Rossweisse
RIP Rossweisse, HellHost and long-time Shipmate.
Please see the thread in All Saints remembering her.

Canadian Politics

This discussion was created from comments split from: I'm sorry! Canada 2020.
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  • This evening I decided to take advantage of the last day of early voting for the federal by election in Toronto Centre. I couldn't foresee anything assuaging my displeasure toward the Liberals regarding their behaviour in the riding, and the NDP candidate is unimpressive. I voted for Annamie Paul. The Liberals anointed Marci Ien*, despite there having been interest from very viable alternatives. I'm a disappointed in the lack of gallantry in the other parties' refusal to extend the leaders' courtesy to Paul. I suppose that it could be argued that they were under no obligation to do so, as she wasn't leader when the by election was called (indeed, they're not ever Obliged), and things were already in motion when she became leader, but that strikes me as too much a disingenuous trains of 1914 sort of explanation. I had a brief conversation with the returning officer, who told me that turn out was rather rather heavy for advance polls. That, Paul's recently elevated profile, and my unscientific sign count make me think that she has a chance to steal the riding.

    I did get a chuckle out of the final candidate on the ballot: Znoneofthe, Above. I was tempted, were it not for my wounded sense of propriety on behalf of Ms Paul.

    *Since 1993 the Liberals have held the riding with, in succession, Bill Graham, Bob Rae, and Bill Morneau, in varying ways and in varying degrees very strong candidates. Since Rosedale has been assigned to the newish riding of University-Rosedale, Toronto Centre is proportionally more racialised, so being a white male isn't the traditional advantage here that it once was. Indeed, this is the first time that none of the four major candidates in Toronto Centre is white. I went for the black, Jewish, multilingual woman. Felt good. I genuinely do hope that she wins.
  • I would be happy to see her elected, though I can't really blame the other parties for taking the positions they did. Whatever ultimately happens, it was a competitive seat for the Liberals in a minority government scenario, it was a last-minute scenario, and the Greens are a long way from official party status.

  • I concede all your points, but they don't preclude an act of gallantry (see how quaintly dated I am?). The thing is, Bill Morneau (of whom I was not a fan) took the riding with 57%, twice, but he had visible support from the party, and he was a visible candidate. That was in the Before Time, and the Now presents some unique challenges to campaigning, but, even allowing for that, Ien's campaign seems a bit anemic compared to the Greens and the NDP (I don't think that that I've seen a CPC sign).
  • I was going to say, "I'm sure there must be a Communist Party sign somewhere in the riding," and then I realized...
  • I've trouble tracking the Greens, in terms of placing them on the political spectrum in Canada. They seem to defy expectations.

    Re elections, we've both mail-in voted in the Sask prov election. Which is probably useless in every way. The city election and school board election mail-in ballots are due to arrive soon.
  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    They tend to emulate the politics of their leader. They have yet to prove to be a left-wing party in Canada.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited October 20
    I've never really taken to the idea of a Leader's Courtesy. There's a certain clubby elitism about it: "We care more about helping our opponents' leader get elected than we do about giving our own supporters someone to vote for."

    And yes, I realize it's hard for a party to function in the House without their leader present. But surely, that's something the party itself can take care of? If they can't win in a competitive by-election, then ask one of their own MPs in a safer riding to step aside.

    (One of the early blows against Tory hegemony in Alberta was when Don Getty was defeated in his own constituency by a Liberal in '89. The Tories were pretty unpopular in Edmonton at that time, and I don't recall too many chuckers thinking it was all some horrible sin against political chivalry.)
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    I've trouble tracking the Greens, in terms of placing them on the political spectrum in Canada. They seem to defy expectations.

    I think the best explanation of the Greens I've read was from Colby Cosh(I believe) in the Post: left-wingers with an aversion to unions.

  • That's weird. What's their beef with unions?** The "green" part always makes me think of non-fossil fuel. I have heard something about local and small independent business.

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    That's weird. What's their beef with unions?** The "green" part always makes me think of non-fossil fuel. I have heard something about local and small independent business.

    I don't think he meant they were consciously pushing an anti-union agenda(in the way that, say, libertarians are), just that they didn't place a lot of importance on labour-related issues. And, I suppose, if you prioritize environmentalism, it's gonna put you quite often on a collision course with unions who want this or that megaproject to go ahead, for the sake of jobs.



