Saturday, November 23, 2013

Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Ish Theilheimer writes about the opportunity progressives should recognize in the scandals engulfing Rob Ford, Stephen Harper and other conservative leaders:
(W)hile you'd think the (Ford) situation would be a golden opportunity for Toronto left-wingers to win back the public, this isn't necessarily happening. Left-wing opponents of Ford's have not used the situation to drive home a unified message -- that Ford is a liar with criminal friends who can't be trusted to deliver good and effective government.

Instead, their focus has been to harry Ford and drive him from office, a tactic that only plays into the left-wing conspiracy viewpoint and sympathy vote.

Toronto's -- and Canada's -- Left needs a unified and emotionally charged message that will cause people to doubt, of their own good sense, the claims of the right-wingers. Something like: "Stop selling off public property and services at fire-sale prices to rich cronies. You wouldn't buy a car from greedy liars like Ford, Harper and Duffy, and you shouldn't let them run your city or country either."

The Ford debacle should not be allowed to be a crusade to drive one icky man from office. It should be a holy war to discredit every lie this creep stands for.
- Elizabeth Renzetti explains how the Cons and their corporatist allies are trying to make worker-bashing into the norm in any discussion of wages or economic policy. But Jenny Lee discusses one of the consequences of that default position of attacking labour - as retirement is becoming a thing of the past for many Canadians who can't afford it in the absence of the types of pension plans and social programs which develop through union pressure:
Nearly one in five Canadian workers expect they will never be able to fully retire.

Compared to workers in a broad cross-section of 15 industrialized nations, Canadians are among the worst off.

Seventeen per cent of Canadian workers expect they’ll always have to work. This compares to the global figure of 12 per cent, according to The Future of Retirement: Life after Work, a large HSBC survey of people in Canada, Australia, France, Hong Kong, India and Mexico, among other countries. Canada rated just above the U.K. (19 per cent) and the U.S. (18 per cent).
- Grant Robertson and Kim Mackrael report that the oil industry is flouting Transport Canada's stopgap regulations in the wake of the Lac-M├ęgantic explosion by refusing to actually test petroleum products to be shipped by rail.

- Finally, full credit to Susan Delacourt for recognizing how the media can unduly influence elections through its own (however poorly-founded) impressions and predictions.

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