Sunday, May 26, 2019

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Jo Davies points out the widespread recognition that Canadian corporations need to pay their fair share for a functional society. And Eric Levitz notes that Donald Trump and other right-wing pseudo-populists are ensuring the opposite, as the IRS has stopped any meaningful enforcement action against the wealthy since Trump and the Republicans have been in a position to direct its actions.

- Tom Parkin points out the profound impact activism can have in changing and saving lives. And Dave Meslin discusses the need to tear down our current political structures in order to build a sustainable society:
What if the greatest challenges of our time can’t be solved by our current political system at all? Indeed, what if the greatest challenges of our time are a direct result of our decaying political system? The symptoms are clear: Legislatures have descended into mob-driven battlegrounds. Centralized power within parties has transformed our elected representatives into trained seals who clap or jeer on cue, voting as they’re told. Growing cynicism and frustration among voters are leading to lower and lower levels of political participation. Corporate lobbyists continue to wield enormous influence. And we are constantly facing fishtail legislation: the absurd reality that each new government spends their first year in office undoing whatever the previous government had done.

None of this serves the public interest. In fact, all of it is holding us back from what we are capable of.
The first step is to overcome our fear of using words such as “rigged” or "broken” to describe our political state. There’s a concern that attacking our democratic institutions only serves to empower extremist ideologues. But the opposite is true. When we turn a blind eye to the need for radical change, it’s those very extremist leaders who happily take advantage of the vacuum and use it for their own purposes. We’ve seen the electoral results of this.

It’s time to change course. Pretending that that we can use our current political ecosystem to bring about meaningful change is not only negligent, it’s a guaranteed recipe for environmental suicide.

We need a political uprising of passionate activists and leaders, prepared to prescribe and implement surgical interventions that will change the tone, shape and nature of power. Ours is a battle for inclusive governance, for deliberative and thoughtful decision-making and for elections that offer real choice and representative results. It’s a fight to inject some humanity into our democracy, for a new culture of political engagement and for decentralized and participatory local government, throwing open the doors to a system that is currently designed as an insider’s game.
- Joel French writes about the need for Alberta to pay attention to both its own youth and the rest of the world, rather than wrongly assuming that it can rely indefinitely on expiring industries without a plan to transition to a modern economy. And Carol Kroeger comments on the shortsightedness of ruling out - and demonizing - any carbon pricing as one of the means of averting a total climate breakdown. 

- Finally, Shael Polakow-Suransky writes about the need to ensure early childhood education in order to ensure that every child has a fair chance in life. And Sandra Black, Paul Devereux, Petter Lundborg and Kaveh Majlesi highlight how wealth disparities are passed on between generations. 

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