Finally, It's Heave Steve Day...Hopes, Fears and Predictions on This Evening's Outcome

It's been a marathon but within about hours the results will start rolling in. The smart money is on a Liberal minority government, and i hope they're right. But i fear from my gut that Quebec's history of changing horses en masse during elections could be the wild card that gives Trudeau what i hope doesn't occur...a majority.

In the end Steve appeared with the Fords and looked right at home, Steve is done. From coast to coast to coast Harper is the most hated P.M. in living memory. Other than his rock solid base of the religiously delusional and the scumbag corporate elites will ensure he doesn't get skunked, Harper is toast.

The Harper Cons will come second only because the NDP's campaign was uninspiring [to be kind]. The NDP has a solid base too and it's about the same size, though less reliable on voting day than the Cons'. The NDP's drop will be worse than generally predicted i fear both because of Quebec's block voting proclivity and in Ontario where Trudeau was already well ahead before the Rod and Doug Ford rallies, now there will be more of a landslide to their best bet to Heave Steve..

So, being a gut betting type, i'll predict a majority Liberal govt. Being a partially pshyotic human i'm hoping my best of all possible fantasies of the Liberals coming up 1-2 seats short of an outright majority and E. May's Greens win those one or two comes true.

No matter how it ends up tonight, all of us are going to have to hold Trudeau to his promises. If there's another party he has to listen to, great. But if it's only Elizabeth May, we could easily do a lot worse.


Riding by Riding Info for Strategic Voters, Heave Steve, Then Hold Trudeau to His Promises

Harper poses with Ford families during Etobicoke rally

It's Heave Steve Day -1 and from all accounts its strategic voting that's dominating this election. The Liberals are set to win a strong minority government, and the Harper-Cons are desperate, so desperate that Harper's appearing with Fords. The fact is 70%+ of Canadians want Harper out and he knows that if vote suppression and gerrymandering don't save him, he's toast.

In my neck of the woods - North Island-Powell River - the best strategic choice is to vote NDP, just as it is on most of Vancouver Island with a couple of exceptions, including a tight and controversial NDP/Green fight in Victoria.

The problem for many of the 70% who are't party partisans is how to go about voting in a way that doesn't just recreate the split vote that has Harper's dictatorial control until now. For those many strategic voting {SV} has become the weapon of choice. Unfortunately without accurate riding by riding information casting a smart SV vote is difficult. Some ridings easier to handicap some are close. Some ridings have had extensive local polling, some none. At this point though if you're still looking, here's a great site that gives local riding numbers and predictions on all of Canada's 338 ridings: Anyone But Harper

The scary thing is that the Liberals are still gaining ground and the best outcome for all Canadians is a minority government to best insure that Trudeau's feet a kept to the fire so he'll keep his promises. Trudeau must remember that the voters elected him not the corporations. Trudeau will be at the crossroads in the next few days, he'll show himself to be a puppet of the corporate elites, as all neo-liberal leaders are, or he'll show himself to be the man we need.

Trudeau must keep his promise to end first past the post voting and legalize marijuana at least by this time next year to be credible. But before then he'll have to [i think] compromise with the NDP and repeal C-51 then maybe pass a new version acceptable to all the non-Con parties. Trudeau must also reinstate the laws protecting Canada's waterways and...anyway he'll be busy and if if he's going to really be the agent of change he promised he's going to have to reject the TPP...PLEASE vote strategically on Oct. 19, so we can make sure it's the last time we have to.


Will Trudeau's Promise to Legalize Pot Bring Out the Pot Smoker Vote - Young and Old?

Justin Trudeau's Liberals are holding a steady 6-7 point lead over the Harper-Cons and a 15 point lead over the NDP who continues its spiral back into the last place position its long been accustomed to. As of this morning's polls the Liberals hit election high at expense of the NDP. The experts are also saying that Trudeau's Liberals are benefitting from both soft NDP votes in Quebec but also from what used to be called Red-Tories who are abandoning the Harper-Cons. So it appears that two days from now Canada will have elected a strong minority Liberal government and Heave Steve Day celebrations will be in full swing coast o coast to coast.

