Why Canada needs an NDP government

It's time for a major housecleaning.By Henry McRandall

(Editor’s Note: The economic data used
in this column are almost identical
for both Canada and the U.S.)

Over the past 30 years, the vast majority of Canadians have seen household incomes actually decline even as worker productivity surged and more members of the typical household have gone out to work.
And while this was happening, the tax burden on the masses – the poor, the working class and the middle class – has actually increased.
During this same 30 years, the incomes of the elite have soared to the point where the portion of national income gobbled up by the top one percent has more than doubled – from six percent to more than 14 percent.
And while this was happening, federal and provincial governments have lavished tax cut after tax after tax cut on the wealthy and the banks and corporations they control. Continue reading “Why Canada needs an NDP government”

Why is Obama protecting wealthy criminals?

The wrong people are ending up behind bars.By Henry McRandall

When the American Savings and Loan crisis occurred under the watch of then-U.S. president Ronald Reagan, more than two thousand banks executives were prosecuted and ended up behind bars.
But almost three years ago the American and global economies collapsed under the weight of a flood of massive frauds carried out by thousands of American bank executives.
All that time has passed and still not one bankster has gone to jail or even been hauled into court. There is not even talk of any kind of investigation into the widespread criminality that has devastated the lives of millions of Americans and tens of millions of others around the world.
Barack Obama has been U.S. President for almost two-and-a-half years and not a single war criminal – including George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Karl Rove, among others – has been brought to trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Guantanamo and in numerous other CIA “black holes” around the world. Continue reading “Why is Obama protecting wealthy criminals?”

‘To dream the … (improbable) … dream’

By Henry McRandall

In 2008, a majority of Americans thought they were voting for real change when they elected Barack Obama president and gave him control of both houses of the U.S. Congress.
And again in 2010, many Americans thought they were voting for real change when they gave control of the House of Representatives over to the Republican Tea Party.
Both times they were deluded.
Now, in 2011, their neighbours to the north might be about to opt for real change by electing Canada’s first-ever social democratic federal government.
But will even they get the real change they are clearly demanding? And is that really what they are about to choose? Continue reading “‘To dream the … (improbable) … dream’”

ENOUGH! of the bloody ‘royals’ already

The snotty parasites' 'pied-a-terre.'By Henry McRandall

I spend a lot of hours watching TV news as a source of information for the columns I write, but in recent weeks I have had to seriously cut back on my viewing of the Canadian and American television networks.
The problem is that North America’s mainstream mass media have fallen head-over-heels in love with pampered British parasite Bill Windsor and his paramour – Kate, er Katherine.
It seems I cannot watch a North American TV network for more than a few minutes without being inundated with blather about the upcoming “royal” wedding. I try changing channels but before long I am assaulted by another gushing mention of the event.
In the case of Canada, this is not totally surprising. Although it has been an “autonomous” country for almost 144 years, Canada continues to be a member of the British Commonwealth, continues to call the Queen of England the Queen of Canada and still carries images of the bloody “royals” on its money and postage stamps. Continue reading “ENOUGH! of the bloody ‘royals’ already”

On Michael Igniatieff’s brazen hypocrisy

Iggy the Enabler's attacks NDP 'inexperience.'By Henry McRandall

In a desperate, flailing bid to rescue his disastrous federal election campaign, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff has unleashed a new ad attacking the NDP (New Democratic Party) for its alleged lack of experience.
It would be fair to point out, of course, that neither Ignatieff’s Liberals nor Stephen Harper’s Conservatives had “experience” in government before they were first elected to power and the inexperience of those governments did not damage Canada.
Moreover, Michael Ignatieff himself has yet to prove that he can even run a shithouse.
He has never run anything.
No, Ignatieff returned to Canada after living in the United States for three decades and calling this U.S. his country for the sole purpose of becoming prime minister. Continue reading “On Michael Igniatieff’s brazen hypocrisy”

Is the Canadian paradigm about to shift?

