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Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- David Ball talks to Joseph Stiglitz about inequality and its causes – including the spread of corporate control through trade agreements:What would you say is the dominant cause [of growing inequality]… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Assorted content to start your week.- Upstream offers a summary of the Canadian Institute for Health Information’s latest report, with particular emphasis on growing inequality in health metrics due to social factors despite increased funding into the … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Karen Brettel and David Rohde discuss how the cult of shareholder value is destroying the concept of corporations actually making anything useful. And Deirdre Hipwell writes that the financial-sector workers … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Linda Tirado writes that whatever the language used as an excuse for turning public benefits into private profits, we should know better than to consider it credible:Given how much I had heard my whole life abo… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Martin Whittaker reminds us that the American public is eager for a far more fair distribution of income than the one provided for by the U.S.’ current political and economic ground rules. But Christo Aivalis writes that there’s a difference between a preference and a cause – and that we need to do far more to shift the fight for equality into the latter category.

- Ed Struzik discusses how climate change is affecting Alberta’s cattle ranges facing unprecedented droughts. And Emily Chung reports on new research showing that our (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Robert Reich writes about the growing disconnect between the few well-connected people who have warped our political and economic systems for their benefit, and the rest of us who are on the wrong side of that system: (C)orporate executives and Wall Street managers and traders have done everything possible to prevent the wages of most workers from rising in tandem with productivity gains, in order that more of the gains go instead towards corporate profits. Public policies that emerged during the 1930s and the Second World War had placed most economic risks (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Lana Payne points out that even some of the world’s wealthiest individuals are highlighting the need for governments to step up in addressing major collective action problems such as climate change and inequality. And Angella MacEwen offers one important example of that principle being put into practice, writing that Quebec’s family-friendly parental leave policies have made a major impact in improving both social and economic outcomes.

- Duncan Weldon observes that wages will face conflicting pressures in the years to come, as increased replacement of work with new technology is weighed against a (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On definitions

The post-mortems on the NDP’s federal election campaign continue to roll in. And it’s particularly a plus to see that there will be a systematic effort within the party itself to review the choices which led to the election results – both for better and for worse.

In the meantime, I’ll continue pointing out my own view of the campaign with another of the crucial pieces of the puzzle – that being the NDP’s handling of Justin Trudeau.

At the beginning, the process of jockeying for position between the opposition options dating back to Trudeau’s election as the Libs’ leader (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Just Not Ready, Civil Rights Edition

So let’s get this straight: Ralph Goodale’s plan to address the unconstitutional civil rights intrusions imposed under Bill C-51 (which his party waved through in the face of widespread opposition) is…to leave them in place indefinitely while the Libs figure out what they can get away with keeping.

Needless to say, we should expect any government’s starting point to be to minimize any interference with our Charter rights at all points – not to leave existing abuses in place as the default option. And if the Libs aren’t willing to offer that possibility, we should fully expect the NDP (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Roderick Benns interviews Michael Clague about his work on a basic income dating back nearly fifty years. And Glen Pearson’s series of posts about a basic income is well worth a read.

- Meanwhile, Julia Belluz interviews Sir Michael Marmot about the connection between inequality and poor social health. And Gillian White writes about a lack of access to credit (and the resulting reliance on payday lenders) as just one of the many extra stresses facing people with lower incomes.

- Jamie Livingstone is optimistic that Scotland has hit a tipping point in (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Emily Dugan writes about the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s finding that young UK adults are facing the worst economic prospects of the last several generations. And Betty Ann Adam reports on Charles Plante’s work on the value of a living wage, both for employers and society at large.

- Sutton Eaves wonders why climate change wasn’t a defining issue in Canada’s federal election. And Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis highlight the urgent need for an activist push for progress now.

- Lindsay Hines and Cindy Karnett report on the B.C. Libs’ (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Amy Goodman interviews Joseph Stiglitz about the corporate abuses the Trans-Pacific Partnership will allow to take priority over the public interest. And Stuart Trew and Scott Sinclair offer some suggestions to at least ensure that Canadians have an opportunity for meaningful review and discussion before being stuck with the TPP.

- Robert Benzie reports on a financial accountability officer’s review finding that like so many other privatization schemes, the Ontario Libs’ Hydro One selloff will only end up costing the public money.

- Jeff Sallot wonders whether the Trudeau Libs have the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Mike Barber highlights how Canada’s federal election campaign was dominated by messages pushed from the top down rather than citizens’ concerns. Erna Paris recognizes that we can’t afford to be complacent about the place of outright bigotry in shaping voters’ decisions. And Christopher Flavelle writes that the ensuing election result represents a major test for progressives to see whether an ambivalent Liberal government can be pushed toward positive change: If Canadians accept a few new tax breaks for the middle class, vague pledges on climate change and some symbolic shifts — letting in more  (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On missed opportunities

As mentioned here, I’ll be adding over the next little while to an already-substantial set of views on the NDP’s choices which led to last week’s federal election results. But I’ll start by expanding on a point which I made briefly earlier in the campaign (at a time when it was far from clear how the choice would play out).

