Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Posts Tagged ‘Calgary

Canadians think Justin Trudeau represents the real change from Stephen Harper

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The Liberal Party of Canada is back in power after a 9-year absence during the reign of the Harper Government. For the first time in 11 years, the Liberals have a majority government.

Canadians had the longest campaign — 78 days — in modern political history. The country wanted change, but had to decide between Tom Mulcair of the NDP or the Liberals’ Justin Trudeau. Though Mulcair and the NDP had the early edge, perhaps they got a little cocky. Trudeau took awhile to find his voice, but once he did, the Liberals rose in the polls.

Stephen Harper wanted nothing to do with the English language broadcast consortium debate. Tom Mulcair took the Conservative bait and said he wouldn’t be there if Harper wasn’t showing up. Mulcair made that decision when the NDP was doing well. By the time of the scheduled debate (which wasn’t cancelled), the NDP was in 3rd place. A chance to debate with all the non-Conservatives would have been valuable.

There were more debates than usual: 4 instead of 2. But that 5th debate would have helped the NDP.

Here are links to our 2015 Canadian election coverage courtesy of our sister blog,

2015 Canadian election: Some final thoughts

Section 331 of the Canada Elections Act gets attention south of the border

Justin Trudeau begins new era as Canada’s newest prime minister

Our 2015 Canadian election coverage comprehensive guide

Canadian Canadian politics coverage


Rob Ford retrospective pre-crack and post-crack

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Rob Ford, the crack-smoking mayor of Toronto, has received a lot of publicity for, well, smoking crack. From the time he danced around whether he had smoked crack, Ford became more apparent outside Toronto and Canada. And of course, when the police discovered the video, suddenly Ford was a lot more open.

But the folks at have had their eyes on Ford for some time. We thought you should read about Rob Ford pre-crack as well as post-crack. So enjoy these columns courtesy of our friends at


Toronto Mayor Rob Ford wins Keith Olbermann’s ‘Worst Person in the World’ (11/1/2011)

Toronto has more than usual number of gun deaths, but still safer than U.S. (7/25/2012)

How Rob Ford spent (part of) my summer vacation (8/21/2012)

Battle of intense mayors: Toronto’s Rob Ford visits Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel (9/19/2012)

Toronto highs and lows: Argos way up, Rob Ford down and out (11/28/2012)


Canadian politics notebook: Rob Ford’s alleged crack use (5/19/2013)

Daily Show pokes fun at Rob Ford’s (alleged) crack (5/22/2013)

Rob Ford (finally) admits smoking crack cocaine, but lies continue (11/6/2013)

Rob Ford: Liability to Toronto Argonauts (11/15/2013)

Rob Ford makes negative impact on Toronto’s Grey Cup quest (11/18/2013)

Rob Ford looks better in the eyes of the U.S. media (11/20/2013)

Ted Cruz must know about Canada before denouncing citizenship

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Thanks to the Dallas Morning News, Ted Cruz has “learned” that he has been a Canadian citizen for the last 43 years. And Cruz still doesn’t quite believe it.

And this from a sitting U.S. senator who has argued before the Supreme Court of the United States.

Cruz wants to run away from Canada by instantly renouncing his Canadian citizenship to seem “more American” in order to run for president in 2016, and he may not even be eligible for the highest office.

Fortunately, Cruz has to go through a process before renouncing the citizenship he has had since 1970. And that will give him time to learn more about Canada.

For example, does Cruz know that Canadians can visit Cuba freely and without government interference. So Cruz can use his Canadian passport to visit his father’s homeland (Cruz’s father fought for Fidel Castro, really). Cruz can also learn that the United States gets more oil from Canada than any other country (his parents were working in the oil industry in Canada when Cruz was born), and that the two countries are each other’s largest trading partner.

With more on Cruz and his desire to renounce his Canadian citizenship, enjoy this column from our sister blog,

Why do Tea Party people think Canadian-born Ted Cruz can be president?

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Ted Cruz is making his way through Iowa as if he can run for president in 2016. But Cruz has a major issue hanging over his head; he was born in Canada. And Cruz was born in Canada under the same exact circumstances where the teabaggers thought President Barack Obama was, so why would Cruz be more eligible than Obama? Teabagger logic knows no thought process.

