What leaders really need is a healthy dose of decency

We need leaders who are smart, recognize people’s needs and do something positive to meet them

What leaders really need is a healthy dose of decencyNews about the COVID-19 virus has gone viral. Media coverage, ever-changing and often contradictory, screams at us from all directions. It inundates us as we work from home, self-isolate or have isolation thrust upon us. At times like this, we would do well to remember that life continues beyond the pandemic, even if the current…

The rise of Bernie Sanders’ ideas in the U.S. was inevitable

Corporate Democrats don’t seem to realize they’ve lost the trust of American people disillusioned by the lack of progress

The rise of Bernie Sanders’ ideas in the U.S. was inevitablePierre Trudeau once said to an American audience, “Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant … one is affected by every twitch and grunt.” The United States has built one of the most powerful empires the world has ever known. The founders created an ingenious system to allow for…

Wet’suwet’en dispute exposes system flaws

Resolving these Indigenous governance issues as well as cleaning up duty to consult policies is good for the First Nations involved as well as Canada

Wet’suwet’en dispute exposes system flawsIn January 2019, a group of breakaway hereditary chiefs from Wet'suwet'en First Nation in the interior of British Columbia erected a blockade on a remote forestry road in protest of the proposed Coastal GasLink pipeline to Kitimat, B.C. Eventually, the issues were addressed, the barricade came down and work on the site resumed. Observers worried…

Democracy can’t afford to stifle dissent and discussion

Protesters have silenced free speech through a combination of media pressure, inflated security costs claims, boycotts, riots and violence

Democracy can’t afford to stifle dissent and discussionThe Cancel Culture has claimed another victim. Renowned poet George Elliott Clarke has backed out of giving the University of Regina’s Woodrow Lloyd Lecture over accusations from Indigenous activists that he associates with another poet with a criminal background. His talk was to have been titled ‘Truth and Reconciliation;’ versus the ‘Murdered and Missing’: Examining…

Scheer’s departure shows political dissent has been crushed

Neither the Conservatives nor Scheer displayed the remotest capacity to fight back by hammering home the counter message about a Liberal Party in disarray

Scheer’s departure shows political dissent has been crushedIn the end, it’s probably just as well for both the Conservative Party and Canadians that leader Andrew Scheer resigned. Drawing, quartering and hanging might have been all the rage in the Elizabethan era. But it is, to paraphrase a certain prime minister, 2019, and no one gains today by having public political execution preceded…

Humanity faces a huge and growing crisis

The number of displaced, marginalized and impoverished people continues to grow. How we handle this will determine mankind’s future

Humanity faces a huge and growing crisisAt any given time, there are about 20 million people on the move in the world. When there’s war, terrorism, extreme weather events or other disruptions, this can grow to 80 million people trying to get to safety. We hear of illegal immigrants crossing borders and thousands of people walking north through Central America to…

A respectful Canada has room for disagreement

Closing politics and public life to those who are religious leaves us with a less tolerant society that brings fundamental freedoms into question

A respectful Canada has room for disagreementDisagreement is normal, if not necessary, in a healthy democracy. Being intolerant and disrespectful toward those with whom we disagree, however, is fatal to that democracy. Historically, Canadians have had the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (and the Bill of Rights before it) for protection. That’s especially important for racial, religious, political or sexual minorities,…

The revolution always eats its own children

History shows plenty of radicals who pushed too hard. We have plenty on today’s world stage

The revolution always eats its own childrenIn the summer and autumn of 1789, the French National Assembly overturned 1,000 years of law and custom to produce a modern constitutional democracy. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen spelled out all the new conditions of civil life: the abolition of feudalism and aristocratic titles, freedom from arbitrary arrest,…

Extinction Rebellion’s cult-like threat to society

Ultimately, they want nothing short of a transfer of democratic power to oligarchies of frantic enviro-zealots

Extinction Rebellion’s cult-like threat to societyCults obey a logic of their own rather than following the parameters of mainstream logic. Climate zealots who concertedly blockaded bridges and important public roads in order to help the planet against climate change defy common logic. Blockading traffic and at times endangering tens of thousands of commuters to pressure governments to listen to their…

God save the Queen – so she can save our country

God save the Queen – so she can save our countryIn my youth, I was embarrassed by Canada’s (seemingly) anachronistic constitutional monarchy. Why must we have a Queen, I raged? She doesn’t even live in our country. Why can’t we be a republic, like the United States? It wasn’t until recently that I began to question this view. Looking south of the border, I’m reminded…

What’s for dinner this campaign season?

Democracy is not something that merely happens in the natural course of events. And it’s not an unsavoury meal you push away from

What’s for dinner this campaign season?So begins the quadrennial Canadian season of sound with no substance, rhetoric with no relevance and promises with no perspective. In other words, dear reader, it’s election time. But wait, you cleverly elucidate, elections don’t manufacture vapid, gormless, pontificators; politicians are always with us, like potholes. Agreed: No, they don’t; and yes, they are. The…

Big tech created a fractious, annoyed, malfunctioning world

Where’s the evidence that the values this new world order has created produce happiness, fulfilment and the well-lived life?

Big tech created a fractious, annoyed, malfunctioning worldA great article by Andrew Marantz in a recent issue of the New Yorker called Silicon Valley’s Crisis of Conscience details the struggle of American big tech to find its soul. The central theme is the growing awareness of big tech CEOs and senior executives that their endeavours are causing massive societal psychological harm. None…

Giving voice to our concerns and desires validates democracy

Democracy in action illustrates how important it is for Canadians to talk with their government officials on all levels

Giving voice to our concerns and desires validates democracyOne of the most important tasks I have as a public school educator is empowering my students to take an active role in the Canadian political process. And if I’m going to ask my students to be active citizens, I need to model the desired behaviour. I’ve honestly been very impressed with the responses I’ve…

China’s crackdown in Hong Kong an ominous sign of the times

Populism some call it, but the consequence in many regions around the world has been a slippage into autocracy

China’s crackdown in Hong Kong an ominous sign of the timesIn 1972, Mitchell Sharp, Canadian secretary of state for external affairs, famously penned his Third Option doctrine. It was not exactly anti-American but it was American-anxious. The idea was to reduce Canada’s vulnerability to swings in mood and trade from the United States by diversifying our economic, cultural and political relations, especially toward rising powers…

Questioning government is fundamental to democracy

Freedom of speech, freedom of the press and academic freedom are core principles in the functioning of a democracy. Yet today those who embrace these ideals are seen as anti-American

Questioning government is fundamental to democracyJewish-American songwriter Bob Dylan tells us, “Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings.” We put democracy in peril when we equate questioning government policy with being unpatriotic or even racist. This is why the current situation in the United States is so puzzling. They actually established the international standard for good government…
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