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Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Peter Schroeder reports on a galling lobbying effort to keep the U.S.’ government paying free money to banks. And Jeremy Smith discusses how corporate groups have pushed to treat any form of public-interest regulation or fair taxation as an imposition on financial-sector profiteering: Mr Das outflanks even Ms Reinhart in the scope of what he includes (as it appears) within the scope of “financial repression”.  It also covers – according to his article – higher taxes, co-paying for government services, cuts in benefits, raising pensionable retirement dates, currency devaluations, as well as (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Greg Keenan exposes how corporations are demanding perpetually more from municipalities while refusing to contribute their fair share of taxes to fund the services needed by any community. And Sean McElwee points out how big-money donations are translating into a warped U.S. political system: Available data reveals that donors not only have disproportionate influence over politics, but that influence is wielded largely to keep issues that would benefit the working and middle classes off of the table.

Do donors really rule the world? Recent research suggests that indeed they do. Three (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On final excuses

I’ll offer one more post arising out of the flurry of discussion about the Senate – and particularly the timing of an announcement which would seem to have been equally easily made during the campaign if it was intended solely for platform purposes.

Let’s remember that the last time Stephen Harper broke his promise not to appoint unelected Senators (give or take a Michael Fortier), his rationale had nothing at all to do with the passage of legislation. Instead, it arose in response to the prospect of a coalition government winning power – and Harper’s explanation was that if any (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Murray Dobbin writes that Canadians should indeed see the federal election as a choice between security and risk – with the Cons’ failing economic policies representing a risk we can’t afford to keep taking: (N)ot only is Harper vulnerable on his own limited anti-terror grounds, he is extremely vulnerable when it comes to the kind of security that actually affects millions of Canadians. When it comes to economic and social security, the vast majority of Canadians haven’t been this insecure since the Great Depression.

It’s not as if we don’t know the numbers (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On leadership failures

Among the many responses to the Cons’ latest Senate shenanigans, one (from someone who’s not exactly known for his recent NDP ties) stands out as being worthy of mention: In his 10 years in office how many meetings with the prov premiers did PMSH hold to discuss Senate reform or abolition ? Ans: 0 #cdnpoli

— Bob Rae (@BobRae48) July 24, 2015

That obviously represents an important rebuttal to the Cons’ claim that they’ve done everything they could – or indeed anything at all – to keep their past promises. But it seems to me an equally powerful argument against (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On common application

Between Stephen Harper’s combination of broken promises and ongoing scandals, I’m rather shocked that anybody thought the Senate would be anything but a political liability for the Cons. But let’s highlight what’s worth taking away from an announcement which came nowhere close to living up to its billing. Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he refuses to name any senators until the Senate is reformed, adding he hopes it will put pressure on the provinces to figure out a plan to update the institution.…The policy will remain in place as long as the government can pass its legislation, the prime minister (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Barry Eidlin argues that Canada’s comparatively stronger trade unions have led to a far more equal distribution of income than exists in the U.S., and discusses what we need to do to reinforce that tendency: In a recent article and forthcoming book, I put forth a new theory: Canadian unions remained stronger because they were better able to retain a legitimate social and political role as defenders of working class interests. By contrast, U.S. unions got painted as a narrow “special interest.”

These different roles for labour weren’t just (Read more…)

Left Over: ..Stay Away from Runaround Soudas…

Dimitri Soudas buys Liberal membership ahead of Eve Adams’s nomination vote

Adams, rival Marco Mendicino vie Sunday for party’s nomination in Eglinton-Lawrence riding By Laura Payton, CBC News Posted: Jul 23, 2015 5:42 PM ET Last Updated: Jul 23, 2015 6:28 PM ET

OMG… Wish I could sand-blast my eyes to get rid of the image…but it’s too late…

The double-trouble sleazebag brigade has well and truly landed at the feet of Junior Trudeau, whose troubles of late are enormous, mostly self-inflicted…

Junior, your daddy would have been the first one to tell you to never try and trip up (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

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…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Jerry Dias discusses how the Cons have pushed Canada into an avoidable recession by slashing useful funding in order to send out pre-election baubles: How far has Canada’s economic star fallen? Only recently Prime Minister Stephen Harper boasted that Canada’s economy was “the envy of the entire world.” That claim was always overstated. Now it is downright ludicrous.

The Bank of Canada cut interest rates for the second time this year, but few expect this to pull us out of the tailspin. After all, Canadians are already tapped out: household debt now (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On governing alternatives

As David Climenhaga points out, Brad Wall has positioned himself as the heir to Stephen Harper’s throne as the voice of the anti-democratic corporate elite. But let’s note that Wall and his mindset aren’t without some jarring approval within the media.

For example, I’ve already highlighted John Ibbitson’s argument that the federal NDP should be concealing the fact that it’s talking to people who can help with preparations in the event that voters choose to elect it. (As an aside, that theory is as politically inexplicable for a party focused on being “ready” for government as it is offensive (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Matthew Brown and Matt Volz report on the latest oil train derailment in North Dakota. Justin Giovannetti discusses how fracking is leading to regular earthquakes in previously-stable parts of Alberta – which looks doubly dangerous given the presence of pipelines in the affected area. Garret Ellison examines Enbridge’s blithe disregard for the safety of 60-year-old pipelines which it wants to keep operating indefinitely. And Chris Mooney comments on the link between climate change and wildfires.