Originally i thought that if the liberals won it would be a squeaker and that his promise months ago to legalize pot for recreational use like Colorado, Oregon and Washington State have would be the deciding factor by bringing out a huge, mostly non-voting group of pot smokers young and old alike. Looks like i was wrong on that one, Trudeau and the Liberals have barely mentioned this on the campaign trail their than to always affirm their position. The Greens also support outright legalization but their support is small and getting smaller as it usually does in the final days before the vote.

The fact is solid majority of Canadians want pot legalized but Trudeau to his credit hasn't played the 'Legalize Card' probably because he hasn't had to. CTV News though has been digging into the issue and has learned that Liberal candidate and former Toronto police chief Bill Blair is leading a Liberal team that will research best practices involving the possible legalization of marijuana in Canada. "We've got good frameworks already in place," Blair told CTV News on Saturday. "We've already had a great deal of experience with controlling the sale and use of alcohol. We believe that we can build upon that model and we can ensure our communities could be made safer through regulation and legalization."

Another model the Liberals are undoubtedly looking at is the Colorado model. Colorado has received approximately $80 million in direct tax revenue from marijuana sales, and approximately $40 million is dedicated by their legalization law to go towards school construction.

The Liberals have not included marijuana sales in their costed platform so it's uncertain if a potential tax revenue would eventually help balance their bottom line. But if Colorado's initial success with marijuana legalization is an indication, the Canadian economy could see a significant injection of green from the regulation of marijuana far in excess of just the direct taxation revenue.

Since last year, the overall revenue state wide Colorado became the first U.S. state to legalize recreational pot-use. Since then, cannabis sale has generated $700 million in revenue in one year from all the tourist spinoffs like, tour operations, motels, restaurants, gas stations, pizza delivery etc plus the income taxes of all those new job holders makes the total there for sure, and here potentially, much higher. In addition to the $700 million that pot has generated into Colorado's economy, the state now spends far less on enforcement.

When you consider that Canada has at least 10 tines as many people as Colorado the potential revenues here to both the government and the much greater bost to Canada's broader economy promise to be substantial.


An Open Letter to Leadnow Concerning Your Vancouver-Granville Recommendation Decision

Dear Leadnow, As you know by now the recommendation you made in Vamcouver-Granville is being widely condemned as incorrect because of the flawed final step in the process which has allowed the pledge signers 'vote' to be swamped by NDP supporters creating a recommendation outcome that's both incorrect and throws a very bad light on all your other recommendations despite your good intentions [which i've supported far and wide] and the rest of your process that has been even handed.

The fact is there's still 3 more days, plenty of time for Leadnow to withdraw it's recommendation because of the unforeseen flaw in the process.

Please, this mistake will not only cost Leadnow a setback in its reputation but could create the conditions where the Cons come up the middle and win, which is exactly the opposite of your intentions...and mine. Further were that to happen and were the overall seat count to be end up in a dead heat, it could be that your mistaken process causes Canada irreparable harm and allows Harper to win by virtue of the Vote Together block being mis-placed.

PLEASE, you've been asking us all along to do the right thing for the greater good, now it's your turn to do the right thing for the greater good.

Thanks, Bob Wiley


Harper Justifies His War on Science with Evangelical Revelation in Service to his Benefactors

Harper’s war against science based decision making is an another attempt to pander to ignorance and fear as well as being dedicated to protecting the fossil fuel corporations, who are his main benefactors, from having their feelings hurt by any inconvenient research. As Greenpeace climate analyst Keith Stewart, said: "The Harper government gutted environmental laws and destroyed public faith in the regulatory system in order to fast-track pipelines, then wasted $30 million of public money on a public relations campaign to promote those pipelines in an effort that was doomed to fail.

In 2012, he tried to defund government research centers in the High Arctic, and placed Canadian environmental scientists under gag orders. That year, National Research Council members were barred from discussing their work on snowfall with the media. Scientists for the governmental agency Environment Canada, under threat of losing their jobs, have been banned from discussing their research without political approval. Mentions of federal climate change research in the Canadian press have dropped 80 percent. The union that represents federal scientists and other professionals has, for the first time in its history, abandoned neutrality to campaign against Mr. Harper.