  • Pangolin GuerrePangolin Guerre Shipmate
    edited October 20
    Within the Green Party there are divergent economic philosophies at play. during the leadership convention there was a notably leftist, anti-capitalist tendency in competition, but Annamie Paul represents the economically more conventional wing. SPK disparages the Greens as Tories with bicycles (or some such thing), which is true-ish of one (and for the moment, dominant) wing, but does not apply across the board.

    @stetson The leader's courtesy extends only as far as first getting a seat in the House. After that, the seat is fair game.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited October 21
    @Pangolin Guerre

    Point taken, but I still don't see any real imperative for the other parties to help their opponents get into the legislature.

    Back to my earlier example, Getty didn't get a Courtesy when he ran for a seat in a byelection in 1985, even though he was already premier by then. Nor did he get one in '89, when he relocated to rural Alberta after getting kicked out of Edmonton.

    Jim Prentice didn't get one either when he ran for his first provincial seat in 2014. Maybe it's just not a tradition in Alberta?
  • No, just mention trade unions around them and watch the reaction. It's very simple.
  • john holdingjohn holding Ecclesiantics Host, Mystery Worshipper Host
    I've trouble tracking the Greens, in terms of placing them on the political spectrum in Canada. They seem to defy expectations.

    In the run up to the last federal election but one, my son (very concerned about the environment) did a thorough study of the Green platform -- fully intended to vote for the party in his riding (in BC, one they might have had a chance to win). Distress is not too strong a word to describe his reaction when he found that, although on the side of the angels on the environment, they were to the right of the CPC on economic, social and justice issues (at least as he saw it). Chalk up one more vote to the NDP, and a very disillusioned ex-Green supporter to this day, both federally and provincially.

  • Can I put in a vote for a general Canadian politics thread in Purg? We seem to want to keep coming back to politics on this thread, in more than a merely tangential way, and Purg seems to be a better place for this kind of thing.
  • That might be a good idea. Maybe ask hosts to transfer some of these posts to start it?

    I get the union split thing. For example, say I didn't comment or support the oil refinery workers on strike in Regina and have no interest in auto workers. Lack of support is fallout from not supporting the industry it represents. Union is secondary. Would that be greenish in this sense? I don't think it's Tory at all.

    I suppose the caricature of Tory cyclists might be similar to calling the federal NDP "Liberals in a hurry". Though were actually Liberal in policy provincially in Sask under Roy Romanow. My BC dwelling daughter tells me Liberal there means Conservative.

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited October 21
    botched post
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited October 21
    Marsupial wrote: »
    Can I put in a vote for a general Canadian politics thread in Purg? We seem to want to keep coming back to politics on this thread, in more than a merely tangential way, and Purg seems to be a better place for this kind of thing.

    I would have started one already, but I would have wanted to include a link to this one, and I'm lousy at such moves on a cell phone.

    So yeah, anyone who wants to, go ahead and start a Purg thread.

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate

    I suppose the caricature of Tory cyclists might be similar to calling the federal NDP "Liberals in a hurry".

    I don't think it's an exact parallel between the two phrases. "Liberals in a hurry" implies(wrongly in my view) that Liberals and New Democrats want the same things, but New Democrats want to bring about the change more quickly, and/or to a greater degree, than the Liberals.

    "Tories with bicycles" implies that the Greens agree with the Conservatives on all issues, except the environment, This is different from saying that one party agrees with another party on all the issues, but just wants more of whatever it is they're fighting for.

    (I'll notify the mods about the suggestion that a separate Canadian politics thread be started. For now, I'll continue posting politics to here.)

  • My circle includes three sorts of Greens, suggesting that it is yet another ideologically incoherent coalition party : 1) serious grenolas, masters of recycling, who frequently refer to themselves as settler-Canadians, and search out the most obscure possibly orthography for aboriginal names; 2) Conservatives who are to be seen at the fresh food markets, comfortably buying the ugly vegetables to use in cooking; and 3) anti-industrial society folk, clearly conscious of the Looming Ecological Disaster. I cannot fit them easily into the conventional right-left continuum, but I sometimes feel that way about Canadian parties generally, with the possible exception of the current Conservatives, who jerkily lurch to the right from time to time. As is my wont, I will support the candidate who seems most interesting whenever the chance comes around, which explains my erratic voting record.

