EXPANDING THE POLITICAL IMAGINATION

The other day, CNN ran a focus group on what some American voters were now thinking about their president. The comments were almost universally critical including among Trump voters. But even some of the most critical, it seems, may still be Trump supporters. It was, for me, a valuable reminder that pointing out Trump’s flaws, … Continue reading

A Show About Nothing: Totem and Taboo in Canadian Political Life

As the Parliamentary session sort of winds down, it’s pretty hard to summarize – or for that matter see – its accomplishments. With only a few exceptions that would only serve to dilute the story, this session was dominated by old or second-rate scandals, access to documents, MPs’ travel, committee disappearances by political staffers, G8 … Continue reading

Government Impotence and the Age of Dysfunction

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

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

Healthcare (3) User fees again

I have been asked why I describe user fees as a “dangerous distraction” so here goes.  There are many reasons but let me focus on the 2 big ones. First, they would have a negative impact on the quality of care and therefore the quality of Canadians’ health.  While it is probably true that smallish … Continue reading

Canada at 150 (2)

Lots to think and argue about after the three-day Montreal Conference.  Some challenging questions  – do we Canadians care less than we used to about poverty and social justice; are we ready to pay for the services and pensions we have taken for granted in the past, and, if so,  do we want to pay … Continue reading