Min. Monsef held up a drawing of "Gallagher's Index," a fairly simple equation used to measure the proportionality of electoral systems, in order to show how complicated ordinary Canadians would find electoral reform -- you know, the reform she was specifically mandated to study and communicate to those same Canadians. She was immediately and roundly mocked on Twitter.
But is Gallagher's Index complicated compared to the other examples of Liberal math? Which equation best defines the Liberal party?
Conservative leadership frontrunner Dr. Kellie Leitch, who refused to fund abortions for victims of war rape as status of women minister, has been a fountain of abhorrent wedge issues over the past month. No wonder she was so ebullient at the surprise victory of Donald Trump.
Since her tearful apology for the "Barbaric Cultural Practices hotline" that helped show Canadians that Harper's Conservatives were literal cavemen, Leitch has done her best to double down on offensive, racist and dangerous policies. She wants to screen any new Canadians for "Canadian values" (she'd probably fail if such a test were possible). She wants to eliminate any carbon tax while the planet is under siege from climate change. And this week she swore she would dismantle the CBC since it can't survive without public money (the same might be said of Conservative MPs, Kellie).
Oh, she's also refused to condemn any racist supporters. In fact, when asked, she said she was "delighted" at the "wide range of individuals" supporting her campaign.
So, um, which of these policies feels the most like a punch to the gut?
Is a week enough to mourn yet? No, of course not. But there's work to be done. Namely, Canada is about to undergo a pipeline renaissance. Justin Trudeau's Liberals are definitely toying with the idea of reviving at least two, if not all three major bitumen pipeline projects that had been all but crushed by the First Nations, advocacy groups and millions of Canadians who opposed them. There have been occupations, court challenges, petitions and marches. But now, pipelines are back in a big way -- and about to get bigger.
This Saturday, rabble.ca will be marching with the thousands of British Columbians and Indigenous people who oppose Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline. And TransCanada has already issued a statement indicating its intent to re-open the defeated Keystone XL pipeline now that Donald Trump is in the White House. And let's not forget Northern Gateway or even Energy East, as Trudeau and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna have repeatedly said that pipelines form a key plank of their climate change agenda.
Don't let those eyes roll out of your head: which pipeline should we roll up our sleeves for first?
Donald Trump is president-elect of the United States. In 2017 he will take the reins of the world's biggest economy and the most powerful military in human history. People around the world who were hoping to see the first ever female president have had their hopes crushed by a confessed abuser of women. Muslims, Latinx, Black folk, queer and trans people are rightly terrified of what this means for their personal safety.
The liberal establishment has a lot to answer for and the left in general has a lot of soul searching ahead of it. Joe Hill famously said, "Don't mourn, organize" -- but even those powerful words seem to ring a bit thin this time around. Even so, the work to build a better world started yesterday -- just as it would have under a Clinton presidency.
What is the first thing an organized left should undertake with Donald J. Trump on his way to the White House? (Hint: Start with Dru Oja Jay's to-do list for activists.)
40% of students lack access to adequate food. What did you call 'food insecurity' when you were in school?
A pretty revealing new report from Meal Exchange, Canada's only national organization dedicated to providing students with resources to quell food access instability, says that 40 per cent of Canadian post-secondary students from the five institutions studied are food insecure. You can read Adam van der Zwan's investigation into food insecurity and education here.
High tuition, insufficient food systems, housing costs all contribute to the difficulty of tracking down an honest meal. Students are certainly under more financial and social pressures than ever before. That said, while the language we use to describe insufficient access to adequate nutritious, affordable and palatable meals may have changed, the phenomenon of "food insecure" students is nothing new.
What did you call "food insecurity" when you were in school?
It's that time of year when folks pretending to be something exciting and attractive turn out to be just a bunch of children demanding hand-outs and threatening vandalism or worse. No, I'm not talking about the latest stream of Justin Trudeau's broken election promises or Minister Chrystia Freeland's will-she-won't-she cajolery over CETA -- I'm talking about Halloween! The greatest holiday of all time.
Halloween is the perfect time for leftists and progressives everywhere to wear their politics on their sleeves while having fun (yes, Halloween is the one day of the year leftists are allowed to have a sense of humour -- so make it count). How will you be dressing this Oct. 31?
