Saturday, July 12, 2014

Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- PressProgress highlights how the Cons' stay in office has been marked by temporary rather than permanent jobs, while Kaylie Tiessen writes that precarious work is particularly prevalent in Ontario. And Erin Weir notes that more unemployed workers are now chasing after fewer job vacancies than even in the wake of the last recession.

- Kathleen Harris points out that the Cons' attempt to label refugees as "bogus" based solely on their country of origin bears no resemblance whatsoever to reality, as numerous claims from the U.S. and other countries labeled as "safe" have been found to be valid by the Immigration and Refugee Board. And she also finds the Cons applying a rather unusual definition of "protection" for refugees:
Alexis Pavlich, spokeswoman for Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, said refugee reforms that include restricting health care means more protection for those in need and faster removal of those who don't.
That's right: the Cons are so callous as to claim that people in need get "more protection" by being denied essential health care.

- Meanwhile, Mike Palacek discusses the Cons' secret and deceptive plan to gut and privatize Canada Post - which of course was given a political push to replace the postal banking idea which would have resulted in better service and increased public returns.

- Tabatha Southey rightly observes that the Cons should want to distance themselves from Robert Goguen for grandstanding about a witness' gang rape. But the fact that they haven't seems to signal what seemed to me the most plausible explanation to begin with: is there any reason to think Goguen was doing anything but reading off his party's script to begin with?

- Finally, there are plenty of reasons to question Susan Delacourt's attempt to use relatively minor concerns about our current political system as a basis to eliminate political parties altogether - and Dale Smith neatly lays them out. But if we're looking for examples of the type of theory about political party operations which positively begs to be challenged, there are worse places to start than Jeffrey Simpson's insistence that leaders should hold the power to hand-pick their own pet candidates.

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