All entries by this author

Democracy in British Columbia 2017 : suddenly it’s very interesting

Jun 19th, 2017 | By Randall White | Category: In Brief

[UPDATED JUNE 20, 22]. Without a doubt the most interesting thing in Canadian politics right now is the continuing fallout from the May 9, 2017 provincial election in beautiful British Columbia on Canada’s Pacific coast. To start with, make a strong mental note that 44 seats constitute the barest of majorities in BC’s 87-seat elected [...]



London Bridge not falling down Ricky Gervais says .. meanwhile what about that UK election on June 8?

Jun 5th, 2017 | By Randall White | Category: In Brief

[UPDATED JUNE 9]. We were just watching TV on a Saturday night,  north of the North American Great Lakes. And then CNN, MSNBC, CBC News, CTV News Channel, and most immediately and crucially BBC News only had eyes for : “6 people dead plus 3 attackers killed in London ‘terrorist incidents’ … ‘Evil, evil people’: [...]



Sunny Ways : Imperial Preference, New Boom, and Last Best West, 1896–1911

May 28th, 2017 | By Randall White | Category: Heritage Now

The late 19th century Canadian liberal nationalist light that failed was Edward Blake —  founder of the early 21st century business law firm Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP (aka “Blakes”), with offices in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa, Montréal, New York City, London (England), Beijing, and Manama (Bahrain). Blake came from a well-off progressive family of [...]



Monarchism’s last gasp as protest against decline of old WASP hegemony in Canada (and Australia etc)

May 17th, 2017 | By Randall White | Category: In Brief

WEDNESDAY, MAY 17, 2017. Toronto, Ontario.  This coming Monday we will celebrate locally what is known here in Ontario (and other Canadian provinces) as Victoria Day.  (In Quebec the same holiday is now more sensibly called  Journée nationale des patriotes.) The holiday is nowadays defined as “the last Monday preceding May 25.” And this entrenches [...]



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 [...]