Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- Pat Steenberg observes that the Harper Cons’ deficits are the result of conscious choices to reduce government revenue – and that we can fix our deficit and rein in inequality at the same time by reversing the damage: (W)hen our governments say they can no longer afford something, what they are really saying is that “we” cannot afford it. But is this really the case?
Canada’s average GDP per capita — the value of total productive output divided by the population that produced it — has continued to grow, with a few minor (Read more…)
Erin is right to question Doug Elliott’s attempt to split hairs between a “slowdown” and a “deceleration”. But Elliott’s parsing ranks a distant second behind Russ Marchuk in the field of evasive dissembling.
Shorter Marchuk: It’s outrageous that anybody would suggest we’re imposing a disastrous policy like universal standardized testing on students. Instead, our policy is one of (flips through thesaurus) unified province-wide (flipflipflip) regular (flipflip) assessments for individual pupils. Which I’m sure you can see is something totally different.
Assorted content for your weekend reading.
- David Olive writes that the dangerous effects of long-term unemployment (caused in no small part by gratuitous austerity) are just as much a problem in Canada as in the U.S.: With our persistent high levels of long-term unemployment, Canada is at risk of creating a new permanent underclass. The world’s economic policymaking elite, Ottawa’s included, hasn’t grasped that its enslavement to the “austerity chic” of severe cutbacks in government’s contribution to the economy is retarding the recovery it claims to be promoting. It’s like watching a grainy newsreel of Herbert Hoover’s (Read more…)
Assorted content for your Friday reading.
- Julian Beltrame writes about the reality that Canada has multiple workers available to fill every job – with an assist from Erin Weir: The case for job shortages in Canada became thinner Tuesday with the most recent data showing vacancies actually fell to 200,000 at the start of the year, meaning there were 6.5 unemployed workers chasing each opening.…“This is a striking low job vacancy number and it really casts doubt on this idea that we have a labour shortage,” said Erin Weir, a labour economist with the United Steelworkers union.
(Read more…) think most of this idea of labour shortages is based on anecdotes from the business community. They might have a different definition of a labour shortage. Employers might believe that if they can’t get the employees they want at the wages they are prepared to offer — that’s a . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- Lana Payne offers an introduction to austerity for Newfoundland and Labrador residents who are just learning about it on a provincial level: In Canada, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has also taken a rather deep liking to austerity.
It is a ready-made excuse to gut government and change the positive role it should play in our lives, in building a better society, in sharing economic wealth and mitigating the inequality gap.
It is another excuse to trash government as a catalyst to build opportunities for all citizens; another excuse to turn Canada into a
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links
Assorted content to end your week.
- Frances Russell weighs in on the Cons’ continued contempt for democracy: The Conservatives under Stephen Harper are running an effective dictatorship. They believe they are quite within their rights to muzzle Parliament, gag civil servants, use taxpayer money for blatant political self-promotion, stand accused of trying to subvert a federal election and hand over much of Canada’s magnificent natural heritage to the multinational oil and gas lobby.
What is even more disturbing is that the national media, with a few notable exceptions, has underplayed or ignored these developments that are a clear assault
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- Ruy Teixeira discusses Branko Milanovic’s finding that on a global scale, income inequality is almost entirely locked in based on an individual’s place of birth and parents’ income: Milanovic asks “How much of your income is determined at birth?” The answer: 80 percent of your income can be accounted for by the country of your birth and the income level of your parents. That leaves just 20 percent for age, sex, race, luck and, of course, hard work. Wow.
In the final section of his book, Milanovic looks at
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links
After the first ballot results were announced yesterday, I pointed out the 20% net margin of support that Cam Broten needed to turn a close first-ballot result into a narrow win. And that turned out to be exactly what materialized: of the 2,393 votes cast initially for either Trent Wotherspoon or Erin Weir, the final result showed 18% attrition, with 51% to Broten and 31% to Ryan Meili – leading to Broten’s election as the Saskatchewan NDP’s new leader.
But in retrospect, there was another, even closer vote comparison which may have hinted at the same end result.
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr – The Dramatic Conclusion
By a very tight margin, of 44 votes, the new leader of the Saskatchewan NDP is Saskatoon-Massey Place MLA. Cam Broten.
Broten edged out first ballot leader, Ryan Meili, as mentioned by a mere 44 votes; which shows that the bulk of Trent’s supporters found their way into Cam’s camp. Cam’s speech thanked his fellow candidates, emphasizing the roles he hopes all of them will play in the next election and the hopes of seeing them all in the front bench in the next NDP caucus and government.
