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Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

This and that for your mid-week reading.

- Erin Weir posts the statement of a 70-strong (and growing) list of Canadian economists opposed to austerity. Heather Mallick frames the latest Con budget as yet another example of their using personal cruelty as a governing philosophy, while the Star’s editorial board goes into detail about the dangers of yet another round of politically-motivated attacks on environmental and public interest charities.

- Meanwhile, Frances Russell slams the Cons’ efforts to rig the 2015 election. And Jordon Cooper discusses how voting is already too difficult for marginalized people without the Cons going out (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- The Economist takes a look at the effect of international trade agreements – and confirms the long-held concern that the erosion and non-enforcement of labour standards consistently follows the signing of government suicide pacts: Some results are rather unsurprising. Countries with better civil liberties tend to have higher labour standards. Countries in the OECD, which are richer, do better than those outside (only one OECD member, Turkey, has a score less than 15). But other results in the paper are alarming. During the 1980s and 1990s, the labour-rights index fell precipitously (see (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Angella MacEwen rightly slams the Cons’ attempt to use Employment Insurance funds as a subsidy for employers at the expense of workers. And Don Lenihan sees the Cons’ structure as a cynical means of trying to claim success by ignoring the actual purpose of funding for training: This reassignment of resources from one social group to another is neither open nor transparent. On the contrary, as we’ve seen, the CJG requires an investment by the sponsoring employer. The unspoken point here is that employers are highly unlikely to sponsor anyone other than (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Glen Hodgson and Brenda Lafleur explain how Canada’s lower and middle classes alike have been left out of any economic growth as a result of increased inequality: We believe the more accurate interpretation is that after worsening in the 1980s and 1990s, income inequality and poverty in Canada remained stuck at a relatively high level during the 2000s. This interpretation should prompt the question, “Can anything be done about it?”

The 1990s were a difficult decade for Canadians. By the late 1990s, real median after-tax income fell to its lowest level in (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how the Cons’ abuse of supporters’ donations can only stoke cynicism about the value of participating in politics – but how the limited number of people currently involved in politics creates a huge opportunity to change the system.

For further reading…- Samara’s poll and analysis on public participation can be found here (PDF).  – The finding that the Conservatives’ voter database was used to commit election fraud was of course made by Judge Mosley as discussed here. And CBC’s reporting on Greg Horton’s affidavit mentions the Conservatives’ willingness to lavish $32,000 in donations on Mike (Read more…)

Leftist Jab: Edmonton Sun Successfully Trolls National Post

Edmonton mayor Stephen Mandel is too busy to know what he’s talking about

The Edmonton Sun, a bottom feeding tabloid, majestically trolled National Post columnists Chris Selley and Jonathan Kay.

Earlier this week in his “Full Pundit” column that comments on commentary from the commentariat, Chris Selley poked fun at the Calgary Herald’s editorial board hyperbolic praise of Calgarians for

The Canadian Progressive: #MacheteSomethingYEG: Edmonton’s twitchy-eyed, machete-wielding savages strike back

by: Obert Madondo | @Obiemad:

Earlier this week, National Post opinion writer Chris Selley said that if the southern Alberta floods had touched Edmonton, that city would become “a smoking hole in the ground at this point, infested with twitchy-eyed, machete-wielding savages“.

A gigantic sarcasm fail that turned out to be.

Edmontons took to Twitter and, using the hash tag #MacheteSomethingYEG, showed how proud they are of the Alberta capital. Even Mayor Stephen Mandel joined in on the fun.

Mister. AOC (@MisterAOC) updated his status with: Let’s enjoy these machetes while we can. Before the High River RCMP gets (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Preston Manning Is Gonna Shit A Phonebook!

An outdated and insulting column from an appointed hack.  The dumbest bit:

Members of various ethnic communities are fed up with platitudes. They are active members of our society at all levels, and they demand no special status – they just want an equal opportunity to contribute to the continued development of their communities. That’s what they should expect and that’s what we should demand of them.

