Saturday, March 14, 2015

Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- For those looking for information about today's day of action against C-51, Leadnow and Rabble both have details.

- Meanwhile, CBC reports that a professor merely taking pictures on public land near a proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline site is already being harassed by the RCMP under current law. Tonda MacCharles notes that lawyers currently involved in dealing with classified-evidence cases have joined the call to rein in the Cons' terror bill, while PressProgress points out that airlines are also raising serious concerns about the unfettered power handed to a single minister to dictate the terms of air travel. And Stephen Maher rightly questions whether CSIS is anywhere close to being up to the tasks assigned to it under C-51.

- Jeffrey Simpson calls for us to treat terrorism as a relatively small one of a number of dangers to be managed, not a basis for welcoming a radical reshaping of our society to be more intrusive and less inclusive. And Susan Delacourt comments on the Cons' irresponsible choice to sow baseless fear for the sole purpose of frightening people into emptying their pockets, while hoping the message will lose its power by the time Canadians go to the polls:
(E)ven seasoned marketers know that repetition has its limits. As far back as 1970, the University of Toronto’s Daniel Berlyne produced research showing that repeated exposure to novelty in advertising breeds familiarity at first, then boredom or contempt — the “two-factor” or “wear-in, wear-out” effect.

By marketing wisdom alone, then, this all-fear approach in the current political climate is a risky gambit. Sustaining the nation in a constant state of fear, all the way through an election months away, is a tall order for a government that may have its own wear-out concerns after nearly 10 years in office.

And at the risk of seeming naive or idealistic, it would be nice if higher principles than marketing — like the responsibility and privilege of governing — guided our politics back to the high road in these debates on tolerance and terror.

As a country, Canada is better than the politics of fear that is being marketed to citizens at the moment.
- Rick Salutin writes that Justin Trudeau has given away the game in acknowledging that he's supporting C-51 solely for crass political purposes of his own. But I remain baffled as to why Trudeau would hold the illusion that the Cons will somehow avoid criticizing him merely because he's giving them everything they want out of sheer cowardice.

- Finally, Simona Chiose reports on the Wynne Libs' plan to turn Ontario's university system over to employers in establishing program designs and tuition levels. And Simon Enoch calls out the similarly distorted premises behind the Saskatchewan Party's consultation on liquor retailing.

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