- Peter Rossman explains why the CETA falls far short of the mark in accounting for anybody's interests other than those of big business. And Dani Rodrik discusses the dangers of laissez-faire fundamentalism, particularly to the extent it threatens to undermine the foundation of a functional society:
(T)he lesson from the 1980s is that some reversal from hyper-globalization need not be a bad thing, as long as it serves to maintain a reasonably open world economy. As I have frequently argued, we need a better balance between national autonomy and globalization. In particular, we need to place the requirements of liberal democracy ahead of those of international trade and investment. Such a rebalancing would leave plenty of room for an open global economy; in fact, it would enable and sustain it.- Michael Enright writes about the obvious failure of Canada's corporate sector to convert billions in giveaways into economic investment. And that track record in relying on the corporate sector offers all the more reason to be wary of Justin Trudeau's plan to sell off what's left of our common wealth.
The key challenge facing mainstream political parties in the advanced economies today is to devise such a vision, along with a narrative that steals the populists’ thunder. These center-right and center-left parties should not be asked to save hyper-globalization at all costs. Trade advocates should be understanding if they adopt unorthodox policies to buy political support.
We should look instead at whether their policies are driven by a desire for equity and social inclusion, or by nativist and racist impulses; whether they want to enhance or weaken the rule of law and democratic deliberation; and whether they are trying to save the open world economy – albeit with different ground rules – rather than undermine it.
- Casey Quinlan examines how corporations are using underfunded public school systems in the U.S., while Daniel Boffey notes that private schools in the UK are creating new barriers for poor children.
- Sarah Smarsh theorizes that the rise of Donald Trump can be explained in part by the failure of the media and other cultural institutions to provide a voice for many working people. And David Beers warns us that we shouldn't trust the mainstream right to recognize the risk of a Trump-style demagogue.
- Finally, Dougald Lamont reminds us why we shouldn't pretend the Canadian Taxpayers' Federation stands for anything other than unaccountable corporate influence. And DeSmog Canada examines the grossly insufficient state of political finance regulations in British Columbia.