Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Dana Flavelle examines how many Canadians are facing serious economic insecurity. And Kevin Campbell discusses how the Cons are vulnerable on the economy due to their obvious failure to deliver on their promises, as well as their misplaced focus on trickle-down ideology:
During this election it is essential to understand that we live in an era of persistent financial insecurity among the majority of the population. Household balance sheets are in a tenuous state throughout the industrialized world, particularly in Canada. This inevitably affects how citizens choose to vote. Healthcare, education, ethics and the environment — they all matter a great deal and undoubtedly influence voter behaviour. But the party that secures economic confidence wins elections in this country.
The reality is that the parties of the left actually focus heavily on the well-being of the most vital driver in the economy: you. The household. And by that, I do not mean nuclear families alone. I mean any household, including single people, single parents, childless couples and widowers. I mean everyone who orbits around the average or the median, and certainly those who survive on less. The household is the engine to which the rest of the economy responds. It is a strong foundation of employment, consumption and tax revenue that propels everything else in the system.

Corporations and investors simply respond to demand — and aggregate demand is not powered by the top one per cent or even the top 10 per cent. Disposable income flows when we create the conditions for the average household to adequately feed, clothe and shelter itself, supported by the opportunity to be healthy and educated.
A Leger poll released last week placed “stimulating the Canadian economy” as the top issue for the October election, sequentially followed by the related subjects of “helping middle-class families” and “job creation.” The NDP leads on the latter two items and is nipping at Harper’s heels on the first. If recent history is any guide, victory will come to the party that evokes the greatest confidence on such issues.

Progressives can, and must, earn that confidence.
- Meanwhile, Roderick Benns talks to Alax mayor Steve Parish about the benefits a basic income can provide in both fighting poverty and ensuring economic security. 

- Martha Friendly highlights the need for child care in Canada - as well as for the federal government to be involved in funding and developing a functional system. And Joey Porter reports on the Cons' gross failure to deliver even approved funding for clean water for First Nations.

- Dave Cournoyer takes a first look at Alberta's royalty review panel and the benefits it should produce for the public. And Mike De Souza reports on what happens when environmental regulators actually do their jobs - as Nexen is being required to demonstrate it can operate pipelines safely in the wake of its spill, rather than being let off with a promise to do better.

- Finally, Harriet Sherwood examines a global crackdown on human rights organizations and other civil society groups. And Sheena Goodyear reports on how Tony Turner's Harperman fits into the wider issue of allowing public servants some voice in the political system in which they work.

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