Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- The Ottawa Citizen asks whether Stephen Harper's Conservatives think Canadians are stupid enough to fall for their asinine carbon tax spin. Aaron Wherry confirms that the answer is an emphatic "yes".

- But then, we shouldn't be surprised to see the Cons unveiling ever more blatant distractions to try to call attention away from their continued contempt for democracy.

- The Star-Phoenix editorial board echoes Erin Weir's call to ban corporate and union donations to Saskatchewan political parties:
For a government that cites concerns about the undue influence unions have wielded over the decades on Saskatchewan labour legislation and has expressed annoyance with unionpaid ads that criticize its policies, it's a cynical stance to respond to Mr. Weir's proposal by saying, "We have no plans to change the current policy, which has been in place for many years under both NDP and Sask. Party governments."

Mr. Wall could well end up regretting poking a stick into this hornet's nest. Not only will it bring into sharper focus the policy choices being made by a governing party that's backed heavily by the corporate sector, but it also raises questions about the role of third-party advertising during writ periods. After all, if unions shouldn't be spending their members' money on political ads, what about corporations spending money from shareholders - among them mutual funds investing union members' pension money, for instance - for the same purpose?

Rather than remain the wild west of political party financing, with no limits on donations - even perennially conservative Alberta has a limit, albeit a whopping $30,000 per union or company during an election year, while Ontario's limit is $9,300 - Saskatchewan should act to put the control back in the hands of actual voters by eliminating corporate and union contributions.
- And finally, a new Ipsos Reid poll makes clear that Canadians don't want to hand over billions in free money to big pharma for the sake of closing a free trade agreement with Europe.

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