All entries by this author

Canada has its own populisms .. and rebellions — in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan!

Mar 23rd, 2017 | By Randall White | Category: In Brief

Last week the irrepressible Preston Manning had an article in the Globe and Mail on how “Canada’s elites could use a crash course in populism.” He cited  Tom Flanagan’s Waiting for the Wave and W. L. Morton’s The Progressive Party in Canada as useful reading for any elites actually wanting to take the course he [...]



Arduous Destiny : Canada’s alternative to the Great Barbecue, 1873-1896

Mar 8th, 2017 | By Randall White | Category: Heritage Now

The Dominion of Canada might have evolved in a somewhat less British imperial direction over the last three decades of the 19th century, if French Canada had discovered some worthy successor to George-Étienne Cartier. The closest approximation was probably Hector-Louis Langevin, after whom the Ottawa building (“Block”) that houses the 21st century Prime Minister’s Office [...]



How about the Pontiac or Louis Riel Block? : global-village Canadiana (and North Americana) in the winter of 2017

Feb 22nd, 2017 | By Randall White | Category: In Brief

TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA ETC, Mid-to-late February 2017. RE : Steinmeier in Germany, Rosenbaum on Trump, Carlos Fraenkel on a mosque in Quebec City, and a footnote on changing the name of the Langevin Block in Ottawa to the Pontiac (or Louis Riel) Block. I first started pondering this quartet of obscure but deep political thoughts [...]



Was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s biggest success in 2016 the seduction of right-wing hockey icon Don Cherry?

Jan 14th, 2017 | By Randall White | Category: In Brief

Up here in the northern woods the imminent departure of Barack Obama and accession of Donald Trump in Washington has focused attention on our own Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — summarized by Mark Bonokoski of the Postmedia Network several days ago as the “eldest son of Canada’s Philosopher King.” This time last year Justin Trudeau’s [...]



Private night thoughts inspired by Stephen Marche on the Obama years, in the Los Angeles Review of Books

Dec 7th, 2016 | By Randall White | Category: In Brief

The text for my holiday season night thoughts here is Stephen Marche, “The Obama Years,” Los Angeles Review of Books, November 30, 2016. Mr. Marche reports early on that “I was 32 when Obama danced over the green sea of raised phones at his first inaugural ball. I will be 40 by the time he [...]



The good, bad, and ugly in French philosopher Bruno Latour’s take on the tragedy of Donald Trump

Nov 22nd, 2016 | By Randall White | Category: In Brief

The usually agreeable X keeps telling me that he is working on some major tone poem called “Toronto notes : Donald Trump as Rob Ford, Part Deux .. and that really did end tragically.” He wants to take the time to get it right. It will be ready soon …etc. Meanwhile the managing editor says [...]



What happened? … without rigged system of the electoral college Trump wouldn’t have won

Nov 9th, 2016 | By Randall White | Category: In Brief

[UPDATED NOVEMBER 10, 12]. What happened on November 8, 2016 in the United States of America? A few personal impressions from the accumulating vast collection out there, based mostly on US TV, various online resources in the miraculous Age of the Internet, and a few intermittent conversations with actual voters in various parts of the [...]



Do we really want the Ontario Provincial Police enforcing good manners in our regional democracy?

Nov 3rd, 2016 | By Randall White | Category: In Brief

The Ontario Provincial Police have now actually charged two Ontario Liberal Party workers — Patricia Sorbara in Toronto and Gerry Lougheed in Sudbury — with “bribery” under the provincial Elections Act, in connection with a political controversy surrounding a by-election in Sudbury almost two years ago. My own reaction when I first heard the news [...]



Maybe new Advisory Board for Senate Appointments in Canada should experiment with selection by lottery too

Oct 28th, 2016 | By Randall White | Category: In Brief

The juxtaposition of the last days of the twisted 2016 US election campaign and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s latest round of “independent” appointments to the still seriously unreformed Senate of Canada casts some harsh light on what the new Liberal government in Ottawa is trying to do with this archaic Canadian institution — still too [...]



New mood over US election makes you wonder : is this a good thing?

Oct 24th, 2016 | By Randall White | Category: In Brief

[UPDATED OCTOBER 25]. The big worry about the 2016 US election now is that (once again?) the forces of progress are growing too complacent and/or triumphalistic. Two of the last five national polls on both the Real Clear Politics and  Five Thirty Eight sites have Trump tied or slightly ahead. Even the more impressionistic TV [...]