Harper, like many Christian fundamentalists, feel that concern for the future of our planet is irrelevant, because it has no future. They believe we are living in the End Time, when the son of God will return, the righteous will enter heaven, and sinners will be condemned to eternal hellfire. They may also believe, along with millions of other Christian fundamentalists, that environmental destruction is not only to be disregarded but actually welcomed — even hastened — as a sign of the coming Apocalypse. - Grist .com

So many excellent articles and editorials have been written on this subject that i decided a reading list is better at this point than anything i can say on the subject:

'Feds penny-pinched on science libraries while lavishing funds on religion and oil', by Elizabeth McSheffrey and Jenny Uechi of the National Observer

'The Closing of the Canadian Mind', a New York Times editorial
But the nine and half years of Mr. Harper’s tenure have seen the slow-motion erosion of that reputation for open, responsible government. His stance has been a know-nothing conservatism, applied broadly and effectively. He has consistently limited the capacity of the public to understand what its government is doing, cloaking himself and his Conservative Party in an entitled secrecy, and the country in ignorance.

'It's Time for Action on Canada's Muzzled Scientists', an editotial at The Tyee
An excellent outline and list of examples of scientists who been muzzled and

'Stephen Harper's Covert Evangelism', by Andrew Nikiforuk
How an apocalyptic strain of Christianity guides his policies and campaigning.

'Canada's government should free its scientists to speak to the press, as its US counterpart has.', a Nature editorial
The data-antagonistic Harper government has so muzzled federal scientists that an editorial in the prestigious Nature magazine demanded that it was "time for the Canadian government to set its scientists free."

'Harper's Closing of the ELA is an Example of Christian Fundamentalism's War on Science'
Stephen Harper, like any good Christian Fundamentalist, doesn't need the advice of scientists because he already knows 'The Truth'. He knows that the imaginary being he calls God is sovereign over creation and therefore humans can do no permanent damage. Harper gets all the advice he needs from the Cornwall Alliance, a coalition of right-wing scholars, economists and evangelicals. The Alliance church informs him that the free market is divinely inspired and that non-believers are "lost." Harper knows that as The Cornwall Declaration on Environmental Stewardship says environmentalist's and scientists are evil.


Harper's Latest Lies About Trudeau's Liberal Policies Smell of Desperation and Impending Defeat

The last few days Harper and his team of fear-mongering publicists have sunken to a new low, even for them. This time their fear campaign is running in Chinese and Punjabi-language newspapers, radio stations and circulating flyers in Richmond and South Vancouver, as well as the Richmond Hill and Markham areas of Toronto — ridings with a large percentage of Chinese and Punjabi-speaking residents.

The Harper-Cons latest pack of lies smells of desperation, apparently they know that now that their only hope is one of Layton Crosby's dirty tricks.  The advertisements characterise Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau as supporting the sale of marijuana to children, and the establishment of safe-injection sites and neighbourhood brothels. "It's absolutely not true," said Harjit Sajjan, the Liberal candidate for Vancouver South." Adding, "I find it very disturbing that the Conservatives would actually turn to a tactic that goes beyond their fear and divisive tactics."

The Huffington Post article 'Conservative Party Advertising Aimed At Chinese, Punjabi Voters Raise Concerns' explains what's going on in more nuanced terms but i just can't, i'm to pissed off to try. Harper is a corporate puppet. His years of fear, lies and pandering to ignorance and division are nearly over and he knows it.

One idea i ran into this morning sounds like a great idea to me as it suggests turning the tables on the Cons huge war chest and using it against them: "Maybe vote for the candidate most attacked by the Conservatives, seeing as they have more money to 'research' the greatest threat and slander their existence as only they know how. This happened last week in my riding with huge hate mail propaganda on Facebook and flyer delivery against the local liberals." - Mindcraft 

Harper's desperate tactics took a upswing the day after the Liberals new ad came out. In it Trudeau sounds like an orator especially Trudeau's line "it depends on YOU" with his hand gesture. It's very well shot, great colors, great timing, it's little wonder the Cons are desperate.


