The election of an anti-austerity Syriza government in Greece signalled trouble for the powers-that-be in the European Union. Principally Germany which has no interest in rethinking how the EU operates, since it serves German interests so well, but also the most powerful European institution: the European Central Bank (ECB).
On Saturday, London rocked to the sounds of 250,000 marchers protesting austerity in the U.K. Organized by The People's Assembly Against Austerity, the day's events (marches were also held in Liverpool and Glasgow) announce the beginning of a campaign against the cutbacks to services by the Conservative government headed by David Cameron.
Recently returned to power with an unexpected majority, the Conservatives wants to resume the tight spending policies -- temporarily suspended in the run-up to the election -- that have worsened unemployment all over Europe.
With former leader Gilles Duceppe taking over the leadership of the Bloc Québécois (BQ) from Mario Beaulieu, the only party able to threaten the NDP in Quebec has raised its game.
The Trudeau Liberals have failed to gain traction in francophone Quebec; Conservative support has been limited to the Quebec City area; and the NDP looks comfortably ahead across Quebec, a position Duceppe wants to overturn.
NDP strength meant the BQ -- the party that won 49 per cent of the Quebec vote in 1993, and made Lucien Bouchard Leader of the Official Opposition in Ottawa -- was looking at being shut out in the upcoming October 19 federal election.
The history of Canada would be considerably different if the Bank of Canada had hired Jacques Parizeau as Deputy Governor when he applied for the job in the 1960s.
With a PhD from the London School of Economics, a prominent career in teaching and research, and on his CV a string of public policy successes working in the highest reaches of the Quebec government, Parizeau, if anything, was over-qualified for the job.
Take some money from the wealthy, give it to the poor -- why not do it? Basic accounting suggests that another $1,000 for a student with a $10,000 yearly income puts them further ahead than the same amount does for someone earning $100,000. After all, it gives the student a boost of 10 per cent, and the affluent person only one per cent.
In Canada, the small amount of income redistributed to the poor has long been a matter of public debate. Lately, the poor have been losing. The low-tax, small-government crowd, both Liberal and Conservative, have had control of the federal government for decades.
With less than five months to the next federal election (October 19 is the election date fixed by law), polling by EKOS Research confirms a tight three-way race is underway.
Current EOKS projections show the Conservatives losing their majority in the House of Commons, but winning the most seats.
There are enough Canadian voters who want to "heave Steve" to ensure a Conservative defeat … except that the Canadian electoral system makes votes for winning candidates efficient votes, and consigns votes for losing parties to the dustbin.
The newly elected leader of the Parti Québécois, 53-year-old Pierre Karl Péladeau is on a mission: make Quebec an independent country, able to take its place in the family of nations.
PKP, as he is universally known within Quebec, is an unlikely champion of the noble dream of Quebec independence.
Born the rich inheritor of a global printing empire, PKP has watched it contract under his stewardship, along with newspaper sales. With the approval of a previous PQ government, Péladeau became the dominant figure in Quebec cable distribution, when he added Videotron to Quebecor, the giant company with a worldwide reach which his his father had put together.
Rachel Notley led the Alberta NDP to victory on May 6 calling for higher taxes on corporations to pay for more teachers and better health care. Interestingly, in 1990, Bob Rae led the Ontario NDP to victory pointing to corporations that paid no income tax.
The federal NDP is calling for higher corporate taxes, hoping it will become an election issue in October, a rallying point for Canadians fed up with the underfunding of health care, and other government services.