The fundamental flaw of populist politics

The populist trinity of direct democracy – initiative, referendum and recall – is incompatible with the Canadian political system

The fundamental flaw of populist politicsThe recent Robyn Luff controversy in Alberta illustrates two much broader issues. One is that this MLA, like many Canadians, doesn’t understand how the Westminster-style parliamentary system works. The other is the remarkable persistence of the notion that MLAs are merely delegates of their constituents. Luff, the Calgary-East MLA, complained about being forced to toe…

Second line of O Canada should read “Our home on native land”

One small change to the words of O Canada will remind us of our historic debt and help facilitate broader knowledge of Indigenous issues

Second line of O Canada should read “Our home on native land”The catalogue of injustices experienced by Canada’s Indigenous people is long and tragic: residential schools, missing and murdered women, and high incarceration rates, to name just a few. Reading the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report on residential schools is a gut-wrenching reminder of just one of the catastrophes they have survived. Against this backdrop, the…

Let’s be honest: consumers are the main contributors to climate change

Governments are unwilling to curb consumption, the main driver of the economy. So it is up to each of us to become more thoughtful consumers

Let’s be honest: consumers are the main contributors to climate changeThe euphoria in Paris in 2015, when 196 countries agreed to address climate change, was palpable. It should have been bottled. Since then, despite the United Nation’s annual COPs (Conferences of the Parties) on climate change, very little progress has been made. After COP23 in Bonn, Germany, last month, disappointment, particularly among civil society groups,…

High noon at the Senate

The sleeping giant has only just started to twitch. If that giant is fully awake, the consequences for democracy could be disastrous

High noon at the SenateIs Justin Trudeau a pyromaniac? He set the match under Liberal senators in 2013 when he expelled them from his caucus and set the Senate alight. It is truly ablaze now. Hell hath no fury like Liberal senators scorned. Some observers hailed Trudeau's action as bold and brave, but opponents saw it as a way…