Harper and Crosby Pander to Ignorance, Prejudice and Fear With Divide and Conquer Policies

Zunera Ishaq  outside the Federal Court of Appeal

In case you don't know who Layton Crosby is the Global Research article a few days ago titled 'Canada’s Elections: PR Strategist Lynton Crosby Retained by Stephen Harper' does a very good job of explaing who he is and why Harper hired him saying "Those familiar with the Crosby portfolio should be aware about various hobgoblin practices he has been engaging in over the years. When he has the brief of desperation from governments in trouble, racial and immigration tensions will be fanned. The security state imperative will be encouraged. Sore spots will be scratched. When he has the ear of the aspirant in question, he will suggest a formula of divide and conquer, laced with a lingering sense of fear."

Harper hired Crosby shortly before the 1st Fench language debate, shortly before the niqab issue exploded onto scene in all it's wedge wielding fury. The federal courts had already ruled twice [now 3 times after Harper latest defeat] that as long as the person was willing to show their face to an election official during the pre-oath procedure to determine citizenship what they wore to the ceremony was/is immaterial.

Harper and Crosby knew all this but pushed the issue knowing that in Quebec, this issue has broader significance as it mirrors closely the recent racist debate on Quebec’s “charter of values”. Their evil plan sorta worked in that many soft NDP supporters are among the Islamophobes. It failed though in that within days the great majority of those soft NDP supporters slid over to the Libs and the Bloc camp not Cons...oops

The Niqab issue shouldn't be seen in isolation from the general context in which it was raised. This is/was part of the so-called 'war on terror' with all the racist, Islamophobic, scapegoating discourse that has come along with it. This is just part and parcel of the harper-Cons general drive to demonize Muslims as ‘the enemy’, in order to create a climate of fear and justify the Conservative policy of Empire ass-kissing at every turn.

This pandering to prejudice isn't news, back in the runp to the 2011 election The Star ran an excellent piece on the same issue. This time, a fivedays ago, The Star published: 'Toronto Star's View: Can Stephen Harper stoop any lower on the niqab?' They get A+ for consistency IMO.

The two days ago The Star  Star endorsed Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau for prime minister and again lashed out at Harper’s shameless pandering to anti-Muslim prejudice. At the same time The Star lauded “the principled stance taken by Trudeau they noted that “New Democratic Leader Tom Mulcair, too, has distinguished himself by boldly denouncing Harper’s “dangerous game.”” Pointing out that that the NDP party’s strength are in Quebec where anti-niqab sentiment runs deeper than elsewhere, the Star said: “Mulcair’s decency is a badge of honour.”


Trudeau's Liberals Widen Their Lead and Their Newest Ad is the Best Ad of the Campaign

In every close election there's a deflection point where the undecideds decide. Somewhere around Sept. 26th that happened. It's apparent from the Nanos nightly tracking polls, but it's also apparent from the venom now spewing from NDP partisans who were all in favor of convincing the 'spolier' candidates to fall on their swords for the greater good until they realized they themselves will be the spoilers in many ridings if the Harper-Cons somehow pull out either a minority or majority type of victory on Oct. 19th.

The Liberals are far from perfect, neither are many of Trudeau's positions. His support of C-51 being the worst of them IMO. Nonetheless, if the best possible outcome for the Harper-Cons is/was that the 3 way horse race stayed even so they could split as many riding as always. So it looks to me like the inceasingly desperate NDP stalwarts will be joined by the Cons in venomous attacks against Trudeau. Trudeau will, i suspect and hope, stick to the type of message in this ad and the tenor of the broader speech the best bits are taken from. 

The Liberals new ad, especially Trudeau's line "it depends on you" with the hand gesture will go down as just as big as Trudeau's win in the boxing match in getting him elected. Notice the colors, it's definitely film not digital, great color, great timing throughout. This ad will be everywhere here in Canada this week, Trudeau will win at least a minority IMO.


Vote Together Picks Rachel Blaney [NDP] as Best Choice to Beat Cons. in N. Island-Powell River

Late yesterday afternoon the Leadnow community recommended Rachel Blaney of the NDP as the best candidate to defeat the Conservatives in the North Island-Powell River riding. Rachel and the NDP have held their steady with about 42% of the vote during the entire election campaign with the Cons vote now dropping slowly while the both the Liberal and Greens are picking up points at the same pace the Cons are dropping in the riding.

