Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- The Globe and Mail joins the chorus calling for Canada to welcome more citizens, rather than exploiting cheap and disposable workers. But Bill Curry reports on yet another corporate lobby group demanding that the Cons actually expand the flow of temporary labour to secure profits at the expense of workers.

- Andy Radia discusses the laughable attempt of the Cons to rebrand themselves as anything other then enemies of the environment after eight years of constant attacks on regulations and advocates alike. And Daniel James Wright points out that the organization chosen to greenwash the Cons was subject to a full corporate takeover.

- Meanwhile, the CP reports on a mercury advisory for fowl near the tar sands - being just the type of health and environmental disaster the Cons are always happy to sweep under the rug in the name of oil profits. Chris Varcoe writes about the complete takeover of Alberta's government by the oil sector. And Bob Weber reports on Alberta's moves to make sure the same people who have pointed out exactly the types of environmental dangers which have come to pass never get a word of input into further development:
Critics say Albertans are in danger of being shut out of discussions on how the province's natural resources are developed.
Expert observers and opposition politicians worry Alberta's new energy regulator is drawing the circle of who can speak so tightly that one hearing on a proposed energy project had to be cancelled because no one was allowed to appear.
The Alberta Energy Regulator is responsible both for holding public hearings on oilsands proposals and other energy developments and for determining who has the right to appear. The regulator is obliged to allow only those "directly and adversely affected" to appear.
Blakeman said decisions such as what happened with the Kirby project ignore important realities.

"The government seems to believe that the air doesn't move, water doesn't flow and soil doesn't leach," she said.
- Harry Neufeld notes that the Unfair Elections Act remains a serious step backward for the prospect of free, fair and transparent elections even after the absolute worst abuses were altered by amendments. And Amira Elghawaby reviews Alison Loat and Michael McMillan's Tragedy in the Commons as a basis for asking whether there's much worth salvaging in Canada's current system of party politics.

- Finally, Don Lenihan argues against mandatory voting on the basis that popular turnout can serve as a measure of a government's mandate. But I can only respond by wondering whether there's any evidence whatsoever to support the theory that governing parties are more open to competing ideas based on a low turnout - or whether we should take the Harper Cons' determined exploitation of every lever of power based on a modest mandate as a cautionary tale against the hope will restrain power-mad leaders.

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