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…

Wilson-Raybould’s next political home?

The former Liberal cabinet minister doesn't fit the Conservative mould, nor does she belong with the NDP. So how about the Green Party?

Wilson-Raybould’s next political home?On April 2, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tossed former cabinet ministers Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott from the Liberal caucus. Their cabinet resignations on principle and subsequent removal from caucus two months into the SNC-Lavalin controversy appear to be unprecedented in Canadian politics. Wilson-Raybould and Philpott haven’t determined what they’ll do next – or at…
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