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the public good

Austerity, privatization, deregulation, outsourcing -- yada, yada, yada -- all served up with noxious sides of deficit hysteria and tax cuts, not to mention the attendant knee-capping of government's ability to act. Brian Mulroney. Jean Chretien. Paul Martin. Nods to the knuckle-draggers aside, Harper's just peddling more of the same. Seriously, can anyone point to a substantive change in the country's direction over the past few decades?
It's been a while, but I've been thinking about the importance of civility as we ramp up for a fall election. I know, I know -- it's a bourgeois notion, shot through with elements of class and privilege and advantages not everyone has, but at its heart, isn't it really about treating each other with simple decency?
One of the hallmarks of contemporary political discourse, or more accurately, the sewer into which the modern right has dragged it, is the characterization of undesirable things as "political," and the corollary implication that anything tainted by the stench of "politics" is undesirable.