Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sunday Morning LInks

Assorted content for your Sunday reading.

- Peter Moskowitz highlights why we shouldn't be counting on crowdfunding or other private sources to address social needs. And Lana Payne calls out the attitude of entitlement on the part of the wealthy which has bled our public sector dry.

- Meanwhile, Rob Gillezeau points out the Libs' uncosted platform commitments to First Nations - as well as the importance of following through rather than perpetuating the pattern of broken promises.

- Peter Kuitenbrouwer reports on the Libs' plans to ramp up the marketing of weapons in the Middle East. And Stephanie Nebehay and Angus McDowall remind us of the consequences of shipping arms to regimes which don't even pretend to have an interest in human rights.

- Claire Cain Miller examines how wages tend to drop in jobs which are occupied by increased proportions of women.

- Finally, Linda McQuaig offers some insights from her time in politics:
(F)or a few days, my comment sparked a minor media rumpus that seemed to reinforce the case for tight political messaging based on the rule, as reported by Susan Delacourt in her book Shopping for Votes: "Do not talk of sacrifice, collective good, facts, problems or debate."

In other words, avoid complexity and controversy -- or anything else that assumes the voter is capable of accepting the responsibility of citizenship.

Interestingly, however, the NDP reached the height of its public support last spring when it ignored this conventional wisdom, risking controversy and complexity by standing up against legislation that initially seemed popular -- the Conservatives' "anti-terror" legislation, Bill C-51.

Back in my perch in journalism (with no plans to run again), I'm wondering if we're well served by a conventional wisdom that has reduced the voter to a simple-minded consumer who's only out for herself.

Could it be that the voter is actually hungry to be treated as a citizen -- that is, treated as someone (to paraphrase Canadian author Gilbert Reid) who's an adult, has an attention span, some knowledge of history and empathy for others, is patient, open to debate, and even willing to make sacrifices for the common good?

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