Key Current Issues

Hieronymus Bosch back in land of free .. Commonwealth down .. Canada as US backdoor to Europe

Sep 22nd, 2016 | By L. Frank Bunting | Category: Key Current Issues

Back in the middle of this past March 2016 my esteemed colleague Citizen X was telling us : “The wisest thing I’ve come across on the American presidential primaries lately urges that 2016 so far is ‘democracy as depicted by Hieronymus Bosch’” (from the Huffington Post’s “Top 12 Reasons This Is The Most Depressing Election [...]



Northern lights on US election I : Will Sunday audacity of hope in Europe finally reach American midwest?

Jul 31st, 2016 | By Citizen X | Category: Key Current Issues

If the bad sides of current events in Europe can reasonably be seen as part of the 2016 US election (and something US presidents can somehow be viewed as responsible for), then so should the good sides. I was impressed in this light myself by the Raphael Satter and Colleen Barry Associated Press report variously [...]



The West needs new Middle East policies … but are we really headed for some new Grand Alliance from WWII?

Nov 18th, 2015 | By L. Frank Bunting | Category: Key Current Issues

The appalling ISIS-related terrorist attacks in Paris this past Friday make at least one thing clear. How a person reacts to such international events in a place like Canada (or even the United States, sometimes) can depend a lot on general political brands that have nothing to do with terrorism. According to the Toronto Star, [...]



Harold Innis’s case for Canadian Senate reform in the 1940s

Apr 10th, 2015 | By Counterweights Editors | Category: Key Current Issues

The ongoing trial of suspended Canadian Senator Mike Duffy has reminded some of us that back in the late spring of 2013 Randall White posted a note on this site about Harold Innis’s “more or less random observations on the Senate, and the related issue of Canadian regionalism”  — which, taken together, “add up to [...]



Walking winter wonderland with black holes, Alaska pot, Douglas Coupland, and Michael Seward’s Aeschylus

Feb 27th, 2015 | By L. Frank Bunting | Category: Key Current Issues

If you live in the North American northeast and are fed up with winter, join the club. My ultimate goal is just to transcend the moment. So I have decided I like the almost-waist-high snow walls between the sidewalk and the road, glistening in the sunlight. “As we face unafraid / The plans that we’ve [...]



What if the UK reforms the House of Lords before we finally get serious about the Senate in Canada?

Apr 26th, 2014 | By Randall White | Category: Key Current Issues

The April 25, 2014 Supreme Court of Canada response to the Harper government’s queries on Senate reform includes some poignant passages. This is one of them: “The Constitution Act, 1867 contemplates a specific structure for the federal Parliament, ‘similar in Principle to that of the United Kingdom’ … The Act creates both a lower elected [...]



Memo to Bill Maher .. Rob Ford may seem to make a few good points .. but he’s no disciple of Lenny Bruce

Nov 26th, 2013 | By Citizen X | Category: Key Current Issues

In my advancing age “Real Time with Bill Maher” on HBO TV is one of the highlights of my Friday nights. I’m sad to think that this past Friday’s episode (November 22, 2013) will be the last until the new year. For my money Bill Maher actually is a spiritual descendant of Lenny Bruce. And [...]



The Cooperative Capital Markets Regulator in Canada .. three surprised cheers for Flaherty, Sousa, and de Jong

Sep 19th, 2013 | By Counterweights Editors | Category: Key Current Issues

We are reluctant to give too much credit for anything to the Harper government in Ottawa (to say nothing of federal finance minister Jim Flaherty). But today’s surprising announcement that the “federal, Ontario and British Columbia governments … have agreed to establish a co-operative securities regulator” qualifies as an unavoidable exception to the rule. As [...]



Money in politics is “a big problem” and “ Lawrence Lessig is right”?

Apr 26th, 2013 | By Counterweights Editors | Category: Key Current Issues

One thing about life in the global village nowadays is that the subtleties of political debate keep getting lost in the demands of 140-characters-or-less, and similar rules elsewhere. (And if you think things were always that way, try reading a 19th century newspaper.) A case in point glows brightly in this past Wednesday’s Washington Post [...]



Manic depressive markets … another reason for stopping the market economy from turning us into a market society?

Jun 12th, 2012 | By Randall White | Category: Key Current Issues

Two articles I stumbled across this morning, ostensibly on the Spanish banking bailout, have brought two other articles from the somewhat more distant past into mind. The first (in the first group) is “Europe’s Fail-Out: 4 Reasons Why Spain’s Bailout Is Doomed Already,” from the Business section of the Atlantic website. The second is “Fitch [...]