Accidental Deliberations: On performance reviews

Following up on this post, I’ll weigh in with my own take on the federal NDP’s leadership review – based primarily on the question of what Tom Mulcair seems to have taken away from the 2015 federal election, and how it will position the party in the years to come. As alluded to in some ...

Accidental Deliberations: On evaluations

I’ve written previously about my view as to how NDP members should approach the review of Thomas Mulcair’s leadership at the upcoming federal convention. And in the face of a blizzard of commentary which does little but to echo knee-jerk election post-mortems, I’ll offer a couple of questions for discussion (before providing my own answers ...

Accidental Deliberations: On rebuilding steps

I’ve posted before about the NDP’s strong progressive stance since the October election – which looks to be a positive move in terms of principles and politics alike.  But there’s also a great deal of work to be done on the party side. And I’ll suggest a couple of points which strike me as important ...

Accidental Deliberations: Movements and moments

Let’s continue this line of thought about the federal NDP’s most recent election campaign with my slight twist on one of the more familiar questions which has faced the party (in various forms) over a period of decades. I’ll start by drawing a distinction between two related goals which are bound to figure in a ...

Accidental Deliberations: On purposes

There are plenty of questions which the NDP is rightly asking in the wake of this fall’s federal election results. But Susan Delacourt is uncharacteristically far off base in her view as to what the main question is. By way of contrast, the question of “What’s the point of the party anyway?” was a highly ...

Accidental Deliberations: On balancing acts

For those wondering, I’m indeed following up on these posts and working my way through some of the factors in the NDP’s federal election result. (For more on the subject, see the latest from Lawrence Martin, and Desmond Cole talking to Cheri DiNovo.) I’ll turn now to what’s often been labeled the most important turning ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Karen Brettel and David Rohde discuss how the cult of shareholder value is destroying the concept of corporations actually making anything useful. And Deirdre Hipwell writes that the financial-sector workers pushing aside a real economy in favour of a paper one are miserable and envious as a result. ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the opportunity posed by the change in Canada’s federal government – as well as the risks involved in letting the moment pass without an activist push for meaningful change. For further reading…– Nora Loreto makes much the same point with a particular focus on Canada’s labour movement.– Susan Delacourt notes that Justin Trudeau ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Remembrance Day reading. – Roderick Benns interviews Robin Boadway about the results of past basic income studies which have shown that economic security helps rather than hinders individual participation in the workforce: Benns: What about a basic income guarantee makes it a social justice issue? Boadway: To me, freedom from poverty and ...

Accidental Deliberations: On turnout

Daniel Schwartz reports on the final vote count from last month’s federal election. And given the record vote total and unusually high turnout based on the percentage of eligible voters, it’s particularly worth noting what’s changed since previous, lower-turnout elections. Since 2011, the Conservatives eliminated the per-vote subsidy, which provided political parties with a direct ...

Accidental Deliberations: On open questions

I’ve previously criticized the attempts of outside commentators to push Thomas Mulcair out the door as NDP leader. By the same token, though, I’ll note that it’s equally inappropriate to try to immediately declare that there won’t be any review of Mulcair’s leadership before the next federal election – which seems to be the spin ...

Accidental Deliberations: On definitions

The post-mortems on the NDP’s federal election campaign continue to roll in. And it’s particularly a plus to see that there will be a systematic effort within the party itself to review the choices which led to the election results – both for better and for worse. In the meantime, I’ll continue pointing out my ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Jim Stanford examines what Canada’s federal election says about our attitudes toward economic choices: (P)rogressives need to advance our own economic agenda, to fill the vacuum left by the failure of the Conservative vision. The modest infrastructure spending and small, temporary deficits that form the centerpiece of ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Lana Payne surveys some of the glaring warning signs about the Trans-Pacific Partnership for anybody who thinks a government’s job is to further the interests of citizens rather than corporations: These deals are no longer about free trade. Rather, as I pointed out in my last column, ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Mike Barber highlights how Canada’s federal election campaign was dominated by messages pushed from the top down rather than citizens’ concerns. Erna Paris recognizes that we can’t afford to be complacent about the place of outright bigotry in shaping voters’ decisions. And Christopher Flavelle writes that the ...

Accidental Deliberations: On missed opportunities

As mentioned here, I’ll be adding over the next little while to an already-substantial set of views on the NDP’s choices which led to last week’s federal election results. But I’ll start by expanding on a point which I made briefly earlier in the campaign (at a time when it was far from clear how ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Les Leopold takes a look at the underpinnings of Bernie Sanders’ unexpectedly strong run for the Democratic presidential nomination. And Sean McElwee discusses the type of politics U.S. voters are rightly motivated to change, as big donors have been successful in dictating policy to both major parties. ...

Accidental Deliberations: On ticking clocks

Governing inevitably involves a combination of setting the agenda to the extent possible, and responding to events to the extent necessary. And while there’s a great deal of doubt as to where the Libs’ priorities will lie, it’s possible to identify the areas where they’ll have little choice but to make decisions very quickly. To ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – I’ll start in on my own review of the NDP’s election campaign over the next few days, focusing on what I see as being the crucial decisions as the campaign played out. But for those looking for some of what’s been written already, I’ll point out recaps and ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Martin Lukacs writes that while a change in government offers some possibility of change, the Trudeau campaign wasn’t anything more than a ruse. And Seth Klein and Shannon Daub remind us that we’ll need to be the ones to advance progressive policies in the face of a government ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here (via PressReader), on how the prisoner’s dilemma I wrote about back here wound up playing out in Canada’s federal election. For further reading, particularly on the difference in how the NDP and the Libs treated each other… – Tonda MacCharles’ look behind the scenes of the Cons’ strategy includes this tidbit: Senior Conservative organizer ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Eduardo Porter highlights the continued growth in research showing that social benefits do nothing to stop people from pursuing work, but instead serve to mitigate the risks of precarious survival for the people who need it most. – And Michael Marmot discusses the devastating effects of health ...

Accidental Deliberations: On historical context

Twice before, the federal NDP has been in roughly the same position it holds now, emerging from an election with a relatively high historical seat count that was nonetheless disappointing due to the expectation that a seasoned and respected leader could have done better. After the 1988 election, Ed Broadbent stepped aside as leader. And ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Luke Savage warns that the Libs’ election win may ring hollow for Canadian progressives: Throughout its democratic history, Canadian politics have basically oscillated between two parties that do not seriously threaten the status quo or the injustices it perpetuates. Occasionally goaded by organized populist movements, they have both ...

Accidental Deliberations: On defining themes

I’ve pointed out previously that the Libs’ advantage during the federal election came from the fact that the primary message against them was one which could be disproven. And it’s worth also noting the converse of that: the Libs’ own theme of “real change” was difficult for anybody to disprove during a campaign in the ...