Political change sweeps Canada

Breaking: TORONTO (Reuters) – Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper will resign as leader of the Conservative party following its crushing defeat to the Liberals in Monday’s election, the Conservatives said in a statement.

The party will appoint an interim leader through a leadership selection process, it said. Harper has been prime minister for almost a decade. (Reporting by Josephine Mason; Editing by Alan Crosby)

UPDATED: F&O’s line up of Canadian election stories: 

Justin Trudeau inherits an international freeloader, by Jonathan Manthorpe, F&O International Affairs

In many ways, Justin Trudeau and Canada’s newly-elected Liberal government are fortunate coming to office at this time when the whole associated field of Canada’s foreign, defence, trade and development aid policy is a wasteland.

Justin Trudeau’s speech to his kids, by Penney Kome, F&O

Canada’s newly-elected prime minister got Penney Kome thinking about George Lakoff’s research on differences between the “conservative” view and the assumption of “progressives” that “the world is basically good and can be made better.”

Justin Trudeau poses before he spars at the Paul Brown Boxfit boxing gym in Toronto, August 6, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Justin Trudeau poses before he spars at the Paul Brown Boxfit boxing gym in Toronto, August 6, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Trudeau topples Harper in stunning Canadian election, Reuters

Canada’s Liberal leader Justin Trudeau rode a late campaign surge to a stunning election victory on Monday, toppling Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives with a promise of change and returning a touch of glamour, youth and charisma to Ottawa.

JUSTIN TRUDEAU: vows change, hope as Canada PM. By Leah Schnurr

Canada’s new prime minister, Justin Trudeau, is moving back to the house where he grew up. He was born to great publicity on Christmas Day 1971 and stayed in the limelight until his father left office in 1984. He returned to prominence with a moving eulogy at his father’s 2000 funeral. A former teacher and snowboard instructor, he was first elected as an MP in 2008, and led his Liberal party to victory in the Oct. 19 Canadian election.

The Canada We Hope For. By Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi

Crafting an ideal Canada—the Canada to which we aspire—lies in engaging muscularly with the past and the future. It means a thousand simple acts of service and a million tiny acts of heroism. It means acting at the community level: on our streets, in our neighbourhoods, and in our schools. It means refusing to accept the politics of fear. And then it means exporting the very best of Canada, that ideal and real Canada, to the rest of the world.

“Throw the bastards out.” Editorial by William Thorsell

Not in recent times have Canadian voters had an opportunity to “throw the bastards out” in the classic phrase. Elected officials generally leave office before such public urges get to them. Knowing when to leave is among the more elegant qualities of any CEO, but then Mr. Harper has never laid claim to elegance.

Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose. Tom Regan, Summoning Orenda column

Canadians are committing an act of insanity. On October 19 millions of Canadians are marching to the polls to repeat a time honoured tradition: throw the rascals out! The rascals in this particular situation happened to be the Conservative party who without a doubt deserve to be thrown out. But the more things change the more they stay the same.

Photo © Geoff Grenville 2015, used with permission
Photo © Geoff Grenville 2015, used with permission

Canada’s strategic, desperate, election: Anybody But Conservative. Deborah Jones, Free Range column

The shambles of Canada’s democracy, and paralysis in the face of existential economic, environmental and civil threats to the country I call home, drove me from being a lifelong, carefully non-participatory journalist observer of politics, into activism during this federal election.

When Democracy Becomes Controversial. By Stephen Collis, guest essay

Poet and professor Stephen Collis,  and biology professor Lynne Quarmby, were awarded the Nora and Ted Sterling Prize in Support of Controversy at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver on Oct. 13. Here is Stephen Collis’s acceptance speech: “Here’s perhaps a bit of controversy: we’re not living in a democracy. Not, at least, if we take seriously the idea that a democracy is a system of rights and freedoms enshrining the self-determination of a community’s constituents. As many thinkers are now pointing out, western democracies in fact function much more like oligarchies …”

Voting and Canadian values. By David Suzuki, guest essay

When my grandparents arrived from Japan in the early 1900s, Canada was far less tolerant than it is today. Women and minorities couldn’t vote, nor could Indigenous people who had lived here from time immemorial. In 1942, the government took away my Canadian-born family’s property and rights and sent us to an internment camp in the B.C. Interior simply because of our ancestry. Canada has come a long way in my lifetime.

Niqab: Radical feminism or female subjugation? By Christopher Majka, guest essay

Unexpectedly (or perhaps not) the wearing of the niqab has emerged as an issue in the Canadian federal election. Yes, that’s right — the Canadian federal election, not that of Pakistan or Yemen. And in the year 2015, not 1015. How is it that we are even having a discussion about how a very small minority of Muslim women in Canada dress in the context of determining the political future of Canada?

A barbaric cultural practice: using racism to earn votes, Tom Regan, Summoning Orenda column

There comes a moment when every country goes through a “dark night of the soul.”  Canada’s was evident this month, after some buffoon named Chris Alexander, apparently Canada’s immigration minister, said that if re-elected in the October 19 general election, the Conservative party would install a tip hotline, so people could inform on their neighbours practicing “barbaric cultural practices.”

Why it’s right not to vote in Canada. Tom Regan, Summoning Orenda column

There’s a brouhaha as Canada prepares for the upcoming federal election, over whether Canadians like me who live abroad should have the right to vote after being out of the country for a certain period of time. We should not. Even if I had the right to vote in election Canada I wouldn’t use it.

Spoken Word artist, poet and author Shane Koyczan has this to say about Canada’s state of politics:

John Oliver weighs in, breaking the Harper Government’s law against foreigners telling Canadians how to vote.  (Which is a joke in itself.)


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