Thursday, October 22, 2015

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Eduardo Porter highlights the continued growth in research showing that social benefits do nothing to stop people from pursuing work, but instead serve to mitigate the risks of precarious survival for the people who need it most.

- And Michael Marmot discusses the devastating effects of health inequality, while pointing out there's plenty we can do to close the gap.

- John Jacobs points out that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is at best a dead end for Canadian jobs, while the Center for Economic Progress writes that any supposed economic gains for the U.S. (other than the corporations whose interests become the basis for lawmaking around the Pacific rim) are similarly illusory.

- Finally, Drew Nelles makes the case that Monday's election result was no victory for progressive Canadians. And Ian Welsh discusses what's been lost (at least for now) due to the Libs' election win:
One NDP government which puts thru electoral reform changes the entire nature of Canadian politics. It makes another Harper impossible for a generation or two.  It means that most governments will be coalition governments, with the natural coalition being Liberal-NDP, and with Conservative coalitions being much milder because they must rule with a more left wing party on their flank.

Canada’s population is center left.  Sixty percent of the voting population would never vote Conservative.   Electoral change makes Canada’s governments reflect that, rather than being about the committed plurality: leaving us with 8 to 10 years of Conservative rule every 25 years or so.
This is what was at stake in the last election.  It was a big deal.

The worry now is that we’re back to status quo.  The Liberals and Conservatives swap being government, the Liberals run to the left and govern to the center and Canada continues a nasty rightward trend (which the Liberal governments of the 90s and 00s were part of) with some jogs leftward, primarily on social issues (which are important, but don’t trump the damage of neoliberal economics.)

This election mattered, and it should have been about much more than “get Harper out”.  Conservatives were not destroyed by this election, they did fine, they just took a normal loss.  The party which was devastated was the NDP.

The price of that is likely to be severe, and this is true even if Justin Trudeau keeps the majority of his promises.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Bill. I do offer at least my share of free-floating opinion as well, but try to find (and share) from both sides of that divide.