Thursday, February 7, 2013

Worth Reading – February 7, 2013

Much like with their last report, Samara Canada’s Lost in Translation or Just Lost? created a stir in the media. The Globe and Mail has run a series alongside the report about how to fix the House of Commons and improve our democracy. My post from earlier this week drew on it for inspiration.

Greg Fingas at his blog Accidental Deliberations wrote a piece analyzing the NDP’s move to reform the way provinces could secede from Canada. Fingas lays out not only the legal and philosophical reasons for these changes, but also the political and strategic ones. 

Jeff Simpson in the Globe and Mail excoriates the political leadership of Alberta of leaving the province in a lurch following the inevitable bust in the energy sector. It is not as though Albertans don’t realize the problem, I suppose the question is, is there the political will to act?

According to Den Tandt the strategy of the Liberal leadership contenders is not to bruise Justin Trudeau (LPC – Papineau, QC) too badly before the leadership convention. The candidates should be throwing all they have at Trudeau to win, but refuse. This weak leadership race hurts the Liberal Party in their efforts to recover.

Part of the Globe’s Reinventing Parliament series, with digital technology do we need the House of Commons? I would say any promotion of direct democracy is foolish. Citizens cannot clearly express themselves in yes or no questions. Looking at a state like California it is evident that direct democracy has done more harm than good. Governance is about making hard choices and facing the consequences, the public may be far less willing to make those choices themselves.

Michael Ignatieff, former MP and Liberal leader, also contributed to the Reinventing Parliament series. In it he discusses the dangerous repercussions of centralized power in the executive. Former-leaders always seemed poised to make these criticism, I await the day when current leaders in power do.

Aaron Wherry of Macleans’ discusses the Parliament Budget Office and how it should be reformed to improve it and why some proposals will only make things worse

This week we say farewell to our dear friend the penny, another tragic victim of inflation. 

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