    Parties have often played nasty games with leaders seeking seats. Perhaps the most legendary was Arthur Meighen's second leadership, when he sought York South in 1942. Mackenzie King's Liberals gentlemanly-like did not contest the seat, but quietly did not obstruct resources heading the way of CCFer Joseph Noseworthy, who took the seat, and Arthur Meighen disappeared yet again from political life.

    I have not spoken with anyone on the ground in Toronto Centre (I might tomorrow), but Toronto voters have occasionally provided results to trouble and astonish political backroom types but intrigue journalists-- does one not recall how the late Fr Dan Heap sank the political ambitions of Jim Coutts in 1982? or how Joe Salsberg kept the red banner flying for the old CPC in Saint Andrew for a decade?
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    @Augustine the Aleut

    Yes, I remember well Heap's victory against Coutts in Spadina. What sticks in my mind was anti-Liberal Albertans of my acquaintance cheering when they heard the news, even though the NDP was even more inimicable to their views than the Liberals were. Such was the depth of anti-Trudeau sentiment in Alberta at the time.

    And question...

    When you describe some of your Green acquaintances as "Conservatives", do you mean members of the Conservative Party? And if so, in what way are they Greens?

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    And minor correction...

    It was '81, not '82, when Coutts lost to Heap.

    Despite the two great achievements of winning the Quebec referendum and repatriating the Constitution, the early 80s really were a dismal time for the Liberals.
  • stetson wrote: »
    @Augustine the Aleut

    Yes, I remember well Heap's victory against Coutts in Spadina. What sticks in my mind was anti-Liberal Albertans of my acquaintance cheering when they heard the news, even though the NDP was even more inimicable to their views than the Liberals were. Such was the depth of anti-Trudeau sentiment in Alberta at the time.

    And question...

    When you describe some of your Green acquaintances as "Conservatives", do you mean members of the Conservative Party? And if so, in what way are they Greens?

    There were cheers in Ottawa and Toronto as well. Mr Coutts, in doing his job as the Prime Minister's principal secretary, had stepped on many toes, sometimes stomping. As well, his rapier-like dinner-party comments sometimes got back to their targets. Yes... it was 1981, which after the 1980 results gave a bit of a shock to observers.

    I should have been slightly more precise, Conservatives both as Progressive Conservatives (remember those?) and cultural conservatives in the Canadian sense-- not RC and not Liberals but supporters of slow imperceptible change. This is a type often found on local councils and volunteer groups. The nastiness of the intra-Conservative wars of the 1990s drove many of them from party activity.
  • My trope of Greens as Tofu Tories comes from a BC NDP Convention Delegate I met in Ottawa a few years ago. She referred to the Greens as "Conservatives with composters". There is no love lost beteeen the NDP and Greens in BC.

    Similar lines have been used recently by the NDP Official Opposition in Queen's Park, by my friend Joel Harden, MPP for Ottawa Centre when the Greens in th3 legislature were being particularly obnoxious.
  • I presumed if the NDP and Greens made a deal to keep Liberals out in BC, that there was some affinity? If not love, lust? a fairly lengthy friends-with-benefits fling?

    I'm rather confused about BC politics, and saw confirmation of my confusion in a tweet by someone I respect who discussed that Liberals there should really rename themselves because liberal they ain't.

    Sask politics: we had Grant Devine get thumped by the NDP (who are pretty well Liberal in Sask as noted earlier). The NDP under Romanow and Calvert were voted in to govern a nearly bankrupt province. They had to work like hell to get the fiscal house in order, one they did, they we blamed for the deficit they inherited. Then we ended up with a renamed, farther right gov't with premier Brad Wall, who was Grant Devine's chief of staff. He handed off to Scott Moe. Their Sask Party gov't ballooned the deficit, even when the oil and gas industry was booming. And they are poised say the polls to win the prov election. Sask is wild west of funding, with heavy Alberta corporate donations keeping the Sask Party going. It's very much WTF and bang my head.

    Meanwhile it has been reported that Scott Moe had another drunk driving offence which appears to have been swept aside by rural RCMP: he was convicted of one such offence and also was fined after failing to stop in a separate incident where he killed a woman. Reporters found the surviving son, who is being torn to shreds by rightwing talk radio, although he shows no political motivation. He's currently being shown maskless to some controversy, in choreographed phot ops to appeal to #covidhoax and loony rural right. I'm getting close to #FuckoffSask.
  • I've trouble tracking the Greens, in terms of placing them on the political spectrum in Canada. They seem to defy expectations.

