The big question about Alberta referendums is why?

The big question about Alberta referendums is why?Referendums have been the source of high anxiety and popular uprisings in recent years. Whether they’re a truly democratic way to make vital decisions that best serve the public interest is a matter of great debate. However, there really should be no debate – nine times out of 10, they’re a bad idea. Alberta Premier…

How First Nations communities can balance governance

How First Nations communities can balance governanceThe Indigenous commitment to democracy is at stake in the recent memorandum of understanding signed between the Wet’suwet’en, the province of British Columbia and the federal government. A majority of the elected Wet’suwet’en chiefs were incensed about the agreement, insisting the signing be postponed until they were consulted. While the elected chiefs were justified in…

Statue-toppling and the narrowness of righteous minds

Just because someone else’s history makes you uncomfortable doesn’t give you a moral licence to erase it from public space

Statue-toppling and the narrowness of righteous mindsIf I were a Brit – which I’m not – I’d be materially annoyed at the vandalization of Winston Churchill’s statue and the related attempts to remove it from its perch in London’s Parliament Square. And in keeping with today’s enthusiasm for rhetorical hyperbole, I’d be tempted to consider it the thin end of the…

Sweden forged a COVID-19 path that preserves freedom

The Swedish achievement in the face of international panic lies in remaining true to political traditions and democracy

Sweden forged a COVID-19 path that preserves freedomMuch attention has been given to Sweden for its distinct approach to COVID-19 among Western nations. As more jurisdictions wrestle with lifting economic restrictions, Sweden is praised and condemned. People readily condemn Prime Minister Stefan Löfven’s Social Democrat (Sweden’s NDP equivalent) government for not emulating China and for violating what Swedish academicians called the “lockdown…

One government after another fails in face of COVID-19

Governments around the world have been tardy, negligent, dysfunctional or otherwise an impediment to an aggressive and successful outcome

One government after another fails in face of COVID-19While residents around the world deal with restrictions imposed to minimize transmission of COVID-19, many wonder how we got into a predicament where thousands die, millions are infected, and millions more lose their jobs or investment nest eggs. There were preliminary indications as far back as Nov. 17 that some people who frequented the wet…

COVID-19 panic lacks scientific justification

The international lockdown is pointless and unnecessarily painful. Is this really a pandemic or just another round of the flu?

COVID-19 panic lacks scientific justificationU.S. Gen. George Patton once proclaimed: “Fear kills more people than death!” That makes as much sense as something baseball great Yogi Berra said: “No one goes to that restaurant anymore; it’s too crowded.” These days no one goes to the restaurant because the government freaked out and shut it down. But some eminent medical…

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,…
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