How to get Canada off the health care teeter-totter

Medicare struggles from funding thrown at the same tired ideas rooted in similar political traditions

How to get Canada off the health care teeter-totterLiberalism works when you are healthy but fails when you fall ill. Classical liberalism emphasizes autonomy, individual freedom, and free markets. These ideas have fuelled centuries of wealth and prosperity. Modern liberalism, in contrast, pursues central decision-making and equality of outcome. Despite similar names and obvious differences, neither type of liberalism provides arguments for everything…

Is neoliberalism sinful or our salvation?

It’s difficult to know for sure since academics and economists want to hide behind jargon rather than offering concrete analysis

Is neoliberalism sinful or our salvation?As the Buffalo Springfield sang in 1966, “There’s something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear. …” They were referring to civil unrest but could have been predicting the current debate about neoliberalism. Neoliberalism is the ill-defined trend to less government, rolling back social programs, downward pressure on wages, fewer union jobs and careers…

Stan Lee, left-wing culture warrior

Under his leadership, Marvel directly challenged societal norms on race, religion, war, gender and sexuality

Stan Lee, left-wing culture warriorStan Lee passed away on Nov. 12. The larger-than-life personality of Marvel Comics for seven decades, he helped create some of the world’s most beloved superheroes, including Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man and Black Panther. The 95-year-old son of Romanian-Jewish immigrants, Lee was a genius and great innovator in the comic book industry –…

The politics of blame: modern progressives vs old-school liberals

Modern progressives see proof of social oppression around every corner. They believe society in general is to blame

The politics of blame: modern progressives vs old-school liberalsThe breaking point for me was Pittsburgh. This murderous act of anti-Semitic horror, when combined with the relentless breakdown in social civility, has made me face an unpalatable truth: something has gone very wrong with modern society. Our entire civilization is speeding to toward fragmentation and decay – Brexit, Donald Trump, warring political partisanship, rising…

How to address social inequality without an inheritance tax

Ideas about taxing, restricting or abolishing your inheritance have been floated by western social thinkers for centuries

How to address social inequality without an inheritance taxShould Canadians be taxed on inheritance? The question is increasingly being asked, but the answer is not straight-forward. This discussion is inherently linked to maintaining inequality from one generation to another – and basically to a skewing of the playing field of life from the start. Such debates aren’t new. In fact, they centre on…

Worried about the alt-right? Be the anti-right

The best way to reduce the possibility of more alt-right-inspired violence is to confront its narratives head on

Worried about the alt-right? Be the anti-rightBy John Grant Western University and Fiona MacDonald University of the Fraser Valley One year since the violent alt-right rally in Charlottesville, Va., and months since the Toronto van attack, Canadians can legitimately worry about increased political violence. The images of angry white men marching openly in Nazi regalia loom large alongside the revelation that…

Banksy, and art’s uneasy alliance with capitalism

The gift shop at the Toronto exhibit offers a swath of overpriced items. What would the ultra left-wing artist think of that?

Banksy, and art’s uneasy alliance with capitalismThere’s always been an understood link between art and capitalism. Even artists who reject the very nature of capitalism will still be part of this process, whether they like it or not. This includes the popular, controversial and mysterious graffiti artist known as Banksy. A product of Bristol, England’s underground scene, this person’s name and…

Polar opposites: where’s the middle ground in politics?

By better understanding how various political factions differ, perhaps we can help close some fundamental gaps in society

Polar opposites: where’s the middle ground in politics?North American political polarization is on the rise. Those on the left appear to move ever further to the left, while those on the right find less and less in common with fellow citizens. The political rhetoric has escalated to a toxic level. Half of Americans are labelled sexist, racist, homophobic and Islamophobic; a basket…

Wounded and vulnerable, Trudeau faces his biggest challenge

Aside from the fickleness of the modern voter, the Liberals have done a superb job in starting to dig their political graves

Wounded and vulnerable, Trudeau faces his biggest challengeAfter a wonderful and relaxing Christmas, my thoughts turn to politics (as they often do). In particular, why Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will find 2018 to be just as challenging as 2017. The PM’s political honeymoon pretty much ended late this year, and many Canadians are considering political alternatives. We shouldn’t be surprised: aside from…

Cameras in tow, Trudeau is a polarizing figure

Conservative partisans detest the prime minister because he’s really good at visuals. And conservative politicians generally aren’t

Cameras in tow, Trudeau is a polarizing figureConservatives really, really don’t like Justin Trudeau. I’m a regular on Evan Solomon’s CFRA radio show with Alise Mills and Karl Belanger. My friends Mills and Belanger are articulate and thoughtful advocates (unlike me), and they’re prepared to criticize their own political party when it is warranted (like me). Solomon invites us onto his much-listened-to…