Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – David Leonhardt looks at the glaring growth of inequality in the U.S., while Matt Bruening charts how that trend is based entirely on capital ownership. And in the face of the Republicans’ plan for another round of giveaways to the rich, the New York Times’ editorial board ...

Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2017 Links

The latest from the NDP’s federal leadership campaign. – Kristy Kirkup reports on the release of Jagmeet Singh’s climate change policy statement.And Charlie Angus has offered his road map toward a transition to renewable energy, while the CP reports on his plan for a more fair relationship with Indigenous peoples. – Meanwhile, Len Gillis reports ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Nina Shapiro comments on the price of privatizing public goods. And George Monbiot weighs in on how the Grenfell Tower fire confirms that what corporatist politicians deride as “red tape” is in fact vital protection for people: For years successive governments have built what they call a ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Nick Falvo lists ten things to know about social programs in Canada. And Mike Crawley offers a painful example of Ontario’s social safety net and employment law both falling short, as injured workers are forced to go to work even when ill or injured in the absence of ...

Things Are Good: Amnesty International’s Guide to Safe Messaging

Thanks to the bravery of whistleblowers we know that the Five Eyes are monitoring all internet chatter regardless of who’s talking. This is a big concern for people who care about freedom and rights to have personal communication. As a result, Amnesty International put together a review of messaging apps so you can make an ...

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: Saturday Morning Links

This and that for your weekend reading. – Nicholas Kristof points out how important a stable and effective public service looks from the standpoint of a country which doesn’t benefit from one. And Chi Onwurah discusses how the UK Cons – like their right-wing brethren elsewhere – are determined to move in the wrong direction: ...

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 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 definitions

The post-mortems on the NDP’s federal election campaign continue to roll in. And it’s particularly a plus to see that there will be a systematic effort within the party itself to review the choices which led to the election results – both for better and for worse. In the meantime, I’ll continue pointing out my ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Mike Barber highlights how Canada’s federal election campaign was dominated by messages pushed from the top down rather than citizens’ concerns. Erna Paris recognizes that we can’t afford to be complacent about the place of outright bigotry in shaping voters’ decisions. And Christopher Flavelle writes that the ...

Accidental Deliberations: On defining themes

I’ve pointed out previously that the Libs’ advantage during the federal election came from the fact that the primary message against them was one which could be disproven. And it’s worth also noting the converse of that: the Libs’ own theme of “real change” was difficult for anybody to disprove during a campaign in the ...

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: Lessons not learned

Yes, plenty of people are pointing out Stephen Harper’s decision to be less prime ministerial, more game show host as the election campaign comes to an end. But we should note also that he’s doing that in the face of a noteworthy cautionary tale. After all, the last time Harper used a TV format gimmick ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Edward Keenan writes that a lack of affordable child care is the crucial financial pressure facing families across the income spectrum. And Michael Wolfson discusses the dangers of talking about taxes in a vacuum without recognizing what we lose by failing to make sure everybody pays a ...

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 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 ...

Accidental Deliberations: The Political Prisoner’s Dilemma

Let’s double back to Karl Nerenberg’s take on the opposition parties’ messages in Canada’s federal election and point out how it relates to a classic decision-making hypothetical, the prisoner’s dilemma. In the case of the federal election, here’s how the dilemma plays out for anybody whose primary goal is to see the Cons replaced. (And ...

Accidental Deliberations: Lies and the lying liars who tell them

Ideally, this would be the end of the story when it comes to Stephen Harper’s callous and desperate attempt to claim the Terry Fox Foundation’s reputation for his own. But there’s reason for serious doubt that will happen – and indeed the Cons may end up treating the story as a case study in how ...

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: 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 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: 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: 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 ...