More on defence procurement

I have said, more than once, that the current Canadian defence procurement “system” is, to be charitable, a wasteful inefficient, ineffective mess. It is not the fault of civil servants, nor of admirals and generals who do, I suspect, try to push procurement decisions in certain, favoured directions, nor, even, of politicians who want to […]

The hedgehog who changed a country

In a famous essay, written in the early 1950s, the great British liberal philosopher Isaiah Berlin commented on an ancient Greek aphorism, preserved in a fragment from the poet Archilochus: “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” Berlin expanded on this notion dealing with the “one big idea” people, from […]

The Hong Kong elections

Hong Kong, where this blog is being written over this winter, matters. It is one of the world’s great cities, a veritable city-state with its own membership in many, many international bodies, and a global financial capital. As many may know Hong Kong (population about 7.5 million) just elected a new Chief Executive ~ something […]

More on Soft Power

Two of my friends, both writing in Army.ca have picked up on an important idea: One asks ~ “Is it reasonable to suggest that Coca Cola, McDonalds, KFC and Pizza Hut are more effective at selling America than any government programme?  And,” he adds, “they create American jobs both at home and overseas;” The second […]

It’s simple enough: no one gives a damn

The National Post, in an unsigned National Post View (editorial) piece asks: “Which branch of the military, exactly, do the Liberals plan to gut this time?” After explaining that underfunding the military and choosing to ignore our commitment aspiration to spend 2% on defence is a bipartisan Canadian political tradition, the Post reviews the current deficiencies: […]

We have lost a little bit more of our liberty

I am a Conservative … but that’s because I am, in reality a classic, 19th century, Victorian liberal. My liberalism, and, therefore, my adherence to Conservative values, is grounded in John Locke and John Stuart Mill, and in the politics of classic Whigs and Tories like the Duke of Wellington, Edmund Burke, and Disraeli and […]

More on the RCEP ~ and why Canada should act, soon

There is a very useful article in Foreign Affairs that provides a bit of a primer on the world’s post-TPP options. It is headlined: “A New Deal in Asia – Can RCEP Pick Up Where the TPP Left Off?” I have suggested before that the RCEP (East Asian Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) is the most suitable forum […]

Another failed budget

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau prove, yet again, that Canada’s Liberal government is, in reality, a good, maybe even very good election campaign team but a failure at the hard work of governing. The budget is long on rhetoric ~ it mentions “innovation” over 200 times! ~ but short on actions […]

Principles, Refugees, Responsibility and Will

Almost a year ago I wrote about what I see as the real challenge in the refugee policy domain: preventing people from having to flee their homes in fear, rather than figuring how where and how to settle them after they have fled. My answer, as you might expect, involved having a principled foreign policy, […]

The Arctic, again

The Sputnik news agency, which is a Russian, state controlled internet and broadcast news agency that has been accused, by NATO, “of being part of a “Kremlin propaganda machine” distributing biased articles and “misinformation” to influence political opinion around the world,” has published an article about renewed Russian submarine operations in the Arctic. “Russian combat […]