- Lawrence Martin's take on Robocon doesn't offer much by way of new information, but nicely sums up exactly what deliberate vote suppression and electoral fraud should mean for a governing party:
At issue here is the legitimacy of the Conservative government. If the allegations are substantiated, they would arguably be worse than the sponsorship scandal that crippled the Liberal Party. Sponsorship was about lower-level Quebec operatives running off with the cash from a government advertising program to promote unity. Vote suppression is a campaign to throttle the workings of democracy by disenfranchising voters. It strikes at the heart of the democratic system.- Meanwhile, Democracy Watch highlights the need to close loopholes allowing big-money interests to influence our political system.
A new Environics poll shows Mr. Harper’s trust ratings with the public to be among the lowest among leaders in a survey of 26 countries in the Americas. He can ill afford to have his party found culpable of running a campaign to disenfranchise opponents.
- Andrew Jackson points out some economic themes from Tom Mulcair which figure to help earn the trust of Canadian voters:
(T)he Conservatives are creating an economy where salaries will be much lower. There is less pressure with regard to all working conditions because of a series of measures that are being implemented. It is not by chance that, for the first time in Canada’s history, the middle class has seen a clear drop in income, and this occurred in tandem with the signing of NAFTA.- Common Dreams compiles a few of the progressive arguments against another round of austerity south of the border.
Over the past 25 years, the middle class has seen its real net income drop. This is the first time this has happened. In other words, the richest 20% of Canadians are experiencing a rise in income while the other 80% of Canadians—it has been measured and proven—are experiencing a drop in income. These are the results of the neo-conservative policies of the current government and its Liberal predecessors, who aggressively pursued the same goals for 25 years.
This is putting downward pressure on incomes and on employment conditions. As though that were not enough, these agreements are creating a race to the bottom: temporary foreign workers who used to come and work in a few sectors, such as produce farms, will now be in several employment categories. The government trumpets the fact that we can pay them a lot less than Canadians.
We need tailored incentives that better serve businesses and our economy as a whole. There are a couple of good examples that can be looked at in Canada where long-term vision and incentive by the government has produced a great result.
For example, take a look at the TV and film industry in Toronto. There used to be a time when it was only New York and Hollywood. Now, Toronto is in there competing with them every step of the way, but it required a partnership between government, business and labour. Those tax incentives were there for decades and they worked their way through the system and are producing the great result of bringing in billions of dollars a year and lots of high-quality jobs. However, it required government involvement every step of the way. The Conservatives simply do not believe in that.
We should be building the next success story now. Instead, we are getting less for workers, less for Canadians and less for our economy. That is what the Conservatives are about, less for everyone.
- And finally, it'll be well worth keeping an eye on the Rolling Jubilee as a means of putting a dent in consumer debt.