Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society provides grassroots leadership and an inclusive process, with a voice for all community members, to ensure that our community grows and develops in a way that incorporates an environmental ethic, offers a range of housing and transportation choices, encourages a vibrant and cultural life and supports sustainable, meaningful employment and business opportunities.

Monday, July 27, 2015

What kind of security do we want?

Harper Is Right: This Election Is about Security Versus Risk

It's our nation's ruthless economic insecurity that Canadians must weigh.
By Murray Dobbin, 24 Jul 2015, 

Stephen Harper chose the Calgary Stampede (now Rachel Notley country) to launch the theme of the now full-blown election campaign. Harper proclaimed he was confident that "this October Canadians will choose security over risk." Let's hope so. The question is, of course, what kind of security and risk are we talking about? Political language is never simple or straightforward. It is subject to sophisticated manipulation by professional word-smiths and public relations experts. The choice of what language to use is subject to hundreds of hours of deliberation and enormous resources, because if you get it right, you usually win. If you get it wrong, well, it's a lot harder. Getting it right means no one even suspects you of manipulating them.

Experts in the art of issue framing will tell you that those who frame an issue first have a huge advantage, because they force their opponents to reframe it -- in other words get you to take the time to reconsider what the words actually mean. Maybe that is why neither the Liberals nor the NDP have taken the trouble to challenge Harper's framing of the security issue as exclusively a foreign policy and military issue: security against terrorism.

That's unfortunate, because not only is Harper vulnerable on his own limited anti-terror grounds, he is extremely vulnerable when it comes to the kind of security that actually affects millions of Canadians. When it comes to economic and social security, the vast majority of Canadians haven't been this insecure since the Great Depression.

It's not as if we don't know the numbers -- 60 per cent of Canadians just two weeks away from financial crisis if they lose their job; record high personal indebtedness; real wages virtually flat for the past 25 years; a terrible work-life balance situation for most working people (and getting worse); labour standard protections that now exist only on paper; the second highest percentage of low-paying jobs in the OECD; young people forced into working for nothing on phony apprenticeships; levels of economic (both income and wealth) inequality not seen since 1928. Throw in the diminishing "social wage" (Medicare, education, home care, child care, etc.) and the situation is truly grim.

Go to the link above to read the entire article.

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