    In the run up to the last federal election but one, my son (very concerned about the environment) did a thorough study of the Green platform -- fully intended to vote for the party in his riding (in BC, one they might have had a chance to win). Distress is not too strong a word to describe his reaction when he found that, although on the side of the angels on the environment, they were to the right of the CPC on economic, social and justice issues (at least as he saw it).

    I remember reading somewhere (perhaps on these boards) that the BC Greens were considered relatively conservative. I admit I glanced at their platform for the current provincial election and it didn't jump out at me. I have friends in Toronto who are somewhat more plugged into the world of progressive politics than I am and have supported them from time to time, sometimes quite enthusiastically.
    There were cheers in Ottawa and Toronto as well. Mr Coutts, in doing his job as the Prime Minister's principal secretary, had stepped on many toes, sometimes stomping. As well, his rapier-like dinner-party comments sometimes got back to their targets. Yes... it was 1981, which after the 1980 results gave a bit of a shock to observers.

    That's a name I haven't heard in a long time. Apparently after he left politics he went into business in industrial explosives (according to Wikipedia...).

  • I presumed if the NDP and Greens made a deal to keep Liberals out in BC, that there was some affinity? If not love, lust? a fairly lengthy friends-with-benefits fling?

    A case orf useful idiots. The Greens were useful to unseat the Liberals, and after a decent pause the idiots were thrown aside. The Greens vetoed labour law reform and refused to reinstitute card check.
  • North America tends to be a bit parochial, for lack of a better word, when it comes to pegging a political stance on the spectrum. Popular environmentalism in North America grew out of the 60s counter culture and New Left, so we associate environmentalism with the left, but there's nothing about environmentalism that necessitates that. There were, for instance, Nazis or their fellow travellers (e.g., Savitri Devi) who had a very strong commitment to environmentalism, or, more recently, Pentti Linkola (who died just last year) who was as strongly anti-democratic as he was anti-capitalist, and very suspicious of mass movements. He was very much in favour of a global 'die-back', and viewed the Baader-Meinhof Gang with admiration. He proved to be too 'high proof' for the Finnish Green movement, but he had a following well beyond Finland.

    As to our Greens, the recent leadership convention demonstrated that there is no coherent economic philosophy, let alone programme, which raises the uncomfortable question of how to implement the more coherent environmental programme.

    I feel no discomfort having cast my vote for the Greens on this one occasion. I hope that Paul will do well enough to put a scare into the Liberals, and if she actually manages to steal the riding, what a delicious repudiation of the Liberals that would be. It might also encourage the NDP to put more effort into finding worthwhile candidates. I can understand the other parties not putting in much effort when the Liberals were running Graham, Rae, Freeland, and Morneau, but this time out it would seem that only the greens are putting in much effort.

    As to effort, I voted twice for Linda McQuaig (the most notable federal NDP candidate in this riding during my time here). The Conservatives under Harper were on the verge of having a credible candidate, whose name escapes me, but the home office wouldn't sign the nomination papers, or some such thing, as he was, I was told, 'too urban' - i.e., he talked about housing, crime (in more than merely punitive terms), and, oh, yes, he was black. Heaven forbid that Toronto Centre have a a candidate who's 'too urban'.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited October 22
    There were, for instance, Nazis or their fellow travellers (e.g., Savitri Devi) who had a very strong commitment to environmentalism, or, more recently, Pentti Linkola (who died just last year) who was as strongly anti-democratic as he was anti-capitalist, and very suspicious of mass movements. He was very much in favour of a global 'die-back', and viewed the Baader-Meinhof Gang with admiration. He proved to be too 'high proof' for the Finnish Green movement, but he had a following well beyond Finland.

    Up until about the mid-80s, neo-malthusianism had probably as much of a following on the right as on the left. George H. W. Bush as a congressman, for example, was such an enthusiastic proponent of population-control programs that he earned the nickname "rubbers".

    And as far as I know, Garrett Hardin was a Republican for most of his politically active life.

