Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.

- Thomas Walkom, Dan Leger and Michael Harris write about the sketchy surveillance programs in place on both sides of the 49th parallel. But there may be an opportunity to make common cause with the 1% in criticizing constant intrusion on personal privacy, as both the U.S. and the U.K. have been caught using their data interception capability to spy on businesses and international allies.

- In any event, one can safely say that this is not the time when a smart government would introduce blanket secrecy for 11 government agencies. But since few would accuse the Harper Cons of being particularly smart, that's exactly what they're doing.

- And speaking of the Cons' mostly incompetent government, Barrie McKenna provides a first look at the reviews of the job grant program advertised with tens of millions of public dollars this spring long before it actually existed:
Ottawa’s $900-million job grant scheme is a windfall for companies that already train workers, opens few new opportunities for the unskilled and saps funds from existing government efforts, according to a new report.

The program is “deeply flawed public policy” and should be scrapped, say the authors of a report to be released Monday by the Mowat Centre at the University of Toronto and the Caledon Institute of Social Policy.
- Sixth Estate points out that even if Stephen Harper had some great commitment to avoiding election fraud (pause for laughter), he'd risk losing his majority just by addressing the questionable election campaigns of his current caucus.

- Finally, Jason Mogus laments the gap in sophistication between conservative and progressive messaging. But while I'll readily agree on the importance of offering a well-thought-out message, I do think there's a larger issue worth mentioning as well: progressive politics work best when based on popular involvement rather than the mere repetition of themes we expect from the right, meaning that it isn't enough to buy the theory that talking point discipline is the answer.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:04 PM


    "progressive politics work best when based on popular involvement rather than the mere repetition of themes we expect from the right, meaning that it isn't enough to buy the theory that talking point discipline is the answer."

    Isn't that kind of what Mogus is getting at when he says, "what we have, and that the other side never really does in a sustained way, is the power of our movement. That's why network campaigns and cross-movement organizing - the bleeding edge of progressive campaigning today - coupled with building real relationships with supporters so they can carry our messages into the world for us, is so critical." ?

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