Integrity and accountability are key to democracy

Failure to accept responsibility, especially by those in government, will create polarization and resentment

Integrity and accountability are key to democracyWhile most people agree that those who attacked the American Capitol buildings on Jan. 6 should be arrested and charged for their crimes, some say the politicians who may have been behind the attack shouldn’t even be investigated. Their argument is that there’s already enough polarization in the United States and this would make the…

Governor general: an anachronism who can save democracy

While mostly ceremonial, it can still mean something very important

Governor general: an anachronism who can save democracyTroy Media's commentary minute   The embarrassing schmozzle involving our most recent governor general, Julie Payette, has a lot of Canadians questioning why we still have a vice-regal. Actually, the close brush with a self-appointed president-for-life just to the south of us provides a pretty compelling reason for Canada to hang on to the seemingly…

To protect democracy, we must protect local media

Our 21st-century reliance on tech giants to supply us with information has resulted in fake news, clickbait and polarized societies

To protect democracy, we must protect local mediaIt’s not news to say that our consumption of media has changed dramatically in the 21st century. Perhaps it’s time to take a step back and look objectively at the impact of these changes and begin thinking about how our media can be improved. For most of the 20th century, the media was controlled by…

Impeaching Trump will make a bad situation worse

Things could get far more violent than what we just witnessed if Trump was actually tossed out of office

Impeaching Trump will make a bad situation worseThe United States Capitol was built in 1800 as the political home for members of Congress. It’s a magnificent piece of neoclassical architecture, and a popular destination for historians and tourists. The Capitol has only been attacked on two occasions. The first was during the War of 1812. British forces initiated the burning of Washington…

What happens when capitalism lacks a soul?

Corporations have created a structure that’s unsustainable on political, economic, environmental and even spiritual levels

What happens when capitalism lacks a soul?In recent decades across the globe, the super rich have been getting richer while the middle class shrinks. This is a danger not only to our economy but to democracy itself. Unfortunately, while millions of people have lost their livelihoods during the COVID-19 pandemic, the richest of the super rich have seen their assets balloon.…

Google’s leverage raises serious antitrust allegations

As the world’s favoured search engine, dominant email service and most popular video provider, Google has immense power over public opinion

Google’s leverage raises serious antitrust allegations“The Google of today is a monopoly gatekeeper for the internet,” reads the U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit against the tech giant. The document filed on Oct. 20 alleges the company has used exclusionary agreements to block out competitors. Google accounts for 80 per cent of U.S. internet searches and 30 per cent of U.S.…

Our biggest COVID-19 problem is undue panic

Our biggest COVID-19 problem is undue panicSeven months since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, against evidence and common sense, media, elected officials and health experts continue peddling the panic that gripped them in March. Almost daily, headlines announce new records in the number of COVID-19 cases. The federal health minister, the chief medical officer and the prime minister are ringing bells…

Trudeau government dodges democratic accountability

Federal government’s ongoing refusal to deliver a full budget another example of it avoiding accountability

Trudeau government dodges democratic accountabilityBy Jason Clemens and Jake Fuss The Fraser Institute According to Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, on Monday the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will provide an update on its 2020 spending. But the government hasn’t delivered a full federal budget since March 2019, more than 20 months ago. That demonstrates little regard for democratic…

Freedom and responsibility two sides of same coin

Freedom and responsibility two sides of same coinPsychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl made many trips to the United States. He appreciated the sense of freedom experienced by Americans, but added, “I recommend that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast.” Freedom and responsibility seem to mean different things to…

The ugly truth about democracy in decay

Perhaps it’s not democracy that has been corrupted, nor the democratic process, but rather the electorate itself

The ugly truth about democracy in decayIf the majority of the electorate is not already disillusioned and alienated by the extreme partisanship of politics, the upcoming United States elections will likely push another generation of voters into the void of disillusionment, apathy and abdication of franchise. The U.S. is the so-called beacon of democracy. Yet the two political extremes have become…

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…

Albertans still waiting for recall, referendum rules

Kenney should fulfil his campaign promise, committing to a culture change and reaffirming the role of citizens as boss

Albertans still waiting for recall, referendum rulesMore than a year into the United Conservative Party’s mandate, Albertans are still waiting for two key accountability reforms: recall and referendum rules. If government belongs to the people, then the people should be able to vote to recall misbehaving politicians between elections and initiate referendums to introduce or repeal legislation. Premier Jason Kenney can…

