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Category Archives: Democracy
Conference of @Independents National Conference – March 18, 2017
The authoritarian power of the political parties is being used to prevent Americans from voting for @Independents
— Independents (@Independents) March 18, 2017
#RiseIndependent: If some US states make it hard for @Independents to be on the ballot, how can American call itself a democracy?
— Independents (@Independents) March 18, 2017
Crossroads for an Independent America:
Four in ten voters don’t want to be in a political party. Why? Because parties have become special interests — perhaps the biggest special interests of all. On Saturday, March 18, 2015, Jackie Salit, President of Independent Voting and author of Independents Rising, will host Crossroads for an Independent America, the ninth biennial National Conference of Independents, convening hundreds of independent voter activists and supporters from the organization’s network in 40 states. The conference will be the largest gathering of independent voters in the United States assembled to engage specifically, the empowerment of independent voters and the creation of a new political culture. On display will be the new coalitions coming together in this movement, a discussion of strategies to expand the movements influence and perspectives on the mid-term and 2020 election.
End Party Tyranny: Canada #FATCA IGA demonstrates the need for @Independents to become candidates
Political power corrupts, and absolute political power corrupts absolutely!
"About the role of political parties in a Westminster democracy … The article includes the…" — John Richardson https://t.co/XgZZbWpDdE
— Independents (@Independents) March 23, 2016
First, if you have never heard of FATCA …
To put it simply: FATCA is a U.S. law that stands for “Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act“. According to this U.S. law, the United States will confiscate 30% of all U.S. dollar payments going to a non-U.S. bank, unless:
1. The bank agrees to hunt for people who the USA defines as a U.S. citizen (the U.S. can change the definition any time it wants);
2. The bank agrees to turn over all the bank account information of anybody who the U.S. decides is a U.S. citizen (note that this includes about one million Canadian citizens who had the bad fortune to have been born in the United States);
3. The purpose is to to force these unfortunate souls into the U.S. tax system; which
4. Will allow the U.S. to extract Canadian capital (under the guise of citizenship-taxation) from Canada to the United States.
In order to protect the Canadian banks from the threats of the 30% penalty, the Harper Government agreed to change Canada’s law to allow Canadian banks to “perform this service” for the United States. The Harper Agreement is also known in the profession as the “Canada U.S. FATCA IGA” and was signed on February 4, 2014.
But, this is just to provide context to this post. Those who want to learn more should visit the site of the “Alliance For The Defence of Canadian Sovereignty” which has brought a lawsuit against the Government of Canada to prevent this outreageous transfer of Canadian sovereignty to the U.S. Treasury.
For those who think I am making this up, here is a copy of the Canada U.S. FATCA IGA:
For those who wish to learn more, I suggest that you visit the Isaac Brock Society.
With that as background, I now turn to the question of what this has to do with independent candidates, political parties, and the role of the opposition …
About the role of political parties in a Westminster democracy …
The March 22, 2016 iPolitica.ca article by Elizabeth Thompson includes the response of Mr. Brison, now that he is a Liberal cabinet minister in a majority government and no longer the “critic” of a party that was lost in the political wilderness. It is an interesting example of how individual MPs and parties can be more effective in opposition AND the important role played by opposition parties!
Leaving aside the FATCA issue, Mr. Brison’s response speaks volumes about the reality and role of political parties in a Westminster democracy (particularly when the party has a majority government). The manner that the FATCA IGA issue has been handled, is a case study on the weaknesses of the “first past the post system” of determining election results.
Debates in the democratic process: No candidate should be excluded and every candidate must attend
The Democratic Process
Winston Churchill: "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others." http://t.co/AJSU2Lb9el – Whatever democracy means
— Independents (@Independents) October 4, 2015
“Democracy” has become a “code word” for everything’s okay. We live in a democracy. There are many different kinds of democracies. They function differently. Canada has a “first past the post” system. Other countries may have some form or proportional representation. My point is a simple one. Whatever form of democracy a country has, that form is one of many different flavors of democracy in the democratic process.
