Assorted content for your weekend reading.
- Michal Rozworski calls for the election to include far more discussion as to who benefits from our economy as it’s designed, and who gets left behind. Michael Wilson examines how Canada’s economy has become far less equal over the past few decades. And Michelle Zilio talks to Munir Sheikh about the “made in Canada recession” under the Harper Cons, as a rare divergence between Canada and the rest of the world is seeing us headed in the wrong direction even as the U.S. and other developed countries do relatively well.
- Joanna (Read more…)
This and that for your Thursday reading.
- Michal Rozworski reminds us that austerity in Canada is nothing new under Con or Lib governments, while pointing out what the public needs to do to repel it: The campaigning Stephen Harper boasts that his tough austerity policies saved the Canadian economy. Lost in the rhetoric are two important facts. As most economists will tell you today, austerity measures are lousy ways to expand jobs and investment. And Harper’s Conservatives were just carrying on the work of their austerity embracing Liberal predecessors.…
The first round of Liberal cutbacks were quick and deep. (Read more…)
It shouldn’t come as much surprise that the Duffy trial has revealed that the Harper Cons sought to make the Senate as subservient to the PMO as the Cons’ trained seals in the House of Commons: Mr. Rathgeber said the PMO staffers’ handling of the situation was all too familiar and speaks to a “culture of invincibility” among some of the PMO staff.
“It’s shocking, but it validates everything I’ve ever said about their modus operandi. They have no ethical, or sometimes legal, boundaries and I would say without any doubt that a Senate report into expenses is a higher (Read more…)
Miscellaneous material to start your week.
- Paul Krugman theorizes that our recent pattern of economic instability can be traced to a glut of accumulated wealth chasing too few viable investments: On the surface, we seem to have had a remarkable run of bad luck. First there was the housing bust, and the banking crisis it triggered. Then, just as the worst seemed to be over, Europe went into debt crisis and double-dip recession. Europe eventually achieved a precarious stability and began growing again — but now we’re seeing big problems in China and other emerging markets, which were previously (Read more…)
Stephen Harper plays chess: Sources say Conservative planners did factor in testimony by Wright and Harper’s former legal counsel Perrin. Once the testimony was over, they calculated, the sting would fade, and those voters who were inclined to believe Harper’s version would continue to do so. Those who never believed him would never vote for him anyway.
Just one problem with his strategy: The vast majority of Canadians do not believe Stephen Harper is telling the truth about the Mike Duffy Senate expenses scandal, a new poll has found. Some 56 per cent of respondents do not think (Read more…)
I have never voted for a Conservative candidate in my entire life. Sometimes it’s because I don’t like the candidate themselves or what they stand for (looking at you, Maurice Vellacott, Brad Trost, and Tom Lukiwski), and sometimes it’s because I don’t like their party’s platform. It’s true that I’m a firm believer in socialism, […]
Duffy case is having impact on Harper.
While most Albertans are enjoying the last few weeks of summer, here are some of the more interesting and bizarre news stories from the federal election campaign trail in our province.
Many thanks to John B who, in response to my previous post, wrote the following and provided this video and this link. I daresay you will enjoy this eerily prophetic blast from the past, as the ‘over served’ and pompous Mike Duffy attempts a stout defense of his Senate expenditures less that one year into his illustrious post-television career.
I realize that the Beaverton piece is fictional, but let’s not forget that Duffy was appointed to the Senate in late 2008 just after the election and possibly as a direct reward for his role in Harper’s project to destroy (Read more…)
This and that for your Thursday reading.
- Alex Munter discusses the connection between public health and economic development, along with the need to take a far longer-term view of both. And PressProgress points out Matthew Stanbrook’s message (PDF) that the Cons are undermining Canada’s medical system through malign neglect.
- Doreen Nichol comments on the relationship between low-wage, precarious work and food insecurity. Michal Rozworski points out how the NDP’s plan for a $15 federal minimum wage will have an impact far beyond the people who receive that wage directly, while James Armstrong reports that there’s serious reason to (Read more…)
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- Philip Berger and Lisa Simon discuss the health and social benefits of a guaranteed annual income: At the community level, poverty also has deep and lasting impacts — some visible, some not. We’ve seen these visible impacts in Simcoe County Ontario, where one of us works. One in four single-parent families experience moderate or severe food insecurity at some point every year. A family of four receiving Ontario Works would have to spend 93% of their monthly after-tax income on rent and nutritious food alone, leaving little remaining for all other necessary expenses.
Satire inspired by this headline: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/mike-duffy-trial-nigel-wright-testimony-day-5-1.3194569
“When I refer to the government as an elected dictatorship it’s not personal in any way to the Prime Minister nor to his party, it’s a reference to what’s happened, a creeping growth, an unhealthy growth of power in the Prime Minister’s Office—Elizabeth May, Leaders Debate
Less than one week after Elizabeth May made that damning statement Nigel Wright, Harper’s former Chief-of-Staff, proved her right.
Conservative senator Mike Duffy is facing 31 criminal charges, including three for fraud, breach of trust and bribery in connection with his acceptance of a $90,000 cheque from Nigel Wright, Harper’s former chief-of-staff, (Read more…)
This and that for your Sunday reading.
- Scott Clark and Peter De Vries discuss the need for a Canadian economic plan which involves investment in the long term rather than politically-oriented payoffs only within a single election cycle. And Joseph Stiglitz points out the obvious need for a global system of investment and financial regulation which better puts existing resources to work: (D)eveloping countries and emerging markets have demonstrated their ability to absorb huge amounts of money productively. Indeed, the tasks that these countries are undertaking – investing in infrastructure (roads, electricity, ports, and much else), building cities that (Read more…)
It looks Harper will have hard time distancing himself from Mike Duffy.
Stephen Harper says ‘subordinates’ not responsible for Nigel Wright and Mike Duffy’s actions Conservative leader faces questions arising from senator’s fraud trial, for 3rd day in a row
By Susana Mas, CBC News Posted: Aug 14, 2015 1:01 PM ET Last Updated: Aug 14, 2015 5:26 PM ET
“…You hold people responsible for their own actions; you certainly don’t hold subordinates responsible for the actions of their superiors.” Stephen Harper
Okay, Harper, if we continue with that sort of rationale then Nigel Wright, your subordinate at that time, should not be held responsible for the actions you must (Read more…)
Let’s see if we can turn Stephen Harper’s otherwise laughable spin on his PMO’s widespread cover-up into a couple of points we can all agree on.
First, the ultimate responsibility for lies and cover-ups lies with superiors rather than subordinates – in Harper’s own words:
Second, exactly one person fits bears that responsibility when it comes to the unethical actions of the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff and central advisors.
And there are plenty of Conservatives ready to shout down anybody who tries to suggest otherwise.
Stephen Harper is too busy to remember what happened in the past. He rather have Mike Duffy and Nigel Wright disappear somewhere for away from Canada.
Assorted content to end your week.
- Althia Raj, Karl Nerenberg, Tim Harper, Jennifer Ditchburn and Kristy Kirkup, Lee Berthiaume and Jason Fekete, PressProgress and CTV News all point out some of the more noteworthy aspects of Nigel Wright’s testimony in Mike Duffy’s trial (along with the large amount of material brought to light as a result). Frank Koller observes that we should be insulted by Wright’s belief that full cover-ups can be bought, while Sandy Garossino highlights how quickly Wright’s talking points fell apart once they were subject to meaningful scrutiny. The Star, (Read more…)