A blog to give a voice to our concern about the continued erosion of our democratic processes not only within the House of Commons and within our electoral system but also throughout our society. Here you will find articles about the current problems within our parliamentary democracy, about actions both good and bad by our elected representatives, about possible solutions, opinions and debate about the state of democracy in Canada, and about our roles/responsibilities as democratic citizens. We invite your thoughtful and polite comments upon our posts and ask those who wish to post longer articles or share ideas on this subject to submit them for inclusion as a guest post.
Contact us at democracyunderfire@gmail.com

Sunday, April 3, 2016

When is our raise coming?

Members of Parliament and senators will get a $3,000 increase Friday in their base salary, while cabinet ministers and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will receive a larger raise – at a time when Canadians are struggling with stagnant wages and rising unemployment.
The wage hike of 1.8 per cent for MPs and 2.1 per cent for senators is about four times what the federal government has offered public sector unions and executives in the federal public service.................
Federal legislation automatically gives MPs an annual pay hike on April 1 that’s equal to the average percentage increase negotiated by unions with 500 or more employees in the private sector. The data are published by Employment and Social Development Canada.
The pay hike for MPs is nearly double the average increase of one per cent that public sector unions negotiated in jurisdictions across Canada in 2015.
MPs have the option of freezing their own salaries through federal legislation, but the government has decided not to do so. Salaries for MPs were frozen at 2009-10 levels until the end of the 2012-13 fiscal year under legislation introduced and passed by the former Conservative government...............
Since the MP wage freeze was lifted in 2013, the base salary of members of Parliament has increased eight per cent, from $157,731.
Taxpayers will cough up an extra $25.4 million for an increase of 20 per cent to office budgets for MPs and House of Commons officers that also takes effect Friday.

I don’t think most Canadians have much sympathy for the notion that MPs need a pay hike, considering they already earn far more than the average Canadian.” said Aaron Wudrick, federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

And he would be right about that, why is it that their compensation is based upon average PRIVATE sector UNION wages when by far the greatest number of taxpayers are paid far less than union rates and rarely if ever see raises of any amount. Next thing you know they will want to be paid for two weeks of sick days just like or poor hard done by teachers .....oh wait, they get paid whether they show up or not don’t they Mr Harper?

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Summer Break Starts Now

Over the past 5 years or more that I have been writing about our Canadian Democracy I have only taken a couple of very brief breaks from my self imposed weekly posting schedule before some outrageous action (by the former Harper Regime) has had me once again back shedding some light and opinion upon the state of said democracy. I now feel it is time for me to step away from such activities for a while and enjoy the summer months of my 70th year without worrying about such things. That is not to say that I will not continue to keep up to date with the goings on in Ottawa and across the country but I now feel mush more confident that the steady slip into dictatorship has been halted and is in fact headed back to where it should be. It is of course far from a done deal and promises do not legislation make, but at least (thus far) our new government is making the right noises and trying to undo the damage done over the past several years. Its early days yet but I do hope that they manage to bring in a more non partisan and cooperative attitude to both The House and The Senate and return our environmental and social safeguards to their previous (or better) values..

I will not be totally abandoning the blog, just writing myself a little less. I will probably, on occasion, be re-posting articles from other bloggers and news media that focuses upon democratic issues and deserve further attention, and occasionally having my say on things as and when the mood strikes me. I simply will not be writing weekly for the foreseeable future.

This blog remains open to those who do not have a forum of their own to express their views, concerns and aspirations for and about our Canadian Democracy and those who wish may submit articles for publication via email to democracyunderfire@gmail.com. Please see our “Submitting Articles” guidelines in that regard.

May this summer and the years beyond continue to bring us 'Sunny Days'.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Humans of New York on Trump

In case you missed it Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York (http://www.humansofnewyork.com/) just published an open letter to Mr Trump which is going viral on facebook and IMHO sums things up nicely.

An Open Letter to Donald Trump:
Mr. Trump,
I try my hardest not to be political. I’ve refused to interview several of your fellow candidates. I didn’t want to risk any personal goodwill by appearing to take sides in a contentious election. I thought: ‘Maybe the timing is not right.’ But I realize now that there is no correct time to oppose violence and prejudice. The time is always now. Because along with millions of Americans, I’ve come to realize that opposing you is no longer a political decision. It is a moral one.
I’ve watched you retweet racist images. I’ve watched you retweet racist lies. I’ve watched you take 48 hours to disavow white supremacy. I’ve watched you joyfully encourage violence, and promise to ‘pay the legal fees’ of those who commit violence on your behalf. I’ve watched you advocate the use of torture and the murder of terrorists’ families. I’ve watched you gleefully tell stories of executing Muslims with bullets dipped in pig blood. I’ve watched you compare refugees to ‘snakes,’ and claim that ‘Islam hates us.’
I am a journalist, Mr. Trump. And over the last two years I have conducted extensive interviews with hundreds of Muslims, chosen at random, on the streets of Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan. I’ve also interviewed hundreds of Syrian and Iraqi refugees across seven different countries. And I can confirm— the hateful one is you.
Those of us who have been paying attention will not allow you to rebrand yourself. You are not a ‘unifier.’ You are not ‘presidential.’ You are not a ‘victim’ of the very anger that you’ve joyfully enflamed for months. You are a man who has encouraged prejudice and violence in the pursuit of personal power. And though your words will no doubt change over the next few months, you will always remain who you are.
Brandon Stanton

There will be those, particularly I suspect many Trump supporters, who will say what business is it of yours, a Canadian, on who we vote in as our President but it is as Trudeau the senior said when he was a guest of our neighbours to the south......
“Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt. “
The elephant seems to be getting particularly restless right now!

With the power and influence the U.S. and the President has in world wide politics and conflicts we all most certainly have a legitimate interest in the outcome of this race.