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Voting strategically in the 2015 federal election? Here's why you shouldn't.

Photo: flickr/tsaiproject

Members of the House of Commons returned to Ottawa last week, and as many observers have noted, this marks the beginning of the run up to the 2015 federal election. This also marks the beginning of a discussion among Canadian progressives about how to defeat Stephen Harper and elect a government that will implement progressive change.

With two national parties trying to court progressives, the scheme of so-called "strategic voting" to defeat the Conservatives has become the battle cry of some. However, putting aside one's principles and trying to vote strategically often has an outcome far different than what one intends.

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Why I will vote for Olivia Chow

Photo: flickr/Olivia Chow

Scandals have put our city on display internationally during this municipal election, but before the scandals Torontonians could be proud of our own local heroes that helped to build the city's positive reputation.

Heroes who have been close to the heart of the city's needs, listening, caring, acting  -- all for the purpose of strengthening the public good in our city. They have given us a legacy that has helped to build a better Toronto.

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Is it time to change tactics and focus on big corporate polluters?

Photo: flickr/Climate March

The United Nations will host dozens of governments, corporations and non-governmental organizations during a one-day Climate Summit 2014 in New York on Sept. 23, but unfortunately, according to scientists and environmentalists, the meeting will deal mainly with only one limited way of fighting climate change: carbon pricing.

In recent years the UN has proven incapable of playing an important role in slowing world climate change in a meaningful way.

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Why are we hesitant to name white male violence as a root cause of #MMIW?

Photo: flickr/L.C. Nøttaasen

Over the past few weeks, we have seen a rise in media coverage of violence against Indigenous girls and women following the murder of 15 year old Tina Fontaine. Discussion reached its peak last week during the annual meeting of premiers, which was seen as a venue to push for action to address the root causes of this ongoing atrocity. Yet as the meeting fades out of memory and Tina becomes the latest in the seemingly endless string of murdered young women, I fear that this flurry of dialogue and public outrage has yet again failed to bring about real change.

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B.C. today: Labour conflict or school reform?

Photo: flickr/KT King

Did the B.C. Liberal government just bluff on that $40 a day voucher plan or do they really want to have that battle over public education now?

It was telling that one of the earliest responses to the announcement came from a former top ranking B.C. Liberal. "Hmm. Did BC govt just take the first $40 per day step towards a voucher system for public education?" asked former Attorney General, Geoff Plant on Twitter.

Yes! Was the resounding answer from those who know what a voucher school system is.

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If organizing is the weapon of the oppressed, why are we stuck on mobilizing?

Photo: flickr/Jorene Rene

The rebellion in Ferguson, Missouri, against the killing of unarmed Afrikan American teenager Michael Brown has inspired me to reflect on the question of the organizing model versus mobilizing or mobilization model in the struggle for Afrikan liberation in North America as well as the broader humanistic fight for liberation from various forms of oppression. Organizing the oppressed for emancipation is the preferred approach to engaging them in the fight for their liberation as opposed to merely mobilizing them.

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On the rebellion in Ferguson, Missouri: Organizations are the lifeblood of social change

Photo: flickr/Jorene Rene

The people of Ferguson, Missouri, have mobilized in a rebellion over the killing of the unarmed Afrikan American teenager Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson. In order to sustain the resistance against racial and class domination in Ferguson and elsewhere for the long haul, the people who are currently mobilized need to organize.

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'Responsible Capitalism' makes no sense: The Left must offer a real alternative

Photo: flickr/net_efekt

Ed Miliband's challenge to "the manufactured, the polished, the presentational" practice of politics, where democracy is reduced to "showbiz, a game, who is up and who is down," deserves to be discussed in terms that go beyond the effect this may have on his own electoral prospects. It should open up a larger debate on what's wrong with the practice of democracy today. For it is indeed the case that "people's sense of the artificiality, the triviality, the superficiality of politics is more highly tuned than ever," not only in the U.K., but in one country after another.

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Did Canada cave on the pharmaceutical patent ISDS issue in CETA?

Photo: flickr/Stephen Harper

For the second time in less than a year, Canada and the EU have announced that they reached agreement on the Canada – EU Trade Agreement. Back in October 2013, there was an announcement of an agreement "in principle." The announcement did not include a release of the text and the parties said there was still further work to be done on drafting and legal analysis. Tuesday brought another announcement of an agreement on the text.

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Noam Chomsky: Nightmare in Gaza

Photo: flickr/Joe Catron

Amid all the horrors unfolding in the latest Israeli offensive in Gaza, Israel's goal is simple: quiet-for-quiet, a return to the norm.

For the West Bank, the norm is that Israel continues its illegal construction of settlements and infrastructure so that it can integrate into Israel whatever might be of value, meanwhile consigning Palestinians to unviable cantons and subjecting them to repression and violence.

For Gaza, the norm is a miserable existence under a cruel and destructive siege that Israel administers to permit bare survival but nothing more.

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