    An interesting book, now hard to find, is Sex And Destiny by Germaine Greer. Published in 1984, it discusses the population lobby as if its right-wing nature were to be automatically assumed. I don't know if Greer's "Commonwealth" citizenship rendered her unaware of the burgeoning alliance between US right-wingers and the "pro-reproduction" Religious Right, or if the full impact of that alliance wasn't yet evident.

  • Our BC snap election has been very pleasantly low-key. As noted above, the BC Liberals are not liberal in any sense and they've already made some electoral missteps. They got caught trash-talking Bowinn Ma and had to dump Laurie Throness, though he's still on the ballot as a Liberal. The ICBC dumpster fire and the casino money laundering scandal are still fresh in voters' minds. Most importantly, I hope they remember Gordon Campbell's illegal gutting of the health care system before they mark an x with their souvenir pandemic pencil.
  • Explain ICBC and casino and money laundering please.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    So, anyone have any insight into why the premier of Quebec thinks it's his duty to stand against the racial-inclusion policies at an Ontario university?

    The two rationales that I've heard, first that a lot of students from Quebec go to the University Of Ottawa, and secondly(this from Legault himself) that he has a duty to francophone writers who use the N-word in their books, don't really seem to hold water. Anyone attending a university in Ontario should expect to be governed by whatever protocols are in effect there. And if the issue is protecting francophone writers, what about all the Americans who have used that word in their books? Does Trump need to start speaking out on behalf of Mark Twain, John Steinbeck and Toni Morrison as well?

    (And yes, my befuddlement is largely rhetorical. I know that rank political considerations, outlined in the opinion piece at my link, were probably his sole motivation. And in I suppose in partial defense of Legault, I'll say that I''m not sure I see much difference between his own extra-territorial grandstanding and that of the mayor of Cowtown several years ago.
  • Premiers of Québec have felt it their rôle to speak for and defend the University of Ottawa, the centre of French-language third-level education in Ontario (and does get Québécois students from the other side of the river, especially in the professional faculties), when they believe that the Premier of Ontario is unwillling or unable to do so (which is usually the case).

    My guess is that Legault sees this as an anglophone or US shibboleth, and the professor's innocent intent is sufficient to exonerate her from an attack on a francophone scholar. His own comments in recent weeks suggest that he is far from clear on the distinction between systemic and systematic racism-- I've trolled through the online comments in Le Devoir and on the Radio-Canada website, and he doesn't seem to be alone in this. Mr Trump cannot reasonably be expected to say anything on American literature on this or any other matter as it is well-known that he does not read books and likely never has.

    The University of Ottawa has no protocol on using the N-word (I don't know if anywhere in Ontario has) and the administration has been skating in furious circles to try to manage this issue. I understand that they are trying to sort out the particulars, but will likely do in a way which pleases nobody. They look upon it as an administrative dossier, not a public relations one.

    If one is to conclude anything by the flurry of letters, tweets, and emails, there seems to be a divide between anglophone and francophone staff on the issue. One of the characteristics of the Plague Era is that Ontarians are leaving their idiopathic tendencies aside and talking with each other. On Tuesday last, as I was taking a therapy walk with one of my younger fiends, we stopped to collect perambulation coffee at one of the university-area watering holes. While waiting in line, two students in front were discussing the incoherence of the university's anti-racism policy and how the errant professor should have been permanently suspended. Yesterday, at my local at the Plaza de los Funcionarios Perdidos where we enjoy the 12°C intermittent sunshine on the terrace and absorb our caffeine, I was in socially-distanced (under the eagle eyes of the fierce baristas who briskly shoo us back into our seats if we be too close) conversation with a retired francophone prof from the U of O who was equally vociferous, but on the other side. The use of the word was in a scholarly discussion on reclaiming abusive terminology and "we should grow up or get counselling. Intellectual life is a place of challenge and offence." Perhaps the two sides are not talking with each other...

