Brexit drama has historical echoes

The battle over Brexit isn’t the equivalent of the Second World War, but the outcome is shaping up to be a disaster on its own terms

Brexit drama has historical echoesFor sheer drama – or maybe that should be melodrama – Brexit’s unfolding twists and turns are hard to beat. If you’d scripted a fictional narrative along these lines, you’d be liable to criticism for one flight of fancy too many. British Prime Minister Theresa May’s last-minute decision to postpone a parliamentary vote on her…

A Brexit perspective with 55-year-old roots

Charles de Gaulle's view of the English should help inform the conversation about whether the U.K. belongs in Europe

A Brexit perspective with 55-year-old rootsWatching the fraught state of Brexit negotiations brought Charles de Gaulle to mind. On Jan. 14, 1963, de Gaulle – in his capacity as president of France – publicly blocked Britain’s entry into what was then known as the common market. “England,” he said, “is an island, sea-going, bound up by its trade, its markets,…

Meddling in other countries’ elections isn’t always outrageous

There are plenty of instances of foreign influence, including in Canada. Why is it okay for Kennedy and Obama but not Putin?

Meddling in other countries’ elections isn’t always outrageousYou’d have to be living in a cave to be unaware of the controversy over Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. And much of the related discussion has approached apocalyptic levels. We’re told that when one country meddles in another’s election, it’s a hostile act. Some have even likened it to war. But…

How soccer revitalizes nationalism

It’s difficult to detach the World Cup from patriotism, even among the most disenfranchised of citizens

How soccer revitalizes nationalismThe penetrating question of the 2018 World Cup of soccer is: Why do the large, powerful nations have short national anthems while the smaller countries have ones that go on forever? God Save the Queen (England) is over faster than you can say Bobby Charlton. But songs of Iceland and Peru seem more like six-part…

Ten shocks that could overturn our world

Future factors and potential disruptions that could have a truly transformative impact on life, society, government, the economy, and business

Ten shocks that could overturn our worldThe world is becoming increasingly aware that there is no such thing as ‘normal’ any more. Some say this near immunity to large scale shocks started with the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, Donald Trump’s election as U.S. President, and the revelations about fake news on social media influencing voters and elections around…

Politics, propaganda and the Bayeux Tapestry

French President Emmanuel Macron has loaned the historic depiction to Britain for public display. Is he taunting the English about Brexit?

Politics, propaganda and the Bayeux TapestryThe Bayeux Tapestry popped into the news a couple of weeks ago when French President Emmanuel Macron announced it would be loaned to Britain for public display. Immediately, people imputed political meaning. That’s nothing new. Indeed, it’s fair to say that the tapestry has been political from the get-go. Created in the late 11th century, the…

Turmoil in Europe puts union at a crossroads

The next few years will determine whether Europe’s current problems represent bumps in the road or a fundamental turning point in its grand vision

Turmoil in Europe puts union at a crossroadsImagine perusing your local newspaper one morning to discover the Province of Alberta had voted to secede from Canada and was in increasingly tense talks with the federal government over the terms of its departure. At the same time, the lower mainland of B.C. had voted to leave the province in a bitterly contested election…

The German election earthquake

The AfD has its share of political troglodytes but they are not Nazis

The German election earthquakeBy all accounts, Germany’s elections on Sunday turned out exactly as expected. Angela Merkel cruised to an easy victory. Her fourth term puts her on track to be the longest serving chancellor in the post-Second World War period and second only to Otto von Bismarck as Germany’s longest serving leader. Beneath the surface, however, the…

Meet Ireland’s new power pair

Polar opposites, Leo Varadkar and Arlene Foster together must help the Irish people navigate political and economic minefields

Meet Ireland’s new power pairLast week, I saw a photo of two Irish politicians standing together after a meeting in Dublin. One, Leo Varadkar, is the Republic of Ireland’s new prime minister. The other, Arlene Foster, is the leader of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). It would be hard to imagine a more unlikely pair. Varadkar is cool,…

The nationalism versus globalism debate explained

English journalist David Goodhart' new book states that much of current elite opinion would be soundly rejected by voters if ever openly expressed at the ballot box

The nationalism versus globalism debate explainedDavid Goodhart is an English journalist who founded and formerly edited the left-leaning, albeit contrarian, Prospect magazine. Now he’s described as a “post-liberal.” Or, as he says, something of an apostate. And Goodhart’s new book will do nothing to alter that changing reputation. The Road to Somewhere: The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics enthusiastically…