Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your weekend reading.

- Stephen Maher reminds us that the Harper government now lecturing us about the need to attack social programs because of a federal deficit is the same incompetent group that caused the deficit in the first place through reckless tax slashing and vote-buying trinkets. But then, Bruce Johnstone points out that the cost of Old Age Security (which the Cons want to cut) is lower than that of similar programs in nearly any other comparable country, while Thomas Walkom also notes that cost of OAS can easily be met by a government which isn't determined to pull the rug out from under its citizens.

- Susan Delacourt points to Martin Goldfarb's observation about the state of the Cons (which doesn't look to have changed much in the past year):
Harper is still searching for the big idea that will establish his brand promise for himself and his Conservative party.... A series of attributes unconnected to a big idea, or a brand promise, will not attract people.
And presumably we'll see that change over the next few years as the Cons face both ample time in which to define themselves, and a primary opponent which doesn't lack a coherent vision of its own.

- And no, repetition of the word "major" doesn't figure to count - though it will likely signal what the Cons ultimately select. Meanwhile, putting trade above all else probably qualifies as a brand promise, but I'm not sure the Cons will want to have to defend it against an alternative based on individual equality.

- Finally, Rafe Mair tears into Joe Oliver over his contempt for anybody concerned about the Gateway pipeline, while Marc Lee documents the odious profits that look to be paired with environmental degradation as the two main effects of having it built.

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