By Sean Graham In 1937, following the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, the Mackenzie King government passed the Foreign Enlistment Act. Like other western democratic countries, Canada had decided to stay out the war, which saw the democratically-elected Republican government fight against the Francisco Franco-led Nationalists. Despite the law, over 1,600 Canadians went to Spain to fight alongside the… Read more »
By Sean Graham As an undergraduate student, I had an idea for a paper in my fourth year seminar on Canadian history to write about the 1930 federal election. It was a campaign that I was intrigued by – you had an economic collapse, a new leader of the Conservative Party, and a Prime Minister who would come back five… Read more »
By Sean Graham In this episode of the History Slam, which is a special bonus episode as part of Activehistory.ca’s taxation week, I talk Shirley Tillotson of Dalhousie University. We chat about her new book Give and Take: The Citizen-Taxpayer and the Rise of Canadian Democracy, Elsbeth Heaman’s new book Tax, Order, and Good Government: A New Political History of… Read more »
This is the seventh post in a two week series in partnership with Canada Watch on the Confederation Debates By Dennis Pilon In over a thousand pages of the original Confederation debates very little was said about democracy, and what did appear was almost entirely negative. In 1865 politicians across the spectrum were united in their disdain for anything claiming to be… Read more »
By Alban Bargain-Villéger In the wake of the January 7-9 attacks in France, millions of tweets, millions of demonstrators, thousands of heads of state, intellectuals, and celebrities of all kinds not only condemned the murders of seventeen people (including four as a result of an anti-Semitic hostage taking linked to the other shootings), but also praised Charlie Hebdo’s courage in… Read more »
By Jonathan McQuarrie Why do newspapers support the public-opinion polls?…Not only do the modern polls, based on a small, carefully selected cross section, provide more accurate measurements; they can be applied to give continuous and rapid measurements of public opinion at all times. -George Gallup and Saul Forbes Rae, The Pulse of Democracy, 1940, 119. So called ‘pollsters’ should hang… Read more »
While the recent protest movements in the Middle East reveal much about the present state of civic community among the people of those nations — Iran, Tunisia, and Egypt (and a growing list of others) — our reaction to them reveals more about ourselves than we should perhaps find flattering.