Tag: Federal Politics

2019, Books, Non-Fiction

Teardown: Rebuilding Democracy from the Ground Up (2019, Dave Meslin)

Full disclosure: I live in Toronto. I have met the author, Dave Meslin, at least once and possibly up to three times. Moreover, I used to volunteer for a group he founded (but no longer ran when I was a volunteer). So that both makes me likely biased in favour of his ideas and part …

Politics, Society

Please, everyone, just calm down

Please, everyone, let’s just calm down a little. Let’s try to have a sense of perspective. Let’s try to think about the big picture. I know that’s very difficult when someone you never met dies, but let’s try to be bigger than knee-jerk reactions this one time.

Politics, Psychology, Society

Proposal for Improved Voter Turnout

The Proposal A number of years ago, a friend of mine proposed an interesting idea for promoting voter turnout in Canada during one of our writer’s group meetings: turn voting into a lottery. The idea is relatively simple: each ballot cast is also a ticket for Canada’s largest lottery. Every voter is only allowed one …

2013, Politics, Religion, Society

Timing is Everything

When the RCMP announced they arrested two suspected train bombers the other day, many people questioned the timing. They claimed they had been following them for a year, and yet there was no immediate danger to public safety. Announced in the week following the Boston Marathon bombing, many suspected the RCMP were either just trying …

Politics, Science, Society

The Conservative Party of Canada is now officially the Party of Willful Ignorance.

Last week, the Government of Canada voted against “Science.” Quite literally, it turns out. Here is the text of the motion the Conservatives voted down: That, in the opinion of the House, a) public science, basic research, and the free and open exchange of scientific information are essential to evidence-based policy-making; b) federal government scientists must …

2012, Politics, Society

The Slow Death of Precedence-Based Democratic Safeguards in Canada

A prorogue is a device: the suspension of parliament, traditionally at the end of that parliament’s “legislative business,” with a planned date of resumption. It was intended to allow parliaments to take breaks without calling an election. The first problematic prorogue occurred in 1873, when John A. McDonald prorogued parliament not because their legislative business …

2011, 2012, Economics, Politics, Society

The Conservative Majority: One Year Later (2011-12)

CBC had a very helpful little piece about what the Conservatives have and haven’t done in their first year. Here are my thoughts: What they have done so far:

2011, Politics, Society

The Bargain of a Lifetime

For only 39.6% of the popular vote, you get… Tax cuts and increased government spending on things you don’t need! Jet planes! Assault vehicles! Riot cops in the country’s most populous city! But wait! There’s more! For calling while the population believed that elections were expensive relative to the annual government budget and while politicians …

2010, Politics, Society

2010 G20 in Toronto

Disclaimer: I didn’t know how to go about doing this. Maybe I’m paranoid (I certainly felt paranoid on Sunday…), but I worry that posting this will in someway have a negative affect on my career. I think there are many people in the governance and corporate worlds who – implicitly if not explicitly – feel …

2010, Politics, Society

An Open Letter, I guess

Dear Mr. Crimmins I read your editorial in June 7th’s Hamilton Spectator with great interest. Your idea of dispensing with elections is compelling: it would save huge amounts of money, it would shorten campaigns and make them completely unpredictable (hopefully saving us from a situation like that of the US, where each campaign begins after …