policy alternatives

Donald Trump’s real war isn’t with the media. Donald Trump’s real war is with the truth.

“There’s a strategy at work here. The Trump administration wants to persuade its supporters that they can’t trust anything said by the media — that the media is the enemy. The spat over crowd size is low-stakes — even kind of funny — but the groundwork is being laid for disputes that are not funny over what is and isn’t true. 

Delegitimizing the institutions that might report inconvenient or damaging facts about the president is important for an administration that has made a lot of impossible promises and takes office amid ethics concerns and potential scandals. It also gives the new administration a convenient scapegoat for their continued struggles with public opinion, and their potential future struggles with reality. 

It’s not difficult to imagine the Trump administration jumping from that, to disputing bad jobs numbers or claiming that their Obamacare replacement covers everyone when it actually throws millions of people off of health insurance.

So just remember, this is how the Trump era began: with a president saying he’s at war with the media and his press secretary lying to journalists about facts you could verify with a photograph. 

This is not an auspicious start. It’s the beginning of an administration that is at war with the truth.”


Trump calls for “major” investigation into voter fraud after stating that over 3 million people voted illegally in the Election. #AlternativeFact

I think it’s really cool that my work started to respect my “no pork/no alcohol” policy and get alternatives for me when we have special gatherings 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼


bylsma benches reinhart for the entire game on a “team policy violation.” alternatively, i call fucking bullshit and samson deserves so much better bye. BUF v. CBJ. 03.28.17

Gambling, selling drugs and guns, and encouraging people to smoke all create jobs and economic benefits too, but we rightly try to limit those activities when the harms outweigh the benefits. Pipelines and fossil fuel development are not great long-term job creators anyway, and pale in comparison to employment generated by the renewable energy sector. Although Canada is a major fossil fuel provider, a 2012 report by the Canada Centre for Policy Alternatives showed that less than 1 percent of Canadian workers were employed in extraction and production of oil, coal, and natural gas. The fact that the oil-producing province of Alberta was running consecutive budget deficits and experiencing increasing debt even before oil prices plummeted from more than $100 a barrel to well below $50 from summer 2014 to early the following year, and suffered even more as prices continued to drop, makes the economic arguments for increased exploitation and transportation suspect.
—  David Suzuki

anonymous asked:

hi sorry to bother you but i was wondering what are some reasons you hate stalin and the ussr so much? this might be a stupid question but im still new to socialism and my sources of information seem to be quite sympathetic to the way of the tank sometimes

Just getting around to this ask, sorry.

One of the most prime reasons is the Soviet-Nazi non-aggression pact, known formally as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. As the description implies, the MRP was a peace treaty signed between the Soviets and Nazis about a week before the invasion of Poland.

The Nazis commenced their invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939, and the Soviet Union theirs on 17 September of the same year (1 day before my birthday, but beside the point). The two nations divided up Poland, and despite having the manpower, Stalin and his officials maintained the secret pact and did not stand up to Germany until Hitler broke the pact with Operation Barabrossa on 22 June 1941.

Stalin himself used antisemitic buzzwords in his dissertations against Trotsky, who was Jewish, or at least of Jewish ancestry. The Soviet state-run press spoke of Jews as “groveling before the West,” helping “American imperialism,” “slavish imitation of bourgeois culture” and “bourgeois aestheticism.”

There was also the suggested “Jewish Autonomous Oblast”, which would’ve sequestered the Jewish population of the Soviet union in the far east, bordering the bitterly-cold Heilongjiang province in China. From Wikipedia, Stalin and Antisemitism:

To offset the growing Jewish national and religious aspirations of Zionism and to successfully categorize Soviet Jews under Stalin’s nationality policy an alternative to the Land of Israel was established with the help of Komzet and OZET in 1928. The Jewish Autonomous Oblast with the center in Birobidzhan in the Russian Far East was to become a “Soviet Zion”. Yiddish, rather than “reactionary” Hebrew, would be the national language, and proletarian socialist literature and arts would replace Judaism as the quintessence of culture. Despite a massive domestic and international state propaganda campaign, the Jewish population there never reached 30% (as of 2003 it was only about 1.2%). The experiment ground to a halt in the mid-1930s, during Stalin’s first campaign of purges, as local leaders were not spared during the purges.

