- In case we didn't already have enough examples of the Wall government's contempt for voting, James Wood notes that it's dragging its heels on authorizing any enumeration before the official writ period. That figures to work wonders in making it more difficult to accurately identify voters - but raises the question of why a government which is supposed to be able to coast to re-election feels the need to throw as many wrenches into the works as possible.
- We shouldn't be surprised to find out that most corporatist spin is based on blind belief in mythical concepts ranging from confidence fairies to magical wealth creators. But Sixth Estate highlights a particularly egregious example, as Stephane Dion's newest buddies are declaring that we can wish natural resources into existence.
- Meanwhile, in the real world, the consequences of that type of blind faith in markets can be readily observed - even as the Cons double down in their fervour:
As in many other countries, Canada is witnessing a phenomenon in which the most wealthy are enjoying stunning increases in their income while the rest of society stagnates. It’s something that Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is likely to hear about in no uncertain terms in the parliamentary debate following the tabling of the budget on June 6.- Finally, Don Martin points out one noteworthy consequences of the NDP's surge:
The trend (long summarized as “the rich get richer while the poor get poorer”) is so pronounced globally that Angel Gurria, head of the industrialized world’s main think tank, is warning that income equality is becoming a “serious threat.”
In a 2008 study of 30 OECD countries, Canada was singled out as one of the member nations that has witnessed the worst widening of the wealth gap.
Inequality and poverty declined in Canada for 20 years before the late 1990s, the OECD study said, but since have gotten much worse.
And some analysts say the economic strategies being pursued by a re-elected Harper will only make matters worse, leading to a further expansion of the income gap between the very rich and others in Canada.
The crux of the issue concerns the Conservatives’ plan to continue implementing corporate income tax cuts and to eventually bring in other tax breaks, such as expanding deposits in Tax-Free Savings Accounts and allowing two-income couples with children younger than 18 to split their income for federal tax purposes.
While these measures have been promoted as ways of creating jobs or helping average Canadians, some economists say the benefits to the rich from these tax breaks will far outweigh anything seen by other members of society.
Funny thing, but the more...under-30 MPs you meet, all of them unexpectedly elected in the orange wave of the NDP surge, the more you sense they will be a future asset, not a long-term liability, to leader Jack Layton.Granted, that still leaves the average age in the House of Commons somewhat higher than in the general population. But as with other measures such as womens' representation, the NDP can at least claim proudly to have made Parliament more representative of Canada's population than ever - and hopefully the result will be a political conversation that better reflects the concerns of the general public.
They talk beyond their years, think quickly and most have an academic grounding in what federal politics is all about.
I'm only met half a dozen or so, but I suspect it'll be great fun watching them spring in parliamentary action next week.
Thanks to them, the average age of Canada's 308 MPs has dipped below 50 for the first time in history.