Leadnow and it's Vote Together movement have also released their picks as the best choice to rally around for strategic voters in 15 other ridings. They've chosen to release this first batch of recommendations because they believe these 16 are the easiest for them to call based on their polling in the ridings.

To learn more about Rachel's bio click here. to learn more about her or follow her on Facebook click here.

Leadnow has undertaken this project because, like millions of other Canadians, they believe that stopping the Harper-Cons is the #1 priority for Canada in the Oct 19th election, but that because of the undemocratic voting system [FPTP], the fact that Harper's govt. has ruled as virtual dictators under the system despite winning only 39.6% of the vote in 2011and the refusal of the opposition parties to co-operate, they [and i] see no better solution than to form a coalition of citizens to do the job of stopping Harper.

Strategic Voting isn't new and much has been written about it. As Dr. Ali Kashani, who has also released his list of low hanging fruit for startegic voters to consider says,  "Strategic voting is a politically aware populace's solution to systematic electoral defects." Kashani is among the many millions of Canadians who support strategic voting [SV] but are lacking in enough local riding data to be sure of their vote, he, like Leadnow. is trying to help.

Strategic voting can make the difference 8 short days from now in the many close swing ridings [75 according to Leadnow] that have in the past elected Conservatives because of the vote splitting situation.

On the Canada wide horse race front the Liberals are holding on to first place in the latest Nanos tracking poll, taking a steady lead over the Conservatives with eight days to go in the election. According to most riding projections the Liberals aren't on top in the seat count quite yet, but clearly they are on the move upward.

Up until about 10 days ago all the polls were calling the race a dead heat but something happened in the first week of October. It's difficult to say what it was, but the Liberals have been increasing in the polls rapidly and are now challenging the Conservatives even in terms of seats. Of course this makes no difference strategic voting wise in North Island-Powell River as the Liberals here are far behind Rachel and the NDP and we vote in 338 seperate riding elections.


Vote Together and Kashani's Riding Information Could Be Critical For SV to be Successful in Canada

Today's Nanos National Poll 

This morning's Tyee article by a robotics and computer visioning expert, Ali Kashani, has identified 16 ridings he says hold the key to which party, the Conservatives or the Liberals, will win a minority government on Oct. 19. "By latest projections, the Conservatives will win over half of their seats (65 of them) thanks to 'vote splitting,'"

Dr. Ali Kashani, CEO of Sepio, says his Tory-defeating approach "only requires the cooperation of one-fifth of one per cent of voters". He notes his approach "only requires the cooperation of one-fifth of one per cent of voters (0.18 per cent), and every strategic vote for one party is offset by a vote for the other, thus not changing the overall popular vote outcome. With limited resources for grassroots organization, focusing on a small set of ridings where voters face the least amount of emotional resistance is the most effective way to make strategic voting work in Canada."

Kashani is among the many millions of Canadians who support strategic voting [SV] but are lacking in enough local riding data to be sure of their vote. Kashini's local information on the 16 ridings he's focused on gives everyone who lives in those 16 ridings important information that will help them.

As well in the next few days Vote Together will be releasing it's most recent local polling results. Each covers different ridings, but each's recommendations will hopefully be a rallying point for strategic voters in the swing ridings.

Kashani says: "Strategic voting is a politically aware populace's solution to systematic electoral defects." He acknowledges in many ridings the races are too close to be able to reliably make a strategic choice, but says the 16 ridings he has identified don't apply because the gap between the second place candidate and the Conservative leader is tight, and the third place candidate clearly is not "within striking distance."

By Prof. John McMurtry's stinging article at Global Research is well worth reading. In it he creatively lists many of Harper sins against freedom in Canada as does Shane Koyczan with his neat poem.rap 'The Cut' below.

"The Cut" Shane Koyczan on Steven Harper


To Bad Tom Mulcair Can't Speak Out Against Free Trade and the TPP Like Bernie Sanders Can

Once upon a time Canada had politicians who sounded like Bernie Sanders, Jack Layton did, but that was before Tom Mulcair took charge. Historically the NDP was THE anti-free trade party since its inception. But Tom, in his desire for actual power, tried to shake off the anti-trade label and adopted trade-friendly stances. 

