Tag Archives: Politics

History and the Perils of Inevitability

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By Jonathan McQuarrie Not long after Donald Trump’s victory, Hillary Clinton sought to reassure her supporters, and perhaps herself. Echoing President Obama, who in turn drew on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., she said “the arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice.” This is a reasonable and comforting thing to assert, and it may well be right…. Read more »

Was Laurier Canada’s Obama?

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Laurier, were he alive today, would probably point to the parallels between his situation and that in the United States in 2016. The election of both Obama and Laurier signaled a new political era, where the old “race” hostilities could be turned into something more consensual and progressive. But in both countries, something different happened.

Masculinities and the Culture of Parliament

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By Matt Barrett Without a hint of hyperbole, the House of Commons descended into a scene resembling a Blue Jays–Rangers dugout-clearing brawl on the afternoon of May 18th. According to Peter Mansbridge, “We’ve never seen anything like this in the House of Commons.” Prior to a vote on the assisted-dying bill, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau crossed the floor, entered a… Read more »

The European Extreme Right Yesterday and Today

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Alban Bargain-Villéger Studies on the European ultra-nationalist right are not exactly rare. Over the last couple of decades, many a tree has been felled and much ink has been spilled on the extreme right in our day and age and its connections (or lack thereof) with the fascist movements and parties of old. But despite the abundance of works on… Read more »

Everything Moves Real Slow: Where is the Left?

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By David Frank For some years I taught an undergraduate seminar on the history of the Canadian left, and one of the things students did at the first meeting was to try to name people who represented the contemporary “left” in Canada. Last year, the answers included Jack Layton, Olivia Chow and Thomas Mulcair, an indication that at least in… Read more »

The 2015 Election and the Trans Pacific Partnership: A View from 1988

By Jonathan McQuarrie Intensive negotiations in Maui over the last few days of July failed to finalize the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). However, the discussions continue. The negotiations for this comprehensive framework, which would incorporate twelve national economies[1] into an agreement with harmonized standards on tariffs, labour and environmental regulations, are to continue over the Canadian election period. Regardless of… Read more »

Couillard, Cartier and Confederation: Old Ideas, New Voices

By Jared Milne 2014 was a year of change in Quebec, as Philippe Couillard led the provincial Liberals to victory over the Parti Quebecois (PQ) government of Pauline Marois. Since taking power Couillard and his Intergovernmental Affairs Minister, Jean-Marc Fournier, have played up Quebec’s “distinct society.” In a speech at the Canada 2020 conference, Fournier claimed that the “distinct society” clause that… Read more »

Polls and the Crisis of Confidence

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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 »

European Nativism Narrows the Horizons of the European Union Project

By Aitana Guia From its inception in 1950, federalists and intergovernmentalists wrestled for control of a project to unify Western Europe on economic and political terms.  For most of its six decades of existence, those who were reluctant to cease a growing share of their sovereignty to European institutions in Brussels held federalists at bay. Booming postwar economic times fueled the… Read more »

The Politics of Motherhood: How Far Have We Come?

By Christine McLaughlin and Councillor Amy England We’ve come a long way from the days when women were denied the vote and barred from public office. Because of the efforts of a few willing to challenge the status quo, women won the right to vote and serve as political representatives in twentieth-century Canada. But many barriers remain for women in… Read more »