Cam also appealed to non-supporters, calling on the need for their vision
. . . → Read More: Canadian Political Viewpoints: Convention Update: And The Leader Is…
And now for something completely different, we go from talking about the campaign to talking about the convention.
As of 1:30pm, the first ballot results are in and are posted as follows:Results: 8,719 ballots castCam Broten: 2942Ryan Meili: 3384Trent Wotherspoon: 2120
The 279 vote discrepancy is dependent on either Erin Weir votes since he still appeared on the first ballot; or by your various “spoiled” or other such errors that occur.
Erin was able to take to the stage as the first candidate to withdraw; and had one final chance to showcase his wit with a
. . . → Read More: Canadian Political Viewpoints: Convention Update: First Ballot Results
The Saskatchewan NDP leadership’s first-ballot results and ensuing developments are in. And while the balloting may be somewhat shorter than it could have been due to Trent Wotherspoon’s withdrawal, there’s still plenty of intrigue surrounding the second and final ballot.
The safest assumption may be to assume that down-ballot voting will mirror first-ballot results – in which case Ryan Meili will of course emerge ahead. And the absence of any endorsements in Cam Broten’s favour will leave him without an obvious source of additional momentum to try to sway the few voters participating today (with only about 700 additional votes
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr – First Ballot Analysis
Following up on yesterday’s candidate review posts, let’s move on to a look at Erin Weir’s Saskatchewan NDP leadership campaign.
Weir’s launch came at a time when it wasn’t clear who (if anybody) would join Cam Broten and Trent Wotherspoon in the race. And under those circumstances, Weir looked well placed to serve as the outsider candidate.
But once Ryan Meili entered the fray and started to build his grassroots campaign, Weir was left with few options to carve out a distinct niche. And his resulting message track about the virtues of costing and planning didn’t do much to overcome
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr Candidate Review – Erin Weir
For obvious reasons, there’s at least one change to this week’s Saskatchewan NDP leadership candidate rankings. But will there be any more news other than Erin Weir’s withdrawal from the race at a time when most of the voting is expected to be taking place?
1. Ryan Meili (1)
Well, Meili for one should enjoy a strengthened position, with Weir (and by all indications his key supporters) added to what already looked to be the front-running campaign just in time to combine the candidates’ respective get-out-the-vote efforts. And while I’m not quite as eager as some to declare the
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr Candidate Rankings – February 26
Let’s close out my review at the Saskatchewan NDP’s leadership debates with a brief look at the Moose Jaw forum – which featured a fair bit of talk about specific local issues (including candidate and member questions about the closure of the Valley View Centre) in addition to a familiar set of general themes:
Perhaps the most noteworthy theme throughout the debate was that of ensuring that the corporate sector shares in the province’s effort to deal with social concerns. In response to a question on climate change policy, Ryan Meili pointed out the need for large-scale businesses to pay
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr – Moose Jaw Debate Notes
Dan Tan has already provided one follow-up post on the sudden rash of commentary arising out of Erin Weir’s decision to withdraw from the Saskatchewan NDP leadership race and endorse Ryan Meili. But I’ll take my own look at how the Weir endorsement and the associated reaction from the Village (or should we call it the Hamlet for Saskatchewan?) may affect the leadership campaign.
As long as there were four leadership candidates in the race, there were several ways to try to draw dividing lines among them. And the message that’s suddenly crystallized in the media wouldn’t have registered
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On divisions
Alongside yesterday’s news of Erin Weir’s withdrawal to support Ryan Meili in the Saskatchewan NDP leadership race (also discussed by Scott and Brian) came a few other noteworthy developments – not the least of which was the reaction of the other two leadership candidates (discussed here by Jason).
Meanwhile, Meili released a seniors policy incorporating Weir’s proposal to backfill against federal cuts to Old Age Security.
Finally, John Warnock offered up his latest thoughts – though I don’t see his overwhelming negativity about either Meili’s chances in the leadership race or the future of the NDP under Broten or
Obviously Erin Weir’s decision to withdraw from the Saskatchewan NDP’s leadership race and endorse Ryan Meili looks to be one of the most important developments of the campaign. While there’s still a wide range of possible outcomes among the remaining candidates, the movement of any substantial portion of Weir’s support should nearly ensure that Meili appears on the final ballot – and also figures to boost Meili’s odds of reaching 50% support on an earlier ballot.
