No party wins majority in Czech election

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October 26, 2013

PRAGUE (AP) — A special parliamentary election held in the Czech Republic left no party with a majority on Saturday, which could lead to protracted negotiations aimed at forming a coalition government.

andrej-babis czechThe two-day election was called to end a political crisis triggered by the center-right government’s collapse in a whirlwind of allegations about corruption and marital infidelity. With all the votes counted by the Czech Statistics Office, the left-wing Social Democrats won 20.45 percent, or 50 seats, in the 200-seat lower house of Parliament. The party’s ally, the Communists, finished third, receiving 14.91 percent of the vote, or 33 seats.

The Communists had hoped to give the Social Democrats their tacit support in a government that would give the Communists a share of the power for the first time since the 1989 Velvet Revolution, which ended 40 years of communist rule in the country.

“The result is not what we expected,” Bohuslav Sobotka, the chairman of the Social Democrats, said, referring to the worst election result for his party since 1993, when Czechoslovakia split into two countries: the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

In the republic, Parliament’s lower house dominates the legislative process, and the leader of its strongest party is generally asked by the president to try to form a new government. But that is not expected to be easy this time, given the election result for the top seven parties of the 24 that competed in the election.

The new centrist ANO (YES) movement, which campaigned on an anti-corruption ticket, finished in a surprisingly strong second place, with 18.65 percent, or 47 seats. “No government would be able to do without it,” said analyst Tomas Lebeda, regarding the forthcoming coalition talks.

ANO, which had reached out to voters disgusted by corruption scandals, is led by a billionaire businessman Andrej Babis. On Saturday, he criticized a plan by the Social Democrats to increase corporate and personal income taxes for those in the highest bracket. “Our country needs economic stability,” he said. “What we need is low taxes.”

The election was called after Prime Minister Petr Necas’ center-right coalition broke down in June amid a spy scandal and corruption allegations. They included the arrest of Jana Nagyova, Necas’ closest aide, with whom he was having an affair. She is suspected of bribery and ordering a military intelligence agency to spy on Necas’ then estranged wife.

Necas has since divorced his wife, Radka, and married Nagyova. Necas’ conservative Civic Democrats party was clearly punished by voters, receiving just 7.72 percent of the vote, or 16 seats. “It’s a fatal loss,” said its acting chairman, Martin Kuba.

Another conservative member of the former government, the TOP 09 party, captured 11.99 percent of the vote, or 26 seats. The new populist Dawn of Direct Democracy movement got 6.88 percent, while Christian Democrats returned to Parliament after a three-year absence with 6.78 percent. Both those parties now have 14 seats.

The Social Democrats said they are ready to open negotiations about forming a new government with any party except the Civic Democrats and the TOP 09 party. “Our goal is to create a stable government,” Sobotka said.



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Kari Polanyi Book Launch

Presentation and Discussion of Kari Polanyi’s new book “From the Great Transformation to the Great Financialization: On Karl Polanyi and Other Essays”

w\ discussion and introduction by Jooneed Jeeroburkhan and Margie Mendell – from October 15th, 2013

check out this article and review of the book:

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Tariq Jeeroburkhan discusses Canadian politics, options and First Nations issues

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September 26, 2013 · 1:40 pm

Latest Canadian Federal Polls

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Canadian federal polling averages

The following is a weighted average of all federal polls. A full description of the methodology used to weigh the polls can be foundhere. The federal polling average was last updated on September 17, 2013 with an IVR poll by Forum Research for Postmedia (Quebec only).

The poll showed no significant shifts of support in Quebec since Forum’s last federal poll from Aug. 23, with the Liberals dropping two points to 36%, the NDP down one point to 23%, and the Bloc Québécois up one point to 22%. The Conservatives fell three points to 11%, while the Greens were at 5% support in the province.

As the Liberals have slipped two points over the last few weeks, and are down four points from where they stood in Forum’s polling earlier in the summer, it does not quite follow that “the charter…has moved a lot of support from other parties into the Liberal column” as Forum claims. The most that can be said is that the Liberals are on a slow, downward trend in Quebec that the charter has not yet reversed.

The table below shows the national results and the relative weights of the most recent polls included in the aggregation that, in total, represent at least 99% of the weighted sample.

The chart below shows average support in polls conducted in each month going back to January 2009.


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Finally a positive step forward and (guess what?) Canada is again on the outside

July 18, 2013 – The European Union yesterday gave the aging world establishment and Canada in particular, another lesson into what creating progress means and entails.

palestine-canadaIronic, listening to the voices of the youth and elders gathered at the Assembly of First Nations conference this week that the EU managed to accomplish exactly what Aboriginal voices for change are calling for here in Canada.

