Saturday, June 24, 2017

Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Ryan Meili writes about the fundamental importance of trust in both politics and medicine - and the corrosive effects of corporate donations in both:
When we talk about the problems with political donations, we're not really talking about campaign financing. We're talking about something much more fundamental. We're talking about trust.
We're talking about the way that the public views political leaders. Do they trust us to do the right thing? Do they trust us in our interactions with companies, in our interactions in handing out contracts, to be objective? To make the best decisions for this province and its people, rather than for companies seeking favourable laws and contracts?

Our primary goal is not to help any particular business or any particular company. Our primary goal is to achieve the best for the people of this province. One way to measure this is to look at the health outcomes of our policy choices. In fact, the health field offers us some important insights on this question of trust.
Physicians realize that trust is our greatest asset, with the public and with our patients. If we want our patients to take our advice and change their behaviour, we need to have their solid trust. Those of us in elected life should also want to be trusted as a profession. For the good of the public, we want people to be able to trust that we are not being influenced, and corporate donations impede that trust.
- Ian Gill and Robert Jensen each review Naomi Klein's forthcoming No Is Not Enough, particularly in its recognition that Donald Trump's election represents a logical progression in the growth of politics based on dominance and distraction rather than the public interest. And Dawn Foster emphasizes that the lesson to be drawn from Grenfell Tower fire is to end the culture of deregulation and austerity which creates greater risks for everybody - not to tear down towers which can provide desperately-needed housing when properly maintained.

- CBC reports on Monika Dutt's work educating physicians about the social determinants of health. And Doug Saunders and Tom Cardoso explore the connection between childhood geographical backgrounds and income later in life, while Miles Corak examines the distribution of poverty in Canada. 

- Erica Alini reports on the Northern Policy Institute's latest research on the role a basic income could play in ensuring food security for people with low incomes. And Tanvi Misra discusses the growing recognition of the importance of unions in reducing inequality.

- Finally, Jorge Barrera reports on the Trudeau Libs' decision to go to court to escape the federal government's obligation to stop discriminating against Indigenous children.

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