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Two remarkable developments in the past week that could have a significant impact in many countries are worth a lot more attention in Canada and the United States.
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It takes something special for a religious patriarch to resist capitalism and climate change. And true catastrophe is it for Pope Francis as he urges world leaders to hear the cry of the earth.
The Pope still has a ways to go on other issues (re: women's rights, LGBTQ rights, etc.), so let's hope this new wave will continue.
With a federal election scheduled next October 19, the current outlook is that it will produce a minority parliament. While it is possible for either the NDP, the Conservatives, or the Liberals to win an outright majority, none of the three have been polling in majority territory.
Without a majority winner, the party that elects the most members of Parliament will be asked to form a government.
If the Conservatives win more of the 338 seats to be contested than any other party, Stephen Harper can stay on as prime minister -- unless the opposition parties chose to defeat his minority government on a motion of confidence. The earliest opportunity to do that would be the Speech from the Throne that opens a new session of parliament.
The Harper government's pursuit of its odious Secret Police Act (C-51) is just another chapter in the most through-going and massive social engineering project in the history of the country. Social engineering used to be one of the favourite phrases of the right in its attack on social programs -- accusing both liberal-minded politicians and meddling bureaucrats with manufacturing the welfare state. They conveniently ignored the fact that there was huge popular demand and support for activist government.