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Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Ryan Meili examines why Craig Alexander of the TD Bank is calling for a move toward greater income equality in Canada: The OECD reports that income inequality is at the highest level in 30 years, and that economic growth has been slowed by as much as 10 per cent in some countries as a result. A 2014 IMF study showed that redistributive policies through tax and transfers not only do no harm to the economy, but can improve performance in the long-term. In fact, it appears that public investments in child care and (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On managerial lapses

Shorter Tony Clement: I believe there’s an art to managing public money. And that’s why I see no problem whatsoever with budgets which are works of fiction.

Montreal Simon: Tony Clement’s Orwellian "Open Government" Plan

I suppose we should have known that anything Tony Clement proposes would be hideously flawed, so rotten is his record.And his so-called "Open Government" plan" is no different.The Conservative government has rejected calls to reform the Access to Information Act as part of a new openness plan. The final version of the federal blueprint on open government for 2014-16 remains silent on updating the 32-year-old law despite public pleas during several consultations — including a recent round of public feedback on a draft version.Doing nothing to improve access to government at a time when the situation couldn't (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Tax Evasion: When the Cons Are Part of the Problem

As probably you know, the Con regime has given the Canada Revenue Agency more money to go after its enemies.While depriving it of the resources and the inspectors to go after tax evaders.Well now it turns out there may be method to that madness.

For it seems that when it comes to tax evasion, the Cons are part of the problem. Read more »

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Glen McGregor reports on Michael Sona’s conviction as part of the Cons’ voter suppression in 2011. But both Michael den Tandt and Sujata Dey emphasize that Sona’s conviction was based on his being only one participant in the wider Robocon scheme – and that Stephen Harper and company remain fully responsible for covering up the rest of it.

- Meanwhile, Carol Goar duly mocks Tony Clement’s attempt to talk up open government while serving as one of the least accountable ministers in the most secretive Canadian government ever.

- And Justin Ling discusses (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Digital Peeping Toms: They Don’t Even Bother To Hide Anymore

That is certainly the conclusion I drew after reading this morning’s latest Star revelation about our overlords in Ottawa. Entitled Ottawa is ‘creeping’ your Facebook, the article by Alex Boutilier reveals yet more unwholesome intrusions into our privacy being conducted by the Harper regime.

In a January report to Parliament, interim privacy commissioner Chantal Bernier raised concerns about accountability in data sweeps of the Internet. She has now expressed those concerns directly in a letter to Treasury Chair Tony Clement:

An “increasing number” of government institutions are collecting publicly available personal information from sites like Facebook and Twitter “without (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Con War on the Economy

Well he's off to Ukraine today to try to pose as Great Warrior Leader by inflaming a dangerous crisis for crass political gain. Which is scary enough.But there's another scary story doing the rounds in Ottawa. And that's the one about how Stephen Harper wanted to replace Jimbo Flaherty as Finance Minister with nobody less than HIMSELF.Read more »

Calgary Grit: Hanging up the shoes

It’s not a huge surprise, but it’s still big news. After 8 years, the only Finance Minister Stephen Harper has ever known and loved is calling it quits:

Jim Flaherty steps down as finance minister

OTTAWA – Jim Flaherty is leaving the federal cabinet after more than eight years as finance minister to prepare for a return to the private sector, saying the move is unrelated to his recent health problems.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expected to name his replacement Wednesday.

Flaherty, who delivered his final budget last month, said he made the decision with his family earlier (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The Ukraine Crisis and the Absurd Con Clowns

Someone recently compared the Ukrainian crisis to the beginning of the First World War.Where new alliances, old hatreds, and excessive nationalism created an explosive mixture until one act of senseless violence set the whole thing off.And this couldn't be a more a dangerous showdown.So needless to say I'm not happy to see that Stephen Harper is still planning to visit Ukraine. Still threatening to inflame the situation.Read more »

BigCityLib Strikes Back: It’s Upside Down

From here.  Looks better if you open it in a new tab.  Also: @TonyclementCPC @ThePoliGuy @MeanwhileinCana @PTicks You could stand on your head in solidarity with them.— Bigcitylib (@Bigcitylib2) March 6, 2014

Montreal Simon: The Harper Regime and the Never-ending War on Veterans

It's hard to believe after what the Harper Cons have done to our veterans, that they could treat or betray them even more than they already have.But that's exactly what they are doing. First they closed down those veteran service centres for no good reason.Now they're going after their healthcare plans. Read more »

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Insane War on Unions

When I think about what historians will say about the rule of the mad king Harper and the lost years of The Great Darkness, I think it will probably be something like this:Canadians had never seen anything like him, so they didn't recognize the danger, and by the time they did it was too late. He had numbed them, or muzzled them, into a state of paralysis.For although he was totally insane, there was method to his madness.And it was contagious.Read more »

Trashy's World: Tony Clement asked to be…

… on the the Harper Christmas card too. But his boss said no (wait for it), one rodent is a enough. Budda-bing! (1) Trashy, Ottawa, Ontario

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Murray Dobbin recognizes that there’s more at stake on the federal political scene than merely replacing the Harper Cons – and that the most important debate may be found within the NDP. Meanwhile, Tim Harper is concern trolling on that front, demanding that Thomas Mulcair silence Linda McQuaig and anybody else whose principles might not align perfectly with Fraser Institute talking points.