I’m not Jewish, but their poor treatment in the Soviet Union is a major reason why I don’t stand behind it. The aesthetics might be nice, and we can respect legendary Nazi-killers like Vasiliy Zatzyev and Lyudmila Pavlichenko without looking up to statism or Stalinism.

The origins of the Soviet Union are even stranger. Lenin supported a system of state capitalism, which is what the Soviet Union started as, and what it remained as until its death in 1991. From Lenin, The Tax in Kind:

State capitalism would be a step forward as compared with the present state of affairs in our Soviet Republic. If in approximately six months’ time state capitalism became established in our Republic, this would be a great success and a sure guarantee that within a year socialism will have gained a permanently firm hold and will have become invincible in this country.

From Lenin, To the Russian Colony in North America:

The state capitalism, which is one of the principal aspects of the New Economic Policy, is, under Soviet power, a form of capitalism that is deliberately permitted and restricted by the working class. Our state capitalism differs essentially from the state capitalism in countries that have bourgeois governments in that the state with us is represented not by the bourgeoisie, but by the proletariat, who has succeeded in winning the full confidence of the peasantry.
Unfortunately, the introduction of state capitalism with us is not proceeding as quickly as we would like it. For example, so far we have not had a single important concession, and without foreign capital to help develop our economy, the latter’s quick rehabilitation is inconceivable. 

Additionally, the Soviets crushed anarchist movements in the Union. There was no room for error if you were in the Soviet Union- once the anarchists had served their purpose, they were often executed or “disappeared” to gulags.

The major example of this is the Kronstadt Rebellion. This originated when Soviet production plummeted and the anarchist sections of the Soviet Baltic Fleet deserted. They formed a new constitution of sorts in Petrograd:

  1. Immediate new elections to the Soviets; the present Soviets no longer express the wishes of the workers and peasants. The new elections should be held by secret ballot, and should be preceded by free electoral propaganda for all workers and peasants before the elections.
  2. Freedom of speech and of the press for workers and peasants, for the Anarchists, and for the Left Socialist parties.
  3. The right of assembly, and freedom for trade union and peasant associations.
  4. The organisation, at the latest on 10 March 1921, of a Conference of non-Party workers, soldiers and sailors of Petrograd, Kronstadt and the Petrograd District.
  5. The liberation of all political prisoners of the Socialist parties, and of all imprisoned workers and peasants, soldiers and sailors belonging to working class and peasant organisations.
  6. The election of a commission to look into the dossiers of all those detained in prisons and concentration camps.
  7. The abolition of all political sections in the armed forces; no political party should have privileges for the propagation of its ideas, or receive State subsidies to this end. In place of the political section, various cultural groups should be set up, deriving resources from the State.
  8. The immediate abolition of the militia detachments set up between towns and countryside.
  9. The equalisation of rations for all workers, except those engaged in dangerous or unhealthy jobs.
  10. The abolition of Party combat detachments in all military groups; the abolition of Party guards in factories and enterprises. If guards are required, they should be nominated, taking into account the views of the workers.
  11. The granting to the peasants of freedom of action on their own soil, and of the right to own cattle, provided they look after them themselves and do not employ hired labour.
  12. We request that all military units and officer trainee groups associate themselves with this resolution.
  13. We demand that the Press give proper publicity to this resolution.
  14. We demand the institution of mobile workers’ control groups.
  15. We demand that handicraft production be authorised, provided it does not utilise wage labour.[7]

The Soviets responded to this by labeling them as members of the Black Hundreds, who… didn’t actually exist anymore. They then forcibly retook the city from the socialists who had drafted a constitution and set out their goals in a fair manner, and executed upwards of 2000 people.

