Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, expanding on this post about the Libs’ electoral reform betrayal – and the likelihood that it will encourage future Stephen Harpers to exploit the distortions created by first-past-the-post. For further reading…– I’ve linked to plenty of other commentary on the Libs’ broken promise here, here and here. And we can add new material from ...

Accidental Deliberations: On false change

The Libs have made it official that they’re breaking their promise of electoral reform with no reason other than their own blinkered refusal to acknowledge the consensus in support of a more proportional system. But particularly in light of Justin Trudeau’s past claims that all anybody really wanted was a change in government, let’s remember ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Naomi Klein writes that Donald Trump’s cabinet represents a direct takeover of the U.S. government by the corporate oligarchy – and comments on what the progressive movement needs to do to fight back: Let us be clear: This is not a peaceful transition of power. It’s a corporate ...

Accidental Deliberations: The Minister of Silly Excuses

Yes, Justin Trudeau has set up his predictable excuse for breaking his promise of electoral reform by putting a new minister in charge of the file during a crucial period. But let’s see what Karina Gould has had to say about a more fair democratic system in communicating with her constituents (PDF): Participants focused on ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Christo Aivalis offers some suggestions for a set of progressive and effective tax policies: My view is that the Left has to combine the general philosophy of economic redistribution with the practical needs of getting the money to preserve existing social programs and build new ones. We have ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Dennis Pilon highlights how the stubborn defence of disproportional electoral systems can only be explained by a fear of voters’ preferences being given effect: The issue is not whether it’s better to have a few or a lot of parties in Parliament — that’s irrelevant. The issue ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Lana Payne points out the significance of even central bankers like Mark Carney recognizing the desperate need to combat inequality. And Iglika Ivanova discusses how British Columbia’s election-year surplus represents a wasted opportunity to start addressing the social problems which the Libs have been exacerbating for a decade ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Citizens for Public Justice laments the Libs’ and Cons’ joint effort to vote down the NDP’s push for a national anti-poverty strategy. And Sean Speer and Rob Gillezeau make the case for an improved Working Income Tax Benefit which should be palatable across the political spectrum. – ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon #ERRE Links

A bit of electoral reform material for your weekend reading. – Nathan Cullen points out how the Special Committee on Electoral Reform’s report (PDF) serves as an effective road map to make every vote count in Canada. – PressProgress highlights how the Libs are attacking their own campaign promises in order to preserve an unfair ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Owen Jones argues that UK Labour needs to make far more effort to connect with working-class citizens in order to hold off the populist right, while Jamelle Bouie examines Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaigns as a worthwhile model for uniting groups of disaffected voters. And Wolfgang Munchau comments ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Stephen Dubner discusses the importance of social trust in supporting a functional economy and society: (S)ocial trust is … HALPERN: Social trust is an extraordinarily interesting variable and it doesn’t get anywhere near the attention it deserves. But the basic idea is trying to understand what is ...

Accidental Deliberations: On decision points

Needless to say, it’s disappointing that there now doesn’t seem to be any prospect of a shift to a more proportional federal electoral system without a referendum. But the NDP’s move to build a consensus among the opposition parties on a referendum offering a choice between mixed-member proportional representation and first-past-the-post makes sense given the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Evening Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading. – Brent Patterson criticizes the Libs’ short-sighted plans to privatize public services in lieu of any coherent economic policy. And Tom Parkin calls out their bait-and-switch approach to infrastructure. – Robin McKie reports on Nicholas Stern’s recognition that his much-cited work on the impacts of climate change only underestimated ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Community Food Centres Canada highlights the need for social assistance benefits to keep up with the cost of living, while noting that Ontario (among other jurisdictions) has fallen well behind in that task: It’s been far too long since social assistance rates have been viewed through the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Toby Sanger offers some important background to the federal government’s expected plan for privatized infrastructure by noting that the anticipated result would be to double the costs. And Luke Kawa notes that the Libs are already having trouble spending the money they’ve budgeted for infrastructure – leaving ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – The Star’s editorial board writes that while we can do more to provide supports to make workers less dependent on a single job, we shouldn’t pretend there’s nothing we can do to improve working conditions. And Lana Payne reminds Morneau and the Libs that there’s nothing inevitable about ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Scott Sinclair and Stuart Trew applaud Wallonia’s principled stance against the CETA. And Joseph Stiglitz discusses the need to set up social and economic systems which actually serve the public good, rather than favouring corporate interests: Where the trade agreements failed, it was not because the US was ...

Accidental Deliberations: On false prophets

It wasn’t long ago when a series of Canadian federal elections saw Stephen Harper and his Conservatives take more and more power – culminating in over four years of a false majority government – even as upwards of 60% of voters opposed virtually everything it stood for. Some of us then figured it was worth ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Alex Himelfarb discusses why a proportional electoral system can be expected to produce better and more representative public policy: The adversarial approach often means major policy lurches when the government changes. For example, the Harper government undid some important initiatives of the previous government, including the Kelowna Accord, ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Mary O’Hara notes that even a relatively modest and incomplete set of progressive policies has created some important movement toward reducing poverty. And conversely, Caroline Mortimer writes that child poverty is exploding under the Conservative majority government in the UK. – Dean Beeby reports on the cause ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Valerie Strauss discusses the disastrous effects of corporatized education in the U.S. And Alex Hemingway examines how B.C.’s government (like Saskatchewan’s) is going out of its way to make it impossible for a public education system to do its job of offering a bright future to all ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – David Dayen and Ryan Grim write that “free trade” agreements are in fact turning into little more than cash cows for hedge funds and other big-money speculators: Under this system, a corporation invested in a foreign country can appeal to arbitration panels, consisting of three corporate lawyers, if that ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – PressProgress points out that a large number of Canadians are justifiably concerned about our economy, with a particular desire to rein in income and wealth inequality. And Guy Caron notes that there’s no reason for politicians to keep facilitating tax avoidance which exacerbates the gap between the lucky ...

Northern Reflections: No Reason To Reject The System Outright

As Canada moves towards proportional representation, the Cassandras are wailing loudly. Andrew Coyne gives two examples — from opposite ends of the political spectrum: Here, for example, is Bill Tieleman, B.C. NDP strategist, writing in The Tyee: “How would you like an anti-immigrant, racist, anti-abortion or fundamentalist religious political party holding the balance of power ...

Northern Reflections: No Reason To Reject The System Outright

As Canada moves towards proportional representation, the Cassandras are wailing loudly. Andrew Coyne gives two examples — from opposite ends of the political spectrum: Here, for example, is Bill Tieleman, B.C. NDP strategist, writing in The Tyee: “How would you like an anti-immigrant, racist, anti-abortion or fundamentalist religious political party holding the balance of power ...