Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Trish Hennessy reminds us that a system of taxes and social spending is ultimately the most valuable means of pooling our resources for everybody's benefit. And E.J. Dionne highlights the need for progressives to speak up for the principle of collective public action.

- Head Tale posts an interview with Ryan Meili, featuring this discussion of Saskatchewan's defining values:
Do you think there is such a thing as “Saskatchewan values”? If so, how would you define this?
Like any place, Saskatchewan has good and bad parts of its history. The finer parts, those that reflect the best side of our province, are when we have faced hardship through collective action. In many ways, this has defined our view of ourselves. And that’s something in which we rightfully take pride. I have seen similar actions, and self-concepts, in communities around the world, however, and so I don’t think this is a uniquely Sask phenomenon. I also see these values being challenged as during boom times we lose some sight of what it’s like to struggle and take on more of an “every man for himself” mentality. It would be dangerous to assume that because we have the history we do that our Sask values will resurface to combat this. Values and beliefs are like muscles. If they aren’t exercised and put into practice, they can atrophy.
- In analyzing the voting patterns of different age groups I'm not sure many people recognize the cumulative impact of political outreach over time - and conversely the difficulty in motivating younger citizens to vote for the first time if they haven't received much attention before. But Michael Lightstone reports that the NDP isn't wasting any time in reaching out to voters who will be eligible to vote for the first time in 2015:
Mulcair said federal New Democrats will hit Canada’s post-secondary campuses this fall, as well as schools where most pupils would be too young to vote if an election were held now.

 “I met a young man at an event in my riding (Friday) night who told me he was turning 15 in July. I said: ‘You know, you’re allowed to vote in the next federal election.’ He was all happy; he hadn’t thought about it.

“But believe me, we’re thinking about it,” Mulcair told delegates to the Nova Scotia NDP provincial convention at an area resort. “We’re going to be in the high schools as well. We’re going to be talking to them.”

Mulcair, 57, said his generation of politicians “has to take part of the blame” for voter apathy. Later, he told reporters that counteracting such lack of interest is no easy task.

“It’s a vexing problem,” Mulcair acknowledged. “Especially when you look at the statistics among young people. And when young people don’t vote, the right wing wins and democracy loses."
- Finally, Michael Geist worries that we're seeing the most extreme anti-consumer stance yet on the part of corporate media lobbyists.

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