Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.

- The Toronto Star's Public Editor Kathy English discusses the wall being built around information by the Harper Cons. But at least as interesting to me is the Cons' determination to put up roadblocks in the way of information which can obviously be obtained through other means - such as this example from a report on their axing of Harold Leduc from the Veterans Review and Appeal Board after he exposed their breaches of privacy:
An outspoken member of a veterans appeal board, who said his privacy was violated and that the federal agency treats ex-soldiers with disrespect, won't be reappointed.

Harold Leduc and two other members of the troubled agency have been shown the door, and in their places the Harper government has appointed a nurse with extensive experience in addiction treatment and former military officers.
Federal officials, speaking on background, refused to identify the other two board members who were dropped, but the names William Watson and Ellen Riley do not appear on the latest order in council lists.
- Pierre Martin offers up two examples in support of an implicit theory that we should take fairer taxes on higher-income individuals off the table. So let's ask a question about one of those examples: would Barack Obama be happy to win only the votes of people who want tax cuts for the rich to expire?

(Hint: It might help to do some research before answering.)

- Alice takes a closer look at the upcoming federal by-election campaigns. And it seems particularly noteworthy that the NDP is seeing hotly contested nominations in both Calgary Centre and Durham after placing little emphasis on those seats in past federal elections.

- Finally, Michael Harris suspects that the Cons' secretive trade deal with China may be the type of action that forces MPs to start genuinely challenging Stephen Harper's decision-making:
(I)t is British Columbia that may prove to be Stephen Harper’s Waterloo. Has anyone ever been interred by a pipeline? Has anyone drowned in an ocean of bitumen? Or strangled on a tangle of national giveaways of the kind that lay snarled in the recent trade deal with China, the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act (FIPPA)? The deal is so bad for Canada that it was consummated with all the secrecy of the Manhattan Project. Astonishingly, it is set to become law on November 1, 2012 – without a word of parliamentary debate. 
And Deep Rogue Ram offers its own take on the China pact:

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