Canada could be about to turn left.By Henry McRandall

While some pundits have aptly noted that the old left-right paradign may no longer be applicable in U.S. politics, the same could somewhat also be true in Canada – except for one thing: a paradigm shift may actually be occurring north of the longest undefended border in the world.
The carte blanche given to Amerikkkan banks and corporations to control the country’s elections may indeed have ended any genuine difference between the Democrats and the Republican Tea Party other than in rhetoric.
But there is still a glimmer of hope that because of the difference in election financing laws relative to the U.S., the Canadian people – if not necessarily the Canadian political class – still seem to intuit that a political paradigm shift in the land of pea soup and tourtiere – especially in the region where pea soup and tourtiere originated – is possible. Continue reading “Is the Canadian paradigm about to shift?”

Canada should shun the U.S. & join BRICS

NAFTA is a Canadian albatross.By Henry McRandall

The time has finally come when the wisest thing Canada could do to ensure its own long-term economic prosperity and political autonomy would be to abandon the United States of Amerikkka and join forces with the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) – the five fastest-growing economies in the world.
Such a move would be heretical to those who stubbornly cling to the Amerikkkan aspiration for global hegemony and empire. But it could be a boon to the majority of Canadians.
The BRICS are an informal entity with membership on every continent in the world – except North America. And since most economists predict Canada will have the fastest-growing economy in the G7 for the foreseeable future, it would be a natural fit with the BRICS. Continue reading “Canada should shun the U.S. & join BRICS”

The most corrupt U.S. supreme court ever?

Evil lurks beneath some of those robes.By Henry McRandall

Many Americans are fond of their misguided belief that – in Amerikkka, at least – “justice is blind.” Unfortunately, those “blinders” have now been removed.
There has always been a double standard of justice – both in the U.S. and in Canada – depending on the economic, social, racial, ethnic and religious circumstances of the parties involved. In fact, it would be fair to say that across North America “justice” is just another commodity that can be peddled to the highest bidder.
It has been traditional in both countries for judicial appointments – especially the appointment of supreme court justices – to be tainted by political considerations.
And at various times throughout modern history, those highest courts have tended to be biased in favour of either the liberal or the conservative philosophy that happened to be in the ascendancy at the time. Continue reading “The most corrupt U.S. supreme court ever?”

Are U.S. prisons today’s slave colonies?

Has slavery taken on a new form?
Has slavery taken on a new form?
By Henry McRandall

The Anti-Slavery Society defines slavery as a condition in which one person exercises power or control over another person “1) to restrain their personal liberty; and 2) to dispose of their labour against their will – without lawful authority.”
Those last three words – “without legal authority” – are the only qualifier that prevents us from labelling all the inmates of Amerikkka’s prisons as “slaves.”
But, is it a valid qualifier? Should there be any “lawful authority” to enslave any human being? And, given the entrenched racism of the Amerikkkan judicial and penal systems, should this “lawful authority” not be viewed as merely a device for the majority race to maintain illicit control over minority races? Continue reading “Are U.S. prisons today’s slave colonies?”

Debunking the ‘corporate tax cuts’ myth

Throwing money at the rich won't create jobs.
Throwing money at the rich won't create jobs.
By Henry McRandall

The politically-independent Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) has just released a major study that should forever put to rest the right-wing lie that corporate tax cuts – and, by implication, tax cuts for the wealthy – promote job-creating economic investment.
In fact, the exact opposite is true: That corporate tax cuts and tax cuts for the wealthy actually reduce potential job-creating economic investment while robbing governments of money desperately needed to finance programs that benefit the masses – the poor, the working class and the middle class – such as health care, education and social programs.
As much as right-wingers (the Conservatives in Canada and the Republican Tea Party in the U.S.) and so-called “centrists” or “liberals” (the Liberals in Canada and the Democrats in the U.S.) might try to peddle mendacious claims about the “social benefits” of tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, the simple reality is that they serve no real purpose other than to transfer income from the masses – the poor, the working class and the middle class – to the socioeconomic elite – the top one percent who already own almost everything worth owning. Continue reading “Debunking the ‘corporate tax cuts’ myth”