This and that for your Sunday reading.- Michael Bader argues that a cynical view of politics represents the most important barrier to progressive victories:Cynicism is a corrosive force in our politics and culture, but one that is invisible to us beca… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links
This and that for your weekend reading.- Nicholas Kristof points out how important a stable and effective public service looks from the standpoint of a country which doesn’t benefit from one. And Chi Onwurah discusses how the UK Cons – like their right… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links
Ideally, a new Parliament should have the opportunity to talk about issues of far more direct significance and practical value than keeping even offensive speech such as Donald Trump’s out of Canada. And so it’s a bit disappointing to see Tom Mulcair p… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On earned media
For those wondering, I’m indeed following up on these posts and working my way through some of the factors in the NDP’s federal election result. (For more on the subject, see the latest from Lawrence Martin, and Desmond Cole talking to Cheri DiNovo.)I’… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On balancing acts
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 . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On definitions
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 . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links
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 . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On defining themes
Finally, let’s look at the Libs’ campaign as tomorrow’s election day approaches.
In case there was any doubt, the Libs’ main challenge was to try to cast Justin Trudeau as being “ready” in response to the Cons’ saturation ad campaigns. And while Trudeau likely benefited from the lowered expectations created by that very campaign, he . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: #elxn42 Campaign Closer: Liberals
I’ve previously pointed out that others were far too quick to write off the NDP in Canada’s federal election. But it’s safe to say by now that it will be a surprise for the NDP to reach the heights it achieved earlier – even if that leaves plenty of room for both upside and downside . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: #elxn42 Campaign Closer: NDP
Yes, plenty of people are pointing out Stephen Harper’s decision to be less prime ministerial, more game show host as the election campaign comes to an end. But we should note also that he’s doing that in the face of a noteworthy cautionary tale.
After all, the last time Harper used a TV format gimmick . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Lessons not learned
This and that for your Sunday reading.
– Edward Keenan writes that a lack of affordable child care is the crucial financial pressure facing families across the income spectrum. And Michael Wolfson discusses the dangers of talking about taxes in a vacuum without recognizing what we lose by failing to make sure everybody pays a . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links
Following up on this post, the stretch run of the election campaign (particularly a holiday weekend with advance polling already underway) is exactly the time when our messages in talking to unpersuaded voters will matter most in shaping the results. And I’ll offer a few suggestions as to how to argue for both a new . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On conversation pieces
There’s been a flurry of discussion elsewhere about the NDP’s campaign over the past couple of weeks, and I’ll chime in quickly with my own take on how the campaign has developed so far – and what we should hope for as it reaches its conclusion.
To start with, I see two points where there’s . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On campaign reflections
Let’s double back to Karl Nerenberg’s take on the opposition parties’ messages in Canada’s federal election and point out how it relates to a classic decision-making hypothetical, the prisoner’s dilemma.
In the case of the federal election, here’s how the dilemma plays out for anybody whose primary goal is to see the Cons replaced. (And . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: The Political Prisoner’s Dilemma
Ideally, this would be the end of the story when it comes to Stephen Harper’s callous and desperate attempt to claim the Terry Fox Foundation’s reputation for his own. But there’s reason for serious doubt that will happen – and indeed the Cons may end up treating the story as a case study in how . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Lies and the lying liars who tell them
So apparently the Harper Cons are panicking mid-campaign and throwing out years of preparation to bring in an Australian consultant to better pitch their messages of the importance of familiarity and the dangers of changing horses mid-stream.
Stay tuned for their new ad in which Stephen Harper takes up bullfighting while warning against unnecessary risks.
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Trampling the message
This and that for your Sunday reading.
– Louise Arbour’s interview with The House includes both her compelling criticisms of both the Cons’ terror bill, and the Libs’ failure to stand up against C-51. And the Canadian Press reports on Justin Trudeau’s continued fecklessness, as he won’t even take a position on whether the bill . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links
Following up on this post, let’s take a look at the flip side of the possibility that political parties can help themselves out significantly by taking umbrage with competitors’ treatment of them – which is the success (or lack thereof) of exactly that strategy over the past decade.
As I’ve pointed out before, while . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On judicious outrage
Earlier this week, Andrew Coyne mused on Twitter about how parties seek to make hay out of attacks by their opponents, with particular emphasis on the Libs’ response to PC and Con attacks on their leaders in 1993 and 2004. But I’d think it’s worth noting some distinctions between then and now which may make . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Attack and response
From one stunt… The news of McCain’s suspension drew gales of derision from the press. No one was willing to give him the slightest benefit of the doubt…that his motivations were anything less than craven…
McCainworld had assumed that the suspension would be viewed as an authentic, characteristic act of putting country first. But…McCain was . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Juxtaposition II: Humanitarian Boogaloo
Let’s offer a quick reminder to the Libs’ spin machine, and particularly to the people who should know better who are choosing to echo it.
No party is under an obligation to reflexively attack or belittle everything another party proposes in its election platform.
If a platform plank or general principle raised during the campaign . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On reasonable responses
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
– Robert Reich discusses the unfairness of requiring workers to take all the risk of precarious jobs while sharing few of the rewards: On demand and on call – in the “share” economy, the “gig” economy, or, more prosaically, the “irregular” economy – the result is the same: no predictable earnings . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links
Following up on these earlier posts, here’s a quick look at the last of the messages Bob Hepburn thinks the NDP may face from the Cons in particular as the election campaign progresses. 2) Tax-and-spend image: NDP loyalists consider this issue as “trite,” but already Harper is hammering away at it, claiming Mulcair would raise . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On weak attempts
Following up on yesterday’s post, I’ll make clear that nobody should hold any illusions that the NDP’s opponents will abandon their own efforts to pursue seats simply because the NDP holds a strong position for the moment. And on that front, Bob Hepburn floats a few trial balloons as to messages which the NDP’s opponents . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On messaging tests
Here, summarizing these posts on the dangers of setting up past advocacy as a barrier to a place in public life.
For further reading…– Again, Sean Fine’s report on the Cons’ general ideological screening for judges is here. – Glenn Kauth reports on Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin’s lack of concern about Justice Russell Brown’s . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day