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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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STUCK IN THE MIDDLE WITH ME

For anyone who self-identifies as a radical centrist, these are trying times.  The political discourse on both social and economic issues has never been more polarized.  There can never be any nuance to any discussion of longstanding issues, no acknowledgement of the truth that, for many and even most of those issues, their endurance is testament to the fact that both sides have a point, and that resolution of these issues must be found in solutions that reflect the need to at least acknowledge if not accommodate the reasonable demands and expectations of both perspectives.  That is why it is […]

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