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Political nastiness in Canada – Ontario as an example: Ford’s cutting government & open for Business

Open for Business – or cutting $ for those who are not making ends meet? The nastiness toward the population who these MPs and MPPs have been elected to serve and whose taxes pay their salaries must be checked.  We the citizens cannot let the political nastiness they inflict have us voicing the words they use – when discussing the ‘other’ political parties  and on Social Media making everyone who has another view  the ‘other’ with put down quotes.

Changing the direction of society OR as our talking heads like to state – “the country” is really about changing everyday living and our lives. The power in the hands of a few – in Ontario the 75 members of the PC Party to shape our lives without a care says more about us citizens then the 75, names we cannot remember most of the time.  These 75 think they own Ontario and do not act like care takers of a province that they will leave in 4 years.

We in Ontario must hold them accountable daily by making our voices heard in their offices, by email or letters. Advocacy works.

When liked minded people get together with people who have different views – it is the ability to give and take that will bring the group to an understandings of an issue and outcomes rather than leaving it up to 75 politicians who in their dreams think the majority voted for them.  You may not get everything that you want on most issues but like most families who usually has to compromise when major issues are discussed, we have to do the same negotiations. Until we see each other as part the Canadian family – we will see those who do not see eye to eye with us as the other.

The issue now can have at least 3 key messages to discuss with each MPP/MP usually on a Friday when you can request a meeting as you are part of the Riding they serve. At the meeting have a letter signed by the group, take 2 other members of your group with you.  MPPs and MPs need to know that they cannot hold us, citizens, hostage because we do not have a high priced Lobbyist to lobby the government for us.  Imagine if these small groups multiplied and communicated with each other not as PCs, Liberals, or NDPs but as Canadians who wanted the best for Canada and Canadians. Large groups with their size lobby the government who will pander to them. But then they are only looking out for their group and do not speak for the all of us who wish to have input into government.  Working together to make change is important or we are allowing 75 mostly power-hungry politicians who owe their power to large contributors to make policies that affect our lives. Social Media is a place to let off steam and amounts to nothing. Change occurs only when agency is taken back by the citizens. Politicians come and go – we the citizen pay the horrific price when society fails.

How do we stop this current horrible Nastiness? This is one idea of how healing the political debate and taking back control of policies can occur – I am sure there are more ideas out there.

 

Merle Jacobs

From Rangoon to London then to Canada, now home. Professor at York U in Toronto. Equity Studies.

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Trust and its determinants -OECD Statistics Working Papers

This is a good read.

https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/economics/trust-and-its-determinants_869ef2ec-en

This paper describes the results of an international initiative on trust (Trustlab) run in six OECD countries between November 2016 and November 2017 (France, Germany, Italy, Korea, Slovenia and the United States). Trustlab combines cutting-edge techniques drawn from behavioural science and experimental economics with an extensive survey on the policy and contextual determinants of trust in others and trust in institutions, administered to representative samples of participants. The main results are as follows: 1) Self-reported measures of trust in institutions are validated experimentally, 2) Self-reported measures of trust in others capture a belief about trustworthiness (as well as altruistic preferences), whereas experimental measures rather capture willingness to cooperate and one’s own trustworthiness. Therefore, both measures are loosely related, and should be considered complementary rather than substitutes; 3) Perceptions of institutional performance strongly correlate with both trust in government and trust in others; 4) Perceived government integrity is the strongest determinant of trust in government; 5) In addition to indicators associated with social capital, such as neighbourhood connectedness and attitudes towards immigration, perceived satisfaction with public services, social preferences and expectations matter for trust in others; 6) There is a large scope for policy action, as an increase in all significant determinants of trust in government by one standard deviation may be conducive to an increase in trust by 30 to 60%.

Murtin, F., et al. (2018), “Trust and its determinants: Evidence from the Trustlab experiment”, OECD Statistics Working Papers, No. 2018/02, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/869ef2ec-en.

Merle Jacobs

From Rangoon to London then to Canada, now home. Professor at York U in Toronto. Equity Studies.

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EU monitoring mission arrives in Myanmar to investigate whether GSP should be withdrawn

Today the EU monitoring mission arrives in Myanmar to investigate whether GSP should be withdrawn. WRITER by: LARRY JAGAN

 

This would be catastrophic: Causing unemployment of anything upwards of 500,000; mass exodus of young women across the border looking for work and all the dangers trafficking entails. A loss of 2 billion in dollars in exports worsening trade deficit and putting further pressure on the Myanmar currency.

In today’s Bangkok Post for good measure, with more detailed analysis.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/news/1566338/hanging-by-a-thread

“The EU only restored Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) status for this sector in Myanmar in 2013, 16 years after suspending it to punish the previous military regime. The textile and footwear industry has grown by leaps and bounds in the past five years as a result.

“If the EU removes GSP, more than half the workforce employed in the garment sector are at risk of losing their jobs,” Khine Khine Nwe, secretary-general of the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association, told Asia Focus. More than 90% of them are young, unskilled women, with no alternative employment prospects.

“Chinese factories employ around 300,000 people,” she said. These Chinese investors were attracted to Myanmar because of the country’s easy access to the European market under GSP. If that is withdrawn, they will certainly pull out and relocate elsewhere, probably to Thailand or Vietnam, she predicted.

This would be tragic, she said, because these women sustain their families — on average five people: a spouse and at least three children. More than a million people would suffer directly as a result, she estimated.

“A slowdown in Myanmar’s emerging garment industry would also dramatically affect the textile supply chain — such as thread and buttons — and the supporting industries — embroidery, printing, production of polyester bags and cartons — that are important for the textile and garment industry,” Myint Soe, chairman of the garment manufacturers’ association, told Asia Focus.

