Thursday, September 24, 2015

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Jim Stanford discusses how the Trans-Pacific Partnership is renegotiating NAFTA - and taking away what little Canada salvaged in that deal. And Jared Bernstein highlights the TPP's impact on prescription drug costs.

- Rick Smith rightly challenges the effort some people have made to minimize the difference between Canada's political parties:
Though the constant spinning of basically unchanging polling results is annoying, I’m not sure it’s corrosive to the democratic process.  On the other hand, the notion that it doesn’t matter who we elect is not only factually inaccurate, it does Canadians a disservice.

Over the past nine years an important part of the Conservative project has been to reduce participation in elections: restricting Election Canada’s ability to do outreach and education; making it harder for students and others to vote; and an outright disenfranchising of entire groups like Canadian expats. Diminishing the importance of voting just feeds this trend.  In fact, the only people who benefit from electoral nihilism are Conservatives, who have a vested interest in turning people off politics thereby keeping them home on election night.

Pretending that all politicians and party platforms are the same or shades of gray is also unfair to the many progressive community leaders running in this – and other elections — who are trying their damndest to actually make a difference. 
- But sadly, Kelly McParland only adds to Smith's list of commentators glossing over the real differences to create a narrative of voters tuning out the election.

- David Keith writes that the most scandalous element of Bruce Carson's involvement with the Cons is the role he and his oil industry cronies have played in exacerbating climate change. And Charles Mandel reports on yet another research library the Cons set out to destroy - though the good news is that in this case, PIPSC managed to step in before the damage was complete.

- Finally, Jeremy Nuttall reports that the Cons are also putting a price on previously-available information about temporary foreign workers. PressProgress finds a Con candidate telling young workers they should work for free rather than thinking paid employment is an option. And Sid Ryan offers his take on what the labour movement needs to do to improving working and living conditions for everybody.

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