Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Angella MacEwen offers her suggestions as to what a fair and progressive trade agenda should look like: Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanisms are especially unpopular, as they prioritize investor rights over investor responsibilities. Canada and Mexico have had similar dismal experiences under NAFTA — while the US has ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how the historical competition between the NDP and the Greens hasn’t precluded cooperation where it counts in British Columbia – and how the governing accord there might offer an example of cross-party collaboration for all levels of government. For further reading…– Martyn Brown wrote about the danger the Greens might have posed to ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Larry Elliott is optimistic that the UK’s election result will lead to an end of destructive austerity. James Downie comments on the example Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign provides for progressives in the U.S. (and elsewhere). And Karl Nerenberg writes about the importance of youth turnout in boosting Labour’s fortunes. ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Scott Sinclair writes that there’s no reason for any party to NAFTA to see itself as being stuck with the existing agreement (or worse), while also mentioning a few ways to substantially improve the rules governing North American trade: Canada should call Trump’s bluff by championing a fairer ...

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 ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Branko Milanovic reviews Mike Lofgren’s The Deep State, and highlights how entrenched wealth and power have hijacked our public institutions for their own benefit: The deep state includes the old-fashioned military-industrial complex, top of Wall Street and Silicon valley, think tanks and foundations, and the mainstream media, ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Nick Bunker points out that the worst of the U.S.’ growing inequality since 2000 has come from the growing share of income going to capital concentrated in the .01%. And Lynn Parramore highlights Peter Temin’s case that the U.S. is regressing into a developing country for the ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, expanding on this post about the Libs’ electoral reform betrayal – and the likelihood that it will encourage future Stephen Harpers to exploit the distortions created by first-past-the-post. For further reading…– I’ve linked to plenty of other commentary on the Libs’ broken promise here, here and here. And we can add new material from ...

Accidental Deliberations: On false change

The Libs have made it official that they’re breaking their promise of electoral reform with no reason other than their own blinkered refusal to acknowledge the consensus in support of a more proportional system. But particularly in light of Justin Trudeau’s past claims that all anybody really wanted was a change in government, let’s remember ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Naomi Klein writes that Donald Trump’s cabinet represents a direct takeover of the U.S. government by the corporate oligarchy – and comments on what the progressive movement needs to do to fight back: Let us be clear: This is not a peaceful transition of power. It’s a corporate ...

Accidental Deliberations: The Minister of Silly Excuses

Yes, Justin Trudeau has set up his predictable excuse for breaking his promise of electoral reform by putting a new minister in charge of the file during a crucial period. But let’s see what Karina Gould has had to say about a more fair democratic system in communicating with her constituents (PDF): Participants focused on ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Christo Aivalis offers some suggestions for a set of progressive and effective tax policies: My view is that the Left has to combine the general philosophy of economic redistribution with the practical needs of getting the money to preserve existing social programs and build new ones. We have ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Dennis Pilon highlights how the stubborn defence of disproportional electoral systems can only be explained by a fear of voters’ preferences being given effect: The issue is not whether it’s better to have a few or a lot of parties in Parliament — that’s irrelevant. The issue ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Lana Payne points out the significance of even central bankers like Mark Carney recognizing the desperate need to combat inequality. And Iglika Ivanova discusses how British Columbia’s election-year surplus represents a wasted opportunity to start addressing the social problems which the Libs have been exacerbating for a decade ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Citizens for Public Justice laments the Libs’ and Cons’ joint effort to vote down the NDP’s push for a national anti-poverty strategy. And Sean Speer and Rob Gillezeau make the case for an improved Working Income Tax Benefit which should be palatable across the political spectrum. – ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon #ERRE Links

A bit of electoral reform material for your weekend reading. – Nathan Cullen points out how the Special Committee on Electoral Reform’s report (PDF) serves as an effective road map to make every vote count in Canada. – PressProgress highlights how the Libs are attacking their own campaign promises in order to preserve an unfair ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Owen Jones argues that UK Labour needs to make far more effort to connect with working-class citizens in order to hold off the populist right, while Jamelle Bouie examines Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaigns as a worthwhile model for uniting groups of disaffected voters. And Wolfgang Munchau comments ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Stephen Dubner discusses the importance of social trust in supporting a functional economy and society: (S)ocial trust is … HALPERN: Social trust is an extraordinarily interesting variable and it doesn’t get anywhere near the attention it deserves. But the basic idea is trying to understand what is ...

Accidental Deliberations: On decision points

Needless to say, it’s disappointing that there now doesn’t seem to be any prospect of a shift to a more proportional federal electoral system without a referendum. But the NDP’s move to build a consensus among the opposition parties on a referendum offering a choice between mixed-member proportional representation and first-past-the-post makes sense given the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Evening Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading. – Brent Patterson criticizes the Libs’ short-sighted plans to privatize public services in lieu of any coherent economic policy. And Tom Parkin calls out their bait-and-switch approach to infrastructure. – Robin McKie reports on Nicholas Stern’s recognition that his much-cited work on the impacts of climate change only underestimated ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Community Food Centres Canada highlights the need for social assistance benefits to keep up with the cost of living, while noting that Ontario (among other jurisdictions) has fallen well behind in that task: It’s been far too long since social assistance rates have been viewed through the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Toby Sanger offers some important background to the federal government’s expected plan for privatized infrastructure by noting that the anticipated result would be to double the costs. And Luke Kawa notes that the Libs are already having trouble spending the money they’ve budgeted for infrastructure – leaving ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – The Star’s editorial board writes that while we can do more to provide supports to make workers less dependent on a single job, we shouldn’t pretend there’s nothing we can do to improve working conditions. And Lana Payne reminds Morneau and the Libs that there’s nothing inevitable about ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Scott Sinclair and Stuart Trew applaud Wallonia’s principled stance against the CETA. And Joseph Stiglitz discusses the need to set up social and economic systems which actually serve the public good, rather than favouring corporate interests: Where the trade agreements failed, it was not because the US was ...

Accidental Deliberations: On false prophets

It wasn’t long ago when a series of Canadian federal elections saw Stephen Harper and his Conservatives take more and more power – culminating in over four years of a false majority government – even as upwards of 60% of voters opposed virtually everything it stood for. Some of us then figured it was worth ...