This is a long ask, and I can go into more detail if you need, but these transgressions are more than enough for most leftists to discard Soviet worship as a whole.

Democrats add to ‘Better Deal’ platform with a slew of pro-labor-union ideas
The main problem facing this installment of the “Better Deal” is one that's bedeviled every Democratic policy rollout: The difficulty of getting anyone to notice.
By https://www.facebook.com/daveweigel?fref=ts

Senate Democrats are rolling out another plank in their “Better Deal” platform today, a series of pro-labor reforms aimed at “strengthening the collective voice and negotiating rights of workers.”

Like the rest of the Democrats’ policy proposals, the eight-part labor plank has no serious chance of passage in a Republican-controlled Congress. Like previous planks on the economy and banking, it reflects talks among Democrats, their staff and outside analysts who want to see a more progressive party.

“Democrats are redoubling our commitment to working men and women with these proposals,” Senate Democratic Leader Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.) said in a statement. “We’re offering the middle class and those struggling to get there a better deal by taking on companies that undermine unions and underpay their workers, and beginning to unwind a rigged system that undermines every worker’s freedom to negotiate with their employer.”

The labor plank of the Better Deal is ambitious, anticipating court and National Labor Relations Board decisions that could go against unions in the next four years. Among them:

  • A “federal law that provides public workers with the same rights and freedom to engage in collective bargaining as their private sector counterparts,” designed to prevent the piecemeal right-to-work efforts that have taken off in Republican-run states since 2011.
  • A ban on state “right-to-work” laws altogether, as “they have been found to reduce union membership by up to 10 percent and have resulted in lower wages and decreased access to employer-provided health care and pensions.”
  • Making it easier to strike with a “ban [on] the permanent replacement of striking workers.”
  • Limiting employers’ ability to campaign against union drives. “When companies taint the election process by using captive audience meetings, the NLRB will set the corrupted election results aside and require the employer to bargain with the worker representative,” Democrats write in the Better Deal white paper.

The main problem facing this installment of the Better Deal is one that’s bedeviled every Democratic policy rollout: The difficulty of getting anyone to notice.

Democrats and activists always planned to use this week, long anticipated as the beginning of the GOP’s tax cut push, to propose policy alternatives. On Tuesday, Schumer and other Senate Democrats rolled out a plan to expand 401(k) plans, to exploit voter worry about how Republicans might tax those plans to pay for lower overall tax rates. The Democrats’ proposal: Allow people under 50 to save $24,500 in the plans annually, and people over 50 to save $30,500.

But the rollout of that plan, at a news conference attended by Capitol Hill reporters, got relatively scant coverage. The Better Deal is covered not as an ongoing messaging effort, but as one event in July that quickly lost voters’ attention. (“It quickly disappeared,” wrote Post columnist Dana Milbank on Tuesday night.)

(Continue Reading)

Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page | Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens

from Perspectives on Politics, 2014

Who governs? Who really rules? To what extent is the broad body of U.S. citizens sovereign, semisovereign, or largely powerless? These questions have animated much important work in the study of American politics. While this body of research is rich and variegated, it can loosely be divided into four families of theories: Majoritarian Electoral Democracy, Economic-Elite Domination, and two types of interest-group pluralism—Majoritarian Pluralism, in which the interests of all citizens are more or less equally represented, and Biased Pluralism, in which corporations, business associations, and professional groups predominate. Each of these perspectives makes different predictions about the independent influence upon U.S. policy making of four sets of actors: the Average Citizen or“median voter,” Economic Elites, and Mass-based or Business-oriented Interest Groups or industries.


Each of four theoretical traditions in the study of American politics—which can be characterized as theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy, Economic-Elite Domination, and two types of interest-group pluralism, Majoritarian Pluralism and Biased Pluralism—offers different predictions about which sets of actors have how much influence over public policy: average citizens; economic elites; and organized interest groups, mass-based or business-oriented. A great deal of empirical research speaks to the policy influence of one or another set of actors, but until recently it has not been possible to test these contrasting theoretical predictions against each other within a single statistical model. We report on an effort to do so, using a unique data set that includes measures of the key variables for 1,779 policy issues. Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic-Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism.

