Monday, November 04, 2013

Monday Morning Links

Assorted content to start your week.

- The CP reports on the latest federal-provincial discussion about pensions. And as is so often the case, all parties at the table seem to agree that there's an important problem to be fixed - even as Brad Wall, Stephen Harper and others stand firmly in the way of any actual change to ensure a more secure retirement for Canadians.

- Gerald Caplan wonders whether the Cons' base will give up on Harper, while Dan Leger thinks it's Harper himself who should start turning his loyalties elsewhere. But Andrew Coyne offers up the definitive take on the Cons coming out of their closed-door Calgary convention - even if he's a little ways behind the curve in noticing some cultish tendencies:
But the impression was that of a party closing in on itself, of a leadership that accepts no blame for the depths into which the party has sunk, but that sees itself as wholly the victim of outside enemies. As a short-term strategy for preserving internal unity, this has its uses. The problem is that the list of enemies keeps growing, and as it grows, starts to include more and more of the party’s staunchest supporters. Some of the prime minister’s closest confidants and advisers are now on the list, from Tom Flanagan to — the scapegoat of the month — Nigel Wright.
Thus the Conservative tragedy grinds on. When your only principle is paranoia — when your central organizing proposition is that “everyone is out to get us” — when every criticism is merely confirmation of the essential rightness of that proposition, and every deviation is evidence of disloyalty, then you are less a party than a cult.

I don’t say that is what the party has become. But it is an early warning sign in any group when its members are required to cut themselves off from the outside world.
- It will surely come as a shock - particularly for those paid to pretend otherwise - to learn that supposedly unbreachable containment ponds may not live up to their billing. And Robyn Allan discusses the cynical manipulation behind Christy Clark's attempt to sell pipelines and tanker traffic by telling British Columbians their only other choice is even more hazardous transport of tar sand products by rail.

- Finally, Stuart Trew discusses Canada's sudden and unexpected ratification of rules taking yet more power out of the hands of governments and open courts to better serve the interests of transnational corporations.

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