Can we bring our disaffected youth back into the fold?

Cynicism and class divisions are leading to cultural insecurity, reducing tolerance and compassion. Something must change

Can we bring our disaffected youth back into the fold?The international landscape is in unprecedented flux, challenging assumptions of social, political and economic progress for youth everywhere. Globalization, technological advances, demographic pressures from global migration, sectarian and ideological conflicts, and economic disparities have all affected the cohesiveness of societies. Shifting unemployment patterns and doubts about the sustainability of social security systems and the environment…

Why Western civilization is abandoning progress for populism

The shocking rise of identity politics has shattered social unity, which seems to be unraveling like a cheap carpet. And that led to self-centred white identity

Why Western civilization is abandoning progress for populismJesus said it first but Abraham Lincoln said it best: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” We live in divisive times, with multiple challenges. But the greatest threat to our civilization is not climate change (as damaging as that may be), nor is it growing inequality or reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. The astonishing divide…

Language can calibrate a nation’s moral compass

From Abraham Lincoln to Martin Luther King to Donald Trump, America offers examples – good and bad – of the power of language

Language can calibrate a nation’s moral compassLanguage is a powerful tool for shaping a society's values. The manner in which a leader uses language can reset the moral compass of a nation. And it can influence, for better or worse, the behaviour of its citizenry. While public discourse in Canada isn’t perfect, it’s reasonably civil. Canadian politicians, though sometimes outspoken and critical…

The corrosion of social norms puts us all at risk

Insisting on righteous victory at any cost is the greasy slope to violence

The corrosion of social norms puts us all at riskOn the afternoon of May 22, 1856, Preston Brooks, a plantation owner and pro-slavery congressman from South Carolina, strode into the nearly deserted U.S. Senate chamber. There he accosted Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, who had been making a series of fiery abolitionist speeches. Brooks announced that Sumner had used insulting language toward his relative and…

Championing the human spirit in dispiriting times

The human spirit has evolved over several hundred thousand years and will survive Trump's crude behaviour

Championing the human spirit in dispiriting timesMore and more, Newton’s third law makes sense in my volunteer life: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. For many of us, these are dispiriting times. Trade wars, trashing of environmental regulations, insulting of long-term allies, and validation of racist and crude behaviours emanating from our American neighbours aren’t the norm…

Let’s get past the need for apologies about the past

If apologies must flow if reconciliation is to be achieved in Canada, native groups should also issue regrets for their bygone evils

Let’s get past the need for apologies about the pastBy Gerry Bowler and Rod Clifton Frontier Centre for Public Policy The string of calls for public apologies continues unabated. How many apologies are enough? Yet again, demands have been made that Pope Francis apologize for the role that the Catholic Church played in the Indian Residential School system. His refusal to do so has…

Bail reform is critical to achieve wider U.S. social justice

Simply not being able to afford to pay the gatekeeper is a positively medieval way to determine who walks free in our modern society

Bail reform is critical to achieve wider U.S. social justiceThink everyone in jail deserves to be there? Think again. Millions of people believe that everyone in jail is probably guilty of something. These ‘law and order’ types embrace incarceration as a deterrent to crime, even if it leads to dangerous and inhumane overcrowding. Challenge them with the facts that deterrence is hardly a given…

Social licence is just mob rule by another name

According to Brian Lee Crowley, social licence devotees disparage due process and are attacking the very foundations of democracy

Social licence is just mob rule by another nameThe logic of democracy is to democratize. Democratic desire is drawn toward the ideal of an ever-purer or more perfect democracy – one where the people’s will is expressed with immediacy. History offers many examples where immediacy has given way to democratic excess, be it the despotisms of Oliver Cromwell and Maximilien Robespierre, or the…

No-go zones around abortion clinics are unconstitutional

Free societies don’t dictate the correct answers to difficult questions, nor protect people from discomfort over their choices

No-go zones around abortion clinics are unconstitutionalAlberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman recently claimed that banning peaceful anti-abortion protests near abortion clinics is not about freedom of expression. Yet she has also expressed confidence that her new law would withstand a constitutional challenge. By speaking of a constitutional challenge, it seems that she knows that this new law tramples on free expression…

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…
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