From a progressive point of view, the last days of the year were…less than ideal. Between Conservative re-election and Brexit in the UK, climate change-linked fires in Australia and a failure of global leadership at the Madrid climate change conference, Jason Kenney and his minions on a rampage and Trump and more Trump, I’m not sorry to see the back of 2019.
In recent years, progressives and social democrats have begun to embrace a much bolder tax fairness agenda than was the case even five years ago. This is especially true in the United States where Democratic Presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have both made the case for a significant tax on large holdings of wealth, the closure of personal tax loopholes for investment income such as stock options, and serious corporate tax reform. In the 2019 federal election, the NDP similarly called for a wealth tax, higher taxation of capital gains in the personal income tax system, and a higher corporate tax rate.
Our world is full of highly divisive politics. In western Europe, the UK has been consumed by the Brexit debate for more than three years. Further east, in Poland and Hungary, authoritarian leaders are threatening their political opponents. There is turmoil and unrest in Central and South America. In the US, President Trump may well be impeached before the end of this year. In Canada, we have our own “Mini” Brexiteers led by Jason Kenney, who thinks nothing of consorting with extremists and playing footsie with separatists, all in a transparent ploy to distract from his regressive budget cuts.