Sunday, June 08, 2014

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Robert Reich proposes that the best way to address corporate criminality is to make sure that those responsible go to jail - rather than simply being able to pay a fine out of corporate coffers and pretend nothing ever happened.

- And Shawn Fraser suggests that Regina developers should pick up the tab for the costs they impose on the city - even as the city itself has opportunities to both better shape residential growth, and turn a profit through its own own development corporation.

- Meanwhile, the CP reports on the clash between biased markets and free speech - as Greenpeace was rejected in its effort to purchase billboard space from the same business which didn't hesitate a second to provide a platform for climate change denialists.

- Andrew Coyne writes that Stephen Harper is racking up scandals and abuses of power at an unprecedented pace. But Chantal Hebert notes that none of the Cons' manipulations can help them avoid responsibility for governing - including by deciding between serving their oil-industry masters and listening to the public about the Northern Gateway pipeline.

- Susan Delacourt takes note that political parties are increasingly looking to brand themselves through means that have nothing to do with politics - while identifying what that says about their seeming mandate to discuss policy choices:
When a political ad arrives through the mail, does the average citizen pore over its contents to determine who paid for it? Again, probably not. A marketing-research fact sheet distributed by Canada Post a few years ago said that the response rate for all direct-mail advertising — not just political ads — was a scant 2.18 per cent. Political parties, in short, might be better off mailing those pamphlets directly to the local recycling stations.

The trick these days, it seems, is to make political advertising look like something slightly more useful: a World Cup schedule, for instance, or the front page of a newspaper.
Advertisers, private or political, are always going to try to slip their sales messages into products that are useful to consumers or citizens: pens, T-shirts, newspapers, World Cup schedules. 
A harder question, though, is why political advertising is held in such low esteem that it now has to masquerade as something more relevant to Canadians. Educating the public doesn’t have to be a mission that’s gone entirely out of fashion.
- Finally, Vaughn Palmer reviews the B.C. Libs' consistent pattern of bad faith in dealing with teachers.

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