Raise your voice by casting your vote

How could I not be grateful that I have the freedom to question the practices of my government through direct contact with politicians and through the press?

Raise your voice by casting your voteI always get very excited at election time. This is the moment when we can freely choose who will represent us, the moment when we play a vital role in the direction of our government. As I read statistics on voter turnout, however, I’m confused as to why others don’t share my enthusiasm. Perhaps I…

China threatens Hong Kong’s economic, personal freedoms

The rule of law and its protection of property form the bedrock of economic freedom, but pressures from mainland China put those attributes in peril

China threatens Hong Kong’s economic, personal freedomsBy James Gwartney and Fred McMahon The Fraser Institute In the Fraser Institute’s latest Economic Freedom of the World ranking, Hong Kong again tops the list as the world’s freest economy. It has occupied this position almost without exception through the past half century – but will it remain there? The foundation for Hong Kong’s…

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…

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…

China represents world freedom’s greatest threat

It employs its great military, economic and seductive power to advance repression around the world

China represents world freedom’s greatest threatAs we watch the chaos on the streets of Venezuela, it’s apt to revisit the latest Human Freedom Index, published in part by the Fraser Institute. The index highlights an old danger re-emerging: authoritarian seducers, regimes that promote their model of despotism internationally through charm, money, power, bribery, threats and violence. Since the rise of…

China is driving the rise of omniscient machines

Are we prepared for a world full of machines, governing everything in steely alignment with the technocrats’ goals?

China is driving the rise of omniscient machinesThe Terminator movies were prediction, not fiction. The proof abounds in China, recently dubbed by CBC as the world’s first digital dictatorship. China has interfaced wireless technology with surveillance cameras and facial recognition software to form Sky Net. And fifth-generation mobile phones, or 5G, are coming to Canada. That means Chinese technology and its usage…

Brain drain puts Venezuela at a further disadvantage

If 7% of the Venezuelan population has fled, that must include some of the best and brightest

Brain drain puts Venezuela at a further disadvantageWestern nations like Canada and the U.S. have watched the pressure-filled political situation in Venezuela with interest and concern. It’s a powder keg that seems ready to explode at any moment. And it may require our intervention. On one side is Venezeula’s presidential dictator, Nicolas Maduro. The former bus driver and trade unionist is a…

What CBC gets wrong about the crisis in Venezuela

The Maduro regime has inflicted massive human suffering. You wouldn't know that by watching the National

What CBC gets wrong about the crisis in VenezuelaIn the early 2000s, CBC faced charges of deep-seated left-wing bias. In recent years, it cleaned up its act and is rated centre-left by Media Bias/Fact Check, a website that rates accuracy and political bias in news media. Not unbiased but a big improvement from where it was. Yet, the CBC’s flagship National newscast recently…

Stalin’s Moscow show trials a blind spot for western intellectuals

The eagerness of western intellectuals to justify the Moscow show trials of the late '30s was what was truly frightening about them

Stalin’s Moscow show trials a blind spot for western intellectualsThe infamous Moscow show trials ended 80 years ago this month. Based on fabricated charges of treason, Josef Stalin systematically eliminated virtually all of the remaining Old Bolsheviks, clearing away potential rivals and consolidating his power in the Soviet Union. The first trial began in August 1936, the second in January 1937 and the third…

Where the rule of law weakens, freedom wanes

Freedom and democracy are not stand-alone structures. For stability, they require institutional infrastructure, in particular, the rule of law and tolerance

Where the rule of law weakens, freedom wanesFor the first time in decades, basic human freedom is under attack globally. Journalists and opposition leaders are killed in Russia. China’s Communist Party stifles dissent on the mainland while threatening the rule of law in Hong Kong. Tens of thousands are arrested in Turkey on dubious grounds after a failed coup. Venezuela descends into…