They want to see action taken, amendments passed, legislation provided to follow up on the words and discussions regarding what needs to change.

“We have already identified what needs to change, what we need now is a government or other authoritative body which has the will and the power to initiate those changes with concrete action,” said one of the attendees at the AFN in Yukon, Canada.

That is exactly what the European Union did this week regarding the decades-discussed situation between Palestine and Israel.

In July of 2005 the International Court at The Hague declared Israeli presence on all land beyond Israel’s 1967 state boundaries to be an illegal occupation on illegally-occupied territory.

So what? Israel not only remained in the illegally-occupied territories (predominantly Gaza and the West Bank), but over the last eight years since the International ruling Israel has actually increased their illegal presence with army, industry and settlers – doing business in the illegally-occupied territories with companies from all over the world, including Canada and the EU.

So, after eight years of watching Israel and some of its own member states disregard International Law, the European Union yesterday decreed that all existing financial, cultural, sporting and academic agreements or arrangements between EU member states and Israeli-business conducted in the illegally-occupied territories are now null and void.

Furthermore, there will be no more agreements or arrangements between EU member states and Israeli-business in the illegally-occupied territories moving forward until Israel declares IN WRITING that it recognizes the territories as illegally-occupied and is prepared to evolve in conformation with International Law.

This is a positive step forward that wasn’t even recognized or reported on by the mainstream Canadian press.

Perhaps this wasn’t reported on in Canada to avoid any rational, sane person from seeing that the exact same exploitation that was being carried on in the Illegally-occupied territories by Israeli companies is what Canadian mining and clothing companies do themselves when they set-up shop in foreign countries. The goal is to avoid meeting the same standards of pay and regulation as they would if they were paying Canadian workers, thus increasing their own profits. That is exactly how Israeli companies exploited workers in the illegally-occupied territories.

The culture of foreign exploitation by Canadian business has become so mainstream and accepted in this country that the effects have filtered through to corrupt the biggest of all recipients of Canadian business funding: Canadian politics and political actors.

Canadian activists have become so complacent and even dependent on the status quo that they have replaced their desire for “change” and settled for simply scapegoating anyone they can blame for their problems.

Replacing real change and progress with simple scapegoating is what has made Canadian activists become pigs themselves in the eyes of the world and a hindrance to global progress.

The shame of this country has been that as soon as one level of corruption is effectually condoned by the people who do nothing to stop it, the corrupt establishment especially from Quebec, take that as their cue to then further exploit people.

So what we’ve had in this country over the last 10 years is three stages of corruption that has made this province and country dirty and sadder in the eyes of the rest of the world than it ever has been before.

The first stage of complacent corruption was seeing global business exploiting other global communities, like the exploitation of Palestinians by Israeli business, and not lifting a finger or saying a word about it.

Then came the second stage, where Canadian companies themselves began to exploit global communities. Why wouldn’t they? No one in this country gave a damn that people elsewhere were being exploited so why wouldn’t Canadian companies join in the dinosaur gravy train as well?

Now we have arrived at the third stage, where Canadian companies and politics are fully secure in exploiting their own people and resources.

Canadians didn’t say a word while our companies got fat exploiting other countries so who do Canadians think is going protect them from being exploited themselves by the same companies? Politicians? Don’t count on it. Tom Mulcair is sponsored and financed to be a puppet by the same pigs who sponsored and financed Paul Martin’s Liberals: the very companies themselves!

As the world becomes more and more determined to put an end to this exploitation, we will see more decrees like the one made by the EU this week. And as it becomes harder and harder for international companies to continue exploiting foreign workers, those companies will simply move to increase and replace their profit margins by exploiting more workers at home.

I hope Canadians are ready for what they deserve, because by doing nothing while our companies exploited others for decades, Canadians have accepted this fate for themselves.


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World Cup Soccer From the Top of the World

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Joni in Bolivia

April 10, 2013 – Despite hopes of attending a live football match during my trip to Argentina, I opted to wait until returning to Bolivia, where I was less likely to fall victim to outrageously inflated tourist prices.  It paid off, since Messi and his team visited La Paz the very next week for a World Cup qualifier.  I scored a third row seat for only $17, a fraction of the price I was offered in Buenos Aires.

bolivia1Of the South American teams competing for next year’s World Cup in Brazil, Bolivia was trailing at second to bottom of the table while Argentina were flying high at the top.  Bolivia, however, possess the intriguing ‘altitude advantage’; visiting teams have to contend with adjusting to the dizzying heights of La Paz.

The packed stadium was a sea of bright red, yellow and green and the atmosphere electric.  Three sides of the stadium would chant in turn “BO, BO, BO!”, “LI, LI, LI!”, “VIA, VIA, VIA!” and then altogether “VIVA BOLIVIA!”.  The Chilean referee was subject to relentless abuse from the crowd, reflecting the increasingly strained relations between the two countries.  (I learned a whole host of new expletives which I’m not sure I’ll ever have an opportunity to use.)

Admittedly my support of Bolivia was dubious, since I was secretly hoping to see Messi score (he didn’t).  Whenever he would venture close to our section, there would be taunting cries of “Messi! La ALTURA!” (“the altitude!”).  Bolivia went 1-0 up in the first half, Argentina equalised just before half-time and despite many close calls, the match ended 1-1.  Polystyrene squares are sold for 1 Boliviano (15 cents/9p) as seat covers.  At the end of the match, thousands of these were hurled into the air from all sides of the stadium, falling like ungainly snowflakes onto the pitch.


030912joni-2-of-2My name is Joni Ward.  I am currently spending 7 months in Bolivia on a volunteer placement as Fair Trade & Marketing Specialist with Crossroads International. 

Please consider supporting the vital work of Crossroads International, and visit my fundraising page here:

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Canada’s Middle – Betrayed by the Right and the Left

Tariq Jeeroburkhan

April 2, 2013 – Canadian politics is the highest form of Canadian fictional literature that exists in this country today. The plot and storyline are just as contrived as the actors and props who consider themselves Canadian “political players.”

canadamoneyThe story lines and agendas are decided upon, literally years in advance, by people whom the Canadian public have never seen, certainly have never elected to represent them, and for the most part aren’t even aware exist. In fact, it is the ignorance of most Canadians as to how this country’s narrative is really decided and applied that provides the opportunity to pretend that we live in a functional democracy.

For these people, and the Canadian Establishment that robs them blind as long as they think everything is okay, ignorance truly is bliss.

Today’s Narrative

Stephen Harper and his Conservative (Right) government have been the face and voice of Canada for the last five years.

Despite the complaints and catcalls from the Canadian Left (who like to be referred to as “progressives”) denouncing Harper as a despot, dictator and determining his caucus to be nothing more than a muppet show, Canadians from the middle were somewhat forced to concede a majority mandate to Harper’s Conservatives in the last Federal election, 2010. The Conservatives were not the best Canada could do, but there were no other options as the Canadian Middle saw nothing different, in practice, from the Canadian Left.

While the Liberals, Canada’s traditional centre-left party, are the ones who have created this mess in our country by leaving fifteen years-worth of political, social, and financial alliances hanging in the wind, they have had little trouble filling Canada’s third party role, which is to be the “voice of conscience” and objects of ridicule for the government and official opposition, when necessary, “in play” for whoever can rein them in.

The anachronistic role a third party is expected to play in Canada’s political storyline, amongst other blatant misdirections, is but one example of what renders the whole act out of date and out of touch with the Canadian people who can no longer identify with the roles. This has been the imposed fate on a Canadian people who are having an increasingly difficult time identifying with the political actors themselves – because we are finally beginning to realize the truth about how Canada’s political theatre operates to exploit us all.

The Reality

The Canadian people no longer see following this melodrama as an acceptable way to live – we don’t want to chase fictional carrots or worse, wait for carrots to be dangled in front of us, we want security

through all forms of independence, financial independence being first and foremost, as long as we live in a society where access is based on financial accumulation.

Therefore, the Canadian people can no longer relate to the Canadian Establishment’s script for this country – mainly because the actors and props within the political parties themselves no longer represent what their parties claim to stand for.

It’s not that we can no longer relate to what the Liberals, the NDP or the Conservatives stand for, it’s that we no longer feel that the political actors themselves, our political representatives, can relate or even care about what they are supposed to stand for.

In most cases they don’t know and in some cases they don’t care. That is how far the separation between the political class stooges, the pigs that pull their strings, and the majority of the Canadian electorate has become. Apartheidists eat your heart out! Canada has perfected it.

Canadian Apartheid

The Apartheid in this country is a mirror of the Apartheid in the US – a conscious effort to create a complete separation between the people who vote and the mob of people who represent them. The goal of this mob, which includes all the lackeys of elected representatives, corrupt civil servants, corrupt security and portions of mainstream media, is to eliminate any honest voice from participating in the formation of legislation, the establishment of national priorities, and most importantly, having any say whatsoever in the distribution of any resources, including our very own tax dollars.

