Engineering a ‘green recovery’ is a terrible idea

Monday, June 1st, 2020

The Liberals… should resist the temptation to design a conventional economic stimulus package until it is absolutely clear that one is necessary. As for any planned green recovery, they should avoid costly policies that involve picking winners and rely instead on a rising carbon price to do its job.

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Canada has never had shared values

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Dec. 22, 2011
Canada is a liberal democracy, and like similar societies, it is designed to allow us to get along despite widespread and non-negotiable disagreements over values – that is, over how people should live their lives. Our political institutions, underwritten by constitutional declarations such as the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, don’t assume that citizens have shared values. Instead, they work by providing a framework that is neutral with respect to controversial questions of value. This neutrality is what underwrites our freedoms of expression, of religion, and of association.

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Alienated from what? By whom?

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Dec. 8, 2011
A new study… found non-voters are not apathetic or ignorant of the political system… politics only became a source of frustration through unpleasant interactions with political institutions… Is it possible that when it comes to political engagement, most Canadians are… neither alienated nor engaged until they are asked by a social scientist, at which point they just fall back on the default public vocabulary of a broken machinery of government manipulated by knavish politicians.

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No country for good men

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

May 4, 2011
What is so remarkable about Ignatieff’s tenure as Liberal leader, and with this past election campaign in particular, is how little he tried to take advantage of intellectual strengths and interests. Confronted with a cartoonishly small-minded prime minister acting as chief puppeteer over a caucus of frat boys, yes men, and idiocrats, surely there was an opportunity for a leader who would speak to those Canadians who see themselves as responsible citizens of the world… Having seen how Michael Ignatieff was treated, can any reasonably intelligent and ambitious person be ever expected to go into national politics?

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Sometimes a gaffe is more than a gaffe

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

July 16, 2010
There are libertarians and there are libertarians. When it comes to Tony Clement and James Moore, theirs is not the principled and defensible small-government ideology of Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman. It’s more like the sweaty-palmed fanboy libertarianism forged by too many late nights in high school spent switching between the anti-feminist Nietszcheanism of Ayn Rand and the corporatist space fantasies of sci-fi writer Robert Heinlein.

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