• The Localist Revolution

    Localism is the belief that power should be wielded as much as possible at the neighborhood, city and state levels. Localism is thriving — as a philosophy and a way of doing things… But under localism, the crucial power center is at the tip of the shovel, where the actual work is being done. Expertise is not in the think tanks but among those who have local knowledge, those with a feel for how things work in a specific place and an awareness of who gets stuff done. Success is not measured by how big you can scale, but by how deeply you can connect.

  • Federal government urged to rein in mandatory minimum sentences

    “Crowns and judges alike… share the concern of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association that mandatory minimum sentences interfere with the ability of the parties to properly assess cases, properly exercise discretion and to resolve matters that should be resolved.” … “The proliferation of mandatory minimum penalties not only disproportionately impacts Indigenous peoples, but also harms us all by making Canada a harsher, more punitive country and by undermining our commitment to equality and the rule of law,”

  • Now He’s Won, Can Doug Ford Fill Voters’ Desire for ‘Order?’

    With economic upheavals, there is a segment of the population looking for stability and order. Not sharing in economic prosperity, they look to government to slow social change, such as those related to immigration and multiculturalism. Lacking faith in transformative change, they look to politics as a way to deliver small material benefits like a tax cut or cheaper hydro. Holding onto those voters is a fundamental challenge for Ford and his government.

  • The coming, chaotic battle for the soul of a Doug Ford government

    He wants to cut taxes on corporate and personal income and fuel. He wants to increase spending on health care and infrastructure and (so far as one can tell) by further using provincial funds to relieve energy ratepayers. He intends to do all this and much more while steering the budget back to balance, without cutting a single public-sector job. In other words, he has conveyed no priorities at all, because he has displayed no willingness to choose between incompatible things.

  • The Next Four Years: An Ontario election post-mortem

    … Premier-designate Doug Ford… swept into power on a thin platform that was never fully costed. Economists estimate at least a $10 billion fiscal hole in the party’s promises. That means there will either be deep and painful cuts, a lot of unfulfilled promises, or both. Progressives who hoped Ontario was on the brink of a major expansion of social programs—universal dental care, pharmacare, child care, affordable housing—will now be tasked with turning that hope into resolve.

  • Ford’s win exposes the angry blind spot of Canadian democracy

    … a majority of males between the ages of 20 and 55 appears to have handed Doug Ford power over the next four years, and his supporters are, by and large, anything but optimistic about the economy or, for that matter, anything else… The trigger of their discontent is that they belong to that sizeable chunk of the province’s population who have been standing still or moving backward in the economy over the past 30 or so years, and who do not see things getting better in the future.

  • Ford’s victory: Welcome to the new era of post-policy politics

    … the lack of platform was his platform, and his snub of policy was part of his pitch… Ontario voters have now formally joined the ranks of others around the world who live in the era of post-platform politics and post-policy government. Chronic volatility resulting from global markets and geopolitical jolts has led to widespread acceptance that traditional platforms – and the partisan policies upon which they rest – are largely irrelevant.

  • Imagining the best-case scenario for the Ford years

    The worst of the lot won. Doug Ford is premier-to-be. We said he is unfit for the job, and that remains true. From his bullying personality to his lying to his simplistic mind to his ignorance of government, Mr. Ford has all the makings of a poor political leader for the province… And yet… maybe it would not be too self-indulgent to allow ourselves a wishful glance ahead at the next four years in search of a prospect that isn’t all gloom.

  • For Ontario voters, leadership and vision are not on offer

    This election has been a forlorn hunt for the needed mixture of integrity and smart policy. The electorate cannot vote for leadership where it does not exist, or for platforms that are wrong for the times. So if you are lucky enough to have a local candidate who embodies integrity and principle, we encourage you to support him or her. The representatives you choose will need to be strong to hold the next premier to account.

  • Young voters in Ontario should make sure their voice is heard this week

    The main issues go well beyond health care and taxes, the perennial ones that drive older, more established voters. This time, affordable housing and daycare, cheaper university tuition, free dental care and prescription drug coverage and a higher minimum wage – all issues that directly affect a younger voting demographic — are in play… Overall, voter turnout in Ontario is among the lowest in Canada… Among voters in the 18-24 age bracket it’s believed to be closer to 30 per cent…