Saturday, November 11, 2017

Saturday Morning Links

This and that for your weekend reading.

- Abacus Data has polled the Canadian public on climate change, and found far more appetite for meaningful action than we generally hear from the political class (and particularly right-wing parties):
Twenty years ago, when the world’s leaders were debating the Kyoto Accord, a case could be made that politicians who chose to be early champions of action to reduce emissions were running a certain amount of political risk.  The public consensus on the need to act was not fully formed, the risks of inaction not as widely perceived, and the alternatives to producing high levels of carbon seemed elusive and expensive.

Today, in Canada, the risk equation has changed. The bigger political peril lies in appearing indifferent to a matter of widespread and growing public preoccupation.

Half of Canadian voters (49%) won’t consider a party or a candidate that doesn’t have a plan to combat climate change.  Only 6% prefer a party or a candidate that ignores the issue.  The rest (44%) are “willing to consider” a party that doesn’t make the climate a priority.
Canada’s political parties do not all see eye to eye on climate change, but our numbers reveal that many Conservative voters share the sentiments of other voters: 85% believe there is a moral responsibility to act, and two thirds (67%) see a looming financial disaster if we fail to do more.  It is inaccurate to imagine a “conservative base” that broadly rejects the need to act on the climate issue.  Most 2015 Conservative Party voters believe the world faces a catastrophe if we do too little and that action will create new opportunities for the economy.
- Meanwhile, Michael Harris criticizes the Libs for being asleep at the switch when it comes to the potential environmental calamity arising from neonic pesticides. 

- Lana Payne writes about the sense of entitlement behind the offshoring of wealth to avoid taxes. And Thomas Walkom notes that governments are finally being forced to pay attention to the problem - but seem all too likely to leave plenty of loopholes to be exploited by the wealthy.

- Martin Regg Cohn discusses the politics behind perpetual poverty. And Trish Garner rightly argues that social supports should be sufficient to provide for basic human dignity.

- Colin Phillips points out the need for a national housing strategy backing by meaningful investments.

- Finally, Kevin Schnepel studies the connection between work opportunities and recidivism rates among people released from prison, and finds that stable jobs with fair wages are crucial in reducing the likelihood of repeat offences.

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