Archive for the Uncategorized Category

NATION BUILDING ON THE FLY

Who speaks for the disenfranchised?  In an era that is rightfully and finally turning its attention to reconciliation, this is a question that North American society is grappling with on a regular basis.  As a general rule, the often unsatisfactory but intellectually correct answer lies in the existing modes of political representation.  States are governed in accordance with a Constitution which defines the terms under which the governed agree to be bound by the terms of whatever authority has been created to make decisions on behalf of the collective, be that a democracy, monarchy or autocracy.  Those terms can and […]

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CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE

Canada has found itself, reluctantly, in the midst of a major diplomatic row with China.  Acting in accordance with its extradition treaty obligations, Canada arrested Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou as she was connecting to another flight at Vancouver Airport.  After 11 days in detention, she has received bail, but not before, in a remarkable coincidence, Michael Kovrig, a Canadian citizen and former diplomat and current Senior Advisor to an international NGO, has disappeared in Beijing.  Chinese officials have not confirmed his arrest but have cryptically observed that the NGO for which he works is not registered in China and therefore […]

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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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