir in Montreal), and “Canada avoids summer election” (Associated Press, in both the Washington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle). However you write the headline, probably the best spin for Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff  is that the election-saving deal just may mark the beginning of some constructive fresh evolution of Canadian federal political culture, to fit a new age of minority government that is arguably not going away any time soon. This is not the way many in Ottawa want to tell the story right now. But history could show that Ignatieff had the last laugh when he said: “We have found a way ... to make this government accountable and I feel that this is a good day for our country ...  more importantly, it's a good day also for this system of Parliament.” (Well ... “this system of Parliament” is not elegant language, in the style-is-the-man of Pierre Trudeau: but it does nonetheless make a potentially crucial point!)

Last Updated ( Monday, 06 July 2009 )

Written by the counterweights editors  
Wednesday, 11 February 2009  

OTTAWA. WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2009. 8 PM ET. The dubiously prorogued Parliament of Canada has been back in business some two and a half weeks. It now has a more or less big economic stimulus budget to its credit —  though is it big enough, etc, etc? And it is time to wrap up our already too-long report on the late January return of the (sometimes) honourable MPs. A sentence from the morning paper helps frame the new bottom line: "A Strategic Counsel poll for The Globe and Mail-CTV News taken Feb. 5-8 shows the Liberals leading the Tories 33-32. A Harris-Decima poll has a similar finding, with the Liberals up 33-31." But in case you think this means new Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff is about to inherit the family farm, think again. In some ways yesterday’s Israeli election may be a better model for the near future of Canadian federal politics ("In Israeli Vote, With Two Parties Nearly Tied, the Winner Is Gridlock"). Last fall’s sudden surprise coalition has faded — for its main purpose at least. But Mr. Ignatieff does not seem well positioned in Western Canada, and perhaps rural Ontario too. The brief burst of Conservative support early this past December has vanished. Now even the friendly right-thinking pundit Don Martin is saying: "there is circumstantial evidence to back the possibility of a shocking departure by Stephen Harper later this year or next." Mr. Layton and M. Duceppe are just hanging on. The current best answer to "who’s winning in Ottawa?" is none of the above. (And does anyone even remember that Elizabeth May is still leader of the Green Party of Canada, which still has no MPs at all?)


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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 24 March 2009 )

Written by Randall White  
Thursday, 15 January 2009  

What is known in Canada’s province that is not a province like the others as "Sondage Nanos" has released two intriguing opinion polls over the past several days. They suggest the prorogued 40th Parliament that will return to life on January 26 will not be a cakewalk for any of the parties involved. On the one hand, if the opposition majority in the elected Canadian House of Commons actually does defeat the government over an insufficiently stimulative budget at the end of this month, 49% of Nanos poll respondents Canada-wide would like to see a fresh election. Only 42 % believe "Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean should invite the opposition parties to form a coalition," without an election. If an election were held, on the other hand, another Nanos poll has put the Liberals at 34% Canada-wide, the Conservatives at 33%, the New Democrats at 19%, and the Green Party at 7%. Yet another recent poll by Ipsos Reid shows better results for the Conservatives — but still notably less than the astonishing 45% support they seemed to win in the initial hysteria Mr. Harper spread over the "socialist and separatist" coalition plot. Meanwhile, the Assembly of First Nations has discovered that it needs a stimulus package too ...


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Last Updated ( Monday, 02 March 2009 )

DOES THE COALITION HAVE A FUTURE .. why does Harper want to stack Senate if he thinks it doesn’t?
143RD SPEECH FROM THE THRONE .. protecting what kind of Canada?
STEPHEN HARPER’S NEW CABINET .. standing on guard in a time of global economic instability?
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