So, in case you wondered, the average citizen has functionally zero impact on policy, even when their ‘power’ is pulled together in interest groups. We are not living in a democracy, but an oligarchy.

some selections:

The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.

Our results provide substantial support for theories of Economic-Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism.


A final point: Even in a bivariate, descriptive sense,

our evidence indicates that the responsiveness of the U.S. political system when the general public wants government action is severely limited

. Because of the impediments to majority rule that were deliberately built into the U.S. political system—federalism, separation of powers, bicameralism—together with further impediments due to anti-majoritarian congressional rules and procedures, the system has a substantial status quo bias. Thus

when popular majorities favor the status quo, opposing a given policy change, they are likely to get their way; but when a majority—even a very large majority—of the public favors change, it is not likely to get what it wants.

In our 1,779 policy cases, narrow pro-change majorities of the public got the policy changes they wanted only about 30 percent of the time. More strikingly,

even overwhelmingly large pro-change majorities, with 80 percent of the public favoring a policy change, got that change only about 43 percent of the time


In any case, normative advocates of populistic democracy may not be enthusiastic about democracy by coincidence, in which ordinary citizens get what they want from government only when they happen to agree with elites or interest groups that are really calling the shots. When push comes to shove, actual influence matters.


By directly pitting the predictions of ideal-type theories against each other within a single statistical model (using a unique data set that includes imperfect but useful measures of the key independent variables for nearly two thousand policy issues), we have been able to produce some striking findings. One is the nearly total failure of “median voter” and other Majoritarian Electoral Democracy theories. When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.


Overall, net interest-group alignments are not significantly related to the preferences of average citizens. The net alignments of the most influential, business-oriented groups are negatively related to the average citizen’s wishes. So existing interest groups do not serve effectively as transmission belts for the wishes of the populace as a whole. “Potential groups” do not take up the slack, either, since average citizens’ preferences have little or no independent impact on policy after existing groups’ stands are controlled for.


Furthermore, the preferences of economic elites (as measured by our proxy, the preferences of “affluent” citizens) have far more independent impact upon policy change than the preferences of average citizens do. To be sure, this does not mean that ordinary citizens always lose out; they fairly often get the policies they favor, but only because those policies happen also to be preferred by the economically-elite citizens who wield the actual influence.


Of course our findings speak most directly to the “first face” of power: the ability of actors to shape policy outcomes on contested issues. But they also reflect—to some degree, at least—the “second face” of power: the ability to shape the agenda of issues that policy makers consider. The set of policy alternatives that we analyze is considerably broader than the set discussed seriously by policy makers or brought to a vote in Congress, and our alternatives are (on average) more popular among the general public than among interest groups. Thus the fate of these policies can reflect policy makers’ refusing to consider them rather than considering but rejecting them. (From our data we cannot distinguish between the two.) Our results speak less clearly to the “third face” of power: the ability of elites to shape the public’s preferences.49 We know that interest groups and policy makers themselves often devote considerable effort to shaping opinion. If they are successful, this might help explain the high correlation we find between elite and mass preferences. But it cannot have greatly inflated our estimate of average citizens’ influence on policy making, which is near zero.


All in all, we believe that the public is likely to be a more certain guardian of its own interests than any feasible alternative.


Despite the seemingly strong empirical support in previous studies for theories of majoritarian democracy, our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts. Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association, and a wide- spread (if still contested) franchise. But we believe that if policymaking is dominated by powerful business organizations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened.

(Photo Credit: ZEMOS98)

“There are a number of reasons why city governments are particularly well-placed to lead resistance to Trumpism. Most obviously, much of the popular opposition to Trump is physically located in cities. With their younger, more ethnically diverse demographics, urban voters swung heavily against Trump… Not only did Clinton win 31 of the nation’s 35 largest cities, but she beat Trump by 59% to 35% in all cities with populations of over 50,000. In most of urban America, then, there are progressive majorities that can be harnessed to challenge Trump’s toxic discourse and policy agenda.

