Sunday, March 10, 2019

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Ellie Mae O'Hagan writes about the need for economic equality to be at the core of any push to eliminate the gender gap. And PressProgress highlights how the Trudeau Libs have gone in the wrong direction with tax handouts which favour wealthy men.

- The BBC reports on Michelle Bachelet's message that inequality tends to go hand in hand with violations of human rights. And Ephrat Livni points out how the gig economy is based on little more than blatant attempts to evade a century's worth of protection for workers. 

- Alan Pyke discusses the Republicans' choice to reduce the IRS' resources to rein in large-scale tax evasion while encouraging increased scrutiny of low-income earners. Paul Morgan-Bentley reports on the open use of tax havens in the UK, while also pointing out how the Cons have raised large amounts of money from the people hoarding wealth offshore. And Jim Waterson and Alex Hern report on the massive pro-Brexit spending by a secretive group funded entirely by dark money.

- Charlie Smith writes that we shouldn't be surprised by the reality that Justin Trudeau is far more interested in serving SNC-Lavalin than citizens. And Jen St. Denis reports on a push by Democracy Watch and Dogwood for closer scrutiny of corporate donations to Canadian politicians and parties.

- And finally, Karl Nerenberg discusses the alternative the NDP can offer to a status quo of alternating Lib and Con corruption schemes:
For the NDP, the imperative of the current crisis is more an issue of responsibility than crass political opportunity.

Canadians deserve a viable alternative to the wounded Trudeau government other than the not-very-comforting Harper Conservatives, led by Scheer.

To position themselves as that progressive alternative, NDPers have to do more than call for an independent inquiry. They have to formulate clear, muscular, well-formulated -- and perhaps outside-the-box -- policy proposals.

For instance, what should the federal government do if SNC-Lavalin were to become a target for foreign takeover, perhaps piece by piece. Is there any course of action that would save jobs and expertise, and protect shareholders, other than in effect condoning corporate criminality by letting the company off the hook for serious crimes committed overseas?

What about some form of public, cooperative or community ownership? The Quebec government's public pension fund, the Caisse de dépôt et placement, already owns a significant chunk of SNC-Lavalin's publicly traded shares. Would it now be a good idea for the federal government to enter into talks with the Quebec government about a possible joint federal-provincial effort to transform SNC-Lavalin into some sort of entirely publicly owned entity? That is the sort of bold and creative thinking a focused and serious progressive party should be doing right now.

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