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Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how political fund-raising scandals in Ontario and British Columbia only highlight the complete lack of rules governing donations in Saskatchewan.For further reading…- SCOTUS’ Citizens United decision is here (PDF). And Michael Hiltzik discu… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: #YEG2016 Followup Links

While there’s been plenty of ill-informed commentary since the NDP’s convention last weekend, I’ll take a moment to highlight a few of the followup points which deserve a read.- Joshua Keep rightly recognizes the new leadership election as an opportuni… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: #YEG2016 Followup Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.- Alexander Panetta reports on the G20′s agreement on the need to crack down on tax evasion – as well as the steps Canada needs to take to get our own house in order:The final communique warned of actions against c… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your weekend reading.- Lana Payne writes about the need for a Bernie Sanders in Canada to highlight and oppose the privilege of the wealthy few:It is in this context of blatant unfairness — rules for the rich and rules for… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: A place for discussion

Following up on yesterday’s column, I’ll expand somewhat on some of the decisions the NDP may want to consider as (or before) it elects new leaders. And since the recent federal convention has been treated by other commentators as everything from a shi… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: A place for discussion

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Last week, I wrote that the NDP should be careful about assuming that changes in leadership would necessarily help in a needed process of party renewal.Obviously, both elected to seek out new leadership. And so in this week’s column, I point out that l… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.- Jason Hinkel writes that for as much attention as global inequality has received in recent years, it may be significantly more of a problem than we’ve previously assumed – and getting worse as time goes by:It doe… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

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

Accidental Deliberations: On open debates

As promised here, I’ll take a closer look at Saskatchewan’s leaders’ debate and what it may mean for the rest of the campaign.Most criticism of the debate that I’ve seen so far has focused on two factors.First, there’s the combination of format and mod… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On open debates

Accidental Deliberations: On controversial responses

A propos of nothing in particular, let’s go over this a couple more times:Colby Cosh’s latest on the role of the “human search engine” in tracking down information about candidates and elected officials is worth a read. But it’s worth keeping in mind… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On controversial responses

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.- Glen Pearson makes the case for transcending cynicism in our politics, including the choice to stay involved once an election is done. And Ian Welsh reminds us that our definition of property is socially establi… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Justin Fox explores why it took the economic field in general (with some noteworthy exceptions) decades to start dealing with burgeoning inequality. And Bryce Covert discusses the latest study showing that in l… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: On countermovements

Alison is right to highlight the latest right-wing astroturf group in Canada. But we shouldn’t assume that mere exposure will meaningfully affect the growth of corporate-owned politics alone.As is typically the case, Canadian politics tend to be influe… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On countermovements

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.- Roderick Benns interviews Scott Santens about the effect of a basic income:Benns: Why is the concept of a basic income guarantee so important at this point in our societal development? Santens: We’re living in a pa… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: On turnout

Daniel Schwartz reports on the final vote count from last month’s federal election. And given the record vote total and unusually high turnout based on the percentage of eligible voters, it’s particularly worth noting what’s changed since previous, lower-turnout elections.

Since 2011, the Conservatives eliminated the per-vote subsidy, which provided political parties with a direct financial incentive to seek out votes even where they were less likely to flip seats. To the extent Canada’s political parties included the subsidy in their election planning, we’d thus have expected a lower turnout this time out.

Since 2011, the Conservatives also eliminated Elections (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- I’ll start in on my own review of the NDP’s election campaign over the next few days, focusing on what I see as being the crucial decisions as the campaign played out. But for those looking for some of what’s been written already, I’ll point out recaps and analysis from Charlie Demers, Tim Ellis, Hassan Arif, Evan Dyer, Jenn Jefferys, Christopher Majka, Gerald Caplan, Jim Quail, Elizabeth McSheffrey and Paul Dechene – while noting that I’ll be challenging and/or expanding on some of their analysis (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On distinguishing factors

The common personalities and strategies by tired right-wing governments are leading to some comparisons between the ongoing Canadian campaign and the UK’s election earlier this year. But even as we treat David Cameron’s re-election as an important warning, let’s note that there’s a rather crucial difference between the two.