I noted then the dangers of playing it “safe” by limiting the number and type of debates early in the campaign – particularly for a party with a well-liked leader, but relatively few mouthpieces in the media to carry (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Steven Klees notes that there’s no reason at all to think that corporatist policies labeled as “pro-growth” will do anything to help the poor – and indeed ample reason for doubt they actually encourage growth anywhere other than for the already-wealthy. And the Economist finds that GDP growth in Africa has been almost entirely top-heavy, leaving many of the world’s poorest people behind.

- Ehab Lotayek makes the case for a proportional electoral system where voters’ actual preferences lead to representation, rather than one designed to spit out artificial majorities.

- Carol Goar (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Les Leopold takes a look at the underpinnings of Bernie Sanders’ unexpectedly strong run for the Democratic presidential nomination. And Sean McElwee discusses the type of politics U.S. voters are rightly motivated to change, as big donors have been successful in dictating policy to both major parties.

- The Edmonton Journal comments on the unfairness of first-past-the-post electoral politics both in allocating power across a political system, and in determining regional representation within it.

- Murray Mandryk calls out the Wall government for its contempt for public money when it comes (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On ticking clocks

Governing inevitably involves a combination of setting the agenda to the extent possible, and responding to events to the extent necessary. And while there’s a great deal of doubt as to where the Libs’ priorities will lie, it’s possible to identify the areas where they’ll have little choice but to make decisions very quickly.

To be clear, we shouldn’t confuse urgency with importance – and in later posts I’ll discuss the issues which deserve the most sustained action over a four-year term. But let’s start by quickly surveying a few of the policy areas where the Libs will face external (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Martin Lukacs writes that while a change in government offers some possibility of change, the Trudeau campaign wasn’t anything more than a ruse. And Seth Klein and Shannon Daub remind us that we’ll need to be the ones to advance progressive policies in the face of a government which tends to do as little as it can get away with, while Dru Oja Jay writes that we can’t settle for letting Justin Trudeau decide what’s worth doing: The second response sees Trudeau’s charm offensive as a window of opportunity for an agenda that (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

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…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Eduardo Porter highlights the continued growth in research showing that social benefits do nothing to stop people from pursuing work, but instead serve to mitigate the risks of precarious survival for the people who need it most.

- And Michael Marmot discusses the devastating effects of health inequality, while pointing out there’s plenty we can do to close the gap.

- John Jacobs points out that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is at best a dead end for Canadian jobs, while the Center for Economic Progress writes that any supposed economic gains for the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On rush jobs

Yes, one of the Libs’ first orders of business in government should be to rein in the worst excesses of C-51. But they instead seem to be limiting their plans to something else entirely: A key feature of the replacement legislation is expected to be the creation of a multi-party, joint House of Commons-Senate committee, sworn to secrecy and reporting to the prime minister and through him to Parliament. It would have a full-time staff, access to the necessary secret information and be tasked with strategic oversight of every government department and agency with national security responsibilities, according to a source familiar with (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Luke Savage warns that the Libs’ election win may ring hollow for Canadian progressives: Throughout its democratic history, Canadian politics have basically oscillated between two parties that do not seriously threaten the status quo or the injustices it perpetuates. Occasionally goaded by organized populist movements, they have both been compelled, particularly during minority parliaments, to make concessions while preserving the basic contours of the political order. Against this, a third current has always insisted that fundamental change is necessary to build a truly just society. This ethos gave us medicare — an institution (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On defining themes

I’ve pointed out previously that the Libs’ advantage during the federal election came from the fact that the primary message against them was one which could be disproven. And it’s worth also noting the converse of that: the Libs’ own theme of “real change” was difficult for anybody to disprove during a campaign in the absence of any power to demonstrate what that meant.

But now that the Libs have a majority, they can be evaluated directly against their their own standard with no room for excuses. And it’s worth laying the groundwork now to test whether they have the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On clean slates

Needless to say, last night’s election results represented something close to the NDP’s worst-case scenario on a lot of fronts: both in terms of seat counts, and losing the seats held by some of the most impressive MPs and candidates in Canadian politics. And I’ll comment in future posts on the areas where the NDP will want to take lessons away for future campaigns.

But there’s still some opportunity to be found in the identity (or lack thereof) of the new majority government – and it’s for the best that Tom Mulcair is planning to make the most of (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: #elxn42 – Election Day Resources

For all the time spent on Canada’s federal election, it’s now time for voters to have their say. And anybody looking for basic information on where and how to vote should start with Elections Canada or a trusted local campaign.

For anybody wanting to read up on the factors which may help determine how to vote…- As always, I’ll strongly recommend that people vote for what they want, not merely against what they don’t. To see which party best matches your vision for Canada, you can find the major parties’ platforms at the following links: Conservative – NDP – (Read more…)