Thursday, November 1, 2012

Worth Reading - November 1, 2012

Yesterday was my favourite holiday on the calendar – Hallowe’en. I could list all the reasons why I love Hallowe’en but I sincerely doubt that A) anyone cares and B) that it makes much sense to do so here However, there are things I hate about Hallowe’en. The Toronto Standard highlighted one of those major issues last week – racist costumes. It is a poisonous thing. A 20-something guy throws on a beard and ‘brown-face’ and straps plastic rods around himself and ha ha, he’s a Muslim terrorist. I get it. The other component of this is the sexualized nature of women’s costumes. I won’t go into that now, maybe next year.

I had an interview today for a new job. I am optimistic about my chances to get the position. That puts me in a minority among my peer group, or so it feels. Tavia Grant and Janet MacFarland wrote an amazing piece about the state of young people in Canada. Grant and MacFarland present the argument that young people are being squeezed by a number of factors placing middle class lifestyles and a stable future further outside their reach. Excellent piece, if slightly depressing.

John Ivison has written a piece recently that could be titled, ‘Not Your Father’s NDP’. Ivison highlights the growing pragmatism (and perhaps centrism) within the NDP. Their approach to policies in Ottawa may badly damage the Conservative’s attacks on their economic positions and ideological nature.

These last three posts are at least somewhat related to each other. Surprise, the theme is democracy in Canada.

Barbara Yaffe says that if Canada’s democracy is in decline it is the voters’ fault. It’s hard to disagree with that central point. There is no struggle within the national consciousness over the centralization of power and the continual erosion of parliamentary privilege.

Related to the above point is this piece. Rafe Mair wants Canadians, particularly educators, to be more honest about the system of government we actually have. The type of system you learn in Civics class is not really how Canada operates, tragically.

Finally, Michael Den Tandt joins the chorus of voices decrying the state of Canada’s democracy. Den Tandt argues that the seemingly normal operation of the country merely hides the prolific deterioration. 

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