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Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, pointing out that if the Harper Cons have little idea what they’re doing in Canada’s federal election, it isn’t for lack of advantages over their opponents in planning out a campaign.

For further reading…– Alice Funke offers a thorough look at the new strategic challenges facing all of Canada’s major political parties.  – Michael . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: On acceptable surprises

When Alice Funke first identified the effect of an extended writ period under the Cons’ well-hidden revisions to the Canada Elections Act, I mused the effect was less problematic than it appeared at first glance. But now that the possibility of an extra-long campaign looks fairly real and the issue is drawing more discussion, let’s . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On acceptable surprises

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, following up on these posts about the possibility the Cons might decide to ignore their own fixed election date and delay the election expected for October 19. 

For further reading…

– The Canada Elections Act is here. And for an interesting comparison, see Saskatchewan’s fixed election date provision from the Legislative Assembly Act, . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– Sean McElwee offers a new set of evidence that the right-wing Republicans who run on the economy in fact do it nothing but harm. And David Dayen discusses how Bernie Sanders may be able to push the U.S.’ policy discussion into a far more positive area by forcing . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

– Scott Sinclair studies the effect of NAFTA on government policies, and finds that it’s been used primarily (and all too frequently) to attack Canadian policy choices: A study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) finds over 70% of all NAFTA investor-state claims since . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

– Oxfam studies the spread of extreme inequality around the globe, as well as the policies needed to combat it: Oxfam’s decades of experience in the world’s poorest communities have taught us that poverty and inequality are not inevitable or accidental, but the result of deliberate policy choices. . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

– Katie Allen discusses the Equality Trust’s research into tax rates in the UK – which shows that the poor actually pay the highest share of their income in taxes, even as the public has been led to believe the opposite: The poorest 10% of households pay eight percentage . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

– Crawford Kilian discusses the growing influence of Thomas Piketty’s observations about wealth inequality and the unfairness of a system which inherently perpetuates privilege: What I take away is this: We are playing in a rigged game. The deck has always been stacked against us, and against our . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

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. . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how this week’s federal by-elections seem to confirm that another minority Parliament is a real possibility in 2015 – even as the main parties all rule out any discussion of what would happen under that scenario.

For further reading…– I make reference in the column to John Ivison’s rough calculations as to how . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading.

– Chris Dillow discusses how a shredded social safety net may turn into a vicious cycle – as voters are more prepared to cast ballots based on resentment when their own livelihood is less secure: Marko Pitesa and Stefan Thau first manipulated subjects’ perceptions of their income by inviting . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– Polly Toynbee reminds us that a precarious living for much of the middle class is nothing new – and neither is a cacophony of reactionary voices claiming that a desperate struggle for survival is the natural and proper state for most of humanity.

– And Jim Sinclair writes . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– Glenn Greenwald, David Atkins and Simon Jenkins all discuss the U.K.’s detention of David Miranda – with heavy emphasis on the Cameron government’s apparent belief journalism and terrorism are synonymous. And Ian Welsh points out the need to fight back against a pervasive surveillance state before it’s too . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how a narrow focus on pursuing a seemingly safe path to a bare majority government may have contributed to the B.C. NDP’s stunning election defeat this week.

Needless to say, there’s no lack of other commentary on the election, with Alice Funke, Sixth Estate, Michael Stewart, Paul Ramsey and Thomas Walkom all reaching . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

– Michael Harris takes aim at Stephen Harper’s thugocracy: There is little that Stephen Harper has done that other prime ministers before him have not. But no one has used closure, time allocation, committee secrecy or omnibus legislation to a degree that renders Parliament itself irrelevant.

And he . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

– Yves Engler highlights the two-tiered justice system exacerbated by the Harper Cons, as anybody with a sufficient level of privilege avoids any punishment for wrongdoing: One law for the rulers and another for the rest of us — wasn’t that supposed to have ended with feudalism?

If . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

– John Studzinski describes how a sense of social responsibility and a country-wide commitment to making jobs available have placed Germany in a better economic position than its European neighbours: Let me highlight some of the features unique to the Mittelstand model that I believe everyone should learn . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Calgary Grit: Liberal Leadership Power Rankings

Justin Trudeau is head and shoulders ahead of his closest competitors

During the NDP leadership race, I got into the habit of tabulating “Power Rankings” of how the different candidates fared on fundraising, Facebook, Twitter, polls, and any other shred of quantitative data I could claw my hands onto. The exercise wasn’t intended . . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Liberal Leadership Power Rankings

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.- Louise Story reports on tax goodies and direct giveaways to businesses at the local level (which of course seldom deliver the promised economic return). That said, it’s worth noting that we’re desperately lacking… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: On post-mortems

Alice offers up the definitive analysis of last night’s federal by-elections, and I won’t go over too much of the same territory. But I’ll quickly add a few observations for each party – as everybody looks to have some reason for concern.And yes, I inc… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On post-mortems

Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr Roundup

A few observations about the Saskatchewan NDP leadership race in advance of tonight’s first debate… The main news over the past week has involved the release of the candidates’ October donation and expense numbers – which have been documented by Alic… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr Roundup

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

– Frances Russell discusses how the Cons have corporatized Canadian politics: In fact, elevating corporate rights over the rights of citizens and their democractic institutions seems to be the Harper government’s core agenda. Its aggressive “free trade” stance has led to agreements with Panama, Jordan, Columbia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.

– The Toronto Star’s Public Editor Kathy English discusses the wall being built around information by the Harper Cons. But at least as interesting to me is the Cons’ determination to put up roadblocks in the way of information which can obviously be obtained through other means – such . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your weekend.

– Jonathan Bernstein comments on how the U.S.’ right-wing echo chamber may be preventing Mitt Romney and other Republicans from recognizing when their spin has no hope of convincing voters: As Romney rolled out yet another of these insipid, implausible campaign talking points, however, it occurs to me that . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

– Alice interviews Allan Gregg about his sharp criticism of anti-evidence politics, and finds some optimism on Gregg’s part that clear falsehoods will eventually be treated with due disdain: Q. So, one of your early mentors, [US pollster] Richard Wirthlin, he’s arguing that values trumped issues in the work . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links