Greens Denied, Fallout, Auto Tales, Art Auction for Japan, Taxation Primer, Like a Crab, Auto Tales, Warren’s Stories
Our case for including the Green Party in the official leader's debates with pro and con articles, also various types of fallout from the disaster in Japan, link to a charity art auction for Japan in the Big London, useful primers on taxation in the OECD countries, the Libyan quagmire, Bill Gross's very serious warning about US debt, and Warren Buffet's warning about American democracy.
The 'will they or won’t they' let Elizabeth May join the leader’s debate has flared up again.
It is a mistake not to include the Green Party on three grounds: first, the Party won a large enough piece of the national vote in 2008 to qualify; second, it discourages voter participation; and third encourages bulkanisation of Canadian politics.
The discussion has been muddied because of competing matrixes for participation.
The best measure I think is the proportion of votes in the previous election. On that basis I think that because the Green Party polled 6.8% of the vote in the 2008 election it is unfair and undemocratic to exclude the Party from the debate. In Germany and New Zealand for example 5% of the popular vote is the threshold parties must pass in a proportional system of representation to obtain seats.
It is also obvious that in many respects Elizabeth May and the Green Party is more relevant to Canada than Gilles Duceppe and the Bloc Quebecois that polled 9.97% of the vote in 2008 but won 49 seats versus the Green Party's 6.8% of the vote and zero seats.
We would also argue that for a country where voter participation is low and falling, this decision makes revitalising politics in Canada more unlikely.
Refusing to include a nascent national party like the Green Party only encourages bulkanisation of Canadian politics.
Let the Green Party in.
For. Thanks to Lucinda of Edmonton for letting us about this.
Edmonton Journal -- Include May, skip debate about debate
Televised debate about the potential participants in a televised election debate is good for two things: ratings and, well, we'll get back to you on the other one.
Against. Thanks to David of London for sending this in.
National Post – Liz May Doesn’t Deserve to be in the Leader’s Debate
Good. Ms. May has no claim to a place at the podium.
Conservative majority call watch.
Globe and Mail – Liberals Narrow Gap to 6 Points in Campaign’s ‘First Possible Shift’
The Conservative lead over the Liberals literally shrunk overnight from 10 points to just over six.
The reaction of Japanese to dial down their lifestyles and the still next to zero level of economic activity in the quake-tsunami stricken areas of Japan are background to this article asking for everybody to consume, favour Tohoku products, and for the government to create a temporary disaster tax. Thanks to Jeremy of Tokyo for sending this in.
Asahi – Buy Tohoku Products to Support Rebuilding Efforts
Japan has been battered by a gigantic earthquake of unprecedented magnitude.
Economist – In Hot Water
FRUSTRATION is mounting once again about the dangers emerging from the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.
Related. Thanks to David of Victoria for sending this in.
STRATFOR – Dispatch: Japan’s Debt and Reconstruction
Analyst Matt Gertken examines Japan’s debt and how it affects reconstruction following the March 10th earthquake and tsunami.
Washington Post – The of Japan’s Power Grid
Japan’s electrical capacity is third in the world behind the United States and China, but damage and precautionary shutdowns from Friday’s earthquake and tsunami are straining its ability to meet demand.
Big Picture – Cesium Fallout from Fukushima Already Rivals Chernobyl
As I’ve previously noted, many experts say that the Fukushima plants will keep on leaking for months.
Having written a Ph.D. thesis on the Japanese automotive industry we still have a soft spot in our heart for well written reports on the state of the automotive industry. This on the risk to the global automotive industry from Japan’s earthquake-tsunami-nuclear disaster.
Pdf below -- Scotia Capital: Global Auto Report
Real Clear Markets -- Japan's Struggles Reveal the Absurdity of GDP
In his essential book Labyrinths of Prosperity, Canadian economist Reuven Brenner noted that for measuring country-specific economic growth, "Macroeconomics is a tautology and a myth, a dangerous one at that, sustaining the illusion that prosperity is necessarily linked with territory, national units, and government spending in general."
Quote worth quoting.
“The only closed economy is the world economy.” – Robert Mundell
Our good friend Marcus in London, England has sent in this notice of a charity art auction to raise funds to help people in Japan hurt by the earthquake-tsunami-nuclear disaster.
Art/Unity/Hope: An Art Event to Support the Japan Earthquake/Tsunami Relief Fund
An Art Event to Support the Japan Earthquake/Tsunami Relief Fund Organised by Takayuki Hara (Graduate and Tutor at City & Guilds of London Art School).
The Economist has three important articles on different ways of raising revenue, income, property and consumption. Canada is above the OECD average for income and property tax, below for consumption taxes while the United States is below the OECD average for income and consumption and above for property taxes.
New York Times – How To Get Out?
It was just 100 years ago that Italy decided to join the exclusive club of American and European colonial powers by attacking Libya.
Maybe when Mubarak stepped down with a minimum of violence the hope was that that would be the blueprint for regime change. Not in Libya.
Libya’s foreign minister defected to Britain on Wednesday, dealing a blow to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s government even as his forces pushed rebels into a panicked retreat and seized valuable towns they ceded just days ago under allied airstrikes.
Bill Gross’s warning about US debt levels.
PIMCO – Skunked
That adorable skunk, Pepé Le Pew, is one of my wife Sue’s favorite cartoon characters.
Interesting interview with Warren Buffett.
The Market -- Warren Buffett: The U.S. is moving toward plutocracy
The United States is moving toward plutocracy - government of the rich, not by the people, says Warren Buffett, in an exclusive interview with The Marker at Iscar's TaeguTec plant in South Korea.
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