Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tuesday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your day.

- Frances Russell nicely sums up the effect of the Cons' bevy of anti-democratic trade deals:
Don’t be fooled. The innocuous language used to describe the avalanche of so-called “trade” agreements raining down on Canada under the Harper government — the TransPacific Partnership (TPP), the Canada-European Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Canada-China Foreign Investment Agreement, not to mention the plethora of single-country trade deals — aren’t about trade at all.

Their real purpose is to repeal democracy, to elevate investor/corporate rights over the democratic will of the people. Corporations — not governments — become the decision-makers, the de facto rulers.

This corporate coup d’etat is being accomplished through Orwellian investor rights clauses empowering corporations to sue governments, often for astronomical sums, should governments enact any laws for the public good that constrain corporate interests.
- But at least one of the deals mentioned by Russell looks like it may not come to pass - if only because the Harper Cons can't bear to see human rights protected in the process of handing more power to investors.

- Meanwhile, the NDP's position on trade has been receiving plenty of press lately - with Bruce Anderson pitching a focus on supporting some trade deals as a move toward the centre, while Murray Dobbin worries that it's becoming "Liberal-lite" in the process. But while at least some shift was to be expected after a leadership campaign where Tom Mulcair regularly defended NAFTA, I'd think there's ample room to fit a targeted set of possibilities into a message of multilateralism and social gains, while continuing to drawing a stark contrast to the corporatist tendency to trample all else in the name of marketization.

- Sandra Cuffe discusses how resource exploitation is destroying traditional First Nations and Metis territory in Western Canada.

- Finally, SOS Crowns weighs in on the Sask Party's ill-advised determination to privatize ISC after it had promised for two consecutive election cycles to leave our Crowns alone.

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