So according to Leo Housakos, immigrants get special status while the rest of us schleps pay the bills.  I`ve heard that line before, and it is exactly the kind of toxic blithering that

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Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- While we may sometimes lose track of the continuing differences between Canadian politics and those in the U.S., here’s a reminder of how we’re familiar with a far wider and more progressive range of public policy choices: while we’ve seen plenty of discussion about improving the standard for retirement benefits available under our national pension plan (even if public support for that expansion has been ignored by a right-wing government), Duncan Black’s call to do the same for Social Security is being raised as a voice in the wilderness: If the

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Accidental Deliberations: Friday Evening Links

Miscellaneous material to end your week.

- Lawrence Martin questions the media’s obsession with fabricating stories out of imagined motivations and insignificant shifts in poll numbers: In the year before an election, the media’s heavy focus on tiny political twists and turns is understandable. Here in Canada, a federal campaign is likely a long way off, the Conservatives’ numbers are stable and so are those of the NDP. But it doesn’t prevent the rash of pollster and media speculation about who is up and who is down and who might be headed in either direction.

A headline the other day

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Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Karl Flecker discusses how the Cons’ push to encourage employers to use temporary foreign workers will affect wages for everybody: In fact, what Kenney said was untrue. He has conveniently forgotten that his government significantly changed the wage rules for employers hiring high-skilled migrant workers. On April 25, 2012, after direct consultations with a select group of employers, Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources Skills Development Canada, announced a new “Accelerated Labour Market Opinion” to provide employers with “greater flexibility.” “Wages,” she said, “that are up to 15 per cent below

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Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Derrick O’Keefe calls for a mass movement to stop the Harper Cons in their tracks now, rather than waiting for 2015: Thoughts of ousting Harper in 2015 are well and good, but not nearly sufficient at this perilous moment for democracy and social justice in Canada. Given Bill C-38 and the events of the past few months – think about the “robocalls” scandal and the F-35 cost fiasco, for starters – nothing less than an unprecedented mass movement in the streets will suffice to push back and change the correlation of forces

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Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Lana Payne weighs in on the Cons’ goal of reducing wages for Canadian workers: As an economist, Stephen Harper must know what his government’s changes to employment insurance (EI), the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), the elimination of the Fair Wage Act and the assault on collective bargaining in the federal sector will mean for the wages and working conditions of Canadians.

Combined, they will result in a transformation of Canada’s labour market, erode the right to fair and free collective bargaining, and make workers more vulnerable, less demanding, more compliant. Combined,

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Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

This and that for your weekend reading.

- Doug Saunders points out that we have a relatively simple choice between seeking to exact revenge on criminal offenders and actually reducing crime: We know exactly why Norway has such lower recidivism numbers. Prisoners, being under constant observation, are very easy to study, and they’ve been studied like mad. Cambridge University criminologist Friedrich Lösel recently compared scores of studies in a dozen countries and found they reached almost identical conclusions.

He found that what causes prisoners to reoffend at lower rates, everywhere, is basic education, vocational and employability programs, anger management and

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your weekend reading.

- Lana Payne tears into the Cons for being interested solely in developing a junk labour market where both work safety and income security are sorely lacking. And Chris Selley offers his own rebuttal to the “no such thing as a bad job” mentality: Mr. Flaherty’s sound byte might live longer than that, though. It certainly begs for inclusion in an NDP attack ad. If an Old Princetonian with a $235,000 public salary and a lavish pension is going to stand up and tell Canadians that “there is no bad job,” then at the

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Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Erin points out that there’s a relatively simple cure for Dutch disease – just as long as provincial governments are willing to put citizens ahead of resource extractors: (S)ince resources are priced in American dollars, the higher exchange rate further reduces provincial resource revenues in Canadian dollars. Saskatchewan’s recent budget estimates that each U.S. cent of appreciation in the loonie reduces non-renewable resource revenue by $34 million.

