Friday, March 08, 2019

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Melanee Thomas writes that we need to change our political system, rather than blaming women for the barriers placed in their way:
Ethos – that set of values and beliefs that guide our politics – is key to explaining why women remain so under-represented in Canadian politics. My research using Swedish data confirms how raising levels of women’s representation can engage them with politics. Swedish political parties in 1974 implemented a voluntary gender quota to ensure they elected more women. Over time, the proportion of women in Sweden’s national legislature, the Riksdag, rose from about 20 per cent in the 1970s to over 45 per cent today. What’s most interesting is that as more women were elected, it sparked greater interest among other women in politics. Sweden differed from Canada in that it took action to get women on par with men in their political institutions. Here, where only 26 per cent of MPs are women, the number is still too small to spark the same increased interest in politics among women.

This shows how ethos matters: If women observe how politics remains closed to them, no amount of resources or individual interventions will make them want to participate more in politics. A more effective route is to transform what our politics look like. The Swedish example shows this can be done by changing the collective belief: Women belong in politics.
- And David MacDonald examines how most of Canada's federal tax loopholes are grossly biased to favour men over women.

- Jeanna Smialek reports that U.S. employers who refuse to offer higher wages are complaining they can't find workers to accept their terms. And Sara Mojtehedzadeh reports on Ontario's cuts to enforcement against temp agencies which systematically violate employment standards and health and safety laws.

- Finally, Ed Finn challenges the Libs' spin that it's worth making governments complicit in corporate crime and corruption in the name of temporarily clinging to jobs which can be eliminated on a whim. And Don Martin highlights how the burgeoning lobbying industry can only be explained by the perception that access to power is the path to sustained wealth.

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