Monthly Archives: April 2012
Brian Dijkema  |  April 27, 2012  |  Institutions, Politics

Alex Himelfarb worries that our state is being dismantled and rebuilt as an ugly, uncaring, police state. The architect of this, of course, is Stephen Harper and his minions who crafted the budget: This budget gives pretty clear signals of a different Canada, perhaps hard to get at because it is not about building but about dismantling: not dismantling the state—witness the expanded use of … MORE »

Peter Stockland  |  April 25, 2012  |  Politics

Partisans of Alberta’s Wildrose Party will understandably be tempted to fall into “we wuz robbed” syndrome. They should resist. Mightily. The result of Monday’s provincial vote was win-win for conservatives and Conservatives. Wildrose, after all, quadrupled its representation in the legislature to 17 seats. If that is a long way from the sugar plum dreams of majority government that were dancing in supporters’ heads during … MORE »

Dani Shaw  |  April 24, 2012  |  Leadership, Politics

My brother and I had an expression growing up that was usually invoked when my mother asked one of us to apologize to the other for saying or doing something hurtful: “Sorry doesn’t mean it.” It was a brilliant if grammatically incorrect expression that served both to call the offender’s bluff when the apology was insincere, and to repudiate even the most sincere apology when … MORE »

Jonathan Wellum  |  April 23, 2012  |  Economy, Markets

The major central banks around the world began to cut interest rates in 2007 in response to the impending financial crisis. Interest rates throughout the developed world were lowered from approximately 5% in August 2007 to effectively zero by December 2008. They have remained at that level ever since. The US Federal Reserve, the most important and influential central bank, has made its objective clear: … MORE »

John Seel  |  April 20, 2012  |  Arts, Culture, Death, Film

“I’m just joking.” We’ve all used the excuse, when a joke’s recipient takes a cutting remark meant in jest as fact. Somehow the excuse is supposed to remove the sting. But in fact all such jests always have a modicum of truth thinly veiled in the humour. It is sometimes worth examining the truth that the humour exposes. So too this year’s blockbuster film, The … MORE »

Robert Joustra  |  April 19, 2012  |  Education, Elites

We now live under a kind of extrovert tyranny, says Susan Cain in her new book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking. It has led to a culture of “shallow thinking, compulsory optimism, and escalating risk-taking in pursuit of success, narrowly defined.” In other words, short-termism continues to win the day as extroverts amplify each other’s groundless enthusiasms. Put … MORE »

Brian Dijkema  |  April 18, 2012  |  Economy, Foreign Policy, Globalization, Labour

The race to the bottom is a full-contact sport full of cheap hits and thuggery. The thugs, however, are not always easy to spot. Take, for instance, the Canadian Auto Workers Union. Yesterday, the CAW launched a major paper entitled “Re-thinking Canada’s Auto Industry: A Policy Vision to Escape the Race to the Bottom.” The report outlines policy recommendations including “buy Canadian” measures, direct government … MORE »

Peter Stockland  |  April 17, 2012  |  Culture, Justice, Leadership, Politics

Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente writes thousands of excellent words a month. Almost all bring the fresh scent of common sense. Many are contrarian in a way the makes me wonder how they ever became the contrary rather than the norm. Given her stellar record of journalistic good work, then, it seems borderline churlish then to pick nine words from today’s column as evidence … MORE »

Dan Postma  |  April 16, 2012  |  Death, Parenting, Religion

I heard some horrible things today. “Mothers have a sense for these things, you know. They just know.” And she was right, the sonographer. As I asked, “What? What does that mean?”, my wife already had her hands over her face. The terrified “I think I may have just lost our baby,” and the clinical “This is Mother Nature’s way of making sure only healthy … MORE »

Ray Pennings  |  April 13, 2012  |  Elites, Journalism, Philosophy, Religion

The March 26th edition of the New York Times included a column by Stanley Fish which cogently captured a core issue which makes public discourse so difficult in our day. But the desire of classical liberals to think of themselves as above the fray, as facilitating inquiry rather than steering it in a favored direction, makes them unable to be content with just saying, You … MORE »