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

Banksy-monkey-parliament

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

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

Healthcare (3) User fees again

Canadian-currency

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)

microphone on the stage and auditorium

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

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