What Trump’s leadership style says about us

It’s time to reflect not just on what politics is doing to our democracy but what it’s doing to us

What Trump’s leadership style says about usLet’s begin by wishing U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump a full and speedy recovery following their positive COVID-19 testing. The text below was drafted before this diagnosis was known and reflects on the toxicity of public discourse for which the president is partly culpable. Some of the social media response to…

The people versus Donald Trump

When a leader suggests he will subvert the democratic process, voters have recourse. We’ve seen it in the Philippines and elsewhere

The people versus Donald TrumpAn apocryphal story circulated in the Philippines in the early 1980s of a dinner party conversation between President Ferdinand Marcos and Catholic Bishop Jaime Sin. Marcos reportedly said, “I really admire those Americans. They know the results of their presidential elections the day of the election.” In response, Sin reportedly said, “Well how about us…

It’s time we all stood up for Julian Assange

What message do we send dictators and the people who live under their tyranny if we don’t have the courage to live up to our own ideals?

It’s time we all stood up for Julian AssangeIt’s very rare to hear Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson and scholar Noam Chomsky agree on anything but a largely underreported topic brings both ends of the political spectrum together: the Julian Assange affair. In a recent interview, Carlson’s guest Glenn Greenwald pointed out that efforts to silence Assange go back to the administration of…

Can we save humanity?

The world’s problems are many, and the solutions require abrupt shifts and great sacrifice. But change is essential

Can we save humanity?The world is in crisis. After touching on some of the problems, I’ll list possible policy responses and suggest why humanity so far has failed to implement them. Time is short but I believe that at root, our obstacles are political, not lack of scientific knowledge. Problems Global warming and related extreme weather events, rising…

Don’t expect a federal election any time soon

In a pandemic, the fundamentals of electioneering and voting can get some of us sick – and make some of us die

Don’t expect a federal election any time soonThere isn’t going to be a federal election in Canada. Not anytime soon, anyway. Blame COVID-19. For a while, it looked like there could be. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s minority Liberals had surged ahead of the leaderless Conservatives in the polls. His lead was big – big enough to suggest a parliamentary majority was likely.…

The big question about Alberta referendums is why?

The big question about Alberta referendums is why?Referendums have been the source of high anxiety and popular uprisings in recent years. Whether they’re a truly democratic way to make vital decisions that best serve the public interest is a matter of great debate. However, there really should be no debate – nine times out of 10, they’re a bad idea. Alberta Premier…

How First Nations communities can balance governance

How First Nations communities can balance governanceThe Indigenous commitment to democracy is at stake in the recent memorandum of understanding signed between the Wet’suwet’en, the province of British Columbia and the federal government. A majority of the elected Wet’suwet’en chiefs were incensed about the agreement, insisting the signing be postponed until they were consulted. While the elected chiefs were justified in…

Statue-toppling and the narrowness of righteous minds

Just because someone else’s history makes you uncomfortable doesn’t give you a moral licence to erase it from public space

Statue-toppling and the narrowness of righteous mindsIf I were a Brit – which I’m not – I’d be materially annoyed at the vandalization of Winston Churchill’s statue and the related attempts to remove it from its perch in London’s Parliament Square. And in keeping with today’s enthusiasm for rhetorical hyperbole, I’d be tempted to consider it the thin end of the…

Sweden forged a COVID-19 path that preserves freedom

The Swedish achievement in the face of international panic lies in remaining true to political traditions and democracy

Sweden forged a COVID-19 path that preserves freedomMuch attention has been given to Sweden for its distinct approach to COVID-19 among Western nations. As more jurisdictions wrestle with lifting economic restrictions, Sweden is praised and condemned. People readily condemn Prime Minister Stefan Löfven’s Social Democrat (Sweden’s NDP equivalent) government for not emulating China and for violating what Swedish academicians called the “lockdown…