Sunday, June 06, 2010

Sunday reads

A few things for lazy Sunday reading and thinking...

1. Someone sent me this a few days ago and I finally got around to reading it last night: "America's Perfect Storm of Fear." It's about the dominance of fear-based politics in a time of uncertainty and prescribing trust and transparency as the remedy. The excerpts on trust at the end are the most valuable. For leaders and parties trying to be the counterpart to the fear-mongers among us (be afraid of higher taxes, criminals, etc.), it's instructive (as was this guy). It makes you think about what kind of political climate we're living in and what to do about it in order to change it. Transparency is big.

UK PM David Cameron is pushing transparency relentlessly in Britain, in the aftermath of the expenses scandal yes, but also likely to overcome lingering doubts in the electorate about his political party. One of the additionally fascinating things about that election was the fact that the Tories had been out of power for 13 years yet people were still reluctant to turn the government over to them due to that hangover.

2. Speaking of David Cameron, Harper is quoted in Britain to Sky News speaking about Cameron:

“David’s intelligent, he’s enthusiastic, he’s energetic, and look I think he’s got a big plate in front of him. I’m delighted for David and I think he’ll do a great job,” he said.

“Canada and Britain have such a long and deep relationship, and not just built on history, but built on our shared values. I don’t think ultimately it matters that much, I mean we had a good working relationship with the previous Labour government, I anticipate we’ll have just as good a relationship with this Conservative government, and I think if the government changes in Canada we would have a good working relationship with the British government because we have such shared interests and values,” he said.

I don't read too much into that last thought but still, when do you ever hear Harper say things like that?

3. Nate Silver's 538 has been swallowed up by the New York Times. Licensing is what the kids are doing these days, will be interesting to see how it goes.

4. It is a gossip column after all. Things to remember.

5. Dan Gardner the other day, "Your tax dollars at work: a gazebo in the middle of nowhere."

6. Atrios on evolution. Simple but brilliantly put.

7. A funny note to end, the Guardian's cartoon today on the Con-Lib coalition.