One government after another fails in face of COVID-19

Governments around the world have been tardy, negligent, dysfunctional or otherwise an impediment to an aggressive and successful outcome

One government after another fails in face of COVID-19While residents around the world deal with restrictions imposed to minimize transmission of COVID-19, many wonder how we got into a predicament where thousands die, millions are infected, and millions more lose their jobs or investment nest eggs. There were preliminary indications as far back as Nov. 17 that some people who frequented the wet…

COVID-19 panic lacks scientific justification

The international lockdown is pointless and unnecessarily painful. Is this really a pandemic or just another round of the flu?

COVID-19 panic lacks scientific justificationU.S. Gen. George Patton once proclaimed: “Fear kills more people than death!” That makes as much sense as something baseball great Yogi Berra said: “No one goes to that restaurant anymore; it’s too crowded.” These days no one goes to the restaurant because the government freaked out and shut it down. But some eminent medical…

What leaders really need is a healthy dose of decency

We need leaders who are smart, recognize people’s needs and do something positive to meet them

What leaders really need is a healthy dose of decencyNews about the COVID-19 virus has gone viral. Media coverage, ever-changing and often contradictory, screams at us from all directions. It inundates us as we work from home, self-isolate or have isolation thrust upon us. At times like this, we would do well to remember that life continues beyond the pandemic, even if the current…

The rise of Bernie Sanders’ ideas in the U.S. was inevitable

Corporate Democrats don’t seem to realize they’ve lost the trust of American people disillusioned by the lack of progress

The rise of Bernie Sanders’ ideas in the U.S. was inevitablePierre Trudeau once said to an American audience, “Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant … one is affected by every twitch and grunt.” The United States has built one of the most powerful empires the world has ever known. The founders created an ingenious system to allow for…

Wet’suwet’en dispute exposes system flaws

Resolving these Indigenous governance issues as well as cleaning up duty to consult policies is good for the First Nations involved as well as Canada

Wet’suwet’en dispute exposes system flawsIn January 2019, a group of breakaway hereditary chiefs from Wet'suwet'en First Nation in the interior of British Columbia erected a blockade on a remote forestry road in protest of the proposed Coastal GasLink pipeline to Kitimat, B.C. Eventually, the issues were addressed, the barricade came down and work on the site resumed. Observers worried…

Democracy can’t afford to stifle dissent and discussion

Protesters have silenced free speech through a combination of media pressure, inflated security costs claims, boycotts, riots and violence

Democracy can’t afford to stifle dissent and discussionThe Cancel Culture has claimed another victim. Renowned poet George Elliott Clarke has backed out of giving the University of Regina’s Woodrow Lloyd Lecture over accusations from Indigenous activists that he associates with another poet with a criminal background. His talk was to have been titled ‘Truth and Reconciliation;’ versus the ‘Murdered and Missing’: Examining…

Scheer’s departure shows political dissent has been crushed

Neither the Conservatives nor Scheer displayed the remotest capacity to fight back by hammering home the counter message about a Liberal Party in disarray

Scheer’s departure shows political dissent has been crushedIn the end, it’s probably just as well for both the Conservative Party and Canadians that leader Andrew Scheer resigned. Drawing, quartering and hanging might have been all the rage in the Elizabethan era. But it is, to paraphrase a certain prime minister, 2019, and no one gains today by having public political execution preceded…

Humanity faces a huge and growing crisis

The number of displaced, marginalized and impoverished people continues to grow. How we handle this will determine mankind’s future

Humanity faces a huge and growing crisisAt any given time, there are about 20 million people on the move in the world. When there’s war, terrorism, extreme weather events or other disruptions, this can grow to 80 million people trying to get to safety. We hear of illegal immigrants crossing borders and thousands of people walking north through Central America to…

A respectful Canada has room for disagreement

Closing politics and public life to those who are religious leaves us with a less tolerant society that brings fundamental freedoms into question

A respectful Canada has room for disagreementDisagreement is normal, if not necessary, in a healthy democracy. Being intolerant and disrespectful toward those with whom we disagree, however, is fatal to that democracy. Historically, Canadians have had the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (and the Bill of Rights before it) for protection. That’s especially important for racial, religious, political or sexual minorities,…
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