- All of which leads nicely to Tzeporah Berman’s point that we need to start a real (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Barbara Tasch writes about the IMF’s latest research on growing inequality in developing and developed countries alike. And Michael Krassa and Benjamin Radcliff study the impact an improved minimum wage can have on economic well-being: Simply stated, as the minimum wage increases, the economic wellbeing of the national population rises. Statistically speaking this relationship is a strong one, significant at the .001 level.… Here’s the bottom line: Regardless of the size of a country’s economy, its current economic situation, or the time frame chosen, people lead better lives as the minimum wage increases.

(Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Friday reading.

- Matthew Melmed examines how poverty early in life is both disturbingly widespread, and likely to severely affect a child’s future prospects.

- Lawrence Mishel and Alyssa Davis track the extreme gap in wage growth for CEOs as opposed to workers. Robert Skidelsky argues that we can’t rely on employment relationships to fully address poverty and inequality given the number of current jobs that will be mechanized out of existence before long. But on the bright side, Sara Mojtehedzadeh reports on Unifor’s success in achieving significant improvements in wages and schedule predictability for retail (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Carol Goar rightly criticizes Stephen Harper’s plan to deal with an apparent recession by making Canada’s economy even worse off through yet more cuts. Andrew Jackson writes that denying or ignoring an economic downturn won’t make it go away, while Louis-Philippe Rochon traces its origins to the Cons’ own ill-fated choices. And Michal Rozworski makes the case for stimulus which would both boost our economy in the short term, and better position it for the longer term: (T)here is a space and an opening here in which to push for alternatives. The (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

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…)

Accidental Deliberations: On acceptable surprises

When Alice Funke first identified the effect of an extended writ period under the Cons’ well-hidden revisions to the Canada Elections Act, I mused the effect was less problematic than it appeared at first glance. But now that the possibility of an extra-long campaign looks fairly real and the issue is drawing more discussion, let’s highlight exactly what it means – and why it shouldn’t be a huge problem for Canada’s opposition parties.

Let’s start by keeping in mind where matters stand before the writ period.

At the moment (and until the election writ drops), there are effectively no (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Covering for Recession Stephen

Shorter Stephen Poloz: Economic reality has a well-known anti-Conservative bias. So in the interest of neutrality, I refuse to apply common terminology to reality.

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- tcnorris highlights how the Cons’ gratuitous cuts are undermining their hopes of staying in power. And Eric Pineault discusses the costs of austerity for Quebec in particular and Canada as a whole: (C)utting into spending slows down growth and keeps the economy in a stagnation trap. The resulting underemployment equilibrium puts a lot pressure on household revenues just as those same households are getting into debt. We are thus faced with a second paradox: in a stagnating economy, trying to use austerity to reduce public debt also translates into an increased burden of (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On teasers

Yes, this will do nicely as the trailer for the long-awaited film The Fall of the Harper Conservatives:

But let’s make sure people know where to find the full screenplay. (And putting some more of it in front of the camera may not hurt as we approach the election campaign won’t hurt either.)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Jim Stanford highlights how the Cons are focused on exactly the wrong priority in pushing for cuts at a time when Canada’s economy is in dire need of a jump-start: In the grand economic scheme, a deficit incurred as the economy slows is neither surprising nor undesirable.  But the Tories’ commitment to deficit elimination, no matter what, is all about politics.  First, it justified the big “social engineering” tax cuts (income splitting, so-called child support, etc.) that they announced last year as the centrepiece of their re-election campaign.  (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On succession plans

Over the past few days, I’ve finally made it around to reading Paul Wells’ The Longer I’m Prime Minister. And there are a few points raised by Wells’ account of Stephen Harper’s stay in office which call for plenty more discussion.

Let’s start with the conflict between Harper’s long-term plans and his short-term tactics.

There doesn’t seem to be much doubt that Harper’s ultimate goal is to build a lasting party which serves as the default federal government in a polarized political system. And in theory, the political systems of Alberta and B.C. are supposed to provide templates for (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Aditya Chakrabortty exposes the massive amounts of money gifted from the UK’s public purse to its corporate elite. And Paul Weinberg writes that the Cons are only exacerbating Canada’s practice of encouraging revenue leakage into tax havens: The United States, European Union and several other Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development nations are grappling with the contagion of tax avoidance by global companies, with its potential to hurt government finances. But, as Deneault discovered in researching his book, Canada is marching to a different beat.

“Officially, Canada shows solidarity with other western countries (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- PressProgress makes the case that we can’t afford to risk another term of government neglect by the Harper Cons. Jeremy Nuttall discusses how the Cons’ fixed election date and anti-social economic policies each figure to cause direct damage to Canada’s economy in the course of a downturn. And Michael Harris discusses the utter implausibility of the Cons’ spin on the economic and security alike.

- Meanwhile, Sophia Harris tells the stories of a few of the Canadians already suffering the consequences of an anti-worker government. And Roderick Benns interviews Toni Pickard about the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Senate Wars V: The Harper Empire Strikes Back

“But surely,” said the Senate apologist, “even if an undemocratic upper chamber is utterly useless in actually reviewing legislation, we can still pretend it has value based on its willingness to study issues on something less than a wholly partisan basis.”

Then this happened. And the Senate apologist was once again reduced to complaining that change couldn’t be done.