Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Don Lenihan is the latest to highlight the difference between citizens and consumers - as well as why we should want to act as the former:
In the old view, public debate is all about defining the public interest by establishing collective needs. This requires a very different view of public debate. Rather than seeing it as a chance to advance my wants, it asks me, as a citizen, to consider the needs of the community. This means I must listen to others, weigh their claims, examine the evidence, and make trade-offs and compromises.

When Delacourt talks about citizens having once had a sense of the common good or being willing to make sacrifices for it, we don’t need to believe there was once a golden age of civic participation to agree with her.

The real point is that, not so long ago, citizens had a much clearer sense of their responsibility—as citizens—to balance their personal wants against the public good. Rob Ford’s proclivity to treat citizens first and foremost as taxpayers—and Ford Nation’s inclination to respond—shows just how far we have strayed from this vision.
- Andrew Leach offers his take on what the National Energy Board's rubber-stamping of Northern Gateway means. And Stephen Hume points out the absurdity of the Cons' carefully-scripted process.

- Meanwhile, having managed to eliminate environmental considerations from the Gateway's environmental review process, Stephen Harper has once again kicked any possible greenhouse gas emission regulations past the next federal election. That may break the streak of consecutive "next year!" promises before it reaches an even ten - but it also seems to leave no room for any pretense that a Con government will ever regulate the oil sector.

- Andrew Jackson calls out the Cons' doublespeak on the affordability of a secure pension system. And John Geddes identifies Stephen Harper's pension rhetoric as yet another example of the Cons' beggar-thy-neighbour, every-man-for-himself philosophy.

- Finally, CAUT finds that a strong majority of Canadians both support and recognize the need for unions - while only the predictable 28% would rather see unions and workers silenced.

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