Accidental Deliberations: On warped incentives

CC offers one noteworthy takeaway from Jenni Byrne’s attempt to deflect blame for the Cons’ election loss: Wherein Jenni Byrne openly admits that the CPC *needs* vote splitting to stay relevant. https://t.co/HrQDeH058x pic.twitter.com/BpUFBmezhz — CC (@canadiancynic) February 8, 2016 But let’s follow what this line of thought means for Canada’s electoral system. Would any rational ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Robert Atkinson discusses the need for corporate tax policy to encourage economic development rather than profit-taking and share inflation. And Jim Hightower notes that it’s an anti-democratic corporate mindset that led to the poisoning of Flint. – Stephen Tapp offers some noteworthy ideas to ensure the public can ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Duncan Brown discusses the connection between precarious work and low productivity. And Sara Mojtehedzadeh examines how Ontario’s workers’ compensation system is pushing injured individuals into grinding poverty by setting impossible requirements for claimants. – Jim Balsillie worries that the Trans-Pacific Partnership will only increase the tendency of profits ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Lana Payne highlights how Kevin O’Leary’s obliviousness to inequality makes him a relic. But Linda McQuaig notes that however distant O’Leary may be from the public, he’s not that far removed from all too many Conservatives. – Gerald Caplan points out that even a campaign where the ...

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 standards for reform

Others have duly criticized the Star’s editorial on electoral reform. But I’ll argue that it can be brought in line with reasonable expectations with one important change. Simply put, it’s not a problem to insist upon “broad consensus” on a new electoral system. The problem lies in defining that term – and it’s here that ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – John O’Farrell argues that a basic income provides a needed starting point for innovation and entrepreneurship by people who don’t enjoy the advantage of inherited wealth: But in fact it is the current situation that prevents initiative and holds back entrepreneurs. Anyone who ever invented or created anything ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to start your new year. – Paul Krugman points out that as tends to be the case, the U.S.’ modest increase in high-end tax rates in 2013 managed to produce both more fair taxation and strong economic growth. – But Michael Hudson notes that increasing inequality and wage suppression are still among the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Owen Jones writes that the UK’s flooding is just one example of what happens when the public sector which is supposed to look out for the common good is slashed out of short-term political calculation. And J. Bradford Delong observes that the choice between an economy that ...

Accidental Deliberations: Scrooged

Shorter Assorted Conservative Hacks with Too Much Time On Their Hands: In keeping with the conservative movement’s holiday spirit, we pose this most humanitarian of questions: why are there no workhouses?

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: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Andrew Jackson makes the case for a federal budget aimed at boosting investment in Canada’s economy: Public infrastructure investment has a much greater short term impact on growth and jobs per dollar spent than tax cuts since the import content is low and there is no leakage ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – John Quiggin examines – and refutes – a few key complaints about fairer taxes on the wealthy. But Kathryn May reports that the Cons are eager to use public resources to investigate and punish public servants who have exposed the problems with the Canada Revenue Agency, rather than ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, expanding on these posts as to what might come next as Canada’s political parties map out their strategies on electoral reform. For further reading…– Chantal Hebert wonders whether Justin Trudeau will face internal pressure to renege on his promise of electoral reform. But considering that the Libs’ voter coalition consists of significantly more voters ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Assorted content to start your week. – Roshini Nair reviews Jim Stanford’s re-released Economics for Everyone, with a particular focus on the need not to give up on the prospect of change for the better: Although economics might be the dismal science, this book is never dismal in its outlook. While acknowledging that capitalism is ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Les Leopold rightly argues that financial and political elites won’t offer a more fair distribution of wealth or power unless they’re forced to do so: Right now, we lack a robust mass movement with the power to reclaim our economy and our democracy to make it work for ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Dani Rodrik discusses the evolution of work, and notes that future development and sharing of wealth may need to follow a different model than the one that’s applied in the past: (T)he post-industrial economy opened up a new chasm in the labor market, between those with stable, ...

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: New column day

Here, on how the Libs’ first major budgetary choice has been to continue the Cons’ dangerous pattern of chipping away at the federal government’s fiscal capacity. For further reading…–  Scott Clark and Peter DeVries have previously summarized the Cons’ destructive revenue cuts and overall fiscal mismanagement. And Bruce Johnstone and Andrew Potter are among those ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – David MacDonald offers some alternative suggestions that can do far more to reduce inequality and boost Canada’s economy than the Libs’ upper-class tax shuffle. And Karl Nerenberg reminds us that the most important scandal on our political scene is the constant stream of corporate tax giveaways which ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading. – Louis-Philippe Rochon highlights why we need governments at all levels to be working on stimulating Canada’s economy, not looking to cut back: The bank was referring to what economists call “secular stagnation”: a long-period of very low growth, with all its obvious consequences on unemployment and income inequality. ...

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: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – David Ball talks to Joseph Stiglitz about inequality and its causes – including the spread of corporate control through trade agreements: What would you say is the dominant cause [of growing inequality]? The weak economy, partly associated with austerity, has led to a weak labour market. The official ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Martin Whittaker reminds us that the American public is eager for a far more fair distribution of income than the one provided for by the U.S.’ current political and economic ground rules. But Christo Aivalis writes that there’s a difference between a preference and a cause – ...

Accidental Deliberations: On turnout

Daniel Schwartz reports on the final vote count from last month’s federal election. And given the record vote total and unusually high turnout based on the percentage of eligible voters, it’s particularly worth noting what’s changed since previous, lower-turnout elections. Since 2011, the Conservatives eliminated the per-vote subsidy, which provided political parties with a direct ...