Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Brendan Haley explains why the Cons' let-them-build-pipelines economic approach is doomed to fail from the standpoint of prosperity as well as that of sustainability:
There is a certain spirit of defensiveness and vulnerability behind the Conservatives’ economic choices. Ideologically incapable of admitting that the private sector can run into real problems, Flaherty pleads for corporations to start spending money again but has no policies aimed at making that happen. Unwilling to recognize the benefit of pro-active government policy the Conservatives see the bitumen sands as their sole salvation. Yet, such an economic trajectory could be disrupted if the world decides to take action against climate change.

Far from promoting economic security, the Conservatives appear incapable of dealing with the economy’s most vexing problems (dead money, personal debt, productivity, pollution) and their reaction in the face of their confusion is to pigeon-hole the country into a rather vulnerable long-term economic position, placing all of our bets on a global economic trajectory dependent on climate catastrophe.

In contrast to the conservative confusion, a social democratic agenda is especially suited to today’s challenges. More proactive government strategies are needed to deal with the private sector’s stagnation and loss of direction. Smart government strategy can coordinate economic activity towards building a green, diverse, and innovative economy.
- Paul Hanley nicely points out the Cons' Orwellian doublespeak on the environment. And Julia Dima reports that the Sask Party is continuing to hack away at a barely-existent set of environmental budget items.

- Brian Singh offers up a mixed bag of strategic suggestions for Canada's opposition parties. But I remain highly skeptical that "out-Con the Cons" is a winning strategy in either electoral or policy terms - as the same simplistic messaging and top-down policy-making which have helped the Cons make teh argument that government is merely a brand rather than a source of collective power figure to cause major problems for anybody whose road to success involves drawing more people in.

- Finally, I'll highlight a few post-campaign posts from the Saskatchewan NDP's leadership race - including Aaron Genest's discussion of simulated outcomes, Jason Hammond's comments on the effect of social media, and Liz James on the importance of the "long win".

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