Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- Frances Russell writes about the corrosive effects of inequality. And Robert Reich points out one creative option California is considering to address inequality at the firm level: tying corporate tax levels to wage parity, under the theory that shareholders will then have an incentive to push for a fair distribution of wages.
- Peter Richardson reviews Matt Taibbi’s The Divide: Taibbi explores why Wall Street bankers are seemingly exempt from criminal prosecution, even as New York City targets petty crime — much of it manufactured by police in minority neighborhoods — more (Read more…)
This and that for your Sunday reading.
- Charles Demers points out the impact Svend Robinson has had on Canadian politics – and suggests that he should be the model for fellow progressives: Not only did Svend embody something different from the usual electioneering pabulum [sic] — a genuine belief in the righteousness and effectiveness of indigenous, environmentalist, and social movement direct action, for starters — but, as Truelove’s wonderful and readable and extremely well-researched book shows, he also showed how gadflies could still exercise real power and affect people’s lives. The episode in which Svend leads the successful campaign (Read more…)
Assorted content for your weekend reading.
- Paul Krugman explains how one’s political values figure to affect one’s view of evidence as to the success or failure of a policy: (T)he liberal and conservative movements are not at all symmetric in their goals. Conservatives want smaller government as an end in itself; liberals don’t seek bigger government per se — they want government to achieve certain things, which is quite different. You’ll never see liberals boasting about raising the share of government spending in GDP the way conservatives talk proudly about bringing that share down. Because liberals want government to (Read more…)
So, you’re a politician? You want to lead our country into a better future? You think the past cannot be relied on as an accurate predicator of the future of the country’s economy? You think the middle class deserve a better break than they’ve been given for the past decade or two? And you think Canada definitely has to move away from being simple hewers of wood and drawers of water, and move to the forefront of the next few waves of technological advances? Want some solid, take-it-to-the-bank, realistic ideas about where the most advanced economies are heading over the (Read more…)
On March 23, Lewis Cardinal became the first nominated federal NDP candidate in Canada for the expected 2015 election. (Photo by Dave Cournoyer, used with permission.) Yesterday he stepped aside in the face of undisclosed health problems. Below: Wildrose Finance Critic Rob Anderson.
What a strange day it was yesterday, at times uplifting, at times profoundly depressing, and at times just disorienting.
In the morning, Alberta suddenly dropped most aspects of its official homophobia. This less formal kind will continue to longer for a spell, of course, but as an issue for most Albertans it’s done like the family’s (Read more…)
How do you save democracy from itself? You appoint a Senate.
In 1990 the democratically elected House of Commons passed Bill C-43 which would have criminalized all abortions. That bill was defeated by the appointed Senate. To this day abortions remain legal solely because of the Senate’s actions. In 2013 the democratically elected House of Commons passed Bill C-377 which would have weakened labour unions. That bill was stopped by the appointed Senate. Today the democratically elected House of Commons is preparing to pass Bill C-23 The Fair Elections Act which seeks to undermine democracy. The appointed Senate is (Read more…)
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- Timothy Shenk discusses Thomas Piketty’s contribution to a critique of unfettered capitalism and gratuitous inequality: Seen from Piketty’s vantage point, thousands of feet above the rubble, the fragility of this moment becomes clear. Economic growth was a recent invention, major reductions to income inequality more recent still. Yet the aftermath of World War II was filled with prophets forecasting this union into eternity. Kuznets offered the most sophisticated expression of this cheerful projection. Extrapolating from the history of the United States between 1913 and 1948, he concluded that economic growth automatically reduced (Read more…)
Jim Flaherty was unethical, incompetent and he should have been fired. Those aren’t my words, they’re Thomas Mulcair’s, spoken just last year in Question Period. Yet after the former Finance Minister’s death, Mulcair has called him a good man and a great public servant.
There’s no doubt that the NDP Leader genuinely mourns the loss of Jim Flaherty, but this recent death and the response to it by all politicians, not just Mulcair, shows the real tragedy of a political life.
Because it’s only now, after resorting to the lowest denominator in attacks against Mr.Flaherty for his whole political (Read more…)
by: Obert Madondo | April 12, 2014
This week Canada’s two main opposition parties declared war on the Conservatives’ Orwellian Fair Elections Act. One that could bring down Harper during the 2015 federal election.
While falling short of declaring the Fair Elections Act an election issue for 2015, both the Official Opposition and third-placed Liberals are vowing to stand up for our right to vote.
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair says the focus of next election will be the ‘Fair Elections Act’. He wants Bill C-23 overhauled.
