The Age of Deference is Over – What Now?

Polite Mounty

On September 3, 2010, Scott H. Payne and I posted an interview expanding on an article I wrote for The Mark entitled Why We Vote Against Our Interests.  Specifically, we sought to look at the issues around a revitalised democracy in Canada.  Some weeks later Scott approached me about the idea of carrying on an extended and … Continue reading

The Role of the State: the Couchiching Panel

Alex at Couch

This past Friday at Couchiching, Tom Flanagan, Armine Yalnizyan and I discussed what the financial meltdown can tell us about the role of the state.  Better than my trying to capture the nuance of each of the speakers, and recognizing my predisposition to favour some views at the expense of others, I strongly urge you … Continue reading

A Progressive Orientation: Hope, Engagement and Empathy

Hope_in_a_Prison_of_Despair

Progressivism, most would agree, is an elusive concept. This is a large part of its charm – it doesn’t generate pre-packaged solutions, has to be made concrete based on evidence in specific circumstances, and has the elasticity that these fragmented, changing and often discontinuous times demand.  In that sense, we do know what progressivism is … Continue reading

Are Canadians Becoming More Conservative?

fatherknowsbest

A friend recently asked me whether I think that Canadians are becoming more conservative and, for that matter, notwithstanding the recent U.S. election, whether most people in developed countries are moving to the right. Conservative parties in Europe have done well at the very time that progressives thought they had a chance for a resurgence … Continue reading

Government Impotence and the Age of Dysfunction

grid-locked

I have been reading an increasing number of articles on how government is gridlocked, stuck, in the face of crises we seem unable to fix or even understand. I might add that one of my recent op-eds received some howling protests reiterating government’s incompetence, with examples ranging from individual breaches of ethics to political parties … Continue reading

The Cult of Accountability

bureaucrats

Accountability is a big word with many meanings but for simplicity sake I will define it as:  1) the obligation to render accounts of how well one is doing in delivering on promises and meeting agreed expectations; 2) the responsibility to take the necessary measures to improve performance and to correct error and to report … Continue reading

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