Don’t ever confuse “democracy” with “freedom”
Independents in spirit, should consider the @PCParty1868 – Progressive Canadian Party
Great chat with @PCParty1867 Leader Sinclair Stevens and Party Leader @DorianBaxter_PC https://t.co/MMHgQaBvsy on the history of the party
— Independents (@Independents) July 8, 2015
It’s election season. We support independent candidates. That said, the “independent experience” is NOT for everybody.
The Honourable Sinclair Stevens is the leader of the Progressive Canadian Party. This is a party that should be considered by those who:
1. Are “independent minded” people
2. Don’t want to run a campaign as an “independent candidate”
3. Would like to run with a party that will allow them to define their own positions and priorities.
If you are interested in discussing this opportunity, please contact us …
Should Canadian MPs be able to vote out a party leader?
Should MPs be able to vote out a part leader? http://t.co/BDPmdNuhk0
— Independents (@Independents) December 10, 2013
Making the individual MP relevant in Canada
Could Harper really lose his power? #cdnpoli http://t.co/6QEt7WGamX via @HuffPostCanada – #Independents rising
— Independents (@Independents) December 2, 2013
OTTAWA — An NDP MP signalled Friday her party may not support a forthcoming bill aimed at limiting the power of the prime minister. The problems the bill aims to fix — such as curbing the control of party leaders over their MPs — are only found in the Conservative caucus, Edmonton NDP MP Linda Duncan told The Huffington Post Canada.
HuffPost reported Thursday that Tory backbencher Michael Chong plans to bring forward legislation next week to curb the power of all party leaders. The bill is the culmination of months of discussion among a small group of MPs who are hoping to loosen the stranglehold of the prime minister’s office on individual representatives, giving MPs more freedom to speak their minds and vote their conscience.
The Tory backbenchers involved in the group, dubbed “Committee 2012”, insist their efforts to inject more democracy into the Commons have nothing to do with the current Senate scandal engulfing the PMO. But the NDP suggested it won’t support the bill because it responds to a uniquely Tory problem
The begin of the end of the party system and the rise of #Independent Candidates
The Beginning of the End for Washington http://t.co/jkIJgYgfU0 via @nationaljournal
— Independents (@Independents) October 1, 2013
The article tweeted includes:
This may be the beginning of the end of Washington as we know it. A rising generation of pragmatic, non-ideological voters is appalled by the dysfunctional leadership of their parents and grandparents. History may consider October 2013 their breaking point. There will come a time when Millennials aren’t just mad as hell; they won’t take it anymore.
The Republican Party may be splitting apart. The divide is between conservatives who want to limit government and extremists who oppose governing.
The latter sect is represented by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas who is misleading his supporters. He knows that the GOP can’t overturn Obamacare because Republicans only control one half of one branch of government. And yet, Cruz and other tea party Republicans pledge to do the impossible, presumably to build email lists, bank accounts, and fame.
On the other side of the GOP divide are conservatives who were already worried about the future of their party. Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, a campaign savvy conservative, wants the GOP focused on refurbishing its image rather than conducting kamikaze missions. “Let’s go win some elections,” Cole tells GOP voters. Sen. Tom Coburn, a conservative by any sane measure, said on MSNBC last week, “I’m now no longer conservative according to the standards that have been set by the expectations of this process.”
Vicki Huntington’s historical win lone bright spot for independent candidates
Vicki Huntington’s historical win lone bright spot for #independentcandidates http://t.co/zvmFBLfLDk – Thanks to a pioneer!
— Independents (@Independents) August 11, 2013
It was a bittersweet election for the province’s four high-profile independents, who had hoped to make a statement that B.C.’s polarized political system had room for their non-party voices. Vicki Huntington (Delta South) made political history as the first independent MLA to be re-elected as an independent since political parties were recognized in 1903.
Sitting in Parliament results a lifetime annuity!
MPs may rush to retire before pension changes kick in http://t.co/aM1fbnQdJF – Lifetime annuity! Is this fair to the taxpayers?
— Independents (@Independents) June 27, 2013