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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 don’t fancy it. This assumption is false. The majority of poor households include at least one person who works. As Rowan Williams, the former archbishop of Canterbury, put it this week: “People who are using food banks are not scroungers who are cynically trying (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On top priorities

If there’s anything to question in the latest reporting about possible post-election cooperation between the NDP and the Libs, it’s the impression that Thomas Mulcair’s willingness to pursue a coalition to replace the Harper Cons with a better government somehow comes entirely out of the blue. But while the story may not be entirely new, it’s certainly well worth pointing out: The leader of the New Democrats said on Tuesday he is willing to form a coalition in order to take power after the next election, even as the other opposition party leader, Liberal Justin Trudeau, played down the idea. … (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Lynn Stuart Parramore offers five convincing pieces of evidence to suggest that the U.S.’ plutocrats are losing their minds in their effort to set themselves apart from the rabble. Kevin Roose tells a story about some awful, awful (and disturbingly wealthy and powerful) people. And Patrick Wintour discusses how the UK Cons are dedicating significant public resources to placing impossible demands on the unemployed – then cutting off the livelihood of anybody not acrobatic enough to jump through their newly-created hoops.

- So there’s plenty of reason to think Ana Marie (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On poison pills

I’ve already pointed out the absurdity of Gordon Campbell anti-NDP acolyte Joyce Murray pretending to run as a pan-progressive candidate in the Libs’ leadership race. But if we needed any more indication that she can’t be taken seriously, Tim Harper provides it by looking at the fine print of her “cooperation” plan: Under the Murray plan, seats held by the Conservatives in which the governing party received less than 50 per cent of the vote would be targeted for co-operation.

She would blend the 2008 and 2011 results, to eliminate any onetime anomalies. One such anomaly, she said, was the

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Accidental Deliberations: Friday Evening Links

Miscellaneous material to end your week.

- Lawrence Martin questions the media’s obsession with fabricating stories out of imagined motivations and insignificant shifts in poll numbers: In the year before an election, the media’s heavy focus on tiny political twists and turns is understandable. Here in Canada, a federal campaign is likely a long way off, the Conservatives’ numbers are stable and so are those of the NDP. But it doesn’t prevent the rash of pollster and media speculation about who is up and who is down and who might be headed in either direction.

A headline the other day

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Accidental Deliberations: On open invitations

Jon Worth’s post on the distinction between partisan politics (as generally understood) and movement-based activism is well worth a read, particularly in pointing out how the latter may better express what people actually want to see out of politics: Since first reading Mary Kaldor’s piece at the LSE EUROPP blog this autumn about alternative social movements I’ve been fascinated by the practical meaning of the term “prefigurative action” that she mentions. Her description of the term is “the attempt to practice the kind of democracy that the participants imagine” – i.e. to behave in politics in the

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Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Dr. Dawg highlights Peter Russell’s take on the Cons’ 2008 efforts to prevent a Parliamentary majority from actually exercising its right to vote down a government which had lost the confidence of the House of Commons. And Steven Chase follows up by noting the role that the Cons’ smear machine may have played in subverting Canadian democracy.

- Meanwhile, Bruce Cox discusses how a longstanding democratic crisis has led us to the verge of environmental disaster. And as Scott points out, there’s plenty of room for matters to get worse when

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Accidental Deliberations: On speculative advances

Somehow most of the discussion of Thomas Mulcair’s Question Period appearance this morning seems to have missed what strikes me as the most important point. So let’s take a closer look at how his message has evolved from the leadership campaign – and how it figures to position the NDP to form government in 2015.

At first glance, Mulcair’s answer in response to a question focused on the possibility of a coalition government in 2015 might not seem like a particularly strong one: Mulcair said the party will be running candidates in all 338 federal ridings (adjusted with new additions)

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