What happens when voters reject reality? Let’s all watch Greece and find out… because we might be next.
John Robson, Postmedia Network
John Robson, with a B.A. and M.A. in history from the University of Toronto and a Ph.D in American history from the University of Texas at Austin, has worked in academia, think tanks and politics as well as doing print, radio, TV and online journalism in Canada. He is married to Brigitte Pellerin.
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What if it had been consensual?
Anyone feel like gallivanting off to Paris for a day? Eh? Too much jet lag to be useful the first day? And too expensive? Well, you’d make a lousy politician.
With Vladimir Putin drooling over the rest of Ukraine the plan seems to be to stick our tongues out at him. Laden with sententious rhetoric, to be sure. But we can’t shake our fist at him because we haven’t got one.
There are many things I could say about the upcoming Quebec election, some of which my editors would even let me print. But can we start with this “fixed election date” business?
Prime Minister Harper’s Mideast trip was going pretty well until I opened the paper and saw him handing Jordan about $100 million. Man. That’s one expensive photo-op.
O Canada, land of our ancestors, what hath become of thy anthem?
The people reaching for the reins now slipping from Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty's hands trot out the usual gooblahoy about renewal and new visions and hard-working families and the middle class. But at the hard core of governing is money - raising it in taxes, spending it on programs. And Ontario has a real problem to which those who would be premier seem strangely oblivious.
Political conventions are strange tribal gatherings whose frequent emotional outbursts, frenzied responses to obscure issues and peculiar sense of embattled joy might prove upsetting to normal people.
Equalization makes us poorer, encourages bad policy and fosters bitterness. Unfortunately we can't just take it out behind the barn and kill it with an axe. It's wedged into the Constitution and besides, its original purpose of protecting Canadians against the possibility of a provincial government collapsing financially is not unworthy. But we cou
Satirist P.J. O'Rourke says, "Beyond a certain point complexity is fraud ... when someone creates a system in which you can't tell whether or not you're being fooled, you're being fooled."
Equalization doesn't just reward failure. It encourages it.
In Canada's fiscal Olympics, large equalization payments constitute the brass, tin and lead medals. They recognize and reward persistent policy failure lasting decades.
Canadians have given Quebec a quarter of a trillion dollars in equalization payments since 1957, half of all the money the program has handed out. Over that span of more than 50 years, Quebec has always been the biggest beneficiary, and has never been a net contributor to equalization.
We are all environmentalists now. So why aren't activists happy the RCMP is watching for terrorists infiltrating their organizations?
Even for a desperate politician, B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s attack on the Northern Gateway pipeline was exceptionally mean and stupid. It’s no accident Canadian provinces are not allowed to behave like highwaymen. But it is astounding that Clark doesn’t know it.