Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Vaughn Palmer discusses the unfortunate gap between the outrages that may lead to a government being pushed out of power, and a new government's ability to actually reverse what's been done. Which, a propos of nothing, makes it rather important to push lame-duck incumbents to respect the democratic will of citizens rather than pushing through controversial plans without even the bare pretense of public consultation.

- I don't have any problem with the idea of "hardheaded socialism" as a successful economic and political model, particularly as it fits the NDP's historical pairing of fiscal responsibility and social generosity. But I'm rather wary of any attempt to claim Canada has actually enjoyed a genuinely thick safety net under a series of federal governments who have consistently undermined it.

- Am Johal interviews Ryan Meili about A Healthy Society, including this on First Nations health:
AJ: Policies and programs directed towards the Aboriginal community too often are not culturally sensitive nor are they delivered by Aboriginal organizations. Do you see a shift in health care delivery related to Aboriginal communities. What changes would you like to see?

RM: The transfer of control of health services to First Nations communities has been a mixed blessing. The ability to make decisions about health services offered and to be directly involved in identifying community health needs is a necessary and important step. We can and should involve communities even more in determining the best means to address the health issues they face. Unfortunately, this policy has too often also served as a means for governments to wash their hands of responsibility, including the key responsibility of adequately funding health services. Many bands have seen their health funding frozen at 1990s levels, despite populations that have grown quickly and despite new health challenges that have emerged. This results in an underfunding of key services and worse health outcomes.

A responsible approach to health transfer needs to include transparency not only around decision-making in service provision and human resources, but also around the availability of sufficient funds to provide services.
- Embassy reports on what looks like the latest evidence that the Cons are going full-on Republican wingnut - as the Harper government is actually pushing to weaken an international arms treaty (including any tracking of ammunition or technology, as well as "high volume transfers") because of a laughable claim that they'll somehow affect individual hunters.

- Finally, Dan Gardner points out that the Cons' consistent mistreatment of Omar Khadr - with their breaking an agreement to process his readmission to Canada serving as just the latest outrage - actually speaks volumes about how little they value citizenship in general.

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