If you're not the biggest fan of Investor-State Dispute-Settlements and corporate rights, perhaps you will be paying tribute to les Gilles of Wallonia, who wear wax masks, wield sticks to fend off evil spirits and carry baskets of blood oranges to hurl at spectators of the famous Carnival of Binche. No wonder they were such a thorn in the side of CETA -- but alas, they must have run out of oranges to throw because it looks like CETA will be ratified at the eleventh hour after all. Yay for corporate power!
Anyway, what political statement will you be making this Halloween?
So Canada, are your faces red yet?
It looks like Justin Trudeau is walking back what Karl Nerenberg calls his "clear and very personal ownership" of the Liberal pledge to ensure 2015 was the last election to be decided under First-Past-the-Post. For many voters and advocacy groups last October, that was the one campaign promise that made a Liberal government palatable -- and now it may not happen.
"Under Stephen Harper," PM Trudeau told Le Devior, "there were so many people unhappy with the government and their approach that people were saying, 'It will take electoral reform to no longer have a government we don't like.'
"But under the current system, they now have a government they're more satisfied with and the motivation to change the electoral system is less compelling."
Ha ha ha. I think the phrase is: "If the president does it, that means that it is not illegal." Sure it sounds entitled, self-important and deluded -- but for those of us who remember the Liberal governments of Paul Martin, Jean Chretien and, er, Kathleen Wynne, this is just Liberals Liberalling. Broken promises and the LPC go together like gum and nuts.
But maybe electoral reform is only cocktail talk for policy wonks and political science grads. Then we might look at Bill Morneau -- the finance minister! -- who saw no problem inviting mining magnates into his home for a $1,500-a-plate fundraising dinner (oh yeah, we called that one too). Or maybe at the Liberals' announcing climate targets with much pomp and circumstance and then do precisely zero to reach them. Whatever, man, it's the feeling that counts.
Welcome back, Liberal Party of Canada. It's been awhile.
So what's the most Liberal-like act of Liberalling Justin's Liberals have Liberalled?
The rubber appears to have hit the road/giant tire fire in the U.S. presidential campaign. After a leaked 2005 tape showed Donald Trump boasting of assaulting women, a dozen women (so far) have come forward alleging that Donald Trump did to them exactly what he bragged he did to women. Outraged at being quoted correctly, Trump threatened to sue the New York Times -- who promptly responded, "Bring it."
What a time to be alive.
It's left us Canadian progressives a bit at sea, to be honest. We don't know whether to address Trump's factless drive-bys on the Canadian health-care system or just be grateful for a passing moment that we don't need to vote in this election. Besides, when it comes to high-profile sexual assault cases involving skeezy celebrities, we Canadians have been through it all before.
But hey, maybe we can learn something new after all. So: what's the most surprising thing to come out of Donald Trump's groping allegations/taped confession?
Cineplex Odeon has hiked ticket prices across the country, despite pulling in over $700 million in revenue already this year. Then it had the gall to blame the hike on the modest and still-insufficient increases to the minimum wage. Cineplex, which enjoys a near-monopoly over theatre-goers, managed to convince the CBC to reprint its corporate talking points almost verbatim. But rabble blogger Nora Loreto caught Cineplex's spin cold.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we at rabble decided to treat this as a teachable moment. And what better way to teach Cineplex execs and spin doctors how the economy actually works than through the silver screen?
So: What film would you show Cineplex CEO Ellis Jacob (Annual compensation: $5.3 million) to convince him his low-wage workers deserve a raise?
If Gerry Caplan is right, the shine is starting to wear off Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberals. This week, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna approved the controversial Pacific Northwest LNG plant in British Columbia, enraging environmentalists and Indigenous leaders who trusted Trudeau when he promised a new deal for Canada's First Nations and real action on climate change.
We suspected from election day that Trudeau's promises were far from ironclad (timely then that our Parliamentary Correspondent Karl Nerenberg returns this month). The Liberal Party, and particularly Trudeau who currently stands unchallenged by the two leaderless parties facing him in the House, have enjoyed high approval ratings in the polls. But with this latest flip-flop, the broken promises are starting to stack up.
Maybe you're sad about some of them. Maybe (probably) some of them make you pretty angry. Maybe you're disappointed or maybe you're just pretty pleased you can finally say "I told you so." But which broken promise makes you forget that we ever had an election at all?