Mulcair's NDP took on the fantasy of winning power and with it lost its will to advance big ideas. Lost the will even to hold on to long cherished ideas and ideals. So now none of the 3 big parties here in Canada, or their 'whipped' individual members, will come out and say anything about the underlying reality...Except Bernie Sanders stateside. As you'll learn watching the video below, Bernie's facts and fundamental conclusions apply here in Canada too, but...

Watch Bernie Sanders SLAM TPP , and free trade with facts,facts facts!

Hillary, now that her once considered unstoppable coronation has been somewhat undermined by Bernie's progressive economic arguments, Hillary changed horses and switched to being a TPP opponent before having to face Bernie in their first one on one debate on Oct. 13th. My thanks go to Bernie for helping open the space for others to speak out.

Free trade is about corporations moving jobs to the lowest wage country possible in an effort to increase their criminal profits and the wealth of their shareholders. Free Trade, in any of it's modern guises, is a globe girdling, planet pulverising, paradigm. As Maude Barlow puts it, " I'm referring to those awkward facts about free trade, like that Canada lost 334,000 manufacturing jobs in the first five years after the Canada-U.S. deal was signed -- a decline that continued under NAFTA and continues to this day. Good paying full-time jobs are more often than not replaced by precarious part-time work, which contributes to Canada's stagnating middle-income wages over the past 20 years. It's a harsh reality of the free trade era that most of the new wealth created -- and free trade does create wealth -- went straight to the top, to the richest one per cent in Canada and globally."

Free trade isn't just words,  Tom forgot that  Free Trade is a weapon of the 1%, Fair Trade is a tool of the 99% That is, IMO, at the roots of the mistake Mulcair made by becoming a free trade supporter. Mulcair could have carried the conversation and maybe turned the election numbers his way by giving the type of speech above by Bernie Sanders. By taking the anti-TPP lead and offering Fair Trade as as much better alternative, Tom could have shown the intellectual and moral leadership Canada needs...but he hasn't...and as the goats would say...that's to baaaaaaaaaad.


Land Grabbing Corporations and Canadian Dairy Farming's Dangerous TPP Connections

The Toilet Paper Plan is another free trade scam brought to us by The Dictatorship Of The Corportariat, they are tyranny. Yesterday's peek at the pharma boondoggle shows how what's not talked about by, in our case Harper, but generally speaking, the captured governments promoting their benefactors interests. At the bottom you'll find a list of links to much more about how Free trade deals enable land grabbing...

Free trade deals drop tariffs the govt. touts, it opens 'markets', cash crop markets that is. After a free trade deal the land the peasants have lived sustainably on for generations becomes worth actual money especially after it gets 'consolidated'. So the bankers spread out like a virus explaining to the newly 'rich' peasants that the best and only way to compete is to borrow on their imaginary equity to buy a tractor for instance, maybe a free sample of GMO seeds and some of the chemicals they need to live.

Sure enough, sooner or later the tractor dies. It happens, for a big Agri-Biz outfit its no big deal, but for our indebted one tractor operation it means borrow more or lose everything. The debt noose. Soon the peasants are bankrupt and the higest bidder is some pack of scumbag investment fund vultures.

It's the road to the barrio, the road to starvation wages in some hell-hole job making crap that for the crapitalists to export now that there's no tariffs, eh. Even if a govt passes more just laws the foreign investors can challenge them through the secret tribunal process.

“Unlike agribusiness, peasants do not treat food as a commodity for speculation profiting out of hunger. They do not patent nature for profit, keeping it out of the hands of the common man and woman. They share their knowledge and seeds, so everyone can have food to eat.” - La Via Campesina

Tackling the trade law dimension of ‘land grabbing' by the International Institute for Environment and Development

Food, Water, Health, Life: UN Experts Warn of Threats Posed by Secret 'Trade' Deals

Biofuels, Food Riots and Land Grabs

The Road to Disaster in Bangladesh Paved by 'Free Food' Donations and Land Grabbing Corporations

Free Trade - the Rich's Global Corporate Weapon, Fair Trade - the People's and Gaia's Defense

