Posts Tagged ‘politics’
The Guardian of Charlottetown carried the news that Kim Campbell, the last Progressive Conservative prime minister for five months in 1993, proposed at a women’s leadership conference on Prince Edward Island that Canadian ridings should have two representatives, one man and one woman.
Former prime minister Kim Campbell says Canada needs more women in Parliament, so she proposes federal ridings should be split to include one woman and one man elected in each riding.
Campbell is in Prince Edward Island this week for the women’s leadership conference, A Bold Vision.
In her keynote address Wednesday evening entitled Time to Colour Outside the Lines, Campbell said dual-member ridings would be the simplest way to shift the country’s electoral system to gain true gender parity in Ottawa.
“I think we need something that we can actually implement and I think the process would make a powerful statement that Canada really believes what it says when, in its Constitution, it is enshrined prohibition of discrimination based on sex,” Campbell said.
“I think it would be a beacon to other countries.”
She added her belief that such a move could also help to change the combative tone that often dominates debate among MPs on Parliament Hill.
Facebook’s Ryan, who linked to this news, compared to this to how, on Prince Edward Island until 1997, local electoral ridings had two representatives, one traditionally Protestant and one traditionally Catholic. Ensuring representation for the two major Christian factions on the Island, the only Canadian province equally split between the two, did ensure a significant measure of peace.
What say you?
Livejournaler jsburbidge notes things that Torontonians are talking about regarding the municipal election, and notes many more things that Torontonians aren’t talking about but should.
1) I have seen tweets this morning regarding waiting for space on trains downtown. (In particular: a complaint about Chester Station and one about Bloor/Yonge).
Chester is a good example of what a DRL would fix; the DRL as usually planned would cross the Bloor-Danforth Line at Pape, and would draw off at least a portion of the flow downtown (it would also allow a one-station jog against flow to Pape from Chester) relieving stations between Pape and Yonge.
Bloor/Yonge would also obviously benefit from a DRL; but I’m less sympathetic to complaints about waiting 20 minutes for a free train there. I’ve sometimes been in a potentially similar position, but if I’m starting from Bloor/Yonge, or even have reached it on a heavy morning, I just choose to walk: I know from experience that it’s about 25 minutes from there to Downtown (Downtown being defined as King/Bay).
Now there are lots of people for whom a walk from Bloor to King is unreasonable — the elderly, the very young, those with mobility problems — but I’m willing to bet that most rush-hour commuters would both be capable of and would benefit from a 25-minute walk downtown — at least on a day like this (clear, not cold, not too hot).
2) I hate to be cynical about this but I’m going to be cynical about this: the reason that John Tory continues to have a significantly higher level of support than Chow or Ford despite the manifest problems surrounding SmartTrack (there was an article in Torontoist this morning by Steve Munro taking it apart: torontoist.com/2014/09/john-torys-transit-vision-is-short-sighted/) is that nobody actually believes that Tory would have a snowball’s chance in hell of pushing it through in any case. The rail lines belong to Metrolinx, the financing would have to go through vetting by the city staff (which it wouldn’t get), real power resides here with the province (which is pushing ahead with RER in any case, which saves the scheme from being a complete fantasy the way the Ford subway scheme is), and Council will be all over the map.
Transit is by far the highest profile issue in this election (other than the Ford identity itself), but it poses a real challenge for the candidates: just about everything that can be done is either already being done or being studied. It’s been so over-analyzed that the chance of a genuinely new positive contribution is nil. The financial and management power lies, by and large, with the province and Metrolinx, except for smallish TTC improvements (smallish because large TTC-only improvements require money which is not currently there, and nobody to the right of Ari Goldkind — and that includes Olivia Chow — wants to talk about large general tax increases) which were pretty well all covered in the report passed by the TTC board in August. Even Chow’s deliberately small-scale bus-oriented plan is impractical as it currently stands, running up against limits in the TTC capacity.
Jason Horowitz‘s New York Times article describing the life that former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili has made for himself in the Brooklyn hipster-heavy neighbourhood of Williamsburg is a minor classic. The former eastern European leader exiled in a hip New York City neighbourhood, hoping for a return to relevance at the same time that he enjoys his new life, is the stuff of drama. (Or, perhaps, comedy.)
“It’s the end of Putin,” Mr. Saakashvili, 46, said of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, the topic of discussion on Thursday as its president, Petro O. Poroshenko, met in Washington with President Obama and congressional leaders. Mr. Saakashvili called Mr. Putin’s actions “very, very similar” to those in Georgia. “I think he walked into trap.”
But Mr. Saakashvili, considerably plumper than when he was in power, argues that the conflict should also mark a reappraisal of his own reputation as a reckless leader whose peaceful Rose Revolution and commitment to reform were eclipsed by years of riding roughshod over opponents, bending the rule of law and provoking Mr. Putin into a war that resulted in the death, displacement and impoverishment of thousands of Georgians. “It should be revisited,” he said.
Mr. Saakashvili said that while he had a “normal life” in Brooklyn, he considered himself a big deal in Eastern Europe, pointing out that on a recent trip to Albania “they shut down traffic for us and our 20-car escort.”
Mr. Saakashvili’s personal rehabilitation project is complicated by his eroded popularity back home and charges filed against him by Georgian prosecutors of human rights violations and embezzlement of government funds. He shrugs off the prosecutors as politically motivated puppets of his nemesis, the billionaire and former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili. Some of Mr. Saakashvili’s critics agree that the charges say as much about the current Georgian government’s hunger for revenge as they do about him.
For now Mr. Saakashvili is writing a memoir, delivering “very well-paid” speeches, helping start up a Washington-based think tank and visiting old boosters like Senator John McCain and Victoria Nuland, the assistant secretary of state. He said he was in the process of changing his tourist status here to a work visa and in the meantime is enjoying the bars and cafes of his adopted homeland. On his roof deck, with sweeping views of Manhattan, he has entertained David H. Petraeus, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and is expecting Nicolas Sarkozy, the former French president, at the end of the month. Usually, a cousin mans the grill, along with the chef from Fabbrica, the neighboring Italian restaurant opposite a CVS. Like those chain drugstores, glassy high-rises and Eurocentric nightclubs, Mr. Saakashvili is evidence of Williamsburg’s steady transition to a playground for moneyed out-of-towners.
“I used to look at this place from Manhattan, it was such a pity, it was mafia, a place where hit men dump bodies,” he said, recalling his time in the 1990s as a Columbia University Law School student. Now he sees “a jazzy atmosphere” rife with energy and new construction.
“Williamsburg is part of the democratic transformation,” he said.*