Saturday, October 06, 2012

Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Michelle Ervin discusses Ed Broadbent's ideas to start closing Canada's yawning income gap:
Broadbent outlined four broad prescriptions for bridging this gap, and ultimately, for creating a fairer society: investing in good jobs, strengthening income supports, increasing access to public services and reforming the tax regime to make it more progressive.

He wasn’t short on specifics either. Concrete actions toward these goals might include funding skills development in such sectors as early childhood education; introducing a minimum guaranteed income modeled on the system we have for seniors; expanding affordable housing and creating a national child care program; and cracking down on tax evasion and closing “boutique” tax loopholes.
- CBC reports on the Cons' announcement that only Christian chaplains will be employed in Canadian prisons (and in the name of not picking and choosing between religions no less). Malcolm offers up the due response.

- Meanwhile, the NDP is making a concerned effort to call out the Cons' backbenchers for being nothing more than mindless talking-point dispensers. And while I'd normally be skeptical of the likelihood of shaming the Cons into changing course, their partial EI reversal offers a bit more reason for hope than we've seen in quite some time.

- Dan Gardner rightly notes that a commitment to evidence-based policy necessarily implies a willingness to invest in new ideas to actually generate evidence. But I'd think it's worth challenging Gardner's commitment to his own standards: would he support, say, "government-as-player" rather than "government-as-referee" not only for the purpose of research, but also in areas where direct intervention works in practice?

- Finally, the Young Turks discuss Mitt Romney's distaste for PBS. And the desire to attack culture and alternative sources of information is no less obvious among the Sask Party, the Harper Cons and the Republicans' other Canadian cousins:

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