Accidental Deliberations: On structural barriers

As the NDP’s federal leadership race approaches its conclusion, Tom Parkin has been doing some noteworthy writing on some of the issues which voters may want to keep in mind. And I’ll start with Parkin’s discussion as to how some of the systems which most deserve to be modeled may not translate easily to Canada’s ...

Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2017: The Quebec Question

Don MacPherson has joined the many commentators whose main take on the federal NDP’s leadership race is to zero in on how Quebec voters might react to Jagmeet Singh’s Sikh background and head covering. And Adam Radwanski has rightly challenged the pundits’ consensus to some extent. But (as noted in part by Ian Capstick) the ...

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: On comparative advantages

In the federal NDP’s previous leadership campaign, Tom Mulcair managed to release numerous policy proposals without offering any hint of what he’d do as leader. Starting from the (correct) assumption that a frontrunner could likely find his way to victory simply by minimizing controversy, Mulcair released policy planks which were based almost entirely on the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Annette Alstadsæter, Niels Johannesen and Gabriel Zucman examine (PDF) the size and distribution of tax evasion and (not surprisingly) find it clustered at the top – with the wealthiest .01% dodging 30% of its obligation to society at large. And Marco Chown Oved reports that the Canada ...

Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2017 Candidate Profile: Charlie Angus

If Peter Julian’s leadership campaign has been surprising in its relatively push toward controversy, Charlie Angus may be defying expectations in the opposite direction – as the punk rocker has been the most serene figure in the race so far. Strengths Rather than spending much of the first two debates on a soapbox, Angus has ...

Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2017 Candidate Profile: Peter Julian

I’ll start my series of NDP leadership candidate profiles with the first to enter the leadership race – and the one who’s likely done the most to shape the campaign so far. I’ve noted before my surprise at the choices made so far by Peter Julian’s campaign: a candidate who could have portrayed himself as ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Andrew Jackson discusses how the rise of right-wing, prejudiced populism can be traced to the failures of global corporate governance. And Dani Rodrik argues that it’s time to develop an international political system to facilitate – rather than overriding – democratic action: Some simple principles would reorient ...

Accidental Deliberations: #YEG2016 Followup Links

While there’s been plenty of ill-informed commentary since the NDP’s convention last weekend, I’ll take a moment to highlight a few of the followup points which deserve a read. – Joshua Keep rightly recognizes the new leadership election as an opportunity for renewal, but no guarantee of improvement. Gerard Di Trolio focuses particularly on the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Spun out

Sadly, there are far too many half-baked outside arguments being made about the federal NDP’s leadership review and how it connects to provincial-level choices. (To be clear, I contrast those against some genuine concerns being raised by members.) But let’s highlight one particularly telling example of how the NDP in general is being misrepresented by ...

Accidental Deliberations: On performance reviews

Following up on this post, I’ll weigh in with my own take on the federal NDP’s leadership review – based primarily on the question of what Tom Mulcair seems to have taken away from the 2015 federal election, and how it will position the party in the years to come. As alluded to in some ...

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: On evaluations

I’ve written previously about my view as to how NDP members should approach the review of Thomas Mulcair’s leadership at the upcoming federal convention. And in the face of a blizzard of commentary which does little but to echo knee-jerk election post-mortems, I’ll offer a couple of questions for discussion (before providing my own answers ...

Accidental Deliberations: On permanent campaigns

Luke Savage is right to point out that Canada’s permanent campaign has merely taken on a different dynamic under the Trudeau Libs, rather than actually coming to an end with the Harper Cons losing power: Again, branding is the key here. As a part of its Sunny Ways™, the government has displayed a visible fondness ...

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 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: 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 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: Movements and moments

Let’s continue this line of thought about the federal NDP’s most recent election campaign with my slight twist on one of the more familiar questions which has faced the party (in various forms) over a period of decades. I’ll start by drawing a distinction between two related goals which are bound to figure in a ...

Accidental Deliberations: On purposes

There are plenty of questions which the NDP is rightly asking in the wake of this fall’s federal election results. But Susan Delacourt is uncharacteristically far off base in her view as to what the main question is. By way of contrast, the question of “What’s the point of the party anyway?” was a highly ...

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 decision points

I’ve previously challenged any attempt to pressure Thomas Mulcair to abandon the NDP’s leadership. And I’ll take a moment do so the same in response to Scott Gilmore’s admonition to Elizabeth May. As in the case of every party, the Greens should have every reason to evaluate whether they’re achieving their goals. But there’s no ...

Accidental Deliberations: On missed opportunities

As mentioned here, I’ll be adding over the next little while to an already-substantial set of views on the NDP’s choices which led to last week’s federal election results. But I’ll start by expanding on a point which I made briefly earlier in the campaign (at a time when it was far from clear how ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Martin Lukacs writes that while a change in government offers some possibility of change, the Trudeau campaign wasn’t anything more than a ruse. And Seth Klein and Shannon Daub remind us that we’ll need to be the ones to advance progressive policies in the face of a government ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here (via PressReader), on how the prisoner’s dilemma I wrote about back here wound up playing out in Canada’s federal election. For further reading, particularly on the difference in how the NDP and the Libs treated each other… – Tonda MacCharles’ look behind the scenes of the Cons’ strategy includes this tidbit: Senior Conservative organizer ...