Here is my take from my sister site,

When people joke about a president being from Canada, they usually refer back to the story of Chester A. Arthur, who allegedly was born in Quebec and not Vermont. That tale centered around a border dispute and may have been fodder from Arthur’s political enemies.

The assumption that people born in Canada can’t be president is being challenged, of sorts, by the talk of Ted Cruz running for president.

Cruz, who just got to the Senate in January replacing the retired Kay Bailey Hutchison in Texas, is being talked about as a possible presidential candidate by Tea Party people and TV pundits. Okay, not a whole lot to go on so far. But these groups don’t mention the (GOP) elephant in the room: Ted Cruz was born in Canada.

Cruz certainly thinks he has a shot at entering the 2016 presidential race. On Friday, Cruz made his first trip to Iowa, home of the first presidential caucus. Politicians who are running or thinking about the run make trips to Iowa 3 years before the caucus.

The U.S. senator from Texas placed sixth in Iowa in the Public Policy Polling survey released last week. Cruz was at 10%, 13% among men and 7% among women (among Republicans). The gender gap also is in effect, where men are more than twice to know who he is.

Unlike Arthur, Cruz clearly was born in Canada. He lived there for his first four years. By that standard, former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm could be eligible to be elected president. Granholm has lived in the United States since she was 4.

Cruz theoretically has one more element in his column that was separate him from Granholm: Cruz’s mother is an American citizen.

The criteria in the Constitution is “natural born citizen.” Traditionally, that has meant being born to American parents on U.S. soil, though that standard hasn’t been challenged.

George Romney, born in Mexico to U.S. parents, ran for president in 1968. John McCain was born in the Panama Canal zone and ran for president in 2008.

Barack Obama, who is the president of the United States, was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, but that didn’t stop some of the same people who support Cruz from claiming otherwise.

In fact, the Tea Party people pointed to Obama’s “illegitimacy” citing that being born to an American mother and a father who is a citizen of a foreign country outside the United States doesn’t make for a natural born citizen if that person is born outside the United States. Yet that same exact criteria applies to Ted Cruz.

Yes, Cruz’s mother is American, but his father was Cuban. And Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta and lived there for his first four years of his life.

Whether Cruz is eligible needs to be determined. If the Tea Party people are to argue that point, they need to explain why they didn’t support the same criteria for Barack Obama, if Obama’s life had existed in the Tea Party’s parallel universe.

The United States is more strict on citizenship issues than most similar countries. Being born to an American parent, even on foreign soil, does entitle you to U.S. citizenship. However, this is about being a natural born citizen, and until now, this action required a person to be born on U.S. soil to U.S. parents.

Also, to be president (and vice president) of the United States, you have to be a natural born citizen and at least 35 years of age. Contrast that with the Canadian requirements for prime minister.

Are you a citizen of Canada? Yes. Are you at least 18 years old? Yes. So if you can get elected to the House of Commons, you can be prime minister.

You certainly don’t have to be born in Canada to be prime minister. John Turner, who was born in England, served briefly as prime minister in 1984 after Pierre Trudeau’s reign before Brian Mulroney won election for the Progressive Conservatives.

Turner also didn’t hold a seat in Parliament while being prime minister, but ironically did win a seat in the election that tossed him out as prime minister.

The United States needs to decide what criteria is needed to determine who is eligible to be president. Canadians want to know if they have a shot.

Ann Coulter doesn’t get that Canadians don’t like hate speech

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We think in the mighty United States that we have the best standard of freedom of speech in the world. It is true — on paper.

And you might think that Canada is messed up because they have laws against hate speech. And it’s true — on paper.

But in the world of reality, the United States allows hate speech up and down the dials of radio and screens of television. They can even flow in newspapers. But only if they are from the right wing.

There is a huge double standard in reality in the United States.

The funny thing about Ann Coulter’s whining over her speech being cancelled in Ottawa, Canada’s national capital, is that she wasn’t banned from speaking.

The protesters in Canada — free speech, remember — were only expressing their views against her brand of hate speech. And they could have been protesting that Coulter thought Canada sent troops to Vietnam.

