Archive for the ‘Governance Debates’ Category

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Do Canadian Conservatives even know what conservativism means any more?

Thursday, December 26th, 2019

Somewhere along the way, conservatives went off track. Tax cuts, deregulation and free trade became ends unto themselves without any consideration for their consequences for working-class citizens. Inevitably, the latter revolted. The result was Donald Trump’s election to the White House in 2016 and Britain’s vote to leave the European Union… Canadian conservatism needs to be more than a carbon copy of whatever becomes of its U.S. counterpart.

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Raising taxes to build Toronto is not just good — it’s necessary

Tuesday, December 10th, 2019

In recent years, our leaders have tried every trick in the book… to avoid collecting the revenues needed to build the country. They’ve sold off profit-making public assets, giving up long-term revenue streams for one-time capital gains. They’ve embraced public-private partnerships (P3s), paying extra to build infrastructure but hiding the cost off the public books. They’ve taken on more debt.

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The mathematical truth about Toronto property taxes: raising them is the best option

Tuesday, December 10th, 2019

The average annual residential tax bill across the GTHA and Ottawa for 2018 came in at $4,773 per household. In Toronto, it was $3,906… The mathematical truth says Toronto’s residential property taxes are low. The mathematical truth says there is room to raise them to pay for the things the city desperately needs.

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Toronto should move to a ranked ballot

Tuesday, December 10th, 2019

Council recently voted 14-11 to direct city staff to start the process of moving toward a ranked ballot for the 2022 municipal election… No one likes how our system encourages negative campaigns, focuses on wedge issues and personal attacks, and gives incumbents at the municipal level where there are no political parties such an unfair advantage. Or that councillors can be elected with so little support from the electorate.

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Ontario using new law to suppress suits alleging negligent government conduct, lawyers say

Monday, December 9th, 2019

By making the government immune from lawsuits for negligence… the law sets a dangerous precedent: it harms the individual right to hold government accountable, and permits government “to circumvent the rule of law and deny access to justice.”

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Canada’s voting system is functioning just fine

Wednesday, November 27th, 2019

… proportional representation… tends to favour the formation of smaller parties able to exert outsized influence due to the need to win the support to form coalitions. That in turn leads to deal-making, horse-trading and backroom agreements, with the ongoing need to keep smaller allies happy if the coalition is to remain in power. Compromise is not necessarily a bad thing… Yet it can also breed uncertainty.

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Ontario shouldn’t turn back the clock on naming judges

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019

The effect of that would be to give the attorney general more leeway to use his own discretion in naming judges and JPs. It risks turning back the clock and re-politicizing a system that has been virtually free of partisan considerations for some time. It would be, in other words, a step backwards toward the bad old days when political connections mattered as much (or more) than legal excellence.

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Trudeau has chance now to be unusually bold

Monday, November 18th, 2019

Trudeau may not be able to get all provinces to agree to, say, a universal pharmacare program. But that doesn’t preclude him from establishing the legislative framework for one… voters didn’t elect Liberals just so they could sit on their hands and apologize for not being from Alberta. They elected them to do something.

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In new minority reality, unprecedented opportunities await Canada’s Senate

Friday, November 15th, 2019

In the past, tough topics around health care, mental-health challenges, