Posts Tagged ‘democracy

House Leader Peter Van Loan on committees

- December 16th, 2011

The New Democrats and the Liberals have raised concerns this past week over what appears to be a concerted push to move Commons committees  – as much as possible -  behind closed doors.

This is what NDP Opposition House Leader Joe Comartin told reporters after Question Period on Wednesday.

Read more…

In Egypt, the big loser is Islamist terrorists, says ex-CIA officer

- February 13th, 2011

Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer and now a senior fellow at Washington-based think tank the Brookings Institution, writes that the revolution in Egypt is a blow to jihadists everywhere:

The jihadist narrative of al Qaeda has suffered a serious blow. If there is a springtime of freedom in the Arab and Islamic worlds, one loser is Osama bin Laden and his gang…This is not al Qaeda’s revolution and its ideology has not been vindicated in Tunis and Cairo. To the contrary, the victory of mass demonstrations and civil disobedience strikes at the very heart of the al Qaeda narrative that proclaims change can only come to the Islamic world through violence and terror, through the global jihad.

Read the full piece.

A new political party to be born — over a double-double

- January 27th, 2011

The advocacy group Democracy Watch is calling on Canadians to get behind a new grassroots federal political movement which it has dubbed the Coffee Party. It’s name, I assume, brings inevitable comparisons to the Tea Party movement in the United States though, knowing Democracy Watch’s general policy objectives over the year, the Coffee Party may be focused less on the fiscal issues that drive the Tea Party and more on some of the transparency and accountability issues that tend to be the focus of Democracy Watch.

UPDATE: Reader writes to say that there actually is a U.S. Coffee Party already

Indeed, the Coffee Party web site makes that explicit:

Unlike the Tea Party movement in the U.S., the Canadian Coffee Party movement is pushing only for well-researched and broadly supported changes that will make Canadian governments and big businesses operate more honestly, ethically, openly, representatively, efficiently and effectively.

In any event, here is the release/call-to-arms from Democracy Watch:

Canadian Coffee Party movement launching tomorrow morning across Canada

OTTAWA – Today, Democracy Watch announced the launch of the Coffee Party movement for good government and corporate responsibility in Canada — tomorrow morning, Friday, January 28, 2011.

All Canadians, and media, are invited to attend the launch which is being held in coffee shops across Canada on Friday morning.

Democracy Watch suggests that media go to any coffee shop in the country tomorrow morning and ask people there whether they support changes to make Canadian governments and businesses serve them better in every way, to see just how much support the movement has.

With Parliament opening again next Monday, and a federal election likely soon, and with provincial elections scheduled this fall in Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan, the window of opportunity is open for many Canadians to elect governments committed to making themselves, and big businesses, more accountable and responsible.

Details at:

Muslims think church ought to influence state

- December 6th, 2010

One of the fundamental, cross-party, basic operating principles for mainstream political parties in Canada and most Western democracies is that there ought to be a healthy  separation between church and state. Canada — and most Western democracies — have nominally Christian majorities.

Interestingly, a new survey by the Pew Research Center says that in those countries where the majority population (or a near-majority) is Muslim, there is a very different view of the relationship between church and state.

The survey also finds that Muslim publics overwhelmingly welcome Islamic influence over their countries’ politics. In Egypt, Pakistan and Jordan, majorities of Muslims who say Islam is playing a large role in politics see this as a good thing, while majorities of those who say Islam is playing only a small role say this is bad for their country. Views of Islamic influence over politics are also positive in Nigeria, Indonesia, and Lebanon.

Turkish Muslims express more mixed views of the role Islam is playing in their country’s political life. Of the 69% who say the religion plays a large role, 45% see it as good and 38% see it as bad for their country. Among the minority of Muslims who say Islam plays a small role in politics, 26% consider this to be good for Turkey and 33% say it is bad.

Pew also reports that “Muslim publics” also think democracy is the best form of government

…majorities in most of the Muslim communities surveyed say that democracy is preferable to any other kind of government. This view is especially widespread in Lebanon and in Turkey, where at least three-quarters of Muslims (81% and 76%, respectively) express a preference for democratic governance. Support for democracy is less common in Pakistan, but a plurality (42%) of Muslims in that country prefer democracy to other types of government; 15% of Pakistani Muslims say that, in some circumstances, a non-democratic government can be preferable, and 21% say that, for someone like them, the kind of government their country has does not matter.