There’s a reason western philosophy is dominant

Whatever you may say about the other great civilizations, they did not champion the idea of individual liberty

There’s a reason western philosophy is dominantGiven the world's political turmoil, unending wars and wildfires devastating cities, you might be surprised to learn that a vicious battle is raging in the hallowed corridors of academia. It appears that universities in developed countries are teaching western philosophy without giving equal status to the philosophical teachings of Indian, Chinese, Islamic or Native American scholars.…

Putting proportional representation to work

The implications of introducing proportional representation to Canada

Putting proportional representation to workCanadians want greater congruence between votes and legislative seats. And we want better representation of women, minority groups and ideas in the houses of government. Those powerful incentives make proportional representation attractive. The main draw of proportional representation (PR) is that the seats that parties receive in elections correlate roughly with their share of the popular vote. The…

Modern democracies may be ungovernable

Change is upon us, driven by the electorate’s unhappiness with traditional government economic solutions

Modern democracies may be ungovernableNobody said governing was easy, but lately, governing a democracy has become virtually impossible. In particular, in our divided societies, it seems producing a sensible budget is a thing of the past. The divide in sensibilities is no more apparent than in Canada. A decade of austere Stephen Harper conservatism so divided the nation that…

How to save journalism in Canada

An impediment to any new news media model is the taxpayer subsidized CBC which can provide content that only appears to be free

How to save journalism in CanadaThere is trouble in today’s news media industry. Large newspaper chains such as Postmedia have made staff cuts to offset reduced revenues. Newspapers and local TV newsrooms, which often provide communities with their only source of local content, are struggling. An Ontario daily paper recently shut down. Many now wonder what the future of journalism…

Pros and cons of the alternative vote to electoral reform

Would it be a good choice for Canada?

Pros and cons of the alternative vote to electoral reformThe alternative vote system is definitely on the federal electoral reform table. But would it be a good choice for Canada? Alternative vote (AV) is used in lower house elections in Australia and Nauru, a former Australian territory. But it was rejected in a 2011 British referendum as a replacement for the first-past-the-post electoral system. AV (or preferential vote)…

Government has no right to decide who is, or isn’t, a journalist

The Notley government overstepped the boundary of a free and democratic society by attempting to ban Rebel website

Government has no right to decide who is, or isn’t, a journalistWho decides whether a journalist is a journalist? This unenviable Pandora’s box opened its gloomy lid during the recent brouhaha between Ezra Levant’s The Rebel news website and the Alberta NDP government. Getting it shut is going to be a very difficult task. As some Canadians know, two individuals associated with The Rebel were isolated…

Time to fix the flaws in our electoral system

Time to fix the flaws in our electoral systemThere is no perfect electoral system. We need to keep that in mind as we embark on a search for a new one. The Liberals have promised a new electoral system before the next election, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seems to favour a preferential ballot. Critics have pounced, arguing that such a change would…

Electoral reform requires broad Canadian input

We need consultation, and a decision-making process that is inclusive, fair and open

Electoral reform requires broad Canadian inputTo referendum or not to referendum — that is not the only electoral reform question. The overall issue is ensuring the entire review process meets best-practice democratic standards. As Canada heads toward democratic reform, the first important question is the makeup of the committee of politicians who will lead the public consultation. Normally, the Liberal…

If newspapers die, will our nation die too?

There is no way Facebook, Twitter and blogs can fill the void left by the death of newspapers

If newspapers die, will our nation die too?A good newspaper, playwright Arthur Miller once said, is a nation talking to itself. So what happens when our newspapers start to die? Will the nation die, too? Full disclosure: I love newspapers. I have been a reporter at two (Calgary Herald, Ottawa Citizen) and a columnist at three (National Post, Ottawa Citizen and Sun…

10 reasons Liberals wrong to ram through election reform

Mess with democracy at your own risk, Mr. Trudeau

10 reasons Liberals wrong to ram through election reformI was on a CTV panel when the Speech from the Throne was read out. This part wasn’t a surprise, but I was surprised the Liberals were doubling down on it: “The Government will . . . take action to ensure that 2015 will be the last federal election conducted under the first-past-the-post voting system.” There are 10 reasons…