Came across an excellent article on the blog of Father Raymond J. DeSouza. Highlights include:
There is unusual excitement about the upcoming Toronto Centre byelection — unusual because there is excitement. The Tory candidate is a solid citizen, Geoff Pollock, but few expect the Conservatives to pick up the seat. So the attention is on the two star candidates, the Liberals’ Chrystia Freeland and the NDP’s Linda McQuaig. Authors of economic books, the race is being billed a rare contest between articulate advocates of serious policy reform.
With Freeland, that remains to be seen. A resident of New York City, Freeland’s book Plutocrats more points to a phenomenon — the rise of the super-rich — rather than proposes plausible policy responses. There is no such mystery with McQuaig, whose economic ideas and prescriptions are crystal clear. For decades she has railed against the “neo-liberal” economic consensus shared by the Conservatives and the Liberals. It is slightly awkward that Tom Mulcair is trying to fudge any NDP dissent from that consensus, but at least with McQuaig there is the potential of a good argument.
Both Freeland and McQuaig speak to the growing economic anxiety among classes that, in previous generations, prospered in good economic times — professionals, college graduates, skilled service workers, skilled and unskilled labour, civil servants. Recent decades have seen stagnant real wages among those groups, with the exception of public-sector workers, whose income and benefits have kept them rather insulated. High government indebtedness, especially at the provincial level, is now threatening those workers too.
Highly recommend the complete article.
- Linda McQuaig plays the ‘Just Visiting’ card against Chrystia Freeland (o.canada.com)
- Candidates debates: The right to participate and the obligation to participate (torontocentredebates.wordpress.com)
- Canadian politics: Judge party by candidates that challenge it (beaconnews.ca)