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

Un Dimanche après-midi à la Grande-Jatte (G. Seurat)

The Inequality Trap: A Meaner Canada

“Inequality is corrosive. It rots societies from within. The impact of material differences takes a while to show up but in due course competition for status and goods increases; people find a  growing  sense of superiority (or inferiority) based on their possessions; prejudice toward those on the lower rungs of the social ladder hardens; crime … Continue reading

Crime Fear and Gated Community

Canada’s War on Crime

Anything but benign With the parliamentary session coming to a close and summer getting ready to obliterate any residual interest in politics, this is pretty much our last chance before the fall to have a serious look at where our government proposes to take us over the next four years. We have seen the Speech … Continue reading

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