Thursday, October 24, 2013

Worth Reading – October 24, 2013

A collection of articles to stimulate the brain:

Developing sound approaches to cities is quite tricky. One of the big problems is the “one size fits all” idea. This article talks about why it is so hard to apply one city’s success to another.  

From the Kingston, The Whig (a paper never featured here before), apparently democratic engagement leads to a better sense of well-being. I can definitely appreciate why some of this might be true. Winning victories and feeling like you have input in the process is empowering and probably offers a sense of control.

Aaron Renn is one of my favourite urban bloggers to read, but I rarely feature his stuff because of the narrow context he often writes in. However, this week he had a post about how cities are ignoring the needs of those with the least to cultivate the upper-class of global urban residents in Chicago. Basically, the notion is that Chicago is taking public funds and putting them towards the well-off rather than supplying basic services to the disadvantaged.

The next two are about the developing Senate scandal.  From the National Post, Mike Duffy’s speech to the Senate revealing Stephen Harper’s (CPC – Calgary Southwest, AB) involvement in the cover-up. I hesitate to offer “the truth” about this story. I am heavily biased and think there’s a certain Shakespearean justice at play here.

Chantal Hebert of the Toronto Star says that the story here is more than just the Senate. The missteps of the Conservatives in the last few months illustrates that the Prime Minister is losing control of his party. I do not know if I buy that. Frankly it is a narrative that Mme. Hebert has been selling for over a year. If Stephen Harper’s party collapses around him history will bear her to be right, I’m sure.

It is with profound jealousy that residents of the troubled cities of Toronto and Vancouver must look at their peers in Alberta. Calgary and Edmonton elected new mayors of exceptional high quality in their local elections this week

I believe I have expressed my fondness for Myers Briggs earlier. I recognize its shortcomings, but I find the study of human personalities and temperaments fascinating. Researchers conducted personality tests and found certain types more common in certain geographic areas. 

Touching on one of the previous articles, this commenter says that Toronto needs more than an anti-Ford candidate, or a strong mayor like Naheed Nenshi (Calgary) or Don Iveson (Edmonton), but wholesale change in the political culture there

Journalists discussing the merit and usefulness of pundits and whether or not it has perpetuated lazy journalism

Premier Kathleen Wynne (OLP – Don Valley West) has convened 36 panels to discuss numerous issues confronting my home province. I like Premier Wynne, but I wish she would take some bold actions, such as on the transit file, and stop passing the buck for fear of losing her government.

The magnificent CGP Grey has a new YouTube video out explaining what is a country?

A tweet I came across today that I thought I’d share.

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