Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Posts Tagged ‘CBC

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,

Quebec student protesters media coverage misses truth on street level

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Though I only saw 5 nights on the streets of Montreal, what I did see was nothing like I had taken in via the Web and through English-language accounts.

They were having fun, though they had a serious message. They were happy when people took their pictures. They didn’t even care if we were American. If anything, people were happy that an American didn’t freak out over the prospect of  the protesters during his vacation.

I didn’t seek out the protesters on my trip, but they weren’t hard to find. Often, they started in different parts of the city. As I noted at the time, they didn’t bother my vacation one bit.

For more on the protesters, pictures included, check out this update from our sister blog,

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford ‘wins’ Worst Person in the World

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Since we do cover politics at Democracy Soup, we had to cover the backlash of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s freakout from dealing with a comedic actress from CBC’s “This Hour Has 22 Minutes.”

Ford has a thick body yet a thin skin — how does that work — and sadly it was no surprise that he overreacted. Yelling at the police dispatcher, the alleged profanity and anti-female word — all of that and more earned Ford the honor of Keith Olbermann’s Worst Person in the World on Countdown on Current TV.

“This Hour Has 22 Minutes” has gone after U.S. politicians such as Sarah Palin and Christine O’Donnell.

Even if you agree with some of what Ford has done in office, he doesn’t earn too many style points, even before this incident.

For more details, check out the details from our sister blog,

America needs to imagine what it can be to get out of its deep hole

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Anybody over a certain age sort of thinks that the best of times for our country are done. One thing that defined America for most of the last 225 years was that it was in love with the future. And I think a major shift, it’s now much more in love with its past, the way England was after the Second World War, the way France was after the Second World War, or the First World War. And that is where I think the Chinese, the Brazilians, the Indians – they’re in love with the future. I don’t think we feel quite that way now.

“For people of a certain age” is a useless phrase, unless you are of a certain age. Those of a certain age has noticed that something is off in our society. Okay, this means me, but I can’t be the only one.

The quote is from Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, who was interviewed for The World This Weekend on CBC radio, reflecting on a decade after the September 11 attacks.

As tempting as it would be to pinpoint the 9/11 attacks as a turning point, let’s go back to the Newt Revolution of 1994.

The Dems had just lost control of the House for the first time in 40 years. And the new(t) guard was coming into power. Whatever you might have thought about Democratic or Republican ideals, the country had a sense of trying to solve problems.

Ronald Reagan had spoken about Morning in America, but it always felt like his vision of “morning” wasn’t a new day forward but re-starting some ideal that was best reflected by 1950s housewives doing housework while wearing pearls. Never mind that the ideal never was real, even in the 1950s.

Dan Quayle understood this Reaganesque concept when he attacked Murphy Brown for being a single mother on TV. When the MSM and those on the left chastised Quayle for his obsession with a never-was era, quietly, the base of this new revolution cheered.

The United States spent the rest of the 1990s pedaling in place, despite the best efforts of President Bill Clinton. The distractions against Clinton were purely politically motivated, but they did fit in well with the trend of petty squabbles over fixing a number of leaks in the economic roof. The up and coming Fox “News” Channel helped CNN steer so far down a path, Ted Turner would have turned over in his grave if he were dead.

Looking back, the 1990s were the roaring time economically, not just of the last 20 years, but the last 30 years. The last 10 years have produced such a backslide that the struggle just to get back to 2000 levels looks gigantically daunting.

The United States is many things, but above all, Americans don’t think about the rest of the world, unless they have oil or war or Muslims. This didn’t really work well when America dominated in so many categories, but fails us miserably when we don’t dominate any more.

Americans are isolationist in our psyche, even as they wreck havoc all around the world.

Carter’s quote gives us historical context to other societies that also reflected on the past. Countries we know of by name, even if we can’t relate. And they didn’t suffer as badly as the United States has in the last 10 years.

Thomas Friedman co-wrote a book on where America has been and where it needs to go. On “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” on Monday, Friedman described the formula that brought success to the United States.

“Educating our people up to and beyond whatever the technology was so they can get the most of it, having the best infrastructure, having the best immigration policy that attracted energetic and talented immigrants, having the best rules for capital investing and preventing recklessness, and lastly having the most government funded research.”

So the United States is trying to find a way forward where its people want direction and its leaders lack vision. Even trying what got Americans to the point where people wanted to come here can’t get off the ground. Look at Friedman’s list: are we doing any of those things?

One sentiment that kept the middle class from post World War II through the 1970s was making sure our children would be better off than we were. Reagan reduced that to a selfish notion about whether we were better off than we were 4 years ago. And even when the answer was “no,” Reagan still won in 1984.

As much as liberals laugh at conservatives wanting everything to be like “Leave It to Beaver,” liberals wouldn’t mind the economic growth, strong unions, and middle-class standards of that era.

Even going backward to then go forward would be an improvement over where we are now. Casey Kasem always told us to “keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.” Our feet are on the ground, stuck in cement, and we can’t even see the stars.

Until we can see that we have a future as a country, we’ll be stuck not in the past, but wandering aimlessly in the smog clouds of the present.

CBC stands to lose viewers, American and Canadian, thanks to August 31 digital conversion

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We’ve been praising Canada lately for its ability to produce jobs and even a small riot. But your sympathy can go out to Canada on one issue that troubled Americans back in 2009: converting analog TV signals to digital TV. Remember the clamor over the coupons for converter boxes? This is when Americans knew they were going to get all the digital signals, unless they lived too far away from the digital signal.

Well, a significant number of Canadians and some Americans are going to lose access to CBC on the August 31 deadline unless they go to cable or satellite. Saskatoon, SK, London, ON, Kitchener, ON, Moncton, NB, and most of Quebec among others will lose English language service; Calgary, Windsor, ON, and Halifax among others will lose French language service.

For more, check out the coverage via And scroll to the bottom to relive magical memories of American TV conversions with archival material from Democracy Soup.