But alternative policies will not be enough to create an effective challenge to Trump; different ways of doing politics will also be needed, and local politics has great potential in this regard. As the level of government closest to the people, municipalities are uniquely able to generate new, citizen-led and participatory models of politics that return a sense of agency and belonging to people’s lives. This new process must have feminism at its heart; it must recognize that the personal and the political are intimately connected, something that is clearer at the local level than at any other. 

It’s for this reason that the municipalist movement need not be limited to the largest cities… Bringing the political conversation back to the local level also has a particular advantage in the current context; the city provides a frame with which to challenge the rise of xenophobic nationalism. Cities are spaces in which we can talk about reclaiming popular sovereignty for a demos other than the nation, where we can reimagine identity and belonging based on participation in civic life rather than the passport we hold.”

– America needs a network of rebel cities to stand up to Trump

mattykinsel  asked:

Ago I'm aware by now tax breaks are crappy, but reading the list of companies w $ given to them.. I was always told we prop up these industries bc they're important to keep the country going, eg automobile industries, planes etc. Thoughts ? Thank you!!

There is very little evidence that tax breaks actually create jobs or significantly boost the economy.

So its a double whammy. You’re losing important government revenue which could be spent on a whole array of important social and economic policies, while at the same time enriching the 1% with money they don’t need and will never spend:

There’s little evidence that corporate tax cuts create jobs

Canada’s corporate tax cuts didn’t create jobs, they created corporate cash hoarding

Corporate tax cuts not delivering on job creation: Canadian Centre For Policy Alternatives

Corporate tax cuts don’t stimulate investment: Canadian Centre For Policy Alternatives

Corporate Tax Cuts Have Made Canada a Poorer Country

Will company tax cuts really boost jobs or investment? The evidence is thin (Australia)

There are a number of reasons why city governments are particularly well-placed to lead resistance to Trumpism. Most obviously, much of the popular opposition to Trump is physically located in cities. With their younger, more ethnically diverse demographics, urban voters swung heavily against Trump and, in fact, played a large role in handing Hillary Clinton the majority of the national popular vote. Not only did Clinton win 31 of the nation’s 35 largest cities, but she beat Trump by 59% to 35% in all cities with populations of over 50,000. In most of urban America, then, there are progressive majorities that can be harnessed to challenge Trump’s toxic discourse and policy agenda.

But alternative policies will not be enough to create an effective challenge to Trump; different ways of doing politics will also be needed, and local politics has great potential in this regard. As the level of government closest to the people, municipalities are uniquely able to generate new, citizen-led and participatory models of politics that return a sense of agency and belonging to people’s lives. This new process must have feminism at its heart; it must recognize that the personal and the political are intimately connected, something that is clearer at the local level than at any other.

flakmaniak  asked:

You mentioned disliking BDS before, because of some things that people did, but I'm confused... Isn't BDS a policy position, as opposed to a specific group or groups? That is, isn't BDS distinct from the actions of BDS-supporting people? What alternate policy would you suggest to change Israel's behavior? (Or were you just complaining about BDS-supporting people, the way one might complain about "feminists" without decrying specific feminist policies.)

My complaint is about both. I have a lot of concerns about BDS movement norms and behavior, I think as a community it’s incredibly toxic, but I also think BDS actively makes a peaceful resolution in Israel less likely. 

Sanctions can be disastrous to do halfheartedly - if you succeed in communicating “the global community hates you and holds you in contempt” but fail at making the hatred and contempt have sufficiently bad consequences, then you just fuel nationalist sentiment in the country you’re targeting. This is something I’ve personally witnessed happening in Israel and something I’ve seen analysts of the sanctions on Iran say happened there as well. (I think it also may be part of what went wrong with various U.S. efforts to interfere with  governments that were too communist: we threw tantrums and then found out that we actually had way less leverage than we’d hoped for and that “the Americans hate us” was often a selling point.)

