A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘politics

[LINK] “On Twitter, Bernie Sanders’s supporters are becoming one of his biggest problems”

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Terrell Jermaine Starr describes in the Washington Post the decidedly unhelpful ways in which some Bernie Sanders supporters on social media are behaving–shall we say–non-constructively with people concerned about his record on racial issues.

Earlier this month, I announced on Twitter that I planned to report on the disconnect between Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and black voters. Immediately, some of Sanders’s self-described supporters raided my mentions with patronizing tweets.

Over the past few months, Sanders’s predominately white backers have used Twitter to target any black activist or journalist who dares question the candidate’s civil rights record. The battle reveals a long, simmering racial divide in the progressive movement that continues to go unacknowledged. If Sanders wants to win black voters, he’ll need to address it.

A series of Gallup polls this summer found that Sanders has a +13 favorability rating among African Americans, compared with Hillary Clinton’s +68 favorability rating. There are many reasons for Sanders’s poor polling with African American voters: his unknown name, the limited diversity of his home state, his shaky response to interactions with Black Lives Matter protesters. But the social media battles have shown that Sanders’s supporters also have become a major hurdle for the candidate in building a positive image with the black electorate.

The online clashes between some of Sanders’s white supporters and black voters came to a head after protesters interrupted the senator’s speech at Netroots Nation in July, demanding he speak candidly about police brutality. His defenders took their anger to the Web, with condescending blog posts and combative tweets that have continued unabated since[.]

Written by Randy McDonald

October 1, 2015 at 9:45 pm

[FORUM] How will you vote in the October federal election? (#elxn42)

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Andrew Cash, NDP MP for Davenport #toronto #andrewcash #ndp #davenport #elxn42

The above sign for Andrew Cash, since 2011 the NDP MP for my riding of Davenport, stands on the front yard of one of my neighbours. In August, I took a picture of Cash’s advertisement at Dufferin station, and I’ve been blogging about Andrew Cash since at least April 2011, when he appeared as a promising challenger.

Barring something unexpected, I’ll be voting for Andrew Cash as my MP, and by extension for the NDP, next month. The Conservative government’s reoord, like the chicanery over the census and information more generally that I blogged about earlier tonight at Demography Matters, is one I strongly dislike. As for the Liberal Party, well, Tim Harper’s Toronto Star article looking at Davenport says what needs to be said.

[Julie] Dzerowicz attended McGill with Trudeau and his senior advisor, Gerald Butts, and she, while working on the Jean Chrétien leadership campaign, sold Butts his first Liberal membership.

At the door one evening, mentions of Justin Trudeau brighten a number of voters along Caledonia Street and the Liberal leader was mobbed at the spring Portuguese Day parade, a Davenport ritual.

She approaches voters in Italian, Spanish and Portuguese at the door, but Dzerowicz is still working to introduce herself to voters here. Stroll the streets here with Cash, and voters are as apt to approach him as he is to greet them.

She, too, knows the anti-terror bill causes concern in this riding. She calls the bill “unacceptable” as it stands (the Liberals pushed for amendments, but ultimately supported it). She will push for further changes if that is what the voters in Davenport want her to do.

But here and in other ridings, the anti-terror bill works against the Liberals and plays to NDP strengths and one is left with the unmistakable sense that tepid Liberal support for the legislation is going to cost them election day.

The Liberals have a long way to go to regain credibility.

What about you? How do you plan to vote? Is there anything that might change your mind?

Written by Randy McDonald

September 28, 2015 at 3:58 am

[DM] “Two links on the census in Canada and on public institutional memory”

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At Demography Matters, I blog about Donovan Vincent’s Toronto Star article “Reviving the census debate” and about Anne Kingston’s front-cover article in MacLean’s, “Vanishing Canada: Why we’re all losers in Ottawa’s war on data”. Good data sources matter.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 28, 2015 at 1:52 am

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • blogTO notes a proposal to make the Gardiner Expressway an equivalent of New York City’s High Line park and observes the dropping of charges against Toronto rooftopping photographers.
  • Crooked Timber notes that Trump is a consummate populist.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze maps the WASP-33 system and suggests Uranus was formed by a planetary collision.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes progress has been made on synthetic telepathy.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money examines the myth of the failure of public housing in the United States and notes the perverted minds of anti-sex conservatives.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog links to scenarios for Jewish population growth.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at the vulnerability of Belarus and notes anti-German sentiment in Kaliningrad.

