Monday, January 21, 2013

Monday Morning Links

Assorted content to start your week.

- Dennis Gruending writes about the importance of Edgar Schmidt's whistleblowing against unconstitutional legislation:
Schmidt says that he has over a period of years raised concerns about what he considers the department’s flawed practices. He has done that through various official channels, up to the deputy minister level — in both Liberal and Conservative governments. He says he has never received a satisfactory response and that he has gone to court as a matter of last resort.

Schmidt says the consequences of the department’s failure to act appropriately are serious. The state should be ensuring that it makes laws that it believes conform to the Charter and Bill of Rights. Instead, it is left to citizens, who usually do not have the resources, to discover and challenge such offending laws.
- Michael Harris notes that the Cons' efforts to silence any criticism have now extended to attacks on individual journalists - with Stephen Maher as only the latest example:
The measure for the kind of work that Maher, McGregor, Tim Naumetz and Greg Weston do is not the metric of public relations. The question is not whether their stories are good or bad for the government.

The question is whether the stories are true. If they’re not, it doesn’t mean that the reporters hate the government — just that they’re wrong. If they’re right, they form part of the composite of facts that makes up public reality. The RCMP are now involved in the investigation and the public is entitled to know that. Thanks to Stephen Maher, it does.

At one level, no one should be surprised at this scurrilous attack on a reporter. The Harper government, and the prime minister personally, specialize in character assassination when opposed.

It is one of the oldest and dirtiest tricks in the book. 
 - And Tabatha Southey wonders what additional abuses of power we might see from the Harper Cons in the years to come.

- While far too many seem to be eager to turn Mali into Canada's next ill-thought-out military intervention, Thomas Walkom makes the case for caution.

- Finally, Daniel Wilson highlights why there's rather less reason for patience when it comes to the federal government's neglect of First Nations.

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