Friday, September 29, 2023

News roundup, 29 Sept 2023

- Climate change, and the environment in general, has not been talked about very much during the Manitoba election campaign. This is understandable, given that the opposition parties are going for the low hanging fruit such as healthcare (a third of respondents in a recent poll say that the Tories' handling of the pandemic is in itself enough to disqualify them from office), but it's unfortunate nonetheless. Surprisingly, the Tories of all people are promising to fund transit improvements in suburban Winnipeg, which rings a bit hollow given how they spent most of their time in office cutting funding for that sort of thing, but it is a positive sign that they see this as something that suburbanites will reward them for, at least.

- The Cons have also been failing to renew funding for housing nonprofits, which is particularly unfortunate given that we have a housing crisis on top of other crises.

- A recent national poll by EKOS has included questions about whether people believe certain bits of disinformation (e.g. that the government is concealing numerous deaths from vaccines, that climate change is a hoax, that Canada's economy is doing worse than other G7 countries, etc) and correlated them with voting preferences. To the surprise of nobody who's paying attention, Conservative voters are considerably more deluded than the rest.

- The Saskatchewan government is preparing to use the notwithstanding clause to force through their legislation denying teachers and other school staff the freedom to keep secret things that their students have told them in confidence.

 - In the US, the UAW is expanding their strike. The fact that the strikers appear to have the support of Joe Biden is positive news, and not just for labour either - it suggests that Biden is willing to annoy the automakers. However, there's still a huge problem - a really sound climate policy will mean a downsizing of the entire auto industry, and this will be a hard sell indeed.

- The US is still barrelling towards a government shutdown, which will make things difficult for a lot of people. Possibly this will harm the Republicans' chances in next year's elections; stay tuned.

- A far-right broadcaster has called for the execution of Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce. That seems to be his style; a few weeks ago he was advocating the same punishment for Hunter Biden.

- Dianne Feinstein has died. Hopefully someone under, say, 70 years old can take her place.

- A guy tried to bring what he calls his "emotional support alligator" to a baseball game. As with the performance artist who tried to bring her "emotional support peacock" on a flight a few years ago, he and his alligator were turned away.

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