    PS As the N-word is close in sound to the French word nègre, I wonder if in French it elicits the same visceral reaction (cf. Academician Dany Laferrière's best-selling Comment faire l'amour avec un Nègre sans se fatiguer, his novel on the life a Haitian immigrant in Québec. A Haitian-provenanced dinner companion told me that her immigrant parents use nègre, but her generation uses noir. I now recall Maximilien Laroche, the doyen of créole literature in Canada, once spoke of the N-word as a colloquialism which bears further study (except he used the full word). This was some years ago, and I would be interested in what he would have to say now-- not that I'll ever find out, as I have just googled him and he died 3 years ago.
  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    So no teaching of Pierre Vallieres' classic at U of Zero any longer?
  • edited October 23
    My nephews who live in the nation's capital call themselves "nigga" in a reclaimed caricature of the word as mixed race people. They seem to say it with the same swagger in French. I worry particularly for one of them who recounts a traffic stop near the city thus:
    Cop: do you know why I stopped you?
    Nephew: because I'm a nigga driving a nice car?

    We certainly do have a racism problem in Canada. Was the prof inept in her lecture? Suspect she was given the student response.
  • We certainly do have a racism problem in Canada. Was the prof inept in her lecture? Suspect she was given the student response.

    I don't know, but if we regularly suspended academic staff for moments of ineptitude, universities would have some difficulty maintaining regular class schedules.

    I haven't tried to sort of the rights and wrongs of this in detail, but I can't help thinking the U of O could have dealt with this better than they did.

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    @Augustine the Aleut

    Thanks for the substantial reply.

    I wasn't aware of the long-standing interest taken by Quebec premiers in the U Of O.

    Still strikes me as a little odd, if not quite improper. If Ontario governments aren't doing much to promote the Universty Of Ottawa as a centre for francophone education, surely the best response from Quebec would be to improve their own universities, in order to keep their students in-province?

    And yeah, the "anglophone/US shibboleth" view of anti-racism.

    Among anglophones themselves, of course, it's confined to the anti-US permutation. A weird sideshow of the BLM and statue-toppling era has been white Canadians in various comment-sections posting stuff like "I'm really tired of these activists aping what's going on south of the border", often followed immediately by rhetoric intended to minimize the prevalence of racism in Canada, basically lifted straight from the American conservative playbook, eg. "...woke snowflakes trying to erase our history and c'mon Macdonald was just a man of his time."
  • @Stetson; with 600,000+ francophones in Ontario, and a steady influx of francophone immigrants, there is room for the U of O. Québec's omissions in one area or the other has never impeded its premiers' wish to interfere. In no way is this exclusive to Québec and in recent years we have seen the premiers of Ontario, Alberta, and Saskatchewan tell other provinces what to do. It's a way in which François Legault is truly Canadian.
  • MarsupialMarsupial Shipmate
    edited October 23

    The University of Ottawa has no protocol on using the N-word (I don't know if anywhere in Ontario has) and the administration has been skating in furious circles to try to manage this issue. I understand that they are trying to sort out the particulars, but will likely do in a way which pleases nobody. They look upon it as an administrative dossier, not a public relations one.

    If one is to conclude anything by the flurry of letters, tweets, and emails, there seems to be a divide between anglophone and francophone staff on the issue. One of the characteristics of the Plague Era is that Ontarians are leaving their idiopathic tendencies aside and talking with each other. On Tuesday last, as I was taking a therapy walk with one of my younger fiends, we stopped to collect perambulation coffee at one of the university-area watering holes. While waiting in line, two students in front were discussing the incoherence of the university's anti-racism policy and how the errant professor should have been permanently suspended. Yesterday, at my local at the Plaza de los Funcionarios Perdidos where we enjoy the 12°C intermittent sunshine on the terrace and absorb our caffeine, I was in socially-distanced (under the eagle eyes of the fierce baristas who briskly shoo us back into our seats if we be too close) conversation with a retired francophone prof from the U of O who was equally vociferous, but on the other side. The use of the word was in a scholarly discussion on reclaiming abusive terminology and "we should grow up or get counselling. Intellectual life is a place of challenge and offence." Perhaps the two sides are not talking with each other...

    I admit that whenever one of these incidents hits the media my first thought is often something to the effect of "I wonder why Professor X thought that was a good idea?" But the flip side of this is that a lot of very bad ideas seem to emanate from humanities departments on a constant basis and people are rarely in danger of losing their jobs for them. If the idea is that academia is a free-for-all until suddenly you cross some invisible line and might lose your job, that's a problem.

    As a former academic I lean more to the francophone profs' side of this debate, with the caveat try to use common sense and not offend people unnecessarily. Though I find that a career academic's conception of common sense and mine are not always very close to each other.

  • Caissa beat me to the punch. As did Marsupial. (Which act of ineptitude are we discussing?)

