Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- There's always been reason for skepticism about the pundit-class theory that the 2011 federal election should simply be deleted from the history books as an aberration. But Abacus provides a compelling example as to why the relative position of the NDP and Libs looks to be a longer-term phenomenon, as the NDP has broken the four-party impasse in support among younger voters which existed until the 2011 election.

- Of course, that leads nicely into Adam Radwanski's interview with Sasha Issenberg as to how to bring new voters into our democratic system:
Should we be looking at those as positive developments, in that they’re helping create a more engaged electorate?

There’s this instinct that people have when they see individuals reduced to data sets to think that it’s dehumanizing. In fact, the reality has been precisely the opposite. The reason turnout has gone up is that campaigns are making significant new investments in field work, often volunteer driven, that looks to talk to voters one-on-one.

We now have this body of experiments that shows person-to-person contact does something to turn a non-voter into a voter that no television ad can. Smart campaigns, and Barack Obama’s is the best example of this, are making the investments to create these types of interactions.
- Meanwhile, personal connections also figure to be the best antidote against high-volume misinformation campaigns - and the Cons' pollster of choice has been censured for contributing to just that against Irwin Cotler.

- Finally, Pat Atkinson comments on the Saskatchewan Party's moves toward privatizing nearly everything the province's Crown corporations actually do:
The most disconcerting part of this steady transfer of functions and assets away from these publicly owned companies is what is happening when it comes to disclosure to the legislature of the list of payees for each of the Crowns. For competitive reasons Crowns don't have to disclose contracts with private-sector businesses. These payee contracts are excluded from public reporting.
This brings me back to ISC. While it is true there hasn't been an outright sale of any of the Crowns referred to in the legislation, there has been a steady erosion of these publicly owned companies. A number of functions that were once performed by the Crown sector have been transferred to private companies and a good bit of "our money" is leaving the province. Privatization is indeed underway, despite what the Wall government says.

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