Accidental Deliberations: Trampling the message

So apparently the Harper Cons are panicking mid-campaign and throwing out years of preparation to bring in an Australian consultant to better pitch their messages of the importance of familiarity and the dangers of changing horses mid-stream. Stay tuned for their new ad in which Stephen Harper takes up bullfighting while warning against unnecessary risks.

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 ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Robert Reich argues that the spread of inequality and corporate abuses is the result of deteriorating public morality and the expectation that self-interest will override any social goals: At a time many Republican presidential candidates and state legislators are furiously focusing on private morality – what people ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Ian Welsh discusses how our problems with poverty and inequality arise out of artificial scarcity: We either already have excess capacity or we have the ability to create more than people need of all necessities. This includes housing, food and clothing.  We still have enough water, globally, if ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Michael Hurley and Sam Gindin discuss the need for workers to organize to reverse the trend of precarious work, while the Star recognizes that the work is already well underway. PressProgress highlights the benefits of joining a union, while Tom Sandborn offers a to-do list for people ...

Accidental Deliberations: On settled issues

As Dan Gardner points out, Stephen Harper is continuing to misrepresent the nature of Canada’s system of government. But he’s nonetheless made a noteworthy concession in doing so: PM: HERE’S THE QUESTION THOUGH. UM IS IT A CORRECT ASSUMPTION TO MAKE THAT WHICHEVER PARTY ENDS UP, IF WE’RE IN A MINORITY SITUATION, WHICHEVER PARTY ENDS ...

Accidental Deliberations: On changed messages

Paul Wells highlights the major change from the Cons’ messaging in 2011 compared to today, as the party which spent years doing nothing about obsessing over (and demonizing) the possibility of a coalition has suddenly gone mum except in front of the most partisan of crowds. But it’s worth noting that there’s another factor beyond ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Labour Day reading. – Keith Doucette reports on Hassan Yussuff’s efforts to highlight the continued importance of the labour movement in ensuring a more fair society for everybody. And Josh Bivens and Lawrence Mishel study the disconnect between growing productivity and stagnant wages, reaching the conclusion that workers’ loss of bargaining ...

Accidental Deliberations: On anticipated departures

With Canada’s federal election still a month and a half away, it’s obviously too early to be concluding that it will end the career of any of our current political leaders. (And we should keep that in mind given that far too much commentary treats the question of whether leaders will hold onto their jobs ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Louise Arbour’s interview with The House includes both her compelling criticisms of both the Cons’ terror bill, and the Libs’ failure to stand up against C-51. And the Canadian Press reports on Justin Trudeau’s continued fecklessness, as he won’t even take a position on whether the bill ...

Accidental Deliberations: On the rule of law

It’s for the best that the Cons’ use of secret orders-in-council is drawing some further attention. But the problem goes further than the Libs’ response seems to suggest – even if it’s obvious why they’re pretending otherwise. Here’s the Libs’ complaint about secret laws: Dion likened the secret OICs to omnibus bills — another legal ...

Accidental Deliberations: On judicious outrage

Following up on this post, let’s take a look at the flip side of the possibility that political parties can help themselves out significantly by taking umbrage with competitors’ treatment of them – which is the success (or lack thereof) of exactly that strategy over the past decade. As I’ve pointed out before, while 2004 ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Andrew Jackson writes that the Cons have gone out of their way to destroy the federal government’s capacity to improve the lives of Canadians: When the Harper government took office, federal tax revenues (2006-07 fiscal year) were 13.5% of GDP, a bit shy of the 14.5% peak in ...

Accidental Deliberations: Attack and response

Earlier this week, Andrew Coyne mused on Twitter about how parties seek to make hay out of attacks by their opponents, with particular emphasis on the Libs’ response to PC and Con attacks on their leaders in 1993 and 2004. But I’d think it’s worth noting some distinctions between then and now which may make ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Following up on this post, it was Terry Glavin who broke the story about refugee children dying after being refused admission into Canada. And the Guardian recognizes that the tragic image of Aylin Kurdi represents only a reminder of a a long-running human tragedy. – Which is ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, condensing this post about the lessons the federal NDP can and should learn from past provincial elections. For further reading…– Michelle Gagnon notes that one area where matters don’t seem to be in doubt is Quebec, where the NDP looks set to hold or even build on its 2011 wave. And with the NDP’s ...

Accidental Deliberations: Juxtaposition II: Humanitarian Boogaloo

From one stunt… The news of McCain’s suspension drew gales of derision from the press. No one was willing to give him the slightest benefit of the doubt…that his motivations were anything less than craven… McCainworld had assumed that the suspension would be viewed as an authentic, characteristic act of putting country first. But…McCain was ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Jim Stanford, Iglika Ivanova and David MacDonald each highlight how there’s far more to be concerned about in Canada’s economy beyond the GDP dip alone. Both Thomas Walkom and the Star’s editorial board write that it’s clear the Cons have nothing to offer when it comes to trying ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Sherri Torjman comments on the importance of social policy among our political choices, while lamenting its absence from the first leaders’ debate: (M)arket economies go through cycles, with periods of stability followed by periods of slump and uncertainty. Canada has weathered these economic cycles, and even major ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Branko Milanovic answers Harry Frankfurt’s attempt to treat inequality as merely an issue of absolute deprivation by reminding us how needs are inherently social: “[Under necessities] I understand not only the commodities that are indispensable for the support of life, but whatever the custom of the country renders ...

Accidental Deliberations: On transitions

Bob Hepburn makes clear that while the Libs may still be in denial about the importance of cooperating to remove the Harper Cons from power, their best friends in the media are under no such illusions. But the most noteworthy contribution to Canada’s discussion about post-election options comes from Aaron Wherry – particularly in highlighting ...

Accidental Deliberations: The secret platform

It never figured to take long for the Cons to start making up numbers for lack of any legitimate criticism of the NDP’s platform – and Jason Kenney has charged into the breach. But it’s worth noting the source of many of the supposedly-costed items, which consist of NDP MPs’ committee reports. To be clear, ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Dana Flavelle examines how many Canadians are facing serious economic insecurity. And Kevin Campbell discusses how the Cons are vulnerable on the economy due to their obvious failure to deliver on their promises, as well as their misplaced focus on trickle-down ideology: During this election it is ...

Accidental Deliberations: On balanced options

Dave McGrane offers a historical perspective on how deficits for their own sake shouldn’t be seen as an element of left-wing or progressive policy, while Excited Delerium takes a look at the policies on offer in Canada’s federal election to see how it’s possible to pursue substantive progressive change within a balanced budget. But let’s ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Michal Rozworski calls for the election to include far more discussion as to who benefits from our economy as it’s designed, and who gets left behind. Michael Wilson examines how Canada’s economy has become far less equal over the past few decades. And Michelle Zilio talks to Munir ...