Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Andrew Jackson discusses how the rise of right-wing, prejudiced populism can be traced to the failures of global corporate governance. And Dani Rodrik argues that it’s time to develop an international political system to facilitate – rather than overriding – democratic action: Some simple principles would reorient ...

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 opportunity for renewal, but no guarantee of improvement. Gerard Di Trolio focuses particularly on the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Spun out

Sadly, there are far too many half-baked outside arguments being made about the federal NDP’s leadership review and how it connects to provincial-level choices. (To be clear, I contrast those against some genuine concerns being raised by members.) But let’s highlight one particularly telling example of how the NDP in general is being misrepresented by ...

Accidental Deliberations: On performance reviews

Following up on this post, I’ll weigh in with my own take on the federal NDP’s leadership review – based primarily on the question of what Tom Mulcair seems to have taken away from the 2015 federal election, and how it will position the party in the years to come. As alluded to in some ...

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 because it seems so normal. My patients feel the same way. They keep ...

Accidental Deliberations: On evaluations

I’ve written previously about my view as to how NDP members should approach the review of Thomas Mulcair’s leadership at the upcoming federal convention. And in the face of a blizzard of commentary which does little but to echo knee-jerk election post-mortems, I’ll offer a couple of questions for discussion (before providing my own answers ...

Accidental Deliberations: On permanent campaigns

Luke Savage is right to point out that Canada’s permanent campaign has merely taken on a different dynamic under the Trudeau Libs, rather than actually coming to an end with the Harper Cons losing power: Again, branding is the key here. As a part of its Sunny Ways™, the government has displayed a visible fondness ...

Accidental Deliberations: On strategic choices

Christopher Kam’s series of posts on political parties’ strategy surrounding electoral reform is definitely worth a read. But I’ll stand by the view that there’s another alternative interpretation of the likely outcomes – particularly based on the likely alignment of any coalition between parties: The configuration of parties’ preference orderings over electoral systems suggests two ...

Accidental Deliberations: On managing the system

Following up on this post, there doesn’t seem to be much prospect of the Cons making any effort to pursue proportional representation as an alternative to a ranked ballot if Tasha Kheiriddin’s latest reflects their’ thinking. But I’ll point out that there’s reason for the Cons to give the option a second look even if ...

Accidental Deliberations: On earned media

Ideally, a new Parliament should have the opportunity to talk about issues of far more direct significance and practical value than keeping even offensive speech such as Donald Trump’s out of Canada. And so it’s a bit disappointing to see Tom Mulcair pushing that issue. That said, it’s not hard to understand the reasoning behind ...

Accidental Deliberations: On consensus-building

John Ivison is a bit melodramatic on behalf of the Cons in assessing the impact of possible electoral reform. But to the extent the Cons actually accept his argument, it might well lead them toward the best possible outcome in the form of a proportional electoral system. After all, by highlighting electoral reform in their ...

Accidental Deliberations: Movements and moments

Let’s continue this line of thought about the federal NDP’s most recent election campaign with my slight twist on one of the more familiar questions which has faced the party (in various forms) over a period of decades. I’ll start by drawing a distinction between two related goals which are bound to figure in a ...

Accidental Deliberations: On purposes

There are plenty of questions which the NDP is rightly asking in the wake of this fall’s federal election results. But Susan Delacourt is uncharacteristically far off base in her view as to what the main question is. By way of contrast, the question of “What’s the point of the party anyway?” was a highly ...

Accidental Deliberations: On balancing acts

For those wondering, I’m indeed following up on these posts and working my way through some of the factors in the NDP’s federal election result. (For more on the subject, see the latest from Lawrence Martin, and Desmond Cole talking to Cheri DiNovo.) I’ll turn now to what’s often been labeled the most important turning ...

Accidental Deliberations: On decision points

I’ve previously challenged any attempt to pressure Thomas Mulcair to abandon the NDP’s leadership. And I’ll take a moment do so the same in response to Scott Gilmore’s admonition to Elizabeth May. As in the case of every party, the Greens should have every reason to evaluate whether they’re achieving their goals. But there’s no ...

Accidental Deliberations: On missed opportunities

As mentioned here, I’ll be adding over the next little while to an already-substantial set of views on the NDP’s choices which led to last week’s federal election results. But I’ll start by expanding on a point which I made briefly earlier in the campaign (at a time when it was far from clear how ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Martin Lukacs writes that while a change in government offers some possibility of change, the Trudeau campaign wasn’t anything more than a ruse. And Seth Klein and Shannon Daub remind us that we’ll need to be the ones to advance progressive policies in the face of a government ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here (via PressReader), on how the prisoner’s dilemma I wrote about back here wound up playing out in Canada’s federal election. For further reading, particularly on the difference in how the NDP and the Libs treated each other… – Tonda MacCharles’ look behind the scenes of the Cons’ strategy includes this tidbit: Senior Conservative organizer ...

Accidental Deliberations: On clean slates

Needless to say, last night’s election results represented something close to the NDP’s worst-case scenario on a lot of fronts: both in terms of seat counts, and losing the seats held by some of the most impressive MPs and candidates in Canadian politics. And I’ll comment in future posts on the areas where the NDP ...

Accidental Deliberations: #elxn42 Campaign Closer: Liberals

Finally, let’s look at the Libs’ campaign as tomorrow’s election day approaches. In case there was any doubt, the Libs’ main challenge was to try to cast Justin Trudeau as being “ready” in response to the Cons’ saturation ad campaigns. And while Trudeau likely benefited from the lowered expectations created by that very campaign, he ...

Accidental Deliberations: #elxn42 Campaign Closer: NDP

I’ve previously pointed out that others were far too quick to write off the NDP in Canada’s federal election. But it’s safe to say by now that it will be a surprise for the NDP to reach the heights it achieved earlier – even if that leaves plenty of room for both upside and downside ...

Accidental Deliberations: #elxn42 Campaign Closer: Conservatives

With Canada’s election day looming tomorrow, I’ll take a quick look back at the campaign from the standpoint of each of the major parties. Let’s start with the Cons – who haven’t exactly found an answer for the key problem they’ve faced from the start, but have managed to stay far closer in the race ...

Accidental Deliberations: On conversation pieces

Following up on this post, the stretch run of the election campaign (particularly a holiday weekend with advance polling already underway) is exactly the time when our messages in talking to unpersuaded voters will matter most in shaping the results. And I’ll offer a few suggestions as to how to argue for both a new ...

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 ...

Accidental Deliberations: On campaign reflections

There’s been a flurry of discussion elsewhere about the NDP’s campaign over the past couple of weeks, and I’ll chime in quickly with my own take on how the campaign has developed so far – and what we should hope for as it reaches its conclusion. To start with, I see two points where there’s ...