The U.N. has condemned Israel something like seventy times, more than it has condemned everyone else in the world combined. At this point, therefore, U.N. condemnations have zero impact on Israeli behavior. We had ammunition and we spent it. BDS is making the same mistake on a dozen more fronts.

Secondly, if you succeed in getting colleges not to accept Israeli grad students or invite Israelis to conferences, then you’ve blown up all the indirect social leverage you have. You had a carrot and you turned it into a stick and lit it on fire and now have zero influence.

BDS is also, as far as I can tell, not at all responsive to actual changes in Israeli policy. Cede some territory? No mention, no reduction in sanctions, no change in the proposed course of action. Publish a map for peace talks? No mention, no change in the proposed course of action. On the other side, too - conduct a bombing campaign? Lots of criticism, but no change in the proposed course of action. BDS is already pulling out all the stops, so it can’t threaten more when Israel does something wrong - and it has made the strategic call not to acknowledge anything Israel does right, which I think is a bad one.

Sanctions that were responsive to government policy could get something done. Saying “aid is tied to Palestinian child mortality rates” would probably get you somewhere.  Saying “aid is tied to checkpoint wait times and processing” would probably get you somewhere. Saying “aid is tied to publishing a proposed territory division for a two-state solution” might even get you somewhere. Peace is a process, and BDS’s form of sanctions isn’t responsive to anything in that process except the final result. 

So anyone who despairs of achieving what BDS wants - which is everyone in Israel I’ve spoken to, even the ones who are furious about the injustices and committed to fighting them - has no incentive to listen to them, no matter how awful the consequences of failing. Upping the stakes only gives you more leverage if the people who will suffer actually have the power to change the thing you’re hurting them for.

This comes across as harsher than i intend it, because all these things that make BDS a terrible approach on its own make BDS brilliant as one prong of a multi-pronged peace strategy: they are the scary unreasonable impossible-to-satisfy ones, and then someone else sits down at the table and is actually willing to talk and hopefully the Israeli government is so relieved that they’re more inclined to make concessions. That tactic has a long history of successes. But that second prong, who demands achievable concessions and checks whether they’ve happened and fights to make sure diplomatic recognition and aid are tied to them? It doesn’t exist. And without it, BDS is achieving nothing and fueling the Israeli right, which is really scary. 

A question about tagging.

Important Mod Note: it should go without saying, but if any of Lore’s followers reading this suspect they know who this anon is, please DO NOT send them any grief.  Or contact them at all, for that matter.  Lore is more than capable of taking care of himself, and while the ask maybe could have been phrased more diplomatically, the request is not inherently unreasonable.  There is zero reason to start any new drama.

If, however, anyone else feels Lore’s liveblog posts would be better served without the Steven Universe tag, please feel free to send us an ask letting us know, so that Lore may consider alternate options. /Mod Note

It would have been nice if you had asked this off anon.  An individual reply from our end would have been more appropriate and discrete, and would have allowed Lore to address your concerns directly.  That said, I will call @loreweaver-universe’s attention to this ask, and he may choose to answer directly or consider alternate tagging policies as he wishes.

Frankly though, anon, I think the easy answer here is obvious.  Just block him.  That’s what the functionality is there for.  It’s easy to do.  Two seconds to block a poster you don’t enjoy reading, and your tag is free of their posts that you find so annoying, while leaving them there for those who do enjoy them.

* whoops, sorry Lore, I didn’t notice that you had started the next episode while I was fielding these.  I wouldn’t have posted it up while you were doing your thing had I noticed….  ~sception

The Harper government has also shown pro- corporate bias in its review of charitable tax status of organizations doing health-related work. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, a research institute that favours public health care, has gone through a gruelling two-year audit by the Canada Revenue Agency. The right wing Fraser Institute, which promotes the privatization of health care and receives funding from the U.S. oil billionaire Koch brothers to advocate for the oil industry, has not.
—  Maude Barlow - Broken Covenant

fishermod  asked:

What impacts do you yhink cancelling the KM pipeline will have on the economy? My mom thinks the voiding of all these contracts will cause a big recession, and KM will just ship the oil by truck and make the environmental situation even worse than it would with the pipeline. I'm suspicious, but don't have any hard data to counter it with.

