Sunday, February 04, 2018

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Victor Cyr discusses the problems with a public policy focus on capitalism without any concern for human well-being. And Ann Pettifor highlights the concentrated wealth and power arising out of corporate monopolies, while noting that political decisions are behind those realities.

- Alan Freeman points out that Canada is facilitating tax evasion due to a gross lack of corporate transparency. And Marco Chown Oved reports that the federal government is more interested in pointing fingers at the provinces than working toward solving that problem.

- Stephanie Smith examines the problems with British Columbia's faith-based regulatory system which (like many others) is increasingly based on corporate self-monitoring and self-reporting. And Alex Hemingway offers some suggestions for John Horgan's next provincial budget to bring needed progressive change.

- Finally, Ian MacKenzie makes the case for B.C. to approve a proportional electoral system so that all votes count. Stephen Tweedale notes that proportional representation can help to remedy the control leaders now exercise over their parties by creating a stronger prospect that new parties can be viable. And Paul Wells sets out how Justin Trudeau's petulant refusal to consider any electoral system other than one which would promote even more false majorities for his party contrasts against the promises he made to win power:
What did Trudeau’s platform say? Here is the section on electoral reform, in its entirety:

“We will make every vote count.

“We are committed to ensuring that 2015 will be the last federal election conducted under the first-past-the-post voting system. We will convene an all-party Parliamentary committee to review a wide variety of reforms, such as ranked ballots, proportional representation, mandatory voting, and online voting. This committee will deliver its recommendations to Parliament. Within 18 months of forming government, we will introduce legislation to enact electoral reform.”

And you know, it’s funny, because the Liberal platform of the day was both voluminous—88 pages—and capacious in its margins, in the manner of an undergrad essay formatted to fill as many pages as possible. And yet in all that white space, the Liberals could not, apparently, find room to add “which we very clearly believe would be harmful to Canada” after the words “proportional representation” in the excerpt above. Formatting is such a delicate thing.

It would have been handy if the Liberal leader had specified before people voted, and before his ministers spent a year consulting them, that he had already privately discarded one of the leading systems of electoral reform.

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