Tag Archives: politics

Anti-Intellectualism and Politics

Dur­ing 2015, Cana­da took a con­scious, intro­spec­tive turn toward a more pro­gres­sive jour­ney as vot­ers elect­ed Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau. Since then, we’ve been mak­ing inroads on a sig­nif­i­cant depar­ture from the atti­tudes of the pri­or admin­is­tra­tion and stay­ing most­ly true to this. While there remains a lot of heavy lift­ing to do in cor­rect­ing the anti-progress lega­cy of Stephen Harp­er, we’re on the road to recov­ery. There remains a cer­tain faith in gov­ern­ment, such that we’ve sig­nif­i­cant­ly boost­ed vot­er turnout. That in itself speaks vol­umes.

The change of admin­is­tra­tion brought with it some very pub­lic moments, like the new equal­i­ty cab­i­net, the rise of an abo­rig­i­nal chief as Jus­tice Min­is­ter, and the appoint­ment of an inter­na­tion­al­ly respect­ed war hero as Defense Min­is­ter.

While these changes are in all respects wel­come, and in most cas­es long past due, it’s the sub­tle stuff we don’t see going on behind the scenes day-to-day which con­tributes just as much if not more to the shap­ing of our char­ac­ter as a cul­ture of many dif­fer­ent cul­tures. The way our politi­cians behave toward one anoth­er, their inter­ac­tion with the peo­ple, their will­ing­ness to cham­pi­on progress and edu­ca­tion, their atti­tudes toward strangers, and their com­pas­sion towards the ‘oth­er’ — all of these are the mea­sure of a politi­cian whether that indi­vid­ual is with­in view of the press or not. One thing I found reas­sur­ing about this past elec­tion was the con­scious rejec­tion of divi­sive pol­i­tics by the Cana­di­an peo­ple. What we have right now is not per­fect by any mea­sure, but it’s a lot bet­ter than the alter­na­tive might have been.

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The Canadian Parliament Attack and its Aftermath

On Octo­ber 22nd, gun­shots rang out on Par­lia­ment Hill as a sin­gle gun­man, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, attacked a group of sol­diers on cer­e­mo­ni­al duty at the Nation­al War Memo­r­i­al, caus­ing the death of Cpl. Nathan Cir­il­lo. The gun­man then pro­ceed­ed indoors at Cen­tre Block, where at the time cau­cus­es were still in ses­sion, and fired sev­er­al more rounds before being engaged and killed by House of Com­mons Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vick­ers.

While the scene ini­tial­ly unfold­ed like the wild script of a Call of Duty game, with the added hor­ror and pan­ic among a mul­ti­tude of onlook­ers, the dif­fi­cult real­i­ty began to sink in as the events left a strong impres­sion on our nation­al psy­che. Since that day, Cana­da as a nation and as a cul­ture has been left to wres­tle with the high­ly nuanced cir­cum­stances of these events and the inci­dents lead­ing up to them.

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Finally, Some Clarity in the Rob Ford Scandal

For those of us in Cana­da and abroad who have kept an eye to the news, there have been some very shock­ing rev­e­la­tions in the ongo­ing Rob Ford scan­dal, above all else that the may­or of Toron­to has admit­ted he smoked crack cocaine and pur­chased ille­gal sub­stances.

This, in and of itself, should right­ful­ly mer­it charges under the Con­trolled Drugs and Sub­stances Act if we are to apply the law even­ly to a hold­er of office as we would to any­one else on the street. Cocaine is a Sched­ule 1 con­trolled sub­stance car­ry­ing a manda­to­ry min­i­mum sen­tence. Due to the recent tough­en­ing of Cana­di­an drug laws and drug pol­i­cy, law enforce­ment does not look kind­ly on either sim­ple pos­ses­sion or trans­ac­tions for the pur­pos­es of obtain­ing an ille­gal sub­stance.

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