Friday, October 09, 2015

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Armine Yalnizyan highlights how Volkswagen's emissions cheating scandal is just one more compelling piece of evidence against trusting the corporate sector to regulate itself:
The trend is towards asking industries to monitor themselves (at their own suggestion), which they quite happily will do, and tell you what they think you want to know.

Now there is a role for self-regulation. Most adults practice self-regulation to some degree. But when we pass laws against certain types of behaviour, we don't think people should police themselves. We hire police to ensure that the laws are obeyed.

Corporations' sole purpose is to make money. That motive doesn't make them more trustworthy than individuals.

If the VW story isn't a huge wake-up call about the failure of corporate self-regulation, I don't know what is. We need good rules, well enforced. Without good enforcement, good rules are just a charade of fairness.
- And needless to say, the fact that a political party is approved as unwilling to act in the public interest is hardly a vote of confidence - which, as Linda McQuaig notes, is exactly the pitch Conrad Black is making for Justin Trudeau and the Libs.

- Meanwhile, Andrew MacLeod finds Con and Lib candidates alike supporting Republican-style drug testing for EI recipients - as the desire to unleash the corporate sector's worst impulses is characteristically paired with the desire to intrude on individual privacy. 

- CBC reports on the Cons' reassurance that people can avoid the effects of two-tier citizenship just as long as they renounce their heritage. (But it's worth noting even that position may not be based in fact, since one need only eligible for other citizenship to have Canadian citizenship revoked, not actually maintain it.)

- Finally, CTV reports that Stephen Harper's PMO inserted itself into decision-making about Syrian refugees for the clear purpose of excluding Muslims. And Tim Harper is the latest to point out that the Cons' xenophobia should be called out as more than just a distraction.


  1. At least you can't get listeria from driving a Volkswagen. De-reg has repeatedly failed Canada since Mulroney deregulated our airlines. For years both "flag carriers" engaged in a fiscal bloodletting with disastrous competition on major domestic routes while gutting service on lesser routes, especially to our north. We lost WardAir in the process. Finally, with Canadian Pacific and Air Canada on death watch, Canadian folded leaving Air Canada to fight for life for years without ever recovering the level of its post-dereg service.

    1. Agreed that we need to look at the bigger picture in discussing deregulation. But I'd think the Volkswagen example might be even more important since it represents a fraudulent and widespread evasion of responsibility for what may be our most important collective action problem as a species.