Here, on the decision-based evidence-making behind the Sask Party’s selloff of Crown land and planned gutting of publicly-operated liquor stores.For further reading…- The Sask Party’s announcement of a program to sell off farm land (and ratchet up le… . . . → Read More: 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 is going so far as to ask for public involvement in at least some areas – though the more important ones for activism may be those where he isn’t willing to make a public appeal.- And as I noted in this (Read more…)
Here (via PressReader), arguing that there’s no longer any escaping the fact that Brad Wall’s Saskatchewan Party can’t be trusted to be either honest or reasonable about its biggest and costliest decisions.
For further reading…- Mike McKinnon reported here on the glaring gap between what Brad Wall knew about the failings of the Boundary Dam carbon capture and storage project, and the propaganda he spread publicly starting last year. Geoff Leo has exposed one set of design issues which have been withheld from the public. And the Canadian Press raises the question of what SaskPower is supposedly trying to (Read more…)
Here (via PressReader), on how Canada’s attendance at the Paris climate change conference may prove to be utterly useless if Justin Trudeau isn’t prepared to override Brad Wall’s obstruction.
For further reading…- Trudeau’s show of inclusion is discussed here – and there’s certainly reason to think he’s less directly hostile to climate action than his predecessor.- But we’ve seen what happens when Wall gets to nix any agreement which even mentions – let alone sets – any emission reduction targets.- And Wall’s “defensive posture” to prioritize resource profits over the planet makes it clear nothing’s about to (Read more…)
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 Ken Boessenkool even called New Democrats, advising them to turn their guns on the Liberals or both the Conservatives and the NDP would lose.
- But Anne McGrath noted that the NDP had a specific reason to go easy on Trudeau: Wells to Anne: Why (Read more…)
Here, on how the Cons’ multi-billion dollar price tag for Trans-Pacific Partnership compensation makes clear that every party is planning to spend large amounts of public money reshaping Canada – leaving us to choose which we value most out of the NDP’s social programs, Libs’ temporary infrastructure spending or Cons’ corporate control.
For further reading…- My previous column comparing the NDP and Lib plans is linked here. And I first noted the burgeoning cost of the TPP (including both direct costs and compensation) here.- Armine Yalnizyan’s review (PDF) of past Canadian recessions includes some discussion as to (Read more…)
Here, on how we should call out the Cons’ bigotry surrounding the niqab for its own ill intent as well as for its effect of distracting from more substantive election issues.
For further reading…- The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision confirming that the niqab is a matter of religious freedom protected by the Charter is found here. And the Federal Court trial court and appeal decisions involving Zunera Ishaq are here and here, respectively.- CBC reports on just how few people are being singled out for deliberate and gratuitous discrimination, while also providing some background on (Read more…)
Here, expanding on this post about the crucial difference between the types of change on offer from the NDP and the Libs.
While there wasn’t room for this point in the column, I’ll also note another rather important distinction between the two parties.
In the NDP’s case, Prime Minister Tom Mulcair would have to take into account the real and consistent preferences of party members and supporters who have coalesced primarily around shared policy goals. And while the base is likely willing to be patient so long as the result is real progress, one can’t imagine Mulcair being able (Read more…)
Here, summarizing these posts as to how the opposition parties can set the stage for a minority Parliament by telling us what they’ll do on the first set of confidence votes – and how we can make better voting choices if they fail to do so.
For further reading…- Having mentioned the expected outcome of a Parliament in which two of the NDP, Libs and Cons are needed to support a government, I’ll point out the seat projectors which have reached that conclusion – including Too Close To Call, Three Hundred Eight, the Globe and Mail’s (Read more…)
Here, condensing this post about the lessons the federal NDP can and should learn from past provincial elections.
For further reading…- Michelle Gagnon notes that one area where matters don’t seem to be in doubt is Quebec, where the NDP looks set to hold or even build on its 2011 wave. And with the NDP’s numbers looking strong in B.C. as well, that leaves Ontario as the largest piece of the puzzle which remains in substantial doubt.- Susan Delacourt comments on the ghosts looming over each of the federal parties. – Finally, John Ivison writes (Read more…)
Here, on Donna Harpauer and the Saskatchewan Party are dismissing their own advisory group’s recommendation to work to cut Saskatchewan poverty in half by the end of the decade.
For further reading…- The StarPhoenix echoes Donna Harpauer’s defeatism.- Danielle Martin and Ryan Meili make the case for a basic income, which appears as one of the advisory group’s recommendations. – And for a review of the multiplier effects of different fiscal choices, see Mark Zandi’s analysis here (PDF) – showing infrastructure spending and income supports accomplishing far more than tax cuts or corporate giveaways.
Here, summarizing these posts on the dangers of setting up past advocacy as a barrier to a place in public life.
For further reading…- Again, Sean Fine’s report on the Cons’ general ideological screening for judges is here. – Glenn Kauth reports on Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin’s lack of concern about Justice Russell Brown’s past comments. – Rachel Aiello reports on how political parties vet candidates through their social media histories, while John Baglow follows up on the NDP’s vetting policy. And Jamie Weinman argues that we should expect more than to play “gotcha” with candidates’ past (Read more…)
Here, expanding on this post as to how we should be criticizing the politicians who are wilfully misleading the public about the future of Canada’s oil industry – and not the ones who are willing to keep living in reality once a campaign is on.
And if Stephen Harper comes out of hiding today, it might offer a particularly opportune time to explain why he’s in agreement with the “decarbonisation of the global economy”, along with what his government plans to do to achieve that goal.
For further reading…- Again, Justin Trudeau’s comment on the need to (Read more…)
Here, with my suggestions as to what viewers should watch for in tonight’s leaders’ debate – particularly in a campaign where we’ll have ample opportunity to see everything but interaction between party leaders.
