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Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– Paul de Grauwe points out that the European push to force Greece into continued austerity is the most important factor holding back a recovery, as the country would be fully solvent if it were being allowed to borrow money on anything but the most draconian of terms. And . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

– Emmanuel Saez examines the U.S.’ latest income inequality numbers and finds that the gap between the wealthy few and everybody else is still growing. The Equality Trust finds that the UK’s tax system is already conspicuously regressive even as the Cameron Cons plan to make it more so. . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Still awaiting confirmation that his birth, prophesied by a swallow, ignited a bright star in the sky that immediately changed the season from winter to spring and caused an awe-inspiring double rainbow to appear

There are reasonable responses to a Prime Minister’s being unable to attend the Canada Winter Games. And then there’s Bal Gosal’s reply, which sounds much more like the type of understated message we’d expect from a toady of your neighbourhood megalomaniac dictator: Speaking at the Otway Nordic Ski Center Saturday, Gosal insisted Harper is “probably . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Still awaiting confirmation that his birth, prophesied by a swallow, ignited a bright star in the sky that immediately changed the season from winter to spring and caused an awe-inspiring double rainbow to appear

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

– Linda McQuaig discusses how the interests of big banks ended the Cons’ willingness to consider postal banking which would produce both better service and more profits for the public: (C)ompetition is the last thing the banks want. And given their power (straddling the very heart of the Canadian . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how the cult of “lean” is just part of the most damaging Saskatchewan Party belief which is undermining our health care system and other public services.

For further reading…– Murray Mandryk has had plenty to say about “lean” in his previous columns. – And the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses has weighed in with . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the link between personality politics and the culture of scandal that’s developed around Stephen Harper, Rob Ford and other political figures.

For further reading…– Once again, Dan Leger and Leslie MacKinnon provide the column’s starting point in discussing the central focus on scandals in 2013.– Eric Grenier’s year-end political grades offer a prime . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

– Dan Leger and Leslie MacKinnon both theorize that 2013 represented a new low in Canadian politics. But while the Cons may have taken some new steps in petty scandals and cover-ups (and Rob Ford’s clown show managed to attract an unusual amount of attention), I’m not sure . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– Michael Den Tandt and Jonathan Kay both point out the willingness of conservative (and Conservative) supporters to brush off the obvious misdeeds of their political leaders. And Glen Pearson rightly concludes that the responsibility to elect deserving leaders ultimately lies with voters: We are guilty of asking to . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

This and that for your weekend reading.

– In case anybody hasn’t yet seen Andrew Coyne’s takedown of anti-intellectual populism, it’s well worth a read: (T)here Mr. Ford sits, immovably: disgraced, largely powerless, but still the mayor. Is that his fault? The city’s? Or is it the fault of those who put him there in . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– Frances Russell finds that authoritarianism and bozo eruptions are two of the defining characteristics of right-wing politics in Canada: Put simply, the double standard states “ I can do it but you can’t because…” followed by a lengthy list of inequalities: because I’m better than you; because I’m . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Assorted content to start your week.

– The CP reports on the latest federal-provincial discussion about pensions. And as is so often the case, all parties at the table seem to agree that there’s an important problem to be fixed – even as Brad Wall, Stephen Harper and others stand firmly in the way of . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: On family ties

Laura Ryckewaert’s report on the Cons’ Senate strategy has already received plenty of attention. But I’m more interested in a senior Conservative’s excuses for Stephen Harper’s actual appointees than what looks like another delay strategy in substance: The senior Conservative source said members of the Conservative Party are less uneasy than might be expected because . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On family ties

Accidental Deliberations: Juxtaposition

Bert Brown this week, shedding crocodile tears over blind partisanship in the Senate: The real problem, Brown told HuffPost, is that the overwhelming majority of senators don’t do the job they were appointed to do.

Senators are supposed to represent their province’s interest “but they don’t,” he said; they just follow what their party’s . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Juxtaposition

Accidental Deliberations: Shocker

Nobody could have foreseen that the much-ballyhooed Backbench Spring would give way to the Toadying Summer Olympics. But sure enough, the first question from a Con MP nominally challenging his party’s whip looks like a gold medalist in the Party Boot-Licking and Tar Sands Shilling biathlon.

As best, it looks like we may be . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Shocker

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– Stephen Hume rightly mocks the Fraser Institute for using its tax-exempt status to whine about individuals who don’t earn enough to pay income taxes. But I’ll take the opportunity to reiterate a point I’ve made before: progressive governments in particular will do far better to consider how public . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

– Tanya Gold discusses how the UK Cons – like other right-wing parties around the globe – are seeking to minimize the effectiveness of government by declaring that anybody who can benefit from social support is inherently undeserving: How many benefits have been unfairly removed or reduced? But there . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Juxtaposition

Bert Brown today, trying to justify the public footing a nine-figure annual bill for a cesspool of patronage and corruption: “It’s one of the five major institutions of the Canadian government and if you were to take that away, you’d just be creating a dictatorship,” Brown said in an interview in his office overlooking Parliament . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Juxtaposition

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your weekend reading.

– Susan Delacourt writes that laughable conspiracy theories look to be the Cons’ stock in trade as they fight against any accountability for electoral fraud: (I)t may be true that Ford has left-wing opponents on council and that the Council of Canadians, which has launched the legal challenge on . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– Jon Wisman and Aaron Pacitti put a price tag on the upward redistribution of wealth in the U.S.: Between 1983 and 2007, total inflation-adjusted wealth in the U.S. increased by $27 trillion. If divided equally, every man woman and child would be almost $90,000 richer.

But of . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the importance of substance over spin in politics – and the counterproductive effect of dedicating a party’s resources to the opposite effect.

For further reading…– As I’ve previously noted, the observations of Allan Gregg and Winslow Wheeler are here and here respectively.– Joe Klein discussed the impact of Bill Clinton’s DNC speech.– pogge . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the tendency for political parties to try to glorify past leaders by plastering their names and faces on the map – and the potential for Jack Layton’s legacy to be based on a far more direct connection to citizens.

For further reading…– Politico documents some of the Republicans’ general efforts to rename everything . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– Jonathan Chait points out how the gap between the citizens hardest hit by a weak economy and a political class which faces virtually none of its effects explains the lack of urgency in dealing with mass unemployment: The political scientist Larry Bartels has found (and measured) that members . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– Michael Harris continues to highlight some of the fundamental problems with the Cons’ view of politics, this time identifying Stephen Harper as being afflicted with “master of the universe syndrome”: When you control all the levers of power, when you have no scruples, when you are surrounded by . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Evening Links

Assorted content to end your day.

– Carol Goar asked this weekend for a reasonable explanation as to how to allocate the pain in times of austerity. Not surprisingly, the McGuinty Libs came to the wrong answer – and the Harper Cons figure to do even worse. Meanwhile, Trish Hennessy comments on the power of . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Evening Links

Accidental Deliberations: Ostentation nation

Remember the dark days gone by when “gold-plated” political perks were only a metaphor? Because John Baird is apparently putting that long national nightmare behind us. . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Ostentation nation