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Joe Fantauzzi: The Political Economy of The Sharing Economy

Introduction Today, getting a lift to the store is as easy as loading an application on a digital device and summoning a roving car to one’s door. It is fast, cheap and, many argue, less onerous than ownership. The so-called sharing economy is on the… . . . → Read More: Joe Fantauzzi: The Political Economy of The Sharing Economy

Accidental Deliberations: Surprise, surprise

Brad Wall’s publicly-funded lobbying to sell Alberta oil in the U.S. (while ignoring the needs of the province which he actually leads) has proven to be as successful as it was well-thought-out. This should come as a shock to precisely nobody.

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Robyn Benson rightly argues that it’s long past time for the Harper Cons to be booted from office. Stuart Trew sets out just five of the worst ways in which the Cons have changed Canada, while Murray Dobbin offers his take on what we’ll need to do to repair the damage in tomorrow’s election and beyond. And Judy Rebick reminds us to vote with our focus on the longer term: I’ve never been a fan of strategic voting. It breeds cynicism and it rarely works. With all the organization and money going (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Steven Chase notes that the Cons’ promise to let Canadian know the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership before they vote was broken with unusual speed and publicity. Michael Geist points out that we do know enough about the TPP to be sure it puts our privacy at risk, while Ryan Meili and Sarah Giles discuss how the TPP will tie the hands of our health care system. Andrew Jackson observes that the TPP may also lock Canada into the resource trap preferred by the Cons, rather than allowing us to develop a sustainable (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Alex Himelfarb writes about the urgent need to reverse the vicious cycle of austerity. And Toby Sanger takes a look at the economic records of Canada’s political parties, and finds that the NDP ranks at the top of the class not only for balancing budgets, but also for reducing unemployment and raising wages.

- Meanwhile, Shawn Katz calls out the Libs for being all PR and no substance when it comes to progressive values: In the media echo chamber, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s most substantive claim to the mantle of “change” in this (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Robyn Benson offers her take on the importance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership as an election issue. Peter Mazereeuw notes that the nominal labour protections in the TPP – which were of course negotiated without workers having a seat at the table – won’t mean anything if governments aren’t willing to take stands against the same businesses which dominated the discussion. And Bill Curry reports that the TPP will prevent governments from doing anything about the use and abuse of temporary foreign workers.

- Meanwhile, Emily Peck highlights how many workers are being (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Trudeau’s campaign co-chair invited TransCanada to lobby post-Harper government on Energy East

On Monday, Justin Trudeau’s national campaign co-chair Daniel Gagnier invited TransCanada, the company behind the proposed Energy East tar sands pipeline, to lobby the post-Harper government on Canada’s national energy strategy.

The post Trudeau’s campaign co-chair invited TransCanada to lobby post-Harper government on Energy East appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Alberta Politics: One day after his graceless departure, former Alberta ‘envoy’ to Washington lands lobbying gig

PHOTOS: Sour grapes! Actual former Alberta trade representatives may not appear exactly as illustrated. (Photo from Barkpost.com.) Below: Alberta Conservative-connected lobbyists Rob Merrifield, Hal Danchilla, Brian Storseth and Rick Orman. Rob Merrifield’s parting shot at the Alberta government: tacky. Canadian Strategy Group’s decision to hire Mr. Merrifield as a lobbyist: Um, are you sure you’re […]

The post One day after his graceless departure, former Alberta ‘envoy’ to Washington lands lobbying gig appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Go figure! Major tobacco corporation’s unique Alberta lobbying effort focuses on Wildrose finance critic

PHOTOS: The benefits to young people of a low-tax regime for cigarettes. Real portrayals of the joys of smoking may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Cigarette smuggling – bad for the books for sure; Wildrose Party Finance Critic Derek Fildebrandt, whose 2012 Canadian Taxpayers Federation publication argued contraband cigarettes are a problem that could […]

The post Go figure! Major tobacco corporation’s unique Alberta lobbying effort focuses on Wildrose finance critic appeared first on Alberta Politics.

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…)

Alberta Politics: The Annals of Government Relations: B.C. lobbyists with faint Dipper links keep turning up in Alberta

PHOTOS: A line of “government relations” specialists with packs full of resumes mentioning past NDP connections make their way over a mountain pass from British Columbia into Alberta. Actual lineups of B.C.-based lobbyists may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Brad Zubyk, principal of Vancouver-based Wazuku Advisory Group, which is about to set up shop […]

The post The Annals of Government Relations: B.C. lobbyists with faint Dipper links keep turning up in Alberta appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: One government change and Big Tobacco’s effort to sidestep menthol cigarette ban goes up in smoke

PHOTOS: Young cigarette smokers. Youthful menthol smokers in Alberta may not appear exactly as illustrated, although it’ll stunt their growth just the same. Below: Health Minister Sarah Hoffman and former health minister Stephen Mandel. HALIFAX, N.S. What next? Apparently Alberta’s NDP government is now making decisions based on the best interests of the province’s citizens! […]

The post One government change and Big Tobacco’s effort to sidestep menthol cigarette ban goes up in smoke appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Jordan Brennan discusses the utter failure of past trade agreements to live up to their promises, making it all the more unclear why we should be prepared to accept a new wave of even more inflexible restrictions against democratic decision-making. The trade and investment liberalization regime led to rapid and relentless restructuring of North American corporate ownership by opening the door to the two largest merger waves in Canadian history. On the world stage, these merger waves led to higher levels of Canadian corporate ownership abroad. Domestically, heightened amalgamation activity created larger Canadian-based (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Meesha Nehru reminds us of the importance of fair taxes (and tax authorities capable of ensuring they’re paid). And Fair Tax Mark notes that for the first time, a company on the U.K.’s main stock exchange has made the effort to be accredited as paying its taxes fairly.

