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Monthly Archives: March 2012
Robert Joustra  |  March 30, 2012  |  Culture, Death, Economy, Justice, Leadership, Politics

With Ontario’s provincial, and now Canada’s federal budget tabled, there is the inexorable rush of commentary, lobbyist posturing, and interest group press releases. At least some of those will fit into the mould of what many have come to call social conservative. But this federal budget, in particular, has needled out some fault lines between social conservatives. Some are happy, and some are certainly not. … MORE »

Brian Dijkema  |  March 29, 2012  |  Justice, Politics, Religion

Pope Benedict left Cuba yesterday and nothing changed. The state is still run by a communist gerontocracy; it remains an officially atheist state; Good Friday is still not a public holiday; hundreds of political prisoners remain in jail or under close surveillance; there is still no respect for civil society, no trade unions, no independent newspapers, no recognition of property rights, no independent political parties; … MORE »

Ray Pennings  |  March 28, 2012  |  Culture, Institutions, Leadership, Politics

The election of Thomas Mulcair as NDP leader (and leader of Canada’s official opposition) this past weekend has been rightly observed by most as a preference for power over principle. Brian Dijkema has already argued in this space that Mulcair’s victory was part of the “mass migration to the politics of the middle.” There is, however, another way of looking at it. Was it a … MORE »

Peter Stockland  |  March 27, 2012  |  Arts, Culture, Film, Literature

Whenever Globe and Mail TV critic John Doyle gets my Irish up by straying into politics, I pray that Clancy will lower the boom boom boom on him. But if political Doyle deserves the fate of fictional Clancy’s foes in the famous song from Jack Benny’s 1940s radio show, TV critic Doyle is one of the most perspicacious fight pickers in the Globe and Mail‘s … MORE »

Brian Dijkema  |  March 26, 2012  |  Institutions, Leadership, Politics

The most interesting thing about this weekend’s NDP leadership election is not that Thomas Mulcair won and that Brian Topp lost. No, what will last longest is the weakening of principle—call it ideology if you want—as a driving factor in Canadian politics. It is generally acknowledged among the punditry, and apparently among the NDP’s leadership as well, that the election of Thomas Mulcair was a … MORE »

Robert Joustra  |  March 23, 2012  |  Economy, Games, Globalization, Markets, Politics

If there are two cultural artifacts that showcase the distinctives between Americans and Canadians, it is surely these two board games: Monopoly and Poleconomy. What the devil is Poleconomy, you ask? Obscurity is, of course, parcel to many a Canuck inheritance. Not long ago I was enjoying an evening meal with the monks at St. Gregory’s in Three Rivers, Michigan, and the text being read … MORE »

Brian Dijkema  |  March 22, 2012  |  Business, Institutions, Markets, Philosophy

A market economy is a tool—a valuable and effective tool—for organizing productive activity. A market society is a way of life in which market values seep into every aspect of human endeavor. It’s a place where social relations are made over in the image of the market. These are the words of Michael Sandel, a professor of political philosophy at Harvard university. His article “What … MORE »

Ray Pennings  |  March 21, 2012  |  Discipline, Institutions, Politics

The Republican primaries are dragging on. Candidates Santorum and Gingrich are now publicly musing about forcing a “brokered convention.” It might mean the delegates at the Republican convention in Tampa in August will cast meaningful ballots rather than being stage props in a political marketing exercise. But that’s not likely. Given that the last winning Presidential nominee to win his party’s candidacy at a brokered … MORE »

John Seel  |  March 20, 2012  |  Elites, Media, Religion

Bullies don’t know their own strength. Because of their insecurities, they beat up on kids half their size. Christians often do the same thing. Ignorant of the strength of the faith, they act like bullies, bemoaning when Christianity gets a bad rap in media. And like all bullying, it eventually comes back around. The most recent incident of bullying by a Christian came from the … MORE »

Richelle Wiseman  |  March 19, 2012  |  Death, Foreign Policy, Loves, Parenting

For me, there was one bright light in last week’s dismal omnipresent verbal trench warfare in the political sphere. I attended his lecture at the University of Calgary. He was in the city to collect this year’s Calgary Peace Prize, awarded by the university’s Consortium for Peace Studies. His name is Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, though he is more commonly known now as “the Gaza doctor”, … MORE »