Why we have no time for politics

Edward Hicks' "Peaceable Kingdom", National Gallery or Art, Wikipedia Common

Samara recently published yet another study showing that Canadians, especially young Canadians, are profoundly disengaged from formal politics.  Not only are citizens voting less and participating less in political parties, they are not writing, reading or even talking with friends about party politics. While many are still donating money and time to causes, they don’t have much … Continue reading

The mean test: how we measure success

Chief Theresa Spence. (by Regina Southwind, Rabble, December 17)

How to measure success.

Bargain Basement Citizenship and the Decline of Democracy

Cicero and the fall of the Roman Republic (Cesare Maccari)

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

Going, Going, Gone: Dismantling the Progressive State

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

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

A Bad Day: What Now?

Bad Day

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

The Inequality Trap: A Meaner Canada

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

“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

Canada’s War on Crime

Crime Fear and Gated Community

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

What Happens To Us When We Turn Ten?

Election Results

The air is being filled with post-mortems, lessons learned from this extraordinary result, the Conservative majority, the reversal of fortunes, for now at least, of the NDP and Liberals, the disappearance of the Bloc and Quebecers’ decision to opt for a progressive, federalist party.  Now is probably too soon for meaningful reflection. The Anybody But … Continue reading

Red Tory: A New Lament For A Nation

Community Market

Phillip Blond, the main architect of U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron’s “big society”, is coming to Canada this week.  The timing couldn’t be better as our political parties get set to offer up their competing versions of what ails us and how we might go forward together. Blond is gaining a lot of attention with … Continue reading