But beyond the effect of Weir’s endorsement, I’ll also point out the shared policy statement which accompanies his support – which both highlights the
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On effective departures
Well, by now everyone should have heard that Erin Weir has withdrawn from the Sask. NDP Leadership race and thrown his behind Ryan Meili. As mentioned yesterday, it was one of the possibilities when it was announced that the two were making a joint announcement earlier today.
As with others, I’d like to extend my well wishes to Erin and thank him for his contributions to the campaign. I think he proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that New Democrats can stand toe to toe with their right of centre counterparts on economic issues, and bring forward exciting and (Read more…)
One of the dangers of trying to catch up to past leadership events is the possibility that any analysis might be overtaken by more recent developments. But before we find out what’s involved in today’s joint announcement from Ryan Meili and Erin Weir, let’s take a look at one more of the leadership debates.
At the outset, the Prince Albert forum featured journeys into a bit more uncharted territory than most of the recent debates, including specific policy questions about forestry, mental health and reproductive rights. And on each point, the candidates more than held their own in addressing relatively
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr – Prince Albert Debate Notes
A media release went out today with regards to a joint announcement from Ryan Meili and Erin Weir coming tomorrow morning. Needless to say, this has started the speculation wheels spinning.
So, there’s a number of ways to speculate about what is going to be announced tomorrow. The first, and the one everyone immediately thinks of, is that Erin is bowing out of the race and endorsing Ryan.
Weir’s team has done a recent Internet poll, and perhaps the results of that might have influenced the decision, but I think withdrawing at this stage is a little odd. Even if
. . . → Read More: Canadian Political Viewpoints: Campaign Update: An Interesting Development
While there’s been plenty of news in Saskatchewan’s NDP leadership campaign over the past week, there’s hasn’t been much evidence to suggest the campaign’s shape has changed to any great degree. So rather than explaining why this week’s rankings stay the same, I’ll include a comment on pluses for each candidate which haven’t received much attention so far.
1. Ryan Meili (1)
While Meili has understandably focused on his apparent lead within the leadership race, he may also enjoy an advantage over his opponents when it comes to shifting gears once all the votes are in.
In particular, the “healthy
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr Candidate Rankings – February 19
Alice’s comparison between the federal Lib leadership race and that of Saskatchewan’s NDP is well worth a look. But let’s draw a somewhat more clear contrast between the depth of discussion within the two campaigns – even if based on somewhat incomplete data in both cases.
Again, here’s Erin Weir’s comparison chart of the policies proposed during the Saskatchewan NDP campaign.
And here’s Justin Ling’s effort to piece together what the federal Libs’ candidates stand for – with more leadership contenders taking a public position on horse-sized ducks vs. duck-sized horses than such minor issues as, say, health care.
While I’ve tried to stay as current as possible in discussing the Saskatchewan NDP leadership debates, there have been some limitations in my ability to do so based on both the party’s capacity to upload past debates, and my own time in reviewing them. As a result, I’m still working on getting caught up on previous debates – and a few of the choices made by Saskatchewan’s NDP leadership candidates later on make a lot more sense in light of the Yorkton debate:
Again, in discussing the Regina debate I was surprised to think anybody might have expected Cam Broten
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr – Yorkton Debate Notes
The final official debate of Saskatchewan’s NDP leadership campaign took place yesterday in Saskatoon – and since it was livestreamed, I’ll offer some commentary on it for now, then link to the video when it’s available.
In contrast to all of the debates since the Regina kick-off (the other debate which was live-streamed), yesterday’s forum didn’t feature any questions between the candidates. Instead, moderator Charles Smith was left to follow up each candidate’s answer to audience questions – and while Smith took those in some interesting directions, he generally didn’t challenge the candidates’ initial answers or push for substantially deeper
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr – Saskatoon Debate II Notes
The second-last Saskatchewan NDP leadership debate took place in Moose Jaw this past week, with the most thorough coverage coming from the Times-Herald (and Justin Crann). As usual I’ll hold off on commenting until the video is available – though I have a couple of earlier debates to address over the long weekend, as well as the final one being live-streamed at 2 PM today.
Friday also saw the release of the latest financial reports. There, Ryan Meili continues to have the lead both in total money raised and cash on hand, but January saw a noteworthy switch of
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr Roundup