Archive for the Blog Category

DEMOCRACY NOTWITHSTANDING

The kerfuffle surrounding the recent announcement of Doug Ford’s intention to invoke the notwithstanding clause of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is an interesting one.  Usually when the Right and Left square off on some issue of the day, it is the product of one of those classic conflicts of competing sacrosanct principles; usually freedom of speech versus the equality rights of one of the many groups recognized and protected by the Charter.  But in this case, each side is basing their support or opposition to this government action as a defence of the same fundamental right, that […]

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POPULISM AND POLITICS IN THE AGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Both Canadians and Americans are once again debating the responsible use of Twitter as an instrument of political discourse.  The circumstances giving rise to that debate, however, could not be more different, and demonstrate a fundamental divergence in the expectations of the electorate in the two countries. On August 2nd, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland expressed alarm at the imprisonment of Saudi women’s and civil rights activist Samar Badawi, and confirmed that Canadians “continue to strongly call for the release of both Raif and Samar Badawi” (Raif Badawi is Samar’s brother, whose wife and children fled from Saudi Arabia […]

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KEEPING THE GENIE IN THE BOTTLE

We all have a lamp.  Sooner or later, all of us learn that if you rub the lamp, you will summon forth a genie.  In a perfect world, we would all make this discovery organically, at no one else’s prompting, at a time in our life at which we have been appropriately armed, by our parents or someone else with our best interests in mind, with a sophisticated understanding of the consequences, both good and bad, of summoning that genie. But that is not how life works.  It never has.  Because others know that they have a lamp, they also […]

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