In the UK, the Conservatives’ sudden win seems to have been entirely unexpected, within prominent forecasters having seen the race as a dead heat rather than one in which Cameron had any prospect of taking a majority. And that likely affected coverage of the race as well as party strategies in (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On game theories

Paul Dechene’s riff off of this post is definitely worth a read. But while we’re largely in agreement on the significance of polls, I will challenge his wider view as to what election coverage means: Policies? Platforms? These are not the weapons political parties wield in an election. Those are the clothes political hopefuls wear. They define the personalities of the contestants. They’re the pixeled skins that overlay each blank politician sprite. This guy here is the angry Bowser who’s scary and likes to blow things up but at least he’ll cut your taxes. Here’s the cheerful Princess Peach who’s kind (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Jennifer Wells writes about the drastic difference in pay between CEOs and everybody else. And Henry Farrell interviews Lauren Rivera about the advantage privileged children have in being able to rely on parents’ social networks and funding rather than needing to learn or work for themselves: One of your most counter-intuitive arguments is that students from working class and lower-middle class backgrounds are less likely to get elite jobs, because they concentrate on studying rather than their social life at college. That’s the opposite of what the conventional wisdom would suggest. How (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On political placement

While others have already commented on Adam Dodek’s argument that judges should never enter politics after leaving the bench, I’ll offer a couple of observations of my own having to do largely with our perceptions of politics (and the need not to let them override democratic principles).

Dodek’s concerns arise largely out of attacks launched by the Cons against Carol Baird Ellan based on some of her past decisions. But it’s worth asking whether the problem lies primarily with Baird Ellan’s candidacy or the Cons’ standard in evaluating it – and how best to address that problem once it’s identified.

(Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On full responses

I’ll weigh in quickly on the controversy surrounding Jean-Francois Delisle – and start by noting that his comments yesterday reflected a desire to alter law to discriminate against a particular group that we shouldn’t accept from any political candidate or party.

That said, today’s follow-up statement also signals that responsibility will fall where it should for a comment which has nothing to do with party policy. Delisle will answer personally for the content of his opinion, with voters in Megantic-L’Erable getting to judge his comments in the context of their other choices on the ballot.

Meanwhile, voters elsewhere can rest (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On changing standards

Paul MacLeod reports on the latest candidate to be summarily axed due to an even mildly controversial social media history uncovered by Robert Jago, while Robyn Urback suggests either a truce or a wholesale destruction of past posts.

But it’s worth asking what comes next for Canada’s political parties – and particularly whether they’ll have to change their standards in a hurry.

Between now and September 28, it’s possible for a party to nominate a replacement for a candidate. And I’d fully expect new names to be substituted on the ballot for all of the candidates nixed so far (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Paul Weinberg discusses the need to focus on inequality in Canada’s federal election, while Scott Deveau and Jeremy Van Loon take note of the fact that increased tax revenue is on the table. The Star’s editorial board weighs in on the NDP’s sound and progressive fiscal plan. And Matthew Yglesias includes the rise of the NDP as part of the growth of a new, international progressive movement.

- Rank and File interviews Michael Butler about the privatization of health care in Saskatchewan, as well as the role of the federal government in (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- David Climenhaga sees Jeremy Corbyn’s resounding victory in the Labour leadership race as compelling evidence that progressive hope can win over centre-right fearmongering, while Michael Laxer takes some lessons away for Canadian politics. And Paul Krugman notes that there’s a reason why voting members didn’t take the Blairites seriously when it came to the economy in particular.

- Meanwhile, PressProgress points out that the Cons have been reduced to trying to create panic about their own economic failures in the hope that it’ll somehow keep voters wanting to continue with what’s failing (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Joseph Stiglitz notes that the recent stock market turmoil may be most important for its effect in highlighting far more important economic weaknesses. And Richard McCormack discusses the link between stock buybacks, inequality and economic stagnation – meaning that a plan to eliminate loopholes for stock options may also have positive spillover effects for the economy as a whole.

- Barry Schwartz writes about the meaning of work, while noting that a focus on theoretical efficiency by eliminating all satisfaction from a work day may be leading to worse results for employers and (Read more…)