This is somewhat different from the racially or culturally-based Apartheid in old South Africa or today’s Israel, where people who are of different cultures than the majority are ostracized and not provided with equal protections under the laws of state. In Canada and the US all can vote, all have equal protection under the law, only the formation and passing of the legislation and laws have been completely removed from the influence of all people – not just those of different cultures.

How it Works

Before continuing, this must be understood: The entire political class in this country, save for a few honest representatives whose participation within the system is necessary to maintain the appearance of credibility, basically work together as a “family”, regardless of their political stripes, to control the bulk entirety of this country’s resources for themselves.

To maintain this deception a highly visible and partisan, to the point of belligerent, under-class of political lackeys and wannabes must try to impose on the public consciousness and members of the public itself a belief in the absolute disdain the parties appear to have for each other. These are the spots usually reserved for the sons and daughters of Canada’s corporate and over-privileged classes and this time in their lives is meant to give them an understanding of how this country really is run so they will be ready when they are handed the silver spoon.

These people comprising the Canadian political class, who have described themselves to me as a “family” during their numerous but substantially empty recruiting efforts, obviously do not include the majority of the Canadian people in their concept of “family.” They have a concept of “resources” that includes Canadian citizens as objects and nothing more than unpaid props available for the ruling class’s disposal.

What’s most telling is the “butterfly effect” that one misused or wasted resource can have on the entire dynamic. That is evident in the appalling lack of any practical difference between the actions and priorities of the official leader of the opposition Tom Mulcair and Prime Minister Stephen Harper – the only real difference is how they sell themselves to the Canadian people through the mainstream media.

The only things that ever change is the casting for the roles that each member of the overall troupe is expected to play, depending on who is in the government or opposition at the moment.

This means that had Tom Mulcair been Prime Minister since 2006 instead of Stephen Harper the exact same legislation and policies would have been passed over that time, only they would have been marketed and sold to the Canadian people so as to reflect what the NDP is supposed to stand for, as opposed to what the Conservatives are supposed to stand for.

That is the Canadian Establishment’s favourite game  played by the Canadian political class and their partners in the Canadian mainstream media and security classes who consider the Canadian people to be nothing more than “fish” or “marks”.

This enables that in practice, all legislation meant to pass or fail is already decided upon well in advance in the backrooms and sky-lounges by the corporate establishment who remain in place beyond mandates, while it is the political parties and the individual actors that come and go with each change in government – no surprises for the Establishment business interests.

It is simply up to whoever the people “choose” as government to promote the bills when they come to term and whoever the people “choose” as opposition to oppose them.

The people have no say at all in what legislation gets proposed, even less say in what gets passed, and incredibly, for their part the political class actors and props don’t have much say either (just higher yearly incomes at our expense for their role as mouthpiece – which is what most of them are in it for).

Legislation and priorities are decided upon by members of the Canadian Establishment who pull the strings of their political class puppets to get their agendas approved. The Canadian people and their needs are rendered completely irrelevant in this reality – and so is the choice we make during elections every four or five years, once you realize that the only people we have the option of voting for all take their directives from the same corrupt “family.” This is a “family” that the Canadian people are NOT a part of, and once representatives are elected, regardless of their party ties, intentions or honesty going in, this process of manipulation continues, whether the elected representatives themselves are even aware of what is happening or not.

Most Canadians would be appalled and disgraced to know the percentage of sitting MPs who don’t know or don’t care how Ottawa really works as long as they get their paychecks and they are given enough portfolio work to appear busy to their constituents.

Today’s Backstory

Long before the Liberal government of Paul Martin fell in 2006, the Liberal party understood that there would come a point where the Liberal image, brand and identity would have to be re-made in order to strike a new chord with the Canadian Middle.

What was most important about the timing for the Liberals would be that the party did not lose any of its traditional centre support or voting base to the emerging NDP while the Liberals were undergoing their transition – the Liberal’s current search for a new leader is the middle stage of their re-packaging, time will tell if it will be a true transition.

When Paul Martin’s Federal Liberals came to power in 2003, Tom Mulcair came from the Quebec Provincial Liberals to join the NDP and their new leader, Jack Layton. Mulcair spent eight years as Jack’s apparent “protégé” before Layton’s untimely demise in 2011.