The solution is to increase royalty rates, which would moderate the flow of foreign funds into our resource industries and collect the public revenue needed

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Thomas Walkom points out that the McGuinty Libs’ choice to emphasize austerity rather than stabilizing Ontario’s economy may lead down exactly the same destructive path travelled by Greece and other countries: (T)he crises in Spain, Portugal and Greece occurred because government spending cuts designed to remedy debt problems sent those countries spinning into economic decline.

Throughout much of Europe, measures aimed at reducing debt have created a self-reinforcing spiral of doom.

Government workers are laid off to save money, which leads to higher unemployment. Higher unemployment reduces tax revenues, thereby widening fiscal deficits.

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Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 Roundup

Thanks to an end-of-week conference it’s been a few days since I’ve done a general roundup on the NDP leadership race. And based on the pace of activity, it looks like we’re into the home stretch as candidates enter the last couple of weeks in which to sign up new members.

- Niki Ashton unveiled the support of MP Carol Hughes before participating in the National Student Day of Action.

- Nathan Cullen earned a column’s worth of discussion from Chris Selley, albeit with the conclusion that his electoral co-operation plan likely won’t fly.

- Paul Dewar unveiled a plan

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Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 Roundup

Yes, we’re at the point in the campaign where we can’t go a couple of days without plenty of developments – even in the absence of formal debates or other major events. So let’s take a look at how the week ended on the campaign trail.

- Niki Ashton received a glowing review (if not quite an endorsement) from Joe Comartin in the course of a visit to Windsor – while also drawing what may be a noteworthy contrast to Thomas Mulcair as to her choices about citizenship.

- Nathan Cullen is fitting a request for online pledges of support

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Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to end your weekend.

- Chris Selley rightly points out that for all the damage the Cons can do in a term of majority government, we shouldn’t overstate how much of it is irreversible. And more importantly, while it’s well worth putting time and effort into defending the institutions under attack to the extent possible, the opposition parties may be able to accomplish far more by planning out what comes next after the Cons’ wrecking crew is done.

- Which isn’t to say there isn’t plenty to be outraged about in the short term – from putting Canada’s

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Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- pogge points out the Cons’ suppression of news that a lack of running water on First Nations reserves facilitated the spread of H1N1 – offering a case in point as to both how neglect of social needs can carry widespread ramifications, and how little interest the Cons have in improving matters. But the story looks like another prime example as to how we could and should be doing better for people facing third-world conditions in our midst – as Dan Gardner rightly points out.

- Of course the Harper Cons’ end-of-session spin is

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Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Yes, it’s absolutely asinine that the Cons’ attacks on Muslim women have been extended to denying citizenship based on a particular type of clothing. But after the Cons’ repeated efforts to suppress veiled voting, we shouldn’t expect anything less from them. And indeed the goal looks to be the same: having been rebuffed in their attemps to prevent citizens from voting while wearing burqas, the Cons have apparently decided instead to deny suffrage to a substantial group of immigrant women by decreeing that they’re not allowed to become citizens in the first

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Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Evening Links

Assorted content for your evening reading.

- Alex Himelfarb finds a few positives in the Cons’ ramming their dumb-on-crime bill through the House of Commons: Thankfully many are not willing to “get over it”. How heartening, for example, to hear Leadnow.ca announce that they were simply regrouping for the next stage of their campaign for better justice policy. So, here are some reasons not to turn the page, instead to continue the fight.

1) Those who spoke to Parliamentary Committees, wrote letters and op eds, called their MPs or took to the streets have made a difference.

All the

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Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.- Chris Selley points out the absurdity of Ontario’s Libs and PCs both running away from the idea of a coalition just as needlessly as their federal counterparts. But let’s remember that since the NDP spoke up for… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Afternoon Links

the reeves report: Toronto mulls deep service cuts to begin meeting $774M budget shortfall

In the effort to reduce a budget shortfall of $774M in the City of Toronto, we may find that the city our forebears worked so hard to create will be drained of its essence. After promising in the 2010 mayoral election that taxes would be cut and services would be left alone – that tired … Continue reading » . . . → Read More: the reeves report: Toronto mulls deep service cuts to begin meeting $774M budget shortfall