- Carol Goar makes the case (as I’ve done before) to deal with the Senate through a new convention which simply avoids future appointments. But Andrew Coyne proposes a far (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper’s Ugly War on Diplomacy

If you want a simple illustration of where Stephen Harper's sinister Con regime is taking us, all you have to do is contrast two pictures.This picture of Bruno Saccomani, Harper's former chief bodyguard.Who now has his own limo, and somebody to open the door for him, as our new/nouveau ambassador to Jordan. Read more »

Canadian Political Viewpoints: All Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing…

Many people were waiting for the on the horizon cabinet shuffle in Ottawa that finally took place today. Pundits saw it as an opportunity for a scandal plagued government to turn the page and change the channel by getting Canadians to talk about something other than Duffy-Wright. And while people have focused on it for today, as we are here, the seemingly safe measures taken by this shuffle will do little in getting anyone to move ahead permanently.  For a shuffle that was being seen as a fresh start, it was ultimately quite a major disappointment. In the most (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Summertime, And The Livin is Easy (For Some)

H/t The Toronto Star Recommend this Post

Alberta Diary: Tories try new union-bashing gambit to divert attention from their daily scandals, fiascos

Federal Treasury Board President Tony Clement, left, makes Duffygate disappear, while two reporters and Prime Minister Stephen Harper, at right, look on. Actual Canadian politicians and media personalities may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Tony Clement, Arthur Porter.

Desperate to divert public attention from Mike “The Puffster” Duffy’s expense account exploits and the arrest by Panamanian authorities of the fellow who not so long ago ran the watchdog overseeing Canada’s spy agency, the Harper Government has turned to that hardy perennial of conservative diversionary tactics: union bashing.

Well, the pandas didn’t work. Any old port in a (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Message to Gary Doer: Now might be a good time to place a call to Ottawa, before you have to cross a picket line!

Canadian diplomats, as seen in the public’s imagination and doubtless as they will soon be portrayed by the Harper Government. Actual Canadian diplomats abroad do not appear quite as illustrated, even when dressed casually for picket line duty. Below: Gary Doer, Canada’s Ambassador to the United States; Treasury Board President Tony Clement.

The working stiffs of Canadian diplomacy, members of the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers, were walking a picket line in Washington, D.C., yesterday – which raised some eyebrows in the Imperial Capital and must have created some minor discomfort for the Canadian ambassador, a (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Former Aussie PM’s unintended message to Canadian progressives: coalitions work!

Former Australian PM John Howard at the Manning Centre’s Ottawa gabfest Sunday. Below: Tom Flanagan pictured on a button worn by many at Preston Manning’s “big-tent” conservative revival meeting, “Calgary School” professor Rainer Knopff seen in passing sporting his Flanagan button.


Was former Australian PM John Howard sending Canadian conservatives a coded message about their future Saturday, or was his research just not up to snuff now that he’s no longer a prime minister?

Mr. Howard is a Liberal, which in Australia means he’s a conservative, which almost anywhere else would mean he’d be termed a neoliberal, which here

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Former Aussie PM’s unintended message to Canadian progressives: coalitions work!

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

This and that to end your Saturday.

- Bill Curry breaks the news of the Cons’ next round of public service slashing – with Canada Revenue Agency employees whose work far more than pays for itself once more looming as one of the main targets of a government determined to ease the way for tax evasion and avoidance.

- Jodie Sinnema reports on the Parkland Institute’s ideas for a more progressive tax system in Alberta. And it’s particularly worth noting that Albertans themselves recognize the value of fair taxes even as their government continues to insist on the need to

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Alberta Diary: Preston Manning’s well-funded ideological hobbyhorse takes aim at civic progressives

Calgary City Hall: The next target for former Reform Party leader Preston Manning’s not-very-merry band of far-right ideologues? Below: Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and neoconservative ideological guru Manning back in the day.

Is the so-called Manning Centre for Building Democracy preparing to target Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and other progressive city councillors for a corporate-backed reprise of the far right’s domination of federal and provincial politics in recent decades across Canada?

So it would seem.

Indeed, it would be fair to say the benevolent sounding Trojan Horse founded by Preston Manning, the former Reform Party leader and unflinching market ideologue,

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Preston Manning’s well-funded ideological hobbyhorse takes aim at civic progressives

Trashy's World: So, uh, the President of TB…

… doesn’t have anything better to do than to declare war on Santa-haters? Really, Uncle Tony? Really? The Government of Canada has no guidelines that restrict federal employees from putting up Christmas or other holiday decorations in their workspace. “There are those who would like to snuff out the holiday spirit in the name of [...]

Montreal Simon: The Cons and the War on Christmas

Oh my Ding Dong. Deck the gazebo with boughs of holly. Or steaming mounds of horse shit.Tony Clement, the King of Muskoka and the Minister of Misery, wants us all to know something REALLY important.He's no grinch, and the Cons don't hate Christmas. Read more »

Alberta Diary: The Nexen deal: ‘Friends with benefits’ may not be nearly as good as it sounds!

Thanks to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Canada’s oilpatch will soon take a Great Leap Forward. Below: CNOOC’s logo.

“When we say that Canada is open for business, we do not mean that Canada is for sale to foreign governments,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper intoned at a news conference in Ottawa Friday – except, he didn’t add, those parts of Canada our government’s rich pals feel like selling off.

So, once again, Dec. 7 gets to be a date that will live in infamy, in this case the soon-to-be infamous sale of Calgary-based Nexen Inc. for a tidy $15

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: The Nexen deal: ‘Friends with benefits’ may not be nearly as good as it sounds!