Friday, May 03, 2013

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Arthur Haberman argues that our universal public health care system helps contribute to a more democratic society:
There is something that political philosophers — those like Tocqueville and Mill in the 19th century — have come to call living democratically. By this it is meant that voting is but a small part of what being in a democracy is about. It also includes volunteering in small ways to make our communities better, participating in decisions about what happens to your town or your neighbourhood, judging your fellow citizens by the quality of their character and not by the size of their homes or wealth, and treating all as equals.

Our society has decided that we needed to expand what living democratically means to the realms of education and health. We hope to make education universally available to all, a good education, providing more equal opportunity. We don’t succeed here as well as we would like, but the goal is a meaningful one.

We also hope to make health care available to all so that no one will face the misfortune of not being able to afford decent care and so that all have access to something that will enhance the quality of their lives. Here, it seemed to me in those eight weeks in the waiting area, we are succeeding very well in living democratically.

So universal health care is not only about the bodies of our citizens. It is also a statement about the values we want to forward in the body politic. May it flourish.
- Meanwhile, Bob Hepburn comments on the importance of a functional Parliament as part of the same end goal of a viable democracy. And Sean Holman's new project documents how B.C.'s parties in particular have come to expect discipline rather than participation by MLAs.

- David Wiegel writes that the Cons aren't the only political party fighting a war against social science, as their Republican cousins are actively defunding research in the area. But fortunately, Michael Adams for one doesn't intend to give in to the anti-research movement.

- Scott Clark and Peter De Vries highlight the need to track down the $3.1 billion disappeared by the Harper Cons. And Michael Harris contrasts the Cons' demands for accountability from everybody else against their expectation that nobody will question even their least plausible talking points:
Here is another big thing that has been Harperized: the need for everyone to be accountable with public funds — Indian Bands, unions, the provinces, et. al. A lot of people have wondered why Tony Clement, the Sultan of Slush, was ever put in charge at Treasury Board — except maybe to slowly suffocate the CBC. This is the guy and the government that couldn’t be bothered to properly appropriate the funds for the G-8, G-20 and simply lifted the money from the budget of the Canada Border Service Agency. The auditor-general’s report bristles with irony.

Now that Michael Ferguson has confirmed that $3.1 billion has gone missing-in-action from the Public Security and Anti-Terrorism Initiative, when can we expect the Attawapiskat Doctrine to kick in? That’s when you set the sharp-pencil boys on a tiny First Nations Band to make sure there’s been no hanky-panky with taxpayers money — and then publish their incompetence.

But Deloitte won’t be doing Tony, either before or after he becomes finance minister. It’s all about making sure that enemies come transparent and with a leash, and the regime remains behind the curtain — as no one knows better than the Wizard.
- Finally, Carol Goar discusses the current committee study of income inequality. But it's difficult to separate inequality in both opportunity and outcomes from a system set up to benefit those with the most - such as the tendency to allow the likes of Goldman Sachs to avoid the full consequences of tax evasion.

1 comment:

  1. Greg,

    Check your e-mail.

    I require your audience's support in my continuing battle against the petty Liberal partisans at the Canadian Press.

    En garde!,
    Dan Tan