Conservatives and the Canadian precariat

A coupe of years ago I wrote about “Populism and the Canadian ‘Precariat’” and I suggested, quoting others, that “social chasms defined by the concentration of wealth at the top of society and, for everyone else, by economic pessimism and stagnation; by a comfortable feeling on one end of the societal teeter-totter, and a fear on the other …

A very conservative idea (2)

I have written, more than once, in favour of some sort of guaranteed annual income based on a negative income tax system. I have called it a very conservative idea because it has been advanced by e.g. Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman … … and while I know that many so-called conservatives oppose the idea …

Sleeping with the elephant

It is time to return to thinking about the USA and how Canada can and should respond to what is happening there. I have been a fan of Professor Amy Chua since her first book, ‘World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability’ was published almost 20 years ago. …

A very Conservative idea

I have discussed the notion of a universal basic income several times. I always focus on a negative income tax ~ an idea proposed, mainly, by the Nobel Prize-winning conservative economist Milton Friedman. As explained by the Sloan School of Management at the famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “This structure is designed so that people …

Is Conservatism Dead?

John Ibitson, writing in the Globe and Mail, says what I suspect many are thinking: “The lacklustre race for leader of the Conservative Party of Canada is further evidence of the impossibility of conservatism in our time.” It’s not that conservatism is dead, he says, but, he explains, and I agree that “in this century, …

One old person’s thoughts about caring for old people

I’m not shocked at what military medics found in some long term care facilities. Saddened, but not shocked. Anecdote: I was in a conversation, a few years ago, about PTSD. One fellow said something that stuck with me. ‘It wasn’t,’ he said, ‘the fighting or the killing that got to me. My training prepared me …

New normal?

The other morning I was in my local supermarket (during the 7:00 AM “senior’s hour”) and I was chatting ~ at a safe distance ~ with one of the managers. I remarked on the rather large number of employees packing shopping baskets (three or four large green baskets in one large shopping cart) for others. …

A crisis of governance

I have been arguing for some time that liberalism, and with it democracy, are under stress. I see the stressors coming from two directions: From autocrats like Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping; and From populists ~ Donald J Trump being their frontman. But Thomas Carothers of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, writing in Foreign …

Winning without Québec

Éric Grenier, who founded the poll aggregation site threehndredeight.com, and who is now a senior writer and polling analyst for the CBC, takes a look at Conservative fortunes in Québec since confederation. His analysis is, mostly, sound but he forgets one important historical point: the North-West Rebellion (1885). I believe that the French Canadian elites …

The Precariat squared

I have written, several times before about the precariat (which is sometimes defined as a social class formed by people suffering from precarity, which is a condition of existence without predictability or security, affecting material or psychological welfare). The main problem of the precariat is the very precariousness (hence the term) of its day-to-day and …