Northern Reflections: A Rae Of Hope

Lawrence Martin  — who admits being inspired by MacKenzie King — looks into his crystal ball this morning and predicts that Bob Rae will lead the Liberals in opposition and Mark Carney will lead them back to power. At the moment, both predictions are a bit of a stretch. However, Martin accurately notes that Rae is off to an "impressive start."

Those who believe that the centre has dropped

Continue reading

Northern Reflections: They Don’t Know What They’re Talking About

The Hill Times reports that an invitation has gone out to all Conservative MP’s and senators to come and network at the Albany Club on December 1st. The speical guest for the occasion will be Treasury Board President Tony Clement. The menu is part of the draw:

a 10 oz. U.S. bone-in prime beef filet mignon, braised Alberta buffalo
stew, vodka smoked salmon among the main course fine meals

Continue reading

Northern Reflections: Angry Old Men

Last week, in The Globe and Mail, Brian Topp  wrote that a little discussed part of the government’s Omnibus Crime Bill represents a significant change in policy at Canadian prisons:

To be specific, the Tories want to amend article 4(d) of the Corrections
and Conditional Release Act (1992). The relevant clause establishes the
principle “that the service use the least restrictive measures

Continue reading

Northern Reflections: They Get It

The reaction is starting to set in. The Occupy Protesters have been evicted from their camps in London and Halifax. Mayor Rob Ford has told the people in St. James Park it’s time to go. John Gardiner, who calls himself "an old hippie," writes that the civic officials who are evicting the protesters don’t get it:

They don’t understand why people are willing to endure the squalor and

Continue reading

Northern Reflections: Rememberance Day, 2011

I awoke this morning to the refrain, "And the band played waltzing Matilda." I thought of my father, who spent some of World War II in Australia. Most of the time, he was behind anti-aircraft guns — the kind that fire large shells and make a lot of noise. Understandably, by the end of the war, he wanted nothing to do with guns — large or small. I never saw him go near one.

However, he did

Continue reading

Northern Reflections: It’s More Than The Economy

Chantal Hebert writes in today’s Toronto Star that the Liberal Party is floundering because Canadians believe Stephen Harper is a competent economic manager:

The global economic downturn has become to Harper what the unity
debate was for a string of successful Liberal governments — a defining
file that he is managing to own.

So far, no opposition figure is
emerging to give the Harper/

Continue reading

Northern Reflections: When Every Vote Counts

Every several decades, David Shribman writes, the United States has an election in which "the country seems to approach one of the hinges of history." The election of 2012  will be such an election. While a significant number of voters may be in the center, the nation’s two political parties are not:

Sometimes, it seems as if the two parties are occupying different
universes. In Congress,

Continue reading

Northern Reflections: Dull But Brilliant

Canadians tend to think that their country’s history is dull. But like William Lyon Mackenzie King — one of Canada’s longest serving prime ministers — there is much that is brilliant below the surface. Lawrence Martin writes that King was unquestionably a weirdo:

Few knew that seances, table-rapping sessions and communing with the
likes of William Gladstone, Wilfrid Laurier and other

Continue reading

Northern Reflections: The Sun Also Rises

Paul Krugman writes in the New York Times that solar power is no longer the Impossible Dream:

. . . progress in solar panels has been so dramatic and sustained that, as a blog post at Scientific American put it,
“there’s now frequent talk of a ‘Moore’s law’ in solar energy,” with
prices adjusted for inflation falling around 7 percent a year.

This has already led to rapid growth

Continue reading

Northern Reflections: The Problem of Political Courage

Chantal Hebert argues in today’s Toronto Star that the repatriation of the Constitution in 1981 unleashed a tide of populism which has paralyzed Canada’s parliamentary institutions:

In the three decades since the patriation conference, the parties and the
politicians who have espoused the new culture of populism have thrived;
those who clung to the old ways have wilted. Canada’s

Continue reading