And those Canadian hate speech laws have a high tolerance: you have to go pretty far to be subjected to the laws. Not even Ann Coulter can hit those marks, so you know they are set high.

Coulter should have the right to spew her hate speech, but she doesn’t need to be on so many MSM outlets and have her views treated without objection. The soft standards she receives in the United States is likely why she is so upset in Canada. Then again, she will likely speak in Calgary, where her views aren’t as objectionable.

For a more detailed analysis on her speech and hate speech laws, check out my take from my other blog, Canadian Crossing.

Written by democracysoup

March 25, 2010 at 12:53 pm

Sarah Palin still can’t tell her own truth about Canada

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Sarah Palin’s relationship with Canada has been a mystery, sometimes even to herself. When Palin was originally asked what foreign countries she had been to, she mentioned Iraq, Kuwait, Germany, and Ireland. Of course, Ireland was a fueling stop, and Iraq, Kuwait, and Germany came only while she served as Alaska’s governor. (Later, it came out that Palin’s venture into Iraq consisted of a quarter mile.)

Palin did not mention Mexico or Canada, though later she mentioned that she went on a vacation with girlfriends to Mexico. Her relationship with Canada was more vague; though clearly she had been to Canada on business as Alaska’s governor, she forgot to mention this. Eventually, her campaign team admitted a 2007 trip to Canada, but didn’t say whether it was business or pleasure.

Of course, Palin was in Canada — Calgary — when she told the story about her family receiving hospital care from Canada as a child. Palin’s memory was either faulty during the campaign, or she didn’t want to reveal this element of her life. And there is a good deal to think about why that would be true.

Palin tells the story as ironic that her family went to Canada for hospital care when she was a child. Ironic, but since Palin has little in the way of a sense of humor about herself, but oh so much more.

“My first five years of life we spent in Skagway, Alaska, right there by Whitehorse. Believe it or not – this was in the ‘60s – we used to hustle on over the border for health care that we would receive in Whitehorse. I remember my brother, he burned his ankle in some little kid accident thing and my parents had to put him on a train and rush him over to Whitehorse and I think, isn’t that kind of ironic now. Zooming over the border, getting health care from Canada.”

Palin’s father admits that the family probably made two trips to Whitehorse, Yukon for medical treatment. He mentions one trip for a daughter for rheumatic fever and when his son, also Chuck, had an infection in his leg. Mr. Heath does not say which daughter — Sarah has two sisters, Heather and Molly (Molly was married to the state trooper that Sarah fired) — had the fever.

However, since Sarah remembers her brother’s accident, and assuming that Sarah wasn’t left behind with a babysitter while the parents rushed a sick child to the hospital, Sarah Palin had been to Canada as a child.

Why would this be so difficult to admit? Going to Canada isn’t shameful. Heck, there were conservatives who went after Obama for living in Indonesia as a child, and it wasn’t like Obama had much say in where the family lived between the ages of 4 and 10.

So the true irony is that Palin had been to Canada, and couldn’t admit it. That actually is irony.

What is also ironic is that Palin told the story of her brother’s injury and left the Canada part out of it. That is also ironic.

There has been confusion on whether the Heath family received Canadian-style health care, as if this is the only issue in front of us. Conservatives have noted that Yukon didn’t have the current system until 1972. However, Yukon created its hospital insurance plan with federal cost sharing in 1960, before Palin was born. And they admitted going to a hospital.

And all sides would agree that U.S. and Canadian insurance isn’t like it is today, getting worse for the U.S. and better for Canadians.

As much as we would like to make this only about health care — and that would be an unfair fight against Sarah Palin and in favor of Canada’s current system — there is another irony at stake.

Once again, Sarah Palin has been caught in a series of lies. And once again, the MSM doesn’t seem to notice or care. They seem to accept that she has a faulty memory, no matter how many lies she tells, and how many lies as a percentage of overall statements.

We should try to hold our politicians accountable, regardless of party. The MSM seems genuinely afraid of confronting Palin’s mendacity.

Written by democracysoup

March 9, 2010 at 4:22 pm