Torontoist, “Scene: Where is Ai Weiwei?”
Protest pictures, details and comments posted onto the worldwide 1001 Chairs for Ai Weiwei Facebook group. Pix from New York City here, here, here. Pix from Munich here.
This Sunday, at Chinese embassies all over the world, protesters are planning a global sit-in to protest the detention of the internationally renowned Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. Ai was taken into custody by Chinese authorities nearly two weeks ago for what government officials now say are questions about his finances.
The protesters will be bringing chairs to sit on. They aren’t worried about getting tired. The design of the protest is a homage to a piece by Ai that was exhibited in 2007 at Documenta 12, a major arts festival in Kassel, Germany. Read the rest of this entry »
Again, as I wrote before, I am not a fan of Ms. Helena Guergis (Wikipedia) but Prime Minister Stephen Harper has now been proven to step out of line and his and PMO’s inappropriate behaviour cannot be ignored.
Here is audio excerpt of Ms. Guergis eloquently defending herself on April 15th CBC Power and Politics.
Check out the full 25 minutes PnP podcast here.
I am not be a big fan of Ms. Helena Guergis (Wikipedia) but how her reputation was smeared and damaged by Prime Minister Stephen Harper is pure and simply wrong! I am shocked and ashamed of Harper and PMO’s total disregard of due process and justice, and covering things up by smearing of Ms. Guergis’ name.
Have a watch of Helena Guergis’s statement (via CBC News). Have a listen to CBC Power & Politics April 15th podcast after Helena Guergis’ press conference.
See CBC News “Harper ‘tossed me under a bus’: Guergis”
“During the news conference, Guergis accused staff in Harper’s communications office of running a “destructive campaign” against her and perpetrating “false allegations” that damaged her reputation.
“Not only was it made to seem I was guilty of conduct that has never been disclosed to me — going against the very core of what our principles of justice are built on — the Prime Minister’s Office still made it seem as though I was guilty of something even after I had been proven innocent,” Guergis said.
“This of course is the worst kind of politics, the kind that Canadians abhor,” she said.”
To me, the following nine words said by Andy Beaudoin, Ms. Guergis’ campaign manager, summarize what made me angry most.
“Guilty until proven innocent. Guilty after being proven innocent!”
As proud Canadians, we have to keep our elected political leaders honest, regardless of which party we support.
I will try to add more to this entry later.
The lawless Chinese government has detained Chinese artist Ai Weiwei but his family, friends, and supporters have no idea of his whereabout.
Opposition Motion (LP) Non-Confidence in the government vote for Contempt of Parliament (yeas 156) (nays 145)Friday, 25 March, 2011
For the record Opposition Motion (LP) Confidence in the government.
Clock at 00. Getting ready to vote.
12:13pm MST The moment of truth has started. The fall of the Harper government is in progress.
12:25pm MST The moment of truth. Opposition Motion (LP) Non-Confidence in the government vote – (yeas 156) (nays 145). The Harper government has fallen.
Go out and vote and exercise our democratic rights, the same rights that citizens of other countries are willing to die to have.
For everything there is a season
I may disagree with our elected politicians’ views and policies, but I understand it is not easy to run in an election, to serve constituents, and have ones’ private and public lives be constantly scrutinized. As I watched many retiring Members of Parliament said their goodbyes in the House today, I want to thank them for serving our country.
I know it is easy to be critical of “politicians” in general but today, I want to thank our our retiring Members of Parliament for making our democratic system work.
Without MPs – Who will run our country, be tasked to make our great country better, and be held accountable?
Thank you all.
Sometimes we have to fight for our democracy and this is one of those cases. We have ourselves to blame if we don’t hold Stephen Harper accountable for his government’s contempt of Parliament. And lets not forget his abrupt suspension of Parliament two years ago to prevent a confidence vote! We, as Canadians, need to hold Harper accountable for his contempt of our democracy. If we keep letting him get away with it, one day it will be too late.
For the record.
* From CBC,
“There’s a case against the government for breach of privilege after it refused to hand over detailed cost estimates of its anti-crime agenda, and a minister may have misled MPs, House of Commons Speaker Peter Milliken said Wednesday in a ruling reasserting Parliament’s authority.
Milliken ruled there was a “prima facie breach of privilege” — in other words, enough evidence to send two separate motions back to MPs to decide the next step.”
* Globe and Mail Editorial,
“Contempt in its ordinary meaning is not terribly far off the legal one, and it is that ordinary meaning – lack of respect, intense dislike, scorn – that offers a useful guide to understanding Wednesday’s ruling by Speaker Peter Milliken. The government has scorned Parliament, and shown a lack of respect to the people entrusted by Canadians to represent their interests, in refusing a committee’s request for detailed information on the costs of federal law-and-order legislation. Mr. Milliken’s ruling that the government “on its face” breached parliamentary privilege will now give rise to a vote on contempt. Read the rest of this entry »
From CBC News “Egypt braces for Mubarak’s possible ouster“.
