The 2012 federal budget was tabled in the House of Commons on Thursday afternoon. Here’s a roundup of reaction. (and I’ll be updating as I slowly catch up reading through the blizzard of releases that followed Thursday’s budget…
Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong and now a member of the British House of Lords, reviews what looks to be an interesting book from journalist Jonathan Fenby: Tiger Head, Snake Tails: China Today, How it Got There and Where it is Heading:
The gee-whiz statistics of China’s economic ascent since it made its peace with capitalism – albeit a pretty rough and sharp-elbowed variety – are all on parade here. China exports as much in a day now as it did in a year when I first clapped eyes on it in 1979. It is the largest manufacturer and exporter, the biggest maker of steel and consumer of energy, and dominates the market in everything from vuvuzelas to sombreros.
While 400m or more Chinese have been lifted out of poverty, problems darken the polluted heavens. The environmental toll of helter-skelter growth has been heavy. As the Gini coefficient shows, the gap between the very rich (often the very seriously rich) and the poor has grown wider. So is China, observers ask, a rich country with a lot of poor people or a poor country with a lot of rich citizens? The population is ageing fast, with an increasingly obvious gender imbalance; the number of favoured males is outstripping the female population. By mid-century, with 1bn Chinese living in water-stressed cities, the largest population in the world will be Indian.
Back in December on my program the Daily Brief, we invited psychic Blair Robertson to join us to give us a heads-up on what was going to happen in 2012. Though Robertson now lives in Arizona, he was born and raised in Toronto. Among other things, Robertson predicted in December that Mulcair would win the NDP leadership. But he also said at the time that, in his view, the Mulcair win was not going to be a good thing for the NDP, suggesting that the win will produce a great deal of backstabbing. “I feel the NDP is going to be in total disarray. We are going to see a big mess in the future no matter who wins.” Continue reading In December, psychic predicted Mulcair's win — followed by NDP backstabbing
New Democrats this weekend elected Thomas Mulcair, the MP for Outremont, to be Jack Layton’s successor.
With that election, the slate of leaders who will present themselves to the Canadian electorate in 2015 for prime minister is four-fifths complete. Mulcair will lead the New Democrats. Stephen Harper (one assumes) will lead the Conservatives. Elizabeth May will lead the Green Party and Daniel Paillé will lead the Bloc Québecois.
So far, the question of who will lead the Liberals in that election is yet to be decided.
I’m in Toronto this weekend to cover the NDP leadership convention.
There are 130,000 people eligible to vote. The party has just announced that 55,659 ballots were cast ahead of time using the preferential ballot. The balance will be cast in real-time during each round of voting. The first round of voting begins tonight at 5 pm EDT. The results from the first ballot will be announced Saturday morning at 1000 EDT. (We’ll have all the results live on Sun News Network)
There is an army of media here. The party says nearly 700 “media” credentials have been provided.
And there is also an army of New Democrats here: 4,212 registered delegates at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.