Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material to end your weekend.

- Nick Falvo discusses the unfortunate theory that any talk of improving standards of living for the neediest Canadians is either fruitless or extreme politically:
In reference to the Put Food In The Budget campaign, NDP Member of Provincial Parliament Michael Prue is quoted as saying: “I have asked hundreds of questions in the last 10 years on this topic [at Queen's Park] and have never once been quoted in the newspaper. Nobody has been interested. The NDP is standing back and asking, ‘Do we run on a platform when there is no public interest?”

I’m struck by what appears to be deep-seated pessimism on this important public policy issue. Even serious policy wonks are bending over backwards to conceal their proposals with smoke and mirrors, lest anyone realize that they’re advocating for a very low-income individual to live on more than $7,501 a year.

When did it become ’common sense’ for swing voters to believe that there is a job for every resident of Ontario? And when did it become acceptable to believe that $625/month is a sufficient amount of money to live on in Ontario?
- John Geddes uses the U.S. debt ceiling showdown as an example of the conundrum facing reporters trying to write fairly about issues where one side simply doesn't have a reasonable argument to make. But it's worth noting the flip side: the Republicans in manufacturing the debt crisis, like the Cons in demolishing the long-form census, obviously felt they could get away with such insane actions precisely because they could count on most sources repeating their nonsensical spin as if it had some basis in reality.

- Suddenly Stephen Harper's refusal to allow 24 Sussex Drive to be renovated makes a lot more sense, as the last thing Harper figures to be willing to countenance is to echo and legitimize environmental concerns about waste and inefficiency.

- Finally, Doug Allan points out that the Hudak PCs are predictably looking to stifle any public speech by unions - while failing to apply the same standard to corporations who spend far more money shaping public perceptions for their own benefit.

[Edit: fixed wording.]

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