In 2011, with the NDP leadership position open and the Liberals licking their political wounds in the corner of the house, the sponsors and protectors of Paul Martin’s Liberal party threw all their weight and support behind Tom Mulcair’s bid. That support was not only financial, easily allowing Mulcair to outspend the other candidates combined, but it also comprised all the local and ground-level networks that had been created, used and abused by fifteen years of Liberal over-extension in Quebec and beyond.

There have been no changes whatsoever in how these networks have been used or supervised between Martin’s Liberals and Mulcair’s “orange wave,” except for the colour of the shirt. Why would there be? The decision-makers from each entity are one and the same and consider themselves to be the patriarchs of the entire Quebec-based portion of the “family”– the Quebec Establishment–all in it together to extort with impunity what they can from the Canadian people.

It is these ground swell networks and their finances that effectively buoyed the Quebec “orange wave” in 2010 and provided Mulcair with the funding necessary to accrue the leadership of the NDP in 2011. That’s what he had been put there for in 2003, to ensure the continuation of these Liberal networks on the ground, even when the Federal Liberal party itself was reduced to third party status and a scapegoat role.

Mulcair’s reward from his Liberal sponsors for ensuring that the Liberals lose no long-term ground to the NDP federally will be the leadership of the Quebec Provincial Liberal Party (after the NDP fails in the 2015 Federal Election). Eventually, the Establishment’s goal is to award Mulcair’s loyalty with the premiership of Quebec: where the same networks of Martin Liberals and Jean Charest’s Quebec Liberals will combine with Mulcair’s “orange wavers” to renew the control the Establishment had in Quebec with Charest, only updated for a new generation.


Among countless examples since his 2011 election as leader, Mulcair’s absolute refusal to move ahead with a Quebec Provincial NDP party, as per the requests of the NDP Quebec membership, is based on the fact the his future lies with the Quebec Provincial Liberals, and he knows it – even if half his caucus is being kept in the dark.

quebecredsquareOther examples persist. The muzzle Mulcair placed on his caucus this past summer to prevent any criticism whatsoever of Jean Charest and his Quebec Liberals was right in line with Mulcair’s refusal to support Quebec’s red-square student movement with anything more than lip service. The student movement in Quebec provided the NDP “orange wave” with its most concrete and potentially long-term electoral support, and by turning his back on the students, Mulcair did what was most urgently necessary to ensure the NDP would and will not be able to rely on the majority of the next generations’ political support at the expense of future Liberal parties.


Moving Forward

Now, with their own actor at the head of the “rival” NDP, the Liberals have no fear of losing any support or voting base while they re-brand, and simultaneously half of the NDP caucus and membership base is getting scammed. The only question is whether the Quebec Establishment will continue to use Mulcair’s NDP as their vehicle moving forward or revert to the new-look Liberals for implementation of their agendas.

The answer will be a combination of the two: Mulcair’s horde within Quebec and the new-look Liberal party on the national level, UNLESS the new leader of the Federal Liberal Party is truly able to turn the page and clean out all the Quebec-centric corrupt pigs.

The most important point to understand is this: whether their actors are wearing red or orange the Quebec Establishment will try to impose the exact same legislation and priorities through their mouthpieces of choice.

Permanent control of Quebec by the Establishment business interests in this province becomes far more important as Quebec will have less and less of a say in Canada’s affairs. And that is the future for a province whose corruption the rest of Canada has worn around the neck like an albatross for the past 40 years. That will be Quebec’s legacy and it is high time, according to the people across Canada who want the next Quebec Separation vote open to all members of the country so Quebec can be kicked out, regardless of how the majority of Quebecers feel.

Now, what about the Conservatives? Don’t hold your breath, but don’t be surprised either if some form of Western Canadian separation referendum is tabled should the next federal government revert to appeasing Quebec once again at the expense of the Rest of Canada. In more ways than one, today’s Conservatives are stockpiling Canadian wealth for the west specifically so generations of future Canadians can entertain that option and no longer be held hostage by the corrupt mob that controls Quebec politics.

As for the NDP itself after Mulcair’s hijacking is complete? The honest intention is to return to Jack Layton and Ed Broadbent’s vision for the party and to continue anew, with the Mulcair experience in tow – perhaps even returning to the original yellow colour to indicate a return to true NDP values.

Mulcair will take his inner team with him to the provincial Liberals but just to make sure the NDP doesn’t come up too strong after Mulcair leaves, Project Montreal, a municipal party in the city has been set up to accommodate the scores of the political actor mob who won’t be going with Mulcair to Quebec City but were only in the NDP at all to make sure that Mulcair had the votes to secure the party and will leave as soon as he does.


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