- But in less pleasant news, Chris Rose exposes the hundreds of millions of dollars the fossil fuel industry spent lobbying and influencing U.S. politicians last year – and the multi-trillion dollar reward they received for exploiting resources and the public alike. (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how the politics and economics of energy production are changing around the world – and how Canada is being left behind due to governments focused solely on pushing oil interests.

For further reading…- Again, Vivek Radhwa discusses the progress that’s being made in developing – and broadly implementing – renewable alternatives to fossil fuel energy. And Clean Energy Canada studies how we’re missing the boat. – Aaron Wherry reminds us that Stephen Harper was at least once willing to talk about climate change – but only apparently when he saw no political choice. And again, there’s (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Alberta Premier Jim Prentice repudiates controversial Redford Era triple-entry financial bookkeeping scheme

Alberta Health Minister Stephen Mandel and Premier Jim Prentice, neither elected just yet. Below: Former finance minister Doug Horner, current Education Minister Gordon Dirks, also unelected, and Emperor Augustus. Notice the similarity of the emperor to Mr. Mandel.

Well, nuts to you, Doug Horner!

Alberta Premier Jim Prentice continued his (almost) clean sweep of Redford Era Progressive Conservative Government policies yesterday, whisking away the former party leadership’s weird system of triple-entry bookkeeping that was introduced last year by Mr. Horner in his role as Alison Redford’s finance minister.

As of yesterday, it’s safe to say that the confusing financial reporting (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Alberta tar sands claim the soul of Conservative MP Rob Merrifield

Conservative MP Rob Merrifield resigned his elected seat this week to work as Alberta Premier Jim Prentice’s leading tar sands lobbyist in Washington.

The post Alberta tar sands claim the soul of Conservative MP Rob Merrifield appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Umut Oszu contrasts the impoverished conception of rights being pushed thanks to the Cons’ highly politicized museum against the type of rights we should be demanding: In their modern incarnation, human rights were fashioned after the Second World War and entered into widespread circulation in the 1970s and 80s, when they came to be deployed by Western governments and non-governmental organizations as part of a Cold War “battle of ideas.” Designed in predominantly civil and political rather than social and economic terms, the rhetoric of human rights has since been mobilized to (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- In a theme all too familiar based on Brad Wall’s use of millions of public dollars to pay for access to U.S. lawmakers, Simon Enoch discusses the connections between Wall and ALEC: Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough is both a member and State corporate co-chair the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). You might know ALEC as the United States’ premier “corporate bill mill.” ALEC has also been characterized by the New York Times as a “stealth business lobbyist” and as a “bill laundry” for corporate policy ideas by Bloomberg BusinessWeek.…Some of (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On paid access

Shorter Brad Wall: As far as I’m concerned, paying large sums of money to cynical political operatives for insider access to decision-makers is just how business gets done with the U.S. government. Also, please don’t draw any obvious inferences about how business gets done with my government.

Joe Fantauzzi: Post-Democratic Trend Lines in Etobicoke

Since news broke of the decision by Toronto mayor candidate Rob Ford to step away from the mayor’s race and be replaced by his brother Doug the term “feudal” has been thrown around a lot. The argument quite often associated with the use of this term generally appears to be that the Ford family is treating Etobicoke […]

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Linda McQuaig writes that while the Cons don’t want to bother listening to the public about much of anything, they’ll always make time for a disgraced former advisor lobbying on behalf of oil barons: In…new RCMP allegations,… [Bruce] Carson was working for the Energy Policy Institute of Canada (EPIC), described in the media as a “non-profit group formed by business organizations in the energy sector.”

This rather benign description fails to convey what EPIC really is: a lobbying vehicle for dozens of extremely wealthy, powerful fossil fuel companies, including Enbridge, Imperial (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Ex-Harper aide charged with illegal lobbying, influence peddling

by: Obert Madondo | May 18, 2014

Obert Madondo, Editor, The Canadian Progressive

The RCMP last week charged Bruce Carson, a former aide to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, with illegal lobbying and influence peddling.

This is further confirmation that Harper is the world’s worst talent scout. Even more interesting is the fact that the charges against Carson mirror the Harper government’s petrostate-style support of Big Oil and the Alberta tar sands.

As CTV News reports:

Carson has been charged with three counts of lobbying while prohibited and one count of influence peddling in relation to his work for the (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Ex-Harper aide charged with illegal lobbying, influence peddling

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, discussing what Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page found (PDF) in looking at which preferences actually shape U.S. public policy – and what needs to happen for the needs of the general public to be given some actual weight in government policy choices.

For further reading…- Again, Larry Bartels, Kathleen Geier and Paul Krugman are among many who have also commented on the study.- Sanders Deionne charts the connection between lobbying payouts and tax giveaways for a number of large U.S. corporations. – On the Canadian side, I’ll point again to Therea Tedesco and Jen (Read more…)

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Non-voters and Influence #nlpoli

There is a new scourge among us.

An evil that causes “problems”.

Russell Wangersky found them and wrote about them this past weekend.

They are the people who do not vote.

(Read more…)