Kristian Schmidt, the EU ambassador to Myanmar, elaborated on the plans for the visit of the monitoring mission this week.

“The mission will assess the country’s progress in respecting the core conditions on which the trade privileges are granted, including respect for human rights, and be informed by the reality on the ground,” he told Asia Focus.”

Merle Jacobs

From Rangoon to London then to Canada, now home. Professor at York U in Toronto. Equity Studies.

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I am back blogging – April 3rd, 2018 – Myanmar the OIC

 

My question – What is the link between the two articles? The OIC wants what? a space for all to live together or a separate state within Rakhine. Read both articles fully – I found them interesting.

Myanmar has friends in China and Russia who have the veto at the UN and therefore like Israel  is protected from the push and pull of other geopolitical interest.

 

OIC representatives to visit Rohingya camps on Friday

  • UNB
  • Published at 02:59 PM May 03, 2018

File PhotoSyed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

The 45th session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (OIC-CFM) will start Saturday

A high-profile delegation of representatives of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is going to visit Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar on Friday.

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali disclosed the matter in a press conference held at the ministry on Thursday.

Interested representatives of the OIC-member countries and its different organizations are going to the camps just a day before beginning the 45th session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (OIC-CFM) in Dhaka.

He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to open the two-day event at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Dhaka on Saturday.

The theme of this year’s council is “Islamic Values for Sustainable Peace, Solidarity, and Development,” the minister said.

Mahmood Ali said the Rohingya crisis will get a greater focus at the conference as there will be a special session on the issue.

He said over 550 representatives of the OIC and different international organisations, including around 40 ministers and state ministers, are expected to join the two-day event

 

US President Donald Trump has assured Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of continuing his country’s pressure for the safe and voluntary return of the Rohingya people to their homeland as he sent a letter to the premier in this regard.

“The United States will continue to pressure Myanmar to create necessary conditions for the safe and voluntary return of the Rohingya people to their homeland,” Trump said in the letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

US Ambassador in Dhaka Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat handed over the letter to the prime minister when she paid a courtesy call on her at her official Ganabhaban residence here this afternoon.

Merle Jacobs

From Rangoon to London then to Canada, now home. Professor at York U in Toronto. Equity Studies.

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Race is a determinant of health in Canada

Race is a determinant of health in Canada

I point us to a growing body of literature on how social and economic factors influence both the individual’s health as well as the health status of a population. It is the inherent power that controls resources, the physical environment and to shape health policy. Policies relating to social equality are poor cousins to efficiency and reforms that are part of a neoliberal and neoconservative agenda. This understanding of citizenship makes us recognise justice or injustice not only as moral reasoning but as the experiences of social relationships, transnational organisations, and the power of the state. Different patterns of inequality are present in our society with varying degrees of concerns from civil society, those effected or the state. Class, gender and culture are not the only determinants of power. Race also regulates relationships. In understanding health, social status indicators point to disparities that influence the human body. However, change is slow in rectifying the inequalities that lead to illness and early mortality for some in our society.  Every level of government ‘throws’ millions of dollars at various race problems or health crisis like SARS when it occurs in our society with little accountability or an actual action plan. When a crisis takes place in, impoverish neighbourhoods in Canada, the scrutiny of media and the public forces a formal reaction usually tied to funds being available from various levels of government to help solve the crisis without valid input from those affected. The Canadian Press (June 16, 2007) reported that regarding prescription cost there is a widening gap between the wealthy and the have-nots. If we place this as an issue, relating it to justice, it points us to the assumption that everyone in society should have economic resources to meet their basic needs. However, because of structural inequalities, the poor are getting poorer.

Understanding the social determinants of health shows us how to think critically about a better future and to look at the systemic problems and the structural problems that currently exists. Economically, powerful interest groups lobby governments and policies are made in their interest. As we examine the allocation of resources in Canada, we need to consider the lack of power of those groups at the bottom of our social hierarchy. One group furthers their interest by lobbying politicians’ while the other group hears political rhetoric that lacks accountability. Health Canada maintains information on the health of our population. Together with other studies (such as Kawachi et. al., 1997, 1999; Siegler 2003; Rapheal 2004) as well as the latest study on the homeless (Vincent, 2006), we have more than enough data to know if basic societal standards are met. Like all policy issues, we need action, not more studies.

Social justice is achieved when a baby, no matter who takes herhim home, has the same chances in life as the next infant. To a great part, illness, death, health and wellbeing are socially produced and are intertwined with competition for resources. We know from the Toronto Star that the Homeless census found 5,052 individuals in Toronto on the streets. One of the study’s disturbing findings is that the aboriginal community is overrepresented among the homeless. Aboriginals account for about 1 percent of Toronto’s population but comprise 26 percent of the homeless living outdoors. As well, they were also homeless longer, which is five years compared to about three years for the homeless population as a whole. (Vincent, Jun. 24, 2006). I argue the social determinants of health are an effective roadmap to recognise and identify social injustice within our society. When we review this roadmap, we find as in a society that race and racism are left outside the current framework and like society the dominant group controls what should be considered as important within this area of research. This attitude around race and racism leads to a lack of policy initiatives and resources in the field of race and health.

References:

Rapheal, Dennis (2004) “Social Determinants of Health: Canadian Perspectives.”  Toronto. Canadian Scholars’ Press Inc.

Vincent, Donovan. (2006) “Homeless Census finds 5, 052 homeless.” The Toronto Star Jun. 24. http://www.thestar.com

 

Merle Jacobs

From Rangoon to London then to Canada, now home. Professor at York U in Toronto. Equity Studies.

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