[LINK] Two Bloomberg links in separatism in Catalonia

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Maria Tadeo’s Bloomberg article “Catalonia Isn’t Really About to Break Away From Spain, Is It?” looks at the trajectory of Catalonian politics.

is Catalonia really about to break away from Spain?

Probably not, no. But regional President Artur Mas will likely get enough support to begin the process of secession and push for more powers. His mainstream pro-independence alliance Junts pel Si is projected to fall just short of a majority, and a smaller separatist group, the CUP, will probably get the movement over the 68-seat threshold.

While this will most likely be enough for the separatists to push on with their fight, without a majority of votes they will struggle to present this as a clear democratic mandate. Polls show votes for independence coming in below the 50 percent threshold.

What is Junts pel Si?

An alliance of separatist groups. Mas’s party, Convergencia, agreed to join forces with its traditional separatist rival Esquerra Republicana for this election after their attempts at holding a non-binding referendum were blocked last year.

They’ve been joined by figures from across Catalan society such as Bayern Munich soccer coach Pep Guardiola. The aim is to set aside differences on economic and social issues to bring the separatist vote together under one banner and send a clear signal to officials in Madrid.

Mas and Esquerra leader Oriol Junqueras have drawn up a road map that involves setting up a tax agency, a central bank, an army and securing access to the euro before declaring independence in 18 months’ time if they can secure a majority of 68 seats in the 135 strong regional assembly.

Mark Gilbert’s “Scotland Proved You Can’t Scare Catalonia Away From Independence” emphasizes the extent to which Spain has to make a positive case for itself.

Rajoy said this week that the pro-independence politicians have no concrete plans as to how they’d run a government, and that “Catalans aren’t being told the real consequences of independence.” Rajoy even suggested that Catalans would lose their EU citizenship. The Spanish central bank, meanwhile, insisted that cut loose from the mothership, the region would be kicked out of the European Union, barred from using the euro and would leave its banks without the support of the European Central Bank. And Miguel Cardenal, the Spanish minister for sports, has threatened to kick Catalonian soccer team Barcelona out of the national league.

Catalonia produces about 18 percent of Spain’s gross domestic product, so the region wouldn’t exactly be a pauper. Nevertheless, investors have reacted to the prospect of an escalating fight over independence by driving up the yield premium they demand for lending to the region by buying its bonds rather than those of the central government; they now charge Catalonia 3.25 percent for five-year money, which is about 2.3 percentage points more than the government pays. That’s almost double what the surcharge was six months ago

The U.K.’s eventual change of tactics in persuading Scotland to remain part of the union should provide Spain with a better guide as to how to hang on to Catalonia. Devolution — the transfer of tax and spending powers to the regions — has softened (though not silenced) Scottish calls for independence, and seems to have averted a Welsh move down the secessionist path. Andreu Mas-Colell, a former Harvard University economics professor who is the Spanish region’s finance chief, said a year ago that he was open to the idea. “The more attractive is the offer on the table, the more likely that the vote will end up developing as in Britain,” he said in October.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 25, 2015 at 7:43 pm

[DM] “On Joe Daniel, Syrian refugees, Eurabia, and the Canadian elections”

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I have a brief post at Demography Matters noting the dip of Toronto MP Joe Daniel into Eurabian conspiracy theories. At least, I conclude, the embrace of nativist and xenophobic myths by immigrants shows that integration is working. (Ha ha.)

Written by Randy McDonald

September 24, 2015 at 3:58 am

[LINK] “CBC to sell all property across Canada”

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Metronews shared this terrible news. Why is this being done? Getting rid of the property of the CBC is a good way to keep the CBC from being a content-generator in its own right. I quite hope this will be stopped, immediately, after the elections trigger a change in government.

On the same day Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau pledged to reverse $115 million worth of cuts to the CBC, the national broadcaster unveiled its plan to sell off all of its buildings.

The Canadian Media Guild said CBC announced at a staff town hall today that it will be “selling all its property across the country, including major production facilities in Montreal and Toronto.”

Ian Morrison, spokesperson for Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, had not yet heard about the announcement when reached by Torstar News Service Tuesday evening.

“It’s news to me,” he said, adding the broadcaster’s decision to sell real estate assets was akin to “burning the furniture to heat the home.”

Not only will this saddle the CBC with the need to pay rent forever, Morrison added, but the timing couldn’t be worse.

“This is a period of time when a government only makes caretaker decisions,” Morrison said. “It is widely understood during a general election you don’t do controversial things.”

Written by Randy McDonald

September 23, 2015 at 5:00 pm


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