Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your weekend.

- Lana Payne highlights the Harper Cons' culture of hate with just a few recent examples:
Veterans. Informed-debate. People’s right to a union and free collective bargaining. Voting rights. These are all under threat in Harper’s Canada.

This really is a government that hates; hates anyone that disagrees with them. Hates unions and the ability of people to work collectively to get a fair share of the economic pie. Hates democracy. Hates people who vote for other parties. Just plain hates.

This is not healthy for our country, our society. This is no way to govern. This is no way to build an inclusive nation where fairness prevails. This is just simply nastiness and hate. And we should call it out for what it really is.
- And kirbycairo comments on the Cons' distaste for basic principles of governance (h/t to Boris):
Good governance requires certain basic elements - commitment to the fundamental principles of democracy, the desire to foster dialogue, a basic commitment to an effective civil-service and the good programs that they need to deliver, a commitment to giving a voice to the voiceless and providing care and protection for society's most vulnerable, a strong commitment to the constitution, a respect for fairness and the democratic traditions of the House of Commons, a respect for the judicial arm of government and the necessary (role) it plays, and a commitment to protecting the environment for future generations. Our government has no commitment to any of these. In fact, it actively undermines all of them. There is not a single element of good governance to which this government is committed.
It is difficult to live in a society which is inching gradually toward autocracy as many of the citizens seem to blithely ignore the coming danger. There is a certain nonchalant attitude taken by many to the dangerous and insidious actions of a government that is falling into fascism. They have trouble believing that it "can happen here" or that our traditions can be subverted and perverted by a bunch of men dressed in suits. But not every coup is a violent one and sometimes what is best in a society is lost in a (quiet) war of attrition.
- Meanwhile, Karl Nerenberg looks at the particularly glaring gap between the Cons' eletion-rigging legislation and the principles they agreed to just last year when their election fraud scandal was in the front pages. And the CP reports on the NDP's efforts to give the public some voice in the rules governing elections - even as the Cons insist that nobody but themselves should have any say in determining what constitutes a fair electoral process.

- The CP also reports on a new study showing the link between tar sands tailings ponds and groundwater contamination. But the most noteworthy part of the story is the joint industry/government position that new development must be allowed to barge ahead without environmental reviews, while any regulation (or even tracing of projects' contributions to groundwater damage) should be put off until we're absolutely sure the development is causing irreversible damage.

- Finally, Paul Wells notes that Justin Trudeau has taken sole and full ownership of the Libs' historic self-image, while J.J. McCullough sees Trudeau as prioritizing high status over any connection with the public. Needless to say, these theses seem fully compatible.

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