It won’t have any immediate effect, because Construction will still take several years to build the pipeline. Any economic benefits from the twinning of Kinder Morgan’s pipeline are years away. And no province is dependent on any 1 single project. That holds true for Alberta too.

Also one of the major arguments of oil pipelines to the coast is to sell oil overseas, but that has shaky economic logic:

Kinder Morgan Approval Insults Democracy, Science and Economic Logic

Economist warns insufficient oil demand hinders Trans Mountain pipeline

Eco-tourism worth billions trumps value of Kinder Morgan project, new report argues

Kinder Morgan pipeline spill could cost Vancouver $1.2 billion

Plus, Oil Spills from Bitumen pipelines like Kinder Morgan cannot be effectively cleaned up:

Review of 9,000 Studies Finds We Know Squat About Bitumen Spills in Ocean Environments

Nobody ships oil by truck in any capacity. Fear mongering over oil by rail is also a misnomer:

Pipeline Versus Rail ‘Debate’ Sticks Canadians With A False Choice

How the Spectre of Oil Trains is Deceptively Used to Push Pipelines

Also its not as if Alberta has a shortage of pipelines, besides Kinder Morgan, Line 3 and Keystone XL has been approved, and Energy East could come online too (along with the many other pipelines Alberta already has online right now). And Kinder Morgan’s pipeline already exists. Its already sending oil.

Also Alberta doesn’t need Kinder Morgan to meet capacity:

The ‘Canada Needs More Pipelines’ Myth, Busted

“In the briefing, titled “Canada Not Running Out of Pipeline Capacity,” authors Adam Scott and Greg Muttitt point out that there’s around 400,000 barrels/day of unused capacity in the network, easily accommodating exports for projects currently operating and under construction.

This calculation was derived from the organization’s Integrated North American Pipeline model, which then concluded the network was 89 per cent full.

As a result, the only reason that new pipelines like Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain and TransCanada’s Energy East would be required is if there’s a massive expansion of the oilsands, a move that would arguably undermine the Paris Agreement and other international climate commitments (an argument also made by David Hughes in his thorough June 2016 report for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives).”

So if you believe the Conservative rhetoric on the economy (which, y'know, I don’t and as an economics major I would advise you all to be suspicious of it but that’s beside the point) I honestly think you still have a decision to make.

You have to decide whether the mistreatment of the aboriginal peoples of Canada is less important. 

Whether our refusal to help refugees in any significant capacity (while still calling ourselves leaders in that department) is less important.

Whether the muzzling of government scientists is less important. 

 Whether the lack of help for Canadians abroad such as Neil Bantleman and Mohamed Fahmy is less important. 

 Whether the rampant Islamophobia being pushed is less important. 

 Whether the complete disregard for our environment is less important. 

 Whether the attacks on religious freedom are less important. 

 Whether Bills C-51 and C-24 and their implications for privacy and citizenship are less important. 

 Whether the attacks on democracy - the Senate scandal, the robo-calls, the new voter act - are less important. 

 Whether the cutting of resources and lack of support for our veterans is less important. 

Whether the tough-on-crime legislation that further marginalizes the poor, the sick, and actually does not at all reduce crime rates, is less important. 

Whether the consistent blocking of of safe injection sites - a policy that puts addicts at risk for ideological reasons when it is so easy to help out these marginalized people - is less important. 

 Whether the countless other instances of Conservative discrimination against minorities and the poor and vulnerable of this country is less important. 

 If after taking all of that into consideration, you still want another Harper government, then vote Conservative. But be perfectly aware that this is what you’re voting for.