For further reading…- David Reevely describes the staging behind most of the campaign events we’ll see between now and election day. And Scott Reid takes a look at the preparation which goes into each debate as well.- Macleans offers a primer on tonight’s debate. And Aaron Wherry, Bruce Anderson, Laura Payton, and Chantal Hebert all note a few additional points to (Read more…)
Here, reminding us that it’s our communities who ultimately pay the price for the poorly-thought-out election announcements from senior levels of government that we’ve seen so frequently recently.
For further reading…- CTV reported on last week’s Evraz Place expansion announcement, while the Leader-Post offered an all-too-obvious example of cheerleading for a shiny new project while paying no attention to the opportunity costs involved. – Meanwhile, the Saskatchewan Party’s regular announcements and re-announcements of what proved to be an ill-thought-out scheme for new school construction have lasted from last July to last November to just last month. – And (Read more…)
Here, taking a look at the voter pools the NDP will be looking to win over in order to come out ahead in if this fall’s federal election turns into a two-party race. And I’ll note that while Alberta may serve as the most recent precedent, similar patterns can be found in the NDP’s previous rises to power in other provinces.
For further reading…- Both Nanos and EKOS have polled as to the federal parties’ accessible and second-choice support, with the NDP currently leading the pack on both fronts.- And for more about the business groups who (Read more…)
Here, expanding on this post as to the Harper Cons’ choice between short-term tactics and long-term viability.
For further reading, Jamey Heath argues that the Libs are serving only split voters who have a common interest in change, and that the progressive vote should coalesce behind the NDP. But in contrast, Don Lenihan theorizes that the content-free brokerage model long associated with the Libs is set for a comeback dressed up as “open government”.
That said, it seems that there’s one possible outcome of this fall’s election and its aftermath which fits all of the above pieces together. It (Read more…)
Here, on how we should be taking the crisis in Greece and other global instability as reasons to ensure Canada retains the authority to act in its own interest – rather than excuses for rendering ourselves just as helpless as Greece itself.
For further reading…
- Mark Blyth nicely documents the origins of the debt now being held over Greece’s head, while Sara Yasin and Emilie Munson take a look at who was really bailed out from Greece’s borrowing in the wake of the global financial crisis.
- Amanda Taub writes that neither Greece nor anybody else really knew (Read more…)
Here, following up on these posts about the possibility the Cons might decide to ignore their own fixed election date and delay the election expected for October 19.
For further reading…
- The Canada Elections Act is here. And for an interesting comparison, see Saskatchewan’s fixed election date provision from the Legislative Assembly Act, 2007: 8.1(1) Unless a general election has been held earlier because of the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly, the first general election after the coming into force of this section must be held on Monday, November 7, 2011.(2) Subject to subsection (Read more…)
Here, on how Regina and its citizens did fairly well responding to a water shortage – but has plenty to learn in applying the lesson to the wider collective challenge of climate change.
For further reading…- The water shortage began a month ago, with CBC’s coverage here and here largely describing the problem and the City’s initial response. And CTV reported on the end to the immediate restrictions here. – In contrast, Rob Kuznia reports on Rancho Santa Fe’s appalling response to California’s drought, which has given rise to mandatory water use reductions.- The National Resources Defence (Read more…)
Here, on how Alberta’s strengthened political financing rules under Rachel Notley’s NDP only highlight how far Saskatchewan has fallen behind.
For further reading…- Bill 1 is here (PDF), while Alberta’s legislation which it amends to prohibit organizational donations is the Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act, RSA 2000, c E-2 found here. And by way of comparison, the closest Saskatchewan has to the current or amended versions of sections 16 and 17 of that legislation is section 242 of the Election Act, 1996, SS 1996, c E-6.01 here. – I’ll point again to Barret Weber’s (Read more…)
Here, on how the Senate’s failure to provide any second thought on C-51 may serve as the ultimate signal that it has nothing useful to offer Canadians.
For further reading…- PressProgress’ look at the Senate’s sad history is well worth a read. The CBC reports on the Auditor General’s findings about the widespread abuse of public money. And Ian Austen offers a U.S. perspective on what comes next for the Senate.- Meanwhile, Karl Nerenberg explains why abolition is well within reach if anybody is willing to take a leadership role in pursuing it without reopening other (Read more…)
Here, on how we should expect our leaders to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report on residential schools – and what we’ve seen from the Cons instead.
For further reading…- PressProgress offers the video of Bernard Valcourt sticking out like a sore thumb in his refusal to consider missing and murdered indigenous women to merit any action. And Lucia Lorenzi points out that the Cons are blocking action to deal with violence against women in any form.- CBC reports on the federal parties’ respective responses to the Commission’s report, while the Hansard text of Stephen (Read more…)
Here, on the Saskatchewan Party’s devaluation of the music teacher (among other cultural and community-building parts of our schools).
For further reading…- CBC reported on the Prairie Spirit School Division’s decision to eliminate school bands here, and Janet French did likewise here.- The Star-Phoenix’ editorial board weighed in here. And now, even the Saskatchewan Party is pretending to oppose what its policy choices have wrought.- And for those looking to support the students trying to save their band program, Shawna Langer’s petition is here.
Here, expanding on this post about the new challenges the Cons are facing heading into this fall’s election.
For further reading…- Geoffrey Stevens offers his own take on the Cons’ weaknesses. – Meanwhile, Nik Nanos (as reported by Theophilos Argitis) focuses on the possibility of vote splitting working to the Cons’ benefit. But that analysis seems to miss the point that no amount of vote-splitting between two competitors can get the Cons into majority territory if their own support levels remain stuck in the low 30s.- And on a more interesting note, Robin Sears wonders whether the (Read more…)