“We’re going to do everything we can to stop this thing,” Mulcair told delegates in (Read more…)
Apparently NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair hasn’t figured out what the ball is in Canadian politics today. He also took shots at both Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Trudeau.Trudeau, in particular, bore the brunt of Mulcair’s attack.The Liberals under Trudeau have been trying to court middle-class voters in the run-up to the next election, scheduled for Oct 19, 2015.
Let me be abundantly clear, Tom: The problem in this country today is sitting two sword-lengths away from you in the House of Commons. It is not the third party in the house, it is not the leader of that party, nor (Read more…)
by: Obert Madondo | April 2, 2014
The Conservatives’ abuse of the Challenger jets and other government resources might end soon if the New Democrats are successful with their latest motion.
On Tuesday, the NDP tabled an opposition day motion in the House of Commons that would limit the use of the jests to Canadian government business only.
The NDP wants MPs to declare that, “in the opinion of the House, government planes, and in particular the plane used by the Prime Minister, should only be used for government purposes and should not be used to transport anyone other than those (Read more…)
Murray Dobbin continues his quest to push for more big ideas from the federal NDP here. But it’s worth dividing his take into one theory well worth applying, and one which would be entirely counterproductive.
At the outset, I’ll agree with Dobbin’s take that a number of the NDP’s current policy themes reflect defensive positions or basic oppositional choices rather than a bold push into new political space: Megan Leslie lists a number of NDP policies which she describes as “bold,” but with all due respect, most are defensive, involve resisting Stephen Harper’s anti-democratic agenda, or are long-standing policies that (Read more…)
Former B.C. premier Mike Harcourt quits NDP Harcourt let membership lapse over many issues including the party’s opposition to carbon tax
CBC News Posted: Apr 01, 2014 8:10 AM PT Last Updated: Apr 01, 2014 8:10 AM PT
Have to agree with Mike, in principle, although my membership lapsed years ago, and though I vote for the NDP in spite of the things they do that I don’t like (the alternatives are unthinkable) I am, like so many BCers, leaning towards the Greens..I can’t speak for other Provinces , but here on the West Coast, (Read more…)
“You’re either with working women and men or you’re against them.”
- Peter Kormos (1952-2013)
It has been one year since we lost Peter Kormos, a former Ontario MPP who died too young, at the age of 60. Kormos, who died on on March 30, 2013 of natural causes, wasn’t an ordinary politician. He set the bar high, as a political leader and as a member of his community. The above video is a tribute that was played at his memorial last May. It’s 11 minutes long, but it’s worth watching.
For those who don’t know (Read more…)
I really have to disagree with Dr. Barnhart, who had the power to sign, or refuse to sign laws of Saskatchewan into effect while Lieutenant Governor, that he is a powerful person. Now his influence may be lessened, even to the point where Global TV won’t keep a promise to him, but he did get invited to to a prestigious lecture for the UofR too, didn’t he?
There’s a time to be modest, and a time to be real.
Finley Peter Dunne is credited with the words above. I have a feeling this direction will be in the minds of more than a few politicos a year or so from now.
That’s because Monday night, John Horgan entered the race to lead the BC New Democratic Party. I’ve exchanged views with John on a number of occasions and remain impressed with his broad knowledge of public issues and, perhaps more importantly, his indignation about unprincipled and incompetent management of public affairs in British Columbia.
John is not dogmatic; he knows that politics, practiced well, is the art of the (Read more…)
by: Obert Madondo
Many had hoped the Special Parliamentary Committee on Violence Against Indigenous Women would move Canada closer to addressing the perennial issue of more than 600 missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls.
The committee’s final report, delivered in parliament last week, turned out to be another government-sponsored sham. Most shocking is the fact that the report killed Canadians’ call for a national public inquiry, which is only a first step towards addressing this national tragedy.
Rights advocacy groups and opposition parties express their disappointed.
Once again, the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is disappointed and frustrated.
PQ lobster trap for unwitting Quebecers
Try as they might, the PQ cannot direct the definition of the ballot question in the upcoming provincial election into fields of their choosing. They would rather talk about their Charter of Values, which has given them a good crack at Francophone votes to boost them into a majority government position. Or the bright prospects for a Quebec economy, with debt reduced and business booming. But every time they try, those pesky journalists keep asking about the PQ’s plans to launch a permament campaign as a majority government, disguised as a White Paper process (Read more…)
Oh. My. Zombie. I see that Pierre Poilievre is on the run again.And this time he's not just running from his foul voter suppression monster, which is threatening to swallow engulf him.He's running from the NDP !!!! Read more »