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Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– Paul Wells argues that climate change and First Nations reconciliation – two of the issues which the Libs have tried to turn into signature priorities – look set to turn into areas of weakness as Justin Trudeau continues his party’s tradition of dithering. And Martin Lukacs writes that Trudeau’s handling of continuing injustice facing First Nations has involved an awful lot of flash but virtually no action:

The extractivist worldview—bent on treating everything as a commodity—that lay behind Stephen Harper’s resource agenda just as powerfully shapes Trudeau’s. In fact, the Liberals’ attempt to wrap themselves in the UN Declaration without embracing its central right may constitute a new, more subtle form of extraction: the extraction from Indigenous territory of consent itself.

Liberal moves to extract and manufacture consent and support for outdated policies are evident elsewhere: restoring funding to the Assembly of First Nations, a government-dependent organization that has since plumped frequently for them; appointing an Indigenous Justice Minister, even though Indigenous critics argue she has sided with the government agenda throughout her political career; and agreeing to call an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women, but with a mandate far short of what impacted families wanted. As the weight of reality presses against Trudeau’s rhetoric, the ability to generate consent is crumbling.

Reconciliation is a powerful hope, an uplifting prospect, a deeply desired new relationship that Trudeau has compellingly invoked. But if reconciliation does not include the restitution of land, the recognition of real self-government, the reigning in of abusive police, the remediation of rivers and forests, it will remain a vacant notion, a cynical ploy to preserve a status quo in need not of tinkering but transformation. It will be Canada’s latest in beads and trinkets, a cheap simulation of justice.

– Guy Caron discusses the CRA’s role in Canada’s two-tier tax system. Stephen Punwasi comments on the connection between Canada’s willingness to facilitate tax avoidance, and the real estate bubbles driving housing prices far beyond what working-class Canadians can afford. And Marc Lee then highlights the connection between soaring urban real estate prices and increased inequality. 

– David Ball notes that many municipalities are retaking control over their own services after learning that the promises of efficiency through privatization are entirely illusory.

– Richard Orange points out Sweden’s intriguing idea of reducing taxes on repair services to discourage people from throwing out consumer goods. But I’d wonder whether that step alone would make a dent if it isn’t paired with a concerted effort at training potential repair workers for a job which the corporate sector would prefer to eliminate.

– Finally, Paul Mason makes the case for economics to be based on real-world observations of human behaviour, rather than insular mathematical models whose assumptions about market efficiency bear no relationship to reality. And Branko Milanovic discusses the need to measure and reduce inequality as part of a global development strategy. . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- Alan Freeman is duly appalled by Apple’s attempt to throw itself a pity party with the money it’s hoarding rather than paying in fair corporate taxes. And James Mackintosh reports on Jeroen Dijsselbloe… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.- James Stewart examines how Donald Trump could be paying zero taxes using shelters designed specifically to enrich real estate developers while serving no social purpose. And Alexandra Thornton and Brendan Duke po… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.- Jim Tankersley interviews Joshua Bivens about the relative effects of economic growth and income inequality – and particularly his evidence showing that more people are far better off with more modest growth fairly d… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on what the Trudeau Libs’ first budget tells us about the difficulty turning around a government – and how Saskatchewan voters should take the lesson to heart in deciding whether to settle for four more years of an anti-government governing party… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: On organization

Given some of the odd twists and turns in Paul Wells’ latest piece on Tom Mulcair’s future, I’m hesitant to give too much credence to his unnamed sources. But to the extent it’s accurate, Wells’ take on the lack of much organization on any side of a le… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On organization

Accidental Deliberations: On power dynamics

Paul Wells offers his thoughts on what might happen if the Cons lead in the seat count in a minority Parliament. But I’d think it’s worth noting two other considerations to counter Wells’ take that the Cons could hold on with substantially less than half the seats in the House of Commons.

First, particularly if . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On power dynamics

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, summarizing these posts as to how the opposition parties can set the stage for a minority Parliament by telling us what they’ll do on the first set of confidence votes – and how we can make better voting choices if they fail to do so.

For further reading…– Having mentioned the expected outcome of . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: On changed messages

Paul Wells highlights the major change from the Cons’ messaging in 2011 compared to today, as the party which spent years doing nothing about obsessing over (and demonizing) the possibility of a coalition has suddenly gone mum except in front of the most partisan of crowds. But it’s worth noting that there’s another factor beyond . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On changed messages

Accidental Deliberations: On succession plans

Over the past few days, I’ve finally made it around to reading Paul Wells’ The Longer I’m Prime Minister. And there are a few points raised by Wells’ account of Stephen Harper’s stay in office which call for plenty more discussion.

Let’s start with the conflict between Harper’s long-term plans and his short-term tactics.

There . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On succession plans

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

– Chris Mooney takes a look at the positive side of social influences on behaviour, as new research shows a correlation between spending time with neighbours and an interest in the environmental issues which affect us all. But Adam Stoneman documents how another form of social interaction – that . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– Robin Sears offers his theory that the upcoming federal election could represent a meaningful referendum on competing visions for Canada – and Paul Wells seems to expect much the same. But while that might make for a useful statement of the actual consequences of electing the anti-government Cons . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Alberta Diary: A political oddity hits the big time – but what do we really know about Michael Cooper?

Michael Cooper turned up door knocking on your blogger’s doorstep in St. Albert last summer. A photo was required! Below: Independent St. Albert Member of Parliament Brent Rathgeber, former Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day and journalist Paul Wells.

ST. ALBERT, Alberta

Every few years, Michael Cooper seems to pop onto the national news . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: A political oddity hits the big time – but what do we really know about Michael Cooper?

Accidental Deliberations: On healthy proposals

Paul Wells seems quite disappointed not to have received more attention for his recent piece on Thomas Mulcair’s speech to the Canadian Medical Association. So let’s take a closer look at why the angle Wells took didn’t seem like much of a revelation – and what might be more significant in Mulcair’s plans.

At . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On healthy proposals

Montreal Simon: Inside Stephen Harper’s Head: The Trudeau Obsession

I have no idea why anyone in the MSM would want to psychoanalyze Stephen Harper. It seems something better left between a psychiatrist and his patient. Or in Harper's case a trembling shrink and his maniac.But Paul Wells, who would be his Boswell and his Dr Welby, apparently could not be restrained.And has made . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Inside Stephen Harper’s Head: The Trudeau Obsession

Accidental Deliberations: On permanent campaigners

Plenty of people have pointed out other pieces of Paul Wells’ interview with Justin Trudeau. But one exchange seems particularly telling in defining Trudeau’s perception of leadership and politics: Q: What do you have to get done when Parliament comes back?

A: Continue to do what we’re doing, which is build the team, build the . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On permanent campaigners

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Maybe They Were Already Dead

Paul Wells thinks the Harper government should be given credit for slaying Quebec separatism.  I’d suggest its been deceased since 1995 and Harper has merely presided over the last twitchings of the body.  I would further suggest that Harper’s uncritical trumpeting of tar-sands development threatens to awake a far more dangerous beast…a British Columbia independence . . . → Read More: BigCityLib Strikes Back: Maybe They Were Already Dead

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Crimes of the Punditocracy

After the way Stephen Harper has treated the media over the years. After the way he has humbled and humiliated them.Or treated them like stooges.It's hard to believe that some still worship at his feet. Or that some like Paul Wells would think that we could learn ANYTHING from that foul leader. Read more . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Crimes of the Punditocracy

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, expanding on this post about the Cons’ ruthless discipline in keeping the benefits of any tax policy from flowing to those who need it most – and pointing out the need for a strong challenge to that single-minded focus on withholding money from the poor.

For further reading…– Again, the PBO’s report is here . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– David Dayen discusses how prepaid debit cards are turning into the latest means for the financial sector to extract artificial fees from consumers. And Matt Taibbi reports on the looting of public pension funds in the U.S.: Nor did anyone know that part of Raimondo’s strategy for saving . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

– Jonathan Freedland discusses how the UK’s Conservative government is forcing its poor citizens to choose between food and dignity: Cameron’s statement rests on the repeatedly implied assumption that the only people going hungry are those who have opted for idleness as a lifestyle choice, who could work but . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

– Ken Georgetti discusses how the corporate tax giveaways of the past 15 years have hurt most Canadians: The Conservative government and special interest groups claim incessantly that cutting corporate income taxes is good for the economy and for individual Canadians. We have been led to believe that . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Calgary Grit: Bart’s Books: Stephen Harper, Episode II

“On any day, [Harper] has a choice, he can do the big conservative thing that would be the end of his career, or he can do some of the small conservative things that won’t.”

I’ll save you the trouble of reading the rest of this book review – if you like Paul Wells’ . . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Bart’s Books: Stephen Harper, Episode II

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.

– Paul Wells and Dan Lett offer roundups of today’s federal by-elections, while Chantal Hebert offers some advice to the candidates (whether or not they’re elected to Parliament today). And Murray Dobbin explains why there’s only one true progressive choice in Toronto Centre in particular: McQuaig’s Liberal opponent in . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

– The Economist discusses research by Miles Corak and others on intergenerational inequality. And interestingly, other studies seem to suggest Corak has actually underestimated the barriers to social mobility: THE “Great Gatsby curve” is the name Alan Krueger, an economic adviser to Barack Obama, gave to the relationship . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links