    Story. Ca. 1998. A good friend of mine, québecois, academic, is perfectly bilingual, thinks in French but in English his accent is PET. He has a slightly younger brother, professional session musician, similarly bilingual. The brother and a couple of the brother's friends were visiting us. My friend told an amusing anecdote, but used the N-word, which was not germane to the anecdote. My customarily firm northern jaw dropped. The brother looked at me, searchingly, with a wtf expression, and his friends (anglos) were visibly distressed. So, in one cosmopolitan generation within one family, two markedly different attitudes.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Caissa wrote: »
    So no teaching of Pierre Vallieres' classic at U of Zero any longer?

    Some may recall the 2007 Ontario election, when John Tory, in conversation with a student from a rival institution, jokingly asked him if they still called the U Of O "U Of Zero".

    The Liberals actually tried to make an issue of that. How they were able to profess outrage with a straight face, I don't know.
  • I had never heard of U of Zero. Have heard of SFU however.
  • Interestingly, the local CBC television newscast this evening had a piece profiling the race in Toronto Centre, in which Brian Chang (NDP), Marci Ien (Lib), and Annamie Paul (Green) were each briefly profiled and interviewed. Benjamin Gauri Sharma (Con) was unavailable because he, and anyone else associated with the campaign, was "too busy." Yep, that's what they said, "too busy" to have anyone available to speak to a major media outlet, or even to supply a written statement. It would appear that the CPC is not really bothering at all. They don't deserve their deposit back.

    While it is true that the Liberals have held the riding for 27 years, this by election is the closest the riding has been up for grabs since Bill Graham (on his second attempt) took it in 1993. Before that, Toronto Centre-Rosedale ping ponged between the Liberals and Tories, sometimes spending extended periods in either camp, and being represented by some notable MPs (Harry Jackman, David Walker, Donald MacDonald, David Crombie, David MacDonald [PC but then ran for the NDP against Graham in 1993 and '97, when he was frequently breakfasting with Alexa McDonough], Bill Graham, Bob Rae, Chrystia Freeland, and Bill Morneau).

    I have no clue what's happening in York Centre. It was held by Michael Levitt, who quit to join the Canadian Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre as CEO. The most interesting thing is that Maxime Bernier announced that he was going to run as his people's Party candidate. Bonne chance, Maxime! (CBC seems to be displaying uninterest in the riding.)
  • MarsupialMarsupial Shipmate
    edited October 24
    York Centre seems to be a fairly safe Liberal seat, though it went to the Conservatives in 2011 along with much of that part of the world (northern Toronto burbs). I just looked at the Elections Canada candidate listing - it seems to be between the Liberal and Conservative candidates, both of whom seem to reasonable human beings though neither of them political star material. The NDP campaign doesn't seem to have a website (or at least they haven't asked EC to link to it). Bernier does, of course, though I doubt very much it's going to do him any good. What might do him some good is his last name which is probably going to put him first on the ballot...

    Edit: they do have a website, but for some reason no link. Weird.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    I just found out that Nick Taylor died a few weeks ago.

    Taylor was leader of the Alberta Liberal Party from 1974 to 1988, and thus had the unenviable task of flying that party's banner during the whole NEP era of the early 80s, with bilingualism and metric tossed in for good measure.

    But he still managed to attain a Best Premier We Never Had status in public opinion, generally well-liked for his affable demeanour and open-mindedness. Arguably, his best years in the public eye were BEFORE he finally got elected to the legislature in 1986.

    My favorite anecdote about Taylor was how, in keeping with his broad-minded approach to politics, he once addressed a meeting of western separatists, who were of course on the warpath against the NEP. Taylor told them(in what I'm sure was the most casual way imaginable) that they were all being used as pawns by Peter Lougheed in his battles with Ottawa over energy. Apparently, they did not like hearing that.
  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    You can tell I am a Carleton grad by my U of Zero comment.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Caissa wrote: »
    You can tell I am a Carleton grad by my U of Zero comment.

    Was that epithet mostly a Carleton thing, or did other campuses use it too?

    I think I read that Tory was talking to a student in Toronto when he made his "infamous" quip, though I would assume the student went to a university where the phrase was in circulation.
  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    I am only aware of it because Ottawa was our cross town rival. I am sure it was more widespread.
  • We used it at U of T.
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