Monday, November 09, 2015

History of national symbols

Reading the political news 1
“It’s the ministry of symbols.” That’s how Mélanie Joly, the new Minister of Canadian Heritage, likes to talk about the portfolio she was handed on her very first day in public office.
...Heritage is now the ministry of progressive symbols, said the rookie Montreal MP. “It’s very interesting to be in charge of symbols of progressiveness. The past government didn’t have the same vision and values as Canadians...,” she said. “
I'm more of the general worldview of Mélanie Joly than of whoever it was had the title before her.

But, you know, this whole idea of it being the government's job to define what symbolizes Canadianness and what history stands for Canada ....  I'd rather let that job go out with the old government, and let Canadians define that. Reading this makes me want to say something that reflects an "unCanadian" value, just on principle.

Reading the political news 2

This is the best thing I've seen in a pretty thin set of responses so far to the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty draft.  It's from Jeffrey Sachs, the American development economist:
The TPP should be judged on whether it guarantees global economic well-being, not whether it gives advantages to the United States to the detriment of other countries. The ultimate goal of economic policy should be to raise the well-being of all parts of society, including the poor and middle class. Agreements that help the rich at the expense of the poor, capital at the expense of labor, or particular sectors at the expense of consumers, should be viewed with skepticism.
That last sentence pretty much sums up what he thinks the TPP is. He thinks it needs to be rejected, or at least renegotiated from the bottom up.

Chances the new Government of Canada will take that stand? Slim? None?
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