Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Tom Parkin calls out the Libs’ latest laughable excuse for breaking their promise of electoral reform – being the threat that a party like the one which just held power for 10 years might win a few seats. Andrew Coyne notes that we shouldn’t accept Justin Trudeau’s bogeyman ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Ben Tarnoff discusses the two winners – and the many losers – created by the spread of neoliberalism: Neoliberalism can mean many things, including an economic program, a political project, and a phase of capitalism dating from the 1970s. At its root, however, neoliberalism is the idea ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Simon Enoch and Christine Saulnier examine how P3s are used to privilege corporate profits over the public interest: The CCPA has published numerous publications on the question of P3s because they have been so pervasive and so riddled with problems. There have been books written. Our organization ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Louis-Philippe Rochon reminds us why even if we were to (pointlessly) prioritize raw GDP over fair distributions of income and wealth, inequality is bad for economic growth in general: The more we redistribute income and wealth, the more consumption increases, which then increases demand. In turn, this should ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Getting to yes: A process for building Canada’s visionary new environmental assessment act

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 Last November, in a federally-unprecedented move, Prime Minister Trudeau made public his mandate letters to Canada’s new Cabinet. Among the important directives contained in those letters, there was one that created a particular stir among many environmental groups, academics and communities. Public participation is essential when it comes to decisions affecting ...

Accidental Deliberations: On oversimplification

One could hardly design a more stark contrast between the complex realities of politics and the media’s tendency to portray them in appallingly simplified terms than Althia Raj’s report on the NDP’s conference calls with party members last week. But for those willing to look past a misleading headline and lede, there’s plenty in the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Edgardo Sepulveda writes about the role of the federal government in combating inequality – while noting that Canada has gone in the wrong direction over the past few decades. And Michal Rozworski points out that we’re entirely accustomed to talking about economic development and distribution solely in terms ...

Accidental Deliberations: On failed diversions

Not surprisingly given my previous comments on the Libs’ electoral reform promise, it’s a plus that they’re sticking with it rather than giving in to any demand for a referendum. And hopefully the temporary diversion raised by the Cons will lead the parties where they need to go, even if a couple have had trouble ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

This and that for your weekend reading. – Jacqueline Davidson offers a personal account of the experience of living in poverty, including the need to rely on charity to make up for constantly-unmet needs. And Alana Semuels discusses how single mothers in particular have no choice but to rely on social connections to make up ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Mariana Mazzucato discusses the futility of slashing government without paying attention to what it’s intended to accomplish. And Sheila Block and Kaylie Tiessen are particularly critical of Ontario’s short-term sell-offs which figure to harm public services and revenues alike in the long run: The sale of Hydro One ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Robert Reich writes about the growing disconnect between the few well-connected people who have warped our political and economic systems for their benefit, and the rest of us who are on the wrong side of that system: (C)orporate executives and Wall Street managers and traders have done ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the opportunity posed by the change in Canada’s federal government – as well as the risks involved in letting the moment pass without an activist push for meaningful change. For further reading…– Nora Loreto makes much the same point with a particular focus on Canada’s labour movement.– Susan Delacourt notes that Justin Trudeau ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your election day reading. – Ed Finn discusses how neoliberalism is damaging Canada, and what we need to do to reverse its influence: Corporate influence on federal politics, the country’s flawed electoral system, and the staunch pursuit of a political and economic ideology since the 1980s that has threatened some of Canada’s ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Branko Milanovic answers Harry Frankfurt’s attempt to treat inequality as merely an issue of absolute deprivation by reminding us how needs are inherently social: “[Under necessities] I understand not only the commodities that are indispensable for the support of life, but whatever the custom of the country renders ...

Accidental Deliberations: On governing alternatives

As David Climenhaga points out, Brad Wall has positioned himself as the heir to Stephen Harper’s throne as the voice of the anti-democratic corporate elite. But let’s note that Wall and his mindset aren’t without some jarring approval within the media. For example, I’ve already highlighted John Ibbitson’s argument that the federal NDP should be ...

Accidental Deliberations: On closed-door decisions

Memo to Don Lenihan: It’s well and good to point to past backroom policy debacles such as utterly unwanted Crown corporation giveaways as examples of a complete lack of public engagement. But before lauding Kathleen Wynne as the face of open government, might it be worth noting that she’s doing the exact same thing on ...

Accidental Deliberations: On first steps

Dru Oja Jay, David Bush and Doug Nesbitt, Graham Steele and Karl Nerenberg have already offered their suggestions on the first steps for Rachel Notley’s Alberta NDP government (and the progressives hoping for it to produce positive change). But I’ll offer my own take based on one overriding principle: having earned power by showing that ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how the massive shift in public opinion against the Conservatives’ terror bill should remind us that people are more than willing to reconsider their initial position on a policy – and how it should signal to political parties that it might be a good idea to do the same. For further reading…– My ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – George Monbiot opines that curbing corporate power is the most fundamental political issue we need to address in order to make progress possible on any other front: Does this sometimes feel like a country under enemy occupation? Do you wonder why the demands of so much of the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading. – Walden Bello discusses the need for our political system to include constant citizen engagement, not merely periodic elections to determine who will be responsible to implement the wishes of the elite: Even more than dictatorships, Western-style democracies are, we are forced to conclude, the natural system of governance ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how personal and institutional stress make it more difficult for people to defend their interests – and on the need to respond to political strategies increasingly aimed at exploiting that principle to reduce public participation. For further reading…– Again, Chris Mooney discussed the effect of stress on voter turnout here. And here’s a ...

Accidental Deliberations: On inspiring action

The NDP’s first National Day of Action last weekend looks to have received virtually no media attention despite involving numbers of participants comfortably within the range of similarly-timed conventions and conferences which routinely dominate national headlines for weeks at a time. And there’s reason for optimism that the NDP’s plan to hold several more may ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Justin Fox questions whether traditional studies tracking the distribution of wealth by quintiles do much good when the most obvious economic faultline is between the (give or take) 1% and everybody else: Something really dramatic is going on up there in the top 5%, the top 1%, the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – David MacDonald studies the effect of the Cons’ income-splitting scheme, and finds that it’s oriented purely toward funnelling money toward the top of the income scale: “Income splitting creates a tax loophole big enough to drive a Rolls Royce through. It’s pitched as a program for the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – George Monbiot criticizes the UK Cons’ latest effort to outlaw any form of individual action or expression which might intrude upon the corporate bubble: The existing rules are bad enough. Introduced by the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act, antisocial behaviour orders (asbos) have criminalised an apparently endless ...