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/

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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,

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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

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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

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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

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Northern Reflections: Sophocles Knew How The Story Went

Two weeks ago, I applauded as European leaders finally forced their mega banks to take a haircut. But events this week have illustrated how fragile their plan is. The union is too multifaceted to deal with the extraordinary mess the so called best and brightest have managed to create.

As Tom Walkom points out in The Toronto Star, what began as a noble experiment fell victim to arrogance:

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Northern Reflections: Science is Useful

When the Harper government encounters facts which contradict its preconceived notions, it simply ignores them. That is certainly the case with the government’s tough on crime agenda. As Jeffrey Simpson writes in this morning’s Globe and Mail, homicides in Canada are at their lowest level since 1966; and, because homicide rates are considered a "social barometer,"  those numbers should be

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Northern Reflections: Harpocrisy

Tony Clement was grilled yesterday by a parliamentary committee  reviewing spending for "border security" in his riding. But, as Lawrence Martin writes this morning, "It’s John Baird who is on the hook for G-8 money games." The trouble is that Baird sees only a picayune bureaucratic transgression:

It should be noted that the $50-million was more than just a top-up.
It was the bulk. The

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