Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood highlights how the Trans-Pacific Partnership will do little but strengthen the hand of the corporate sector against citizens. Duncan Cameron notes that even in the face of a full-court press for ever more stringent corporate controls, there's plenty of well-justified skepticism about the TPP. And Olivia Chow compiles both plenty more concerns with the TPP, and the evidence that the Cons' obsession with trade agreements is doing nothing to help Canada economically.

- Upstream calls for Canadians to vote for a healthier society in the upcoming federal election. And Kimberly Noble points out how poverty and deprivation affect children's development - resulting in worse results for everybody. 

- Catherine Latimer discusses the prison crisis created by the Cons' combination of dumb-on-crime policies and lack of investment to deal with the increased demands on the correctional system.

- The CCPA provides a much-needed overview of the Harper Cons' disastrous record over their past two terms in power.

- Which means it's no surprise that the Cons are left with little but fearmongering to try to cling to power as pointed out by Heather Libby. But Sandy Garossino writes that Harper and company are putting women at risk with their choice of targets for xenophobia and exclusion. And Joseph Heath rightly argues that the Cons have gone far beyond the realm of defensible policy to the point where there's no innocent or reasonable explanation for their choices:
I usually lean towards the more charitable interpretation of people’s motives. And I try very hard to be charitable with conservatives, in part because I disagree with them on so many points, and so am likely to be biased in the direction of being uncharitable. Thus I have really been working hard to resist the tendency – which many of my colleagues have – of writing off the Conservative Party entirely, as being outside the scope of “reasonable” political conviction. I’ve also been doing what I can to encourage centre-right conservatives to be more assertive in controlling the drift into extreme ideological positions that one can see in the right wing in Canada. At this point, however, I’m starting to have trouble. My most charitable reading of the current situation is that it can be blamed on this Australian strategist they brought in, who’s basically been telling them to play the anti-Islam card, because hey, what does he care what happens to the country – he doesn’t have to live here (never thought I would find myself missing Jenni Byrne!). But even then, I’m having doubts.

Psychologically, I’m starting to feel that I should put the Conservative Party of Canada into the same mental category that most people put the National Front in France – not as a representative of a reasonable political position, but as more of a cancer on the body politic. For the moment I’m still resisting that – holding out some faith in the decency of Canadians – but the way things are going I may need to reconsider.

The one thing I can say, however, is that after Friday’s press conference, I can no longer regard it as morally acceptable for anyone to vote for the Conservative Party of Canada. A week ago, I could still persuade myself that reasonable people could disagree over how to vote in this election, but no longer.

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