Thursday, January 10, 2013

Worth Reading - January 10, 2013

Between Idle No More, Chief Spence and the First Nations meeting with the Prime Minister tomorrow many of the news articles that have come to my attention have been on this topic. Still, I like to try to offer a bit of diversity in what I present.

Highly respected constitutional expert Peter Russell raises some very interested questions in regards to the Attiwapiskat and Idle No More debate – where is the Ontario government? The provinces have an important, and even constitutional, role to play, yet they have remained universally silent.

Martin Regg Cohn discusses the problems/crises facing Canada’s premiers. There are no easy answers and the economy, especially in Ontario, looks ready to list continually.

I am always looking out for ways for us to improve Parliament. One idea is to follow the New Zealanders and create seats in the House of Commons dedicated to indigenous peoples. Worthy of consideration, for sure. Though if I was PM I imagine I would just start appointing Aboriginal people to the Senate since that sort of institutional change would be difficult.

Frank Graves of Ekos polling has been doing a series of posts at iPolitics. One of my favourite so far is this one about the changing demographics in Canada and how that has been expressed politically. Graves warns this could lead to intergenerational strife and younger people increasingly feeling disconnected from the voting process. Likewise, I highly recommend his piece on social media – here.

I’ve decided to join these two articles together because even though they are written in the current moment they are addressing different parts of the problem. Andrew Coyne in the National Post argues that the Idle No More movement has significant disagreements internally and that that will ultimately limit its effectiveness.  Jonathan Kay of the same newspaper looks to the historical problems of Attiwapiskat. Sadly, at least from my perspective I cannot help but agree with many of the conclusions that Kay draws. Are the communities where these reserves located capable of sustaining a high standard of living that offers residents independence from government subsidy or unsustainable resources?

Finally, with another teacher protest occurring tomorrow it seems appropriate to showcase this article from the Globe and Mail that highlights the Liberal government’s strategy, which may be to leave EducationMinister Broten to twist in the wind.

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