By Emma Teitel - Tuesday, September 25, 2012 - 0 Comments
Congresswoman Baldwin has a different view of Wisconsin than the Republican VP nominee
Republican vice-presidential candidate, and Ayn Rand fan boy, Paul Ryan isn’t the only big thing to come out of Wisconsin this year. There is also his polar opposite: former Wisconsin congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, a Democratic rising star with a labour movement past, whose current Senate race could make her America’s first openly gay senator. Wisconsin, a swing state, has a history of favouring Democrat politicians, but a recent history of electing Republican ones.
At the Democratic national convention earlier this month, Baldwin spoke on the same night as President Obama. She contrasted the Wisconsin “she knows” with the Wisconsin now controlled by her opponents: “You’ve heard a lot about Wisconsin lately,” said Baldwin. “You’ve heard about Paul Ryan, who wants to end Medicare as we know it. You’ve heard about Scott Walker, who took basic rights away from public employees. Maybe you’ve even heard about [former governor] Tommy Thompson, who went to Washington, cashed in on his special interest connections, and never really came back.”
“The Wisconsin I know,” she continued, in one of her only oratory nods to gay rights and marriage equality, “believes that with each passing year and generation, our country must become more equal, not less.” It was a speech about her country, couched in a speech about Wisconsin—especially fitting because the state’s official motto, “Forward,” is the same motto used by the Obama election campaign. Which means it’s the same motto Wisconsinite Republicans like Ryan and Thompson are forced to celebrate in their home state and deride on the national stage.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, July 30, 2012 at 8:00 AM - 0 Comments
Enbridge, the company behind the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, makes the news for a minor spill in Wisconsin.
The spill blackened a small field but did not appear to cause major damage. It comes almost two years to the day after a much larger spill in Michigan’s Kalamazoo River and at a time when the company is seeking support for its proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, which would carry oil from Alberta to British Columbia for export to Asia.
BC critics fret. Massachusetts Congressman Ed Markey invokes BP. The U.S. Transportation Department is investigating. And Reuters tallies accidents and leaks at Enbridge facilities over the last decade.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, August 12, 2011 at 1:50 PM - 2 Comments
In light of events in British Columbia and Wisconsin, Greg Fingas defends direct democracy initiatives.
The leading example is of course California, whose combination of conflicting citizen initiatives and political gridlock has made it virtually impossible to make reasonable budgetary decisions or carry out any long-term planning. And direct democratic processes shouldn’t serve as the only outlet for citizen involvement between elections. Indeed, both of the above examples could have been avoided if the governments involved had consulted with residents to determine whether their policy choices were even faintly defensible.
But there’s always some risk that a government that believes itself to be four years away from any accountability might push far beyond the limits of reasonable political choice. And some mechanism for citizens to take back our representative authority in case of emergency might work wonders to reduce the danger of overreach in the future.
By Andrew Coyne - Monday, February 28, 2011 at 9:10 AM - 117 Comments
COYNE: The most effective deterrent to reform is the power of public sector unions to make their lives miserable
At one of his sporadic encounters with the press the other day in Vancouver, a statesmanlike Prime Minister implored opposition members of Parliament to dispense with political games and “focus on the economy.”
Some readers may be inclined to suggest the Prime Minister should tell this to Stephen Harper. But he is hardly the first political leader to sound this theme: of the vital necessity of elected representatives maintaining a constant vigil on the economy, undistracted by elections, polls or any of the other things that politicians think about all day long, else the whole thing collapse.
It’s never entirely clear what this means. Is it that the economy is kept alive by a kind of collective wish of the political class, like Tinker Bell? (“Focus on the economy, boys and girls: focus really hard!”) Or are we to believe that the economy is waiting for them to actually do something? That would require no less of an imaginative leap: these days, the agenda facing governments at every level consists, in the main, not in fresh openings for the application of government’s miraculous healing powers, but in undoing the mistakes of past governments.
By John Parisella - Friday, February 25, 2011 at 7:04 PM - 63 Comments
The battle lines over public sector wages and benefits are being drawn in the…
The battle lines over public sector wages and benefits are being drawn in the state of Wisconsin and there is every indication the outcome will be messy. At issue is how government employees affect public finances. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker not only wishes to tackle this issue, but has gone a step further in wanting to permanently change how the state will conduct collective bargaining in the future.
Unions see this as a full frontal attack on the labour movement. The fact 36 per cent of union members work in the public sector, while only 7 per cent work in the private sector has made this an easy Republican versus Democratic battle about the role and size of government.
By macleans.ca - Friday, April 16, 2010 at 9:00 AM - 0 Comments
The hair of the Mutt, That’ll teach them to follow the law and Twin peaks
The hair of the Mutt
Shania Twain is breaking her stoic and refreshingly dignified silence on her ex-husband’s infidelity. She’s signed on to star in a reality series on the new Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), which goes to air Jan. 1. The series, Why Not?, will explore the “life-altering heartbreak” of the end of her 14-year marriage to music producer Mutt Lange, and her recovery. Lange took up with Marie-Anne Thiébaud, a long-time secretary and house manager at Twain and Lange’s estate in Switzerland. Twain is recovering by dating Thiébaud’s ex-husband, Frédéric, which has a certain symmetry to it. “This is a very personal experience that I think is important to share,” she told Winfrey. One unlikely to agree is the highly reclusive Lange, which may be the point of the exercise.
That’ll teach them to follow the law
Wisconsin’s new sex education law, which requires any such courses to include lessons on birth control and sexually transmitted diseases, is “sick and shameful,” says Scott Southworth, district attorney for Juneau County. Southworth warns he’ll prosecute teachers who teach contraception, as mandated by law. The charge would be contributing to the delinquency of a minor, punishable by up to nine months (how appropriate!) in jail, and a $10,000 fine. “I didn’t pick the fight,” says Southworth, a Christian evangelical, “the legislature dumped it in my lap.” Coincidentally, it’s Teen Pregnancy Month, and Bristol Palin, 19, has filmed a public service message with her infant son Tripp. It’s a bit of a shift from her earlier strictly-abstinence line. “Pause before you play,” she warns.
The NHL schedule being what it is, Vancouver Canuck forward Henrik Sedin has a limited profile in Eastern Canada. Expect that to change. Sedin won the league scoring title on the weekend, with 112 points, beating superstars Alex Ovechkin, in second, and Sidney Crosby, in third. Sedin scored four assists in his final regular-season game against Calgary on Saturday. In typical fashion, three of those passes fed his identical twin Daniel, who scored a hat trick. Daniel may have challenged for the points race if he hadn’t missed 19 games due to injury. He potted 85 points, or 1.35 points per game to Henrik’s 1.37. The brothers also finished the three previous seasons within one or two points of each other—an eerie accomplishment over 82 games. That and their no-look passes to each other cement the theory that some twins really are telepathic.