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The Age of Austerity

Notes: Keynote talk, CCPA Post-Austerity session, Toronto, January 9, 2013 We are living in the “Age of Austerity” or at least so says David Cameron, the UK’s Prime Minister. He made this announcement in 2009 at the Conservative convention just before becoming prime minister. This meant, he explained, that he would have to fix the … Continue reading

Chief Theresa Spence. (by Regina Southwind, Rabble, December 17)
Cicero and the fall of the Roman Republic (Cesare Maccari)

Bargain Basement Citizenship and the Decline of Democracy

We ought to be outraged. Just about every day our media provides a new account of the decline of our democracy:  the inadequacies of our electoral system and allegations of electoral fraud; the high-handed treatment of our Parliament through inappropriate prorogations and overuse of omnibus legislation; a government ever more authoritarian and opaque, resistant to evidence and reason, and … Continue reading

Abetxuko Bridge, Spain (Wikipedia Commons)

Taking Back Our Democracy: Bridging the Generational Divide

These are tough days for Canada’s parliamentary democracy.  Having endured years of steady erosion, it is now under frontal attack.  Journalists and public leaders, across the political spectrum, have begun to document the injuries. We are seeing stirrings of outrage. But this assault on our democracy could not be happening without some complicity or at … Continue reading

Pyne, William Henry; Combe, William (1904) [1808] "An Auction " in The Microcosm of London or London in Miniature (Volume I ed.) London: Methuen and Company

Going, Going, Gone: Dismantling the Progressive State

Now that some time has passed since the federal budget it might be useful to step back and assess what it says about where the government is taking us. Reaction has been pretty muted. The “centrist punditry” generally see this as an incremental budget, business as usual, “balanced” and “mature”. For our Globe editorialists, for … Continue reading

The Miser, by Molière

The Price Of Austerity

Austerity, we have been told repeatedly by pundits and political leaders, is the defining issue in these uncertain times, the solution to our economic challenges. We have been given fair warning that the next federal budget will be first about cuts – cuts to government even as we continue to cut taxes. We can expect … Continue reading

Bad Day

A Bad Day: What Now?

C10, the omnibus crime bill, passed third reading and is now over to the Senate for what is supposed to be sober second thought.  The vote could only have been a depressing anticlimax for the many Canadians who were fighting to stop or amend this legislation.  And the implacable inevitability of its passage must surely … Continue reading

Alex TVO

The Consequences of Tax Cuts

Here is the video of a recent talk I gave on taxes as a good thing. The talk was hosted by the Literary Review and TVO and sponsored by The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Tax Is Not a Four-Letter Word

Ironically it is in the anti-tax U.S. that a conversation has erupted on taxes. Warren Buffett and a few other billionaires helped open the door, if only a crack, and President Obama has, finally, made taxing the rich a key means of funding his jobs plan. In the context of all that is happening now … Continue reading

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