A very [I hope for a very] different outcome than what happened in Tiananmen Square 1989 in China.
1:46pm MST Update: Muybarak speaking LIVE. Looks like he is NOT quitting tonight. I don’t think thats what the Egyptian people in Tahrir Square want to hear.
I hope CBC Neil Macdonald analysis in “Brace yourself for an inevitable crackdown” is wrong but I am deeply worried now.
9:52am MST, Feb 11, 2011 Update: “Egypt’s Mubarak resigns – Hard and uncertain job of transferring power to people begins“
“In order for briefs on Bill C-32 to be considered by the Committee in a timely fashion, the document should be submitted to the Committee’s mailbox at CC32@parl.gc.ca by the end of January, 2011. A brief which is longer than 5 pages should be accompanied by a 1 page executive summary and in any event should not exceed 10 pages in length.“
Jan 10th, 2011 Update: MSNBC and CBC interviews of Daniel Hernandez, a Giffords intern who had basic nursing training and his heroic actions at the scene have been credited in saving Giffords and other victims’ lives. Henry Champ (retired CBC foreign correspondent), “Time to listen to the sheriff and pack up the vitriol“.
I am very saddened of the tragedy happened yesterday in Tucson, Arizona. The attack on Rep. Gabby Giffords and the bystanders was sickening. My thought goes to Rep. Gabby Giffords, her families & loved ones and to the people who were killed or hurt yesterday and their families and loved ones. (From NYT, “Among those killed were John M. Roll, 63, the chief judge for the United States District Court for Arizona, and Gabriel Zimmerman, 30, who was the director of community outreach for Ms. Giffords. The others who died were identified as Christina Green, 9; Dorothy Morris, 76; Dorwin Stoddard, 76; and Phyllis Schneck, 79.“)
Watching the news yesterday and the ongoing updates today made me feel sad state of American politics and democracy. And also made me reflect on the rhetorics that have infected Canadian politics in recent years.
“For example, we’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list, but the thing is, that the way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gunsight over our district. When people do that, they have to realize that there are consequences to that action,” Giffords had said in an interview with MSNBC. [text copied from CBC]
NPR Radio, “Giffords: A Centrist, A Fighter, A Public Servant”
Here are three interesting articles about Naheed and his campaign,
– New mayor celebrates Calgary’s ‘crazy mix’, by Don Braid, Calgary Herald
– How Naheed Nenshi won Calgary’s race for mayor, Calgary Herald
– Call him Mayor: Naheed Nenshi, new council sworn into office (with video) (emphasis added) Calgary Herald, 11:03pm Oct, 25, 2010,
“As he received claps, hoots and hollers normally reserved for rock stars, Naheed Kurban Nenshi told a City Hall atrium full of purple-clad supporters: “We cannot let you down.”
After a winning campaign of promises to build an airport tunnel and a southeast LRT, improve snow removal and shred bureaucratic red tape, he offered Calgarians a further pledge:
“This council will be more open,” he said, the mayor’s chain around his neck and the city’s 14 alderman at his side.
“We’ll make it easier for you to engage in our conversation. We’ll better understand your needs and your priorities and we’ll act on them. We’ll listen. We’ll get beyond division and individualism to work together for the best interests of all Calgarians. And we’ll do it every single day.”
He marvelled at the election’s high voter turnout and public conversation, and challenged Calgarians to keep doing their part.
“You have to do your part. Hold us to account,” he said.
“Tell us when we’re devolving into the politics as usual. Tell us when our priorities are not your priorities.”
“Get engaged and stay engaged,” he said, exhorting people to join community associations and other groups.”
Oct 18th 10:14pm update: Live Blog: 2010 Calgary mayoral election (Naheed Nenshi, Ric McIver, Barb Higgins)
I wish I could vote for the winning combination of Barb Higgins, Ric McIver and Naheed Nenshi today because there are some qualities in them that I admire (even though there are things in them that I wish I could change).
Based on discussions amongst friends and the online (Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc) interests (mostly by supporters urging others to vote for their choices), civic engagement is a clear winner in this election. If the polling predictions of a tight three-way race comes true, then almost 50+% (0r probably 60+%) of Calgarians will wake up Tuesday morning to a new mayor that they have NOT voted for.
What to do after the election?
It is important to vote today. But equally important is for us to stay involved and care about Calgary after the election. Hold our elected representatives accountable. I have outlined some of what I expect from my alderman and mayor in their 3-year term no matter who gets elected tonight.
P.S. Who am I voting for today?
Some people may wonder who am I voting for today. I have debated the pros and cons of publicizing who I support but I decided to stay focus on what is important. The key to this election can’t be just about picking the winner in a popularity contest. My hope is Calgarians will actively engage our aldermen and mayor to build a better Calgary regardless of who we individually support in this race. The mayor will represent us all, and the aldermen will represent each of the 14 wards.
Please hold our aldermen and mayor accountable after the election, regardless of who you vote for.