Saturday, April 26, 2014

Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Edward Greenspon's report on the Keystone XL review process is well worth a read - particularly in exposing how the Harper Cons have handled their U.S. relations (along with many other policy areas) based on the presumption that nobody will ever see fit to consider the environmental costs of maximizing oil exploitation. And on that front, Andrew Leach highlights how Ottawa and Edmonton alike have assumed they can get away with paying lip service to climate change - even as the Obama administration has rightly recognized it as a top priority.

- Stephen Hume is the latest to point out the hypocrisy of free-marketeers insisting that employers be provided with special privileges to import easily-exploited workers rather than paying market wages. And Doug Saunders recognizes that we should be encouraging long-term immigration rather than treating new arrivals as disposable labour.

- While I'd question Michael Laxer's view of a "progressive" orientation as the problem, he's absolutely right in recognizing the need for far stronger presentation of social democratic principles than we're accustomed to seeing on our political scene:
We are told, regularly, that one has to compromise to get elected. But these compromises always seem to be on "our" part and not the right's. The right is not compromising at all when it comes to economic principles.

But, more significantly, these compromises are always at the expense of those living in  poverty, those on social assistance, unions and public sector workers. Always. In other words, these "progressive" political compromises are a basic part of the attack on unions, public sector workers, those living in poverty and those on social assistance as they directly facilitate them.
The progressive agenda in North America has become so insignificant in its aims that if it got any less so it would simply cease to be. There is nowhere for it to go that is anymore insignificant than it already is.

Are minimum-wage workers and those on social assistance going to be once more sacrificed on the alter of political expediency? Is their extreme need of solidarity to be forsaken yet again?
 - And if we needed more evidence as to how distorted our current political environment is, John Manley's latest pitch on behalf of the CCCE is asking the public to allow the corporate sector to keep evading taxes - even after its own numbers showed how little businesses are contributing to the public interest. And Quebec is the latest province to be confronted with demands that it sacrifice social programs on the altar of corporatist "seriousness" - with precisely zero consideration given to raising additional revenue as another means of balancing the budget.

- Finally, Alison discusses how the true foreign-funded operatives in Canada's political systems are Nigel Wright, Linda Frum and the rest of the Cons who were propped up by the U.S.' right-wing propaganda machine.

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