Sir James Goldsmith's indictment of Big Ag as it relates to "free trade" agreements


Mulcair and/or Trudeau Must Contrast Fair Trade vs. Free Trade to Refocus the TPP Progressively

But the way it looks right now, the hero of the battle to stop the damned TPP is gonna be Bernie Sanders. See Bernie has been on the anti-TPP barnstorming circle since day 1. Bernie has been so loud about his views and has already seriously eroded the unstoppable Hillary juggernaut causing the announcement that Hillary Clinton does not support the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), rejecting a central tenet of President Barack Obama’s strategic pivot to Asia. This, along with many who oppose it in Congress already, could spell the end of  it.

When asked, 'Why so much secrecy about the TPP deal?',  Dr. Jack Rasmus, Professor of Political Economy at Santa Clara University in California answered "We are going to see the continuation of big problems with the pharmaceutical industry and price gouging,"

Rasmus went on to explain: "There are leaks that have come out here. And I think one of them that is really important is that this treaty may turn out to be a kind of a ‘killer’. And by that I mean, specifically, if you look at the provisions that have been leaked on the generic drug agreements. Generic drug agreements will protect the pharmaceutical industry in the US that is already price gouging American consumers raising prices for life-saving drugs by thousands of percent now and creating quite an issue in the US in possible legislation. This treaty, what it does, protects those pharmaceutical companies. It allows them to continue to charge for up to five to eight years those high prices and prevents generic drugs from providing lower prices."

"So, it is really a big concession to the pharmaceutical industry. And it will allow… pretty much because this treaty prevents legislation that contradicts the treaty if it goes through, we won’t be able to pass this legislation in the US. And the treaty has its own courts, so, you won’t be able to issue regulations. It allows corporations to challenge in those treaty courts and sue governments who try to regulate it. So, we are going to see the continuation of big problems with the pharmaceutical industry, price gouging and causing problems. And then, of course, there is the tobacco industry as well."

These secret corporate courts are one of the worst aspects of the TPP. It's throughout the whole deal as part of the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provision, which permits multinational companies to sue governments over allegations that profits were lost due to local regulations. According to The Economist, ISDS gives foreign firms a special right to apply to a secretive tribunal of highly paid corporate lawyers for compensation whenever the government passes a law … that [negatively impacts] corporate profits — such things as discouraging smoking, protecting the environment or preventing nuclear catastrophe.

Free trade, this deal particularly, isn't just words to be parsed, it's a whole globe girdling, planet pulverising, paradigm. As Maude Barlow puts it, " I'm referring to those awkward facts about free trade, like that Canada lost 334,000 manufacturing jobs in the first five years after the Canada-U.S. deal was signed -- a decline that continued under NAFTA and continues to this day. Good paying full-time jobs are more often than not replaced by precarious part-time work, which contributes to Canada's stagnating middle-income wages over the past 20 years. It's a harsh reality of the free trade era that most of the new wealth created -- and free trade does create wealth -- went straight to the top, to the richest one per cent in Canada and globally."

So the obvious answer to 'Why so much secrecy about the TPP deal? is that if people, the non-corporate scumbag people, knew what was being left secret they'd...well who knows what...right now though, 12 days from Canada's most important election ever, the way the TPP is seen by the voters will be a huge factor in the voting booth. Free Trade is a weapon of the 1%, Fair Trade is a tool of the 99% That stance, taken by either Trudeau or Mulcair would IMO change the TPP conversation immediately.


TPP - the Toilet Paper Plan - Designed by the Corporations to Wipe Out Inconvenient Democracy

Today's announcement that the TPP - The Toilet Paper Plan that has been carefully planned to end democracy - has been a-greed to will be regurgitated by the MSM and the government stooges captured by corporate money won't mention is the worst aspect of the deal - the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provision - which permits multinational corporations to sue governments over allegations that their imaginary profits were lost due to local regulations, for instance those that protect the environment from the destruction caused by the myth of endless growth and endless greed.

Like all 'free trade' agreements designed by the multinational corporations and agreed to by our captured governments in secret, the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provision, permits multinational companies to sue governments over allegations that profits were lost due to local regulations. The main objective being that these criminal agreements allow governments, including Canada's, to bypass all the messy, inconvenient rights FNs and others have and until now allowed to those right's holders to challenge the bastards in court. Here's the best explanation i've read of how and the ISDS provision, id adopted, will be the end of democracy.

As Ellen Brown says, "the ISDS gives foreign firms a special right to apply to a secretive tribunal of highly paid corporate lawyers for compensation whenever the government passes a law … that [negatively impacts] corporate profits — such things as discouraging smoking, protecting the environment or preventing nuclear catastrophe."

The battle to stop the TPP isn't over yet, yesterday Tom Mulcair, leader of Canada's official opposition party the NDP, seemed to find his legs when he railed against the harm he sees to Canada's economy posed by the TPP [though no mention was ever made of the ISDS] and vowed to not be bound by it if elected in the election in 2+ weeks.

Harper will do anything and everything to serve his masters and benefactors including undermining the ability of future governments as Murray Dobbin article about how the 'Poison pill' strategy ties hands of future governments explains. Will Mulcair and/or Truteau ever actually stand up on their hind legs and 'just say no' to the corporate NWO wet dream that the TPP is so much a part of? Who knows. But no law, no treaty, no contract is absolute. If/when a truly revolutionary government comes into being they will throw out the immoral traitors and their concentration camp laws just as those who overthrew colonial rule did [and are still doing].


ABC and Strategic Voting Set to Determine the Outcome of Canada's Oct. 19th Election

The number one thing all of the polls and prognosticators agree on is the at least 2 out of every 3 Canadian wants Harper defeated. Even the meaningless day by day national horce polls show the same picture. But...because of Canada's antiquated first past the post voting system [still used in only the US, UK and Canada in the 'developed' world] Harper sits today, 17 days before the vote, on the verge of 'victory' and Canada sits on the verge of being openly acknowledged as a faux democracy.

But there are still many routes to seeing Harper's exit. In many ridings across the country. According to even the Globe and Mail "there are dozens of ridings across Canada where the ABHers will determine the outcome." ABH = Anybody but Harper. Another prominent and power group of veterans who disagree with Harper's policies is rallying under the banner "Anyone But Conservatives -- Canadian Veterans Campaign 2015.

Vote ABC is cutting into Harper's base in many areas. The organization is asking Canadians to vote for any alternative to the current government, citing Conservative decisions such as replacing lifetime pensions for injured vets with lump-sum payments, cutting 900 jobs from Veterans Affairs Canada since 2006, and closing offices around the country saying: "[The Conservatives] saved $3.9 million by closing nine Veteran Affairs offices while having the gall to spend $4.5 million for Hockey Night in Canada TV ads to tell Canadians how great a job they are doing to help veterans." Many veterans have declared war on Harper.

For those who need reminding, Robyn Smith's 'The Harper Abuse of Power Compendium' is a can't miss election read. It covers seventy scams, smears and stings. For example, did you know the Harper government was the first in Canadian history to be found in contempt of Parliament? Or that the Conservative party has violated elections laws or ethics at least 17 times? Or that Harper's team defied a court order demanding it share info how tax money is spent, denying it to Canada's independent budget watchdog 170 times? Or that the Conservatives outraged the Canadians Taxpayers Association and others by spending some $750 million in public money on partisan ads to promote their own party?

The stage is set, the tension of this weird balance is mounting, it appears that the question of whether voters in the critical swing ridings will vote with their brains for the best possible anti-Harper candidate or not will the deciding factor.

There has been though in the last couple of weeks a crack in the neck to neck to neck numbers and the NDP has chosen to lead from the rear [preferring the view of the horse race from there]. If this momentum in preference for Trudeau and the Liberals continues for another week or so i hope and expect to see Trudeau pushing his 'legalize it' stance loud and proud because legal marijuana could bring out a big youth vote for him plus it distinguishes the Liberals from the NDP's wishy-washy stance on this and provides a positive economic benefit that Trudeau hasn't yet taken much advantage of.

i'm still predicting a Liberal Minority govt. on Oct 20th and that that outcome will happen because the Cannabis question combined with the strategic votes of Canadians will carry the day.