Understanding Putin’s long view of an expanded Russia

He expresses a vision that reaches back over 1,000 years, to a Russia that was an empire and proud of it

Understanding Putin’s long view of an expanded RussiaLet’s make a stipulation up front: Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is unjustified. There’s no ambiguity on that score. Russia is the bad actor in this situation. Still, it’s always useful to understand the other guy. Understanding doesn’t imply approval and insight is never a bad thing to have. Putin is typically described…

Freedom Convoy shows we need direct democracy in Canada

Canada lacks a practical ability to channel frustrations from citizens to governments

Freedom Convoy shows we need direct democracy in CanadaA vast gulf exists between Canada’s chattering classes – many politicians, some journalists and a plethora of academics – and citizens on multiple issues, including most recently the self-described Freedom Convoy. It has much to do with the lack of the feedback mechanisms found in other countries: direct democracy, otherwise known as referendums, on laws…

Questions you need to ask before you cast your ballot

We accept that the world intervenes in any plans for the future but we must still decide who gets our vote

Questions you need to ask before you cast your ballotThe 2021 federal election is upon us. In Canada, we’re blessed to have fair elections, the results of which are peacefully implemented – so don’t forget to vote. There are many nations where people can’t vote. There are many more where their vote doesn’t matter because tyrants have predetermined the results or will use violence…

When travel resumes, Canadians should avoid Cuba

A growing number of Cubans are beginning to see through their government's lies. Why don't Canadians?

When travel resumes, Canadians should avoid CubaCanadians have travelled to Cuba as a vacation spot for decades. I doubt most of them ever considered that these excursions have aided its communist government in political and economic terms. CBC News senior reporter Evan Dyer recently pointed out this disturbing fact. “Cuban-Canadian activists say many Canadians are not aware of the extent to…

Democracies can’t abandon oil and gas production

We have to beware tyrannies and autocracies that use oil and natural gas as weapons

Democracies can’t abandon oil and gas productionBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre History shows tyrannies and autocracies use oil and natural gas as weapons when interacting with democracies. This is obvious during wars – tanks and jets don’t run on vegetable oil – as well as peacetime. For example, in 2009, Russia cut natural gas supplies to Ukraine in…

Tyranny oil should be treated like blood diamonds

Oil and gas revenues can be used by tyrannies, autocracies and dictatorships to oppress their populations

Tyranny oil should be treated like blood diamondsWhy would consumers treat tyranny oil differently than blood diamonds or clothing made by child labour? One of the more bizarre reactions to bare facts came recently after a colleague and I analyzed oil-and-gas-producing countries and their degree of freedom – the Tyranny Index, as we labelled it. Some argued such tracking is irrelevant because…

Speak the truth and the truth shall set you free

Mental health professionals offer a public service to help us recognize the danger signs and risks of having a tyrant in office and how to disarm them

Speak the truth and the truth shall set you freeTyrannical leaders share certain qualities. In essence, they live under a tremendous fear of being overthrown. Through their actions, almost without exception, they inadvertently make this fear a reality. I know how fortunate I am to live in a free country. I will never forget my first experience of no longer having the freedom to…

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…

Learn to recognize destructive leadership and respond

We live in a world of failed and successful social experiments. Repeating patterns tend to reveal deeper truths

Learn to recognize destructive leadership and respondThe great German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, “By seeking and blundering we learn.” How true this is. If we take the time to understand our mistakes, life is rich on so many levels. No individual is immune to error. When we examine why things didn’t work out as we hoped, can find new…

Marxism rears its ugly head in the academic world

Brutal communist societies did advance economic equality, although what was shared equally was poverty rather than prosperity

Marxism rears its ugly head in the academic worldWestern civilization and liberal democracy are under siege. This isn’t new. We’ve been challenged just in the last century by fascism and communism, by Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and Soviet Russia and Red China. One might have expected – and many did– that the ideology of these failed societies would remain in its grave. But,…