An election result that reflects the country and its mood

An election result that reflects the country and its moodFittingly, it fell to one of Canada’s finest expatriate essayists to succinctly describe with characteristic understatement the 2019 federal election. “There is no place in a democracy for gangster government,” Adam Gopnik wrote in The New Yorker the morning after Canadians went to the polls. “That reminder made Monday night a truly worthwhile Canadian initiative.”…

Canadians have become habituated to howling for political effect

There’s still time to lower our voices, choose our words and stop talking long enough to listen to our neighbours

Canadians have become habituated to howling for political effectIt might be going a tad far to say overstatement is killing our democracy. Hyperbole in politics has been around since the world’s second oldest profession followed the world’s oldest profession into existence. U.S. President Donald Trump is hardly the first to have gained high office through gifted manipulation of the fibber’s foghorn. Yet we…

Onslaught against conscience gaining momentum

Every Canadian has the fundamental right to think and believe freely. But an Ontario court has sided with the suppression of the individual

Onslaught against conscience gaining momentumImagine being a feminist physician unshakable in your conviction that girls and women must be protected from patriarchal oppression. Now picture being asked to assist with a sex-selection abortion because daddy doesn’t want a female child and mother consents to his wishes. Up until May 15, reasonable Canadians would concur that you had every right…

Reasoned skepticism about climate change is healthy

Let’s not deal with the grim science of cynical political marketing and hyperbole. Instead, we should rigorously adjudicate all belief

Reasoned skepticism about climate change is healthySpotting headlines about the recent United Nations report prophesying imminent global extinction of a million species, I immediately wondered at the media response should Donald Trump ever claim to have eaten a million ice-cream cones. Instinct tells me swarms of media fact-checkers would have been at every Baskin-Robbins or Ben & Jerry’s in the United…

Quebec bill shows a deep desire to push people around

Banning the wearing of religious clothing robs public servants of the right to make their own choices

Quebec bill shows a deep desire to push people aroundLegislative hearings on outlawing the wearing of religious clothing or symbols by specific Quebec public servants could easily be dismissed as proverbial lipstick on a pig.  In fact, they’re worse, much worse, than a skin-deep brush with porcine cosmetology. They are part of a calculated exploitation of the deep human spiritual need to push other…

The echoing calls for reconciliation and sound social architecture

In Ireland, in South Africa, in Canada the desire for stability, resolution and trust runs deep

The echoing calls for reconciliation and sound social architectureRose Conway-Walsh identifies as a confidently progressive left-of-centre leader of Sinn Féin in the Irish Senate. She’s equally confident, however, that many of Ireland’s pressing, implacable existential problems could be resolved by turning the clock back to April 24, 1916. “Everything is rooted in the Proclamation. If we only had fulfilled the ideals laid out…

SNC-Lavalin affair strikes at the heart of legal integrity

Democracy can’t survive when equality before the law becomes a cynical joke

SNC-Lavalin affair strikes at the heart of legal integrityAndrew Scheer contributed significantly to Canadian political life by saying recently that the SNC-Lavalin affair isn’t just about choosing between Justin Trudeau and Scheer. The Conservative leader did further good by making clear that the SNC-Lavalin mess isn’t even just about an abstraction called the rule of law. It is, he spelled out for those…

Jody Wilson-Raybould’s deeply Canadian courage

The former minister has demonstrated quality we should all be proud of. And the system shows it can deal with such honesty

Jody Wilson-Raybould’s deeply Canadian courageI can’t remember feeling more proud to be Canadian than I have since Jody Wilson-Raybould began speaking to the House of Commons justice committee on Wednesday afternoon. As a little kid at Nov. 11 cenotaph ceremonies, I might have been as proud in the misty half-understood way of childhood. When Paul Henderson scored the immortal…

We can’t afford to turn a blind eye to corruption

The SNC-Lavalin affair shows us how pernicious behaviour can seep into the deep spaces of our institutions

We can’t afford to turn a blind eye to corruptionA key thing that makes the SNC-Lavalin quarrel such a showcase for corruption is its utter confusion about who did what to whom. Since the uproar erupted two weeks ago as a major Globe and Mail scoop, it has become a comedy of compounding curiosities. On Monday, it cost the prime minister’s principal secretary his…

A close shave: marketing and politics indistinguishable

Gillette has stepped boldly into the socio-political minefields of #MeToo, bullying, spousal abuse and male self-absorption

A close shave: marketing and politics indistinguishableIt’s tempting to take the recent’s ‘controversy’ over the Gillette shaving company’s new advertising campaign at something less than face value. For starters, controversy itself is no longer the conversational cutting edge it once was. In this era of fake-versus-false news, universal short attention spans and ludicrous overstatement as the entry price for even being…