Thursday, November 01, 2012

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Frances Russell discusses how the Cons have corporatized Canadian politics:
In fact, elevating corporate rights over the rights of citizens and their democractic institutions seems to be the Harper government’s core agenda. Its aggressive “free trade” stance has led to agreements with Panama, Jordan, Columbia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Honduras. It’s negotiating with the European Union, India and the Trans-Pacific Partnership — not to mention its groundbreaking 31-year trade deal with China, slated to be signed next week with no parliamentary debate, let alone approval. Several of these countries are under authoritarian rule.
What better way to dampen engagement than to tamp down equality and social mobility and assault the core institutions of the democratic state. Canada under the Harper Conservatives is leading the global charge among the First World democracies.
- Alice looks at the federal parties' fund-raising numbers for the third quarter of 2012. And perhaps more noteworthy than the fact that the NDP has edged ahead of the Libs for the first time since it became the Official Opposition is the prospect that it might be able to increase its lead as the year reaches an end:
To the extent that the Liberal convention fees used up the annual maximum contribution for many of that party's major contributors, and a leadership race diverts attention from national party fundraising, we might expect to see the NDP catch up to and perhaps even pass the Liberals by December.
(W)hat we also see is that the NDP is starting to grow its base of small contributors, which is key to growing a fundraising base over the long-term, while the Liberals are falling back somewhat in that objective, at least in the short-term...
- Meanwhile, we shouldn't be surprised that after winning the vast majority of Quebec's seats last year, the NDP is looking at adding to its total if (as expected) Denis Coderre leaves the Libs' caucus to pursue municipal politics.

- Finally, John Ivison discusses the question among movement conservatives whether to highlight or hide the Cons' massive cuts and broken programming promises. But the more important part of the story looks to be fact that the Cons have in fact been hacking away at Canada's public services in secret - meaning that there's no reason to expect honesty out of Harper and company no matter what one's preferred course of action would be.

New column day

Here, on how the Saskatchewan Party's unprecedented attack ads against the participants in another party's leadership race represent an attempt to silence all political debate that isn't pre-approved by the marketing departments of its own resource-industry backers.

As an addendum to the column, I'll note that the leadership candidates have handled the attack effectively so far by discussing broader economic issues rather than taking Brad Wall's bait.

For further reading...
- We'll find out soon whether Wall will similarly green-light attacks against the OECD, IRPP, and Government of Alberta among other organizations who have discussed the reality of Dutch disease. And Aaron Wherry's complete set of posts on the topic is here.
- And Dan Gardner comments on one of the my examples of the resource sector permanently warping political debate by noting the insanity of shrugging off the potentially devastating effects of climate change.