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Christopher Majka - Political frustration: In 2011 the electoral pot boils over

by Christopher Majka

"Is it just me and my Facebook friends or is Stephen Harper in deeper doo doo than we know?" wonders Stephen Kimber, a journalism professor at the University of King's College in Halifax, and one of Nova Scotia's most perceptive political commentators.

No Stephen, its not just you. An every-widening circle of Canadians are increasingly frustrated, not only by Stephen Harper and the scandal-ridden, contemptuous, and hyper-partisan vision of Canada promulgated by the Conservative party, but by a dysfunctional political and electoral system. Why?

 

Nino Ricci: An Open Letter to Stephen Harper

The Right Hon. Stephen Joseph Harper, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada
Langevin Building
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa ON K1A 0A6

Dear Prime Minister,

I am writing today, in the midst of what is quickly developing into the most exciting federal election this country has seen in months, to commend you for your own excellent campaign and to apologize for any slights that I or any of my fellow fiction writers might have directed against you in the past. Many of us fictionists had initially assumed that Mr. Ignatieff, as a novelist in his own right, would be our man in this election, but what your campaign has amply shown is that where fiction is concerned, the Harper Conservatives are without rivals.

Wrecking Ball political theatre swings across Canada

by Michael Wheeler with photography by Alex Williams

Tonight, Monday April 25th at 8pm local time in seven cities across Canada, theatre artists and audiences will come together to consider the upcoming federal election, the state of democracy in Canada, and many other sundry and current topics in a one-night-only national evening of political theatre.

These seven Wrecking Balls will also be connected via the internet – as each Wrecking Ball will be using and promoting the hashtag #wreckingball2011 to encourage a nation-wide conversation about politics, theatre and any other ideas this vast array of original, immediate, topical theatre will inspire in seven cities in BC, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.

Musician Anton Kuerti on the Harper Government and Project Democracy

 

The majority of Canadians do not like the ideological trappings of Steven Harper, his snide, evasive demeanor, his dictatorial domination of every policy matter, his disdain for environmental concerns, his hatred of the CBC, his disinterest in the arts (except when they can get him a useful photo-op or sound bite), his servile, thoughtless support of anything the U.S. does, his merciless and distorted attacks on his opponents, nor his self-serving anger at the idea of a coalition forming Canada’s next government.

Indeed, the majority of Canadians are appalled by his policies, his tactics and his character. So why can we not call the tune, when we are in fact paying the piper?

Five Lessons We Can Learn From The Yes Men

by Anthea Foyer with photography by Yvonne Bambrick

On Thursday April 14th Project Democracy & Department of Culture presented renowned culture jamming activists, The Yes Men. (more specifically, Andy Bichlbaum, one of the founding duo along with Mike Bonanno) to enlighten and entertain and inform us about their actions.

They definitely informed and entertained, but I would like to focus on the ‘enlighten’ part.

Artists have long been able to deliver powerful messages through their creations – sometimes overt, as with religious iconography, and sometimes subversive, through means such as the Yes Men deploy.

Project Democracy widgets released - bring co-operative voting to your own site

The Project Democracy Widget allows you to incorporate your own online tools to share this co-operative resource.

This is a one-stop copy/paste operation that allows your blog or website to use your traffic to provide information on how to defeat Harper Government candidates with your vote this election.

Check out our new widgets page to get the code to use on your site in one of three different stylish Project Democracy colours: open government white, co-operative green, or civil society grey.

This page is accessible permanently via the "Widget" tab on the top menu of projectdemocracy.ca.

Shake off clichés

by Alice Klein

It’s often said that Stephen Harper is playing with the politics of fear. But even more profoundly, political players on both sides are lulling Canadians to sleep with an utterly false sense of security.

Harper likes to boast about the country’s great economic fundamentals, but anyone who has looked at the price of gas today knows that we are definitely not okay.

We’re already feeling energy inflation ramping up with every trip to the grocery store, and there’s no ceiling in sight.

Republican-inspired populist politics is going places we compassionate Canadians never imagined.

Margaret Atwood: Election 2011, a dark fiction

 

by Margaret Atwood

I am a fiction writer. So here’s a fiction.

A vacuum cleaner salesman comes to your door. “You must buy this vacuum cleaner,” he says. “Why?” you say. “Because I know what’s good for you,” he says. “I know things you don’t know.” “What are they?” you say. “I can’t tell you,” he says, “because they’re secret. You are required to trust me. The vacuum cleaner will create jobs.”

“Where is the vacuum cleaner made?” you say. “In another country,” he says. “So the jobs will be created in another country? Not here?” you say. You believe it’s your right to query: It’s your money and, come to think of it, you pay this guy’s salary.

“Stop bickering,” he says. “I am competent. That’s my story and I’m sticking it to you.” “I’m not bickering,” you say. “I’m asking relevant questions. How much will the vacuum cleaner cost me?” “I can’t tell you that,” he says. “Why not? Because it’s more than you claimed at first?” you say. “Or because you don’t really know the cost?” “I can’t tell you that, either,” he says. “But you have to pay.”

A message from Avaaz about Project Democracy

Dear friends across Canada,

Harper's government has fallen,the first in Canadian history to be found in contempt of Parliament. With insiders saying the opposition parties are finally willing to cooperate, this election could at last bring an end to this government's abuse of power, environmental destruction, and dismantling of democracy.

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