Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Paul Wells weighs in on the far-too-long-delayed exposure of Justin Trudeau's fundamental phoniness - particularly when it came to his promise that Canada had seen its last first-past-the-post election:
The operating assumption seems to be that we’re simply supposed to read between the lines—that we’ll understand that when Trudeau speaks he is not to be taken seriously.

Why would he? In June 2016, I asked Trudeau whether he had a preference in the electoral-reform debate he had promised in the previous year’s election, and whether his preference would influence the outcome. It was the sort of question you ask even when you know the answer. Everyone knew Trudeau wanted preferential ballots, which would favour large parties like his.
He swore that wasn’t so. “I’m really open to listening to Canadians. And actually, I have moved in my thinking toward a greater degree of openness toward what Canadians actually want.” So while Liberals would prefer ranked ballots, “Canadians might not agree. And I think this is an important conversation to have, where we do have to respect Canadians.”

Months later, he told the Toronto Star editorial board that he wasn’t about to throw in the towel. “Canadians elect governments to do hard things, and don’t expect us to throw up our hands when things are a little difficult,” he said. “ ‘Oh, it’s more difficult than we thought it could be and therefore we’re just going to give up.’ No, I’m sorry, that’s not the way I was raised, that’s not the way I’m going to move forward on a broad range of issues, regardless of how difficult they may seem at a given point.”

Eight weeks later, he abandoned electoral reform because the emerging consensus was for the reform option he didn’t like, proportional representation. I don’t even know what you do with a guy who acts like that. Eventually he took to wearing his abandonment of a key platform plank as a badge of honour. He wasn’t going to endanger Canadian democracy by keeping an election promise. Not all heroes wear capes.
- Meanwhile, Catharine Tunney reports on the Libs' new party line that corporations are "entitled" to a legal system which relieves them of being prosecuted for bribery and corruption. And Murray Mandryk contrasts the principle shown by the two former federal cabinet ministers who have stepped down against the choice of the Saskatchewan Party's one-time reformers to cover up their party's scandals.

- John Michael McGrath writes that Doug Ford has added municipalities to the list of bodies who are expected to avoid any planning or decision-making since their actions in the public interest might interfere with the PC's governing agenda. And David Climenhaga writes about Jason Kenney's attempt to sell trickle-down snake oil to Alberta.

- Sarah Anderson discusses the push from some U.S. Democrats for a financial transactions tax to ensure that high-frequency traders can't extract wealth from the broader economy.

- Finally, Matt Bruenig charts the distribution of wealth inequality by race in the U.S. And PressProgress points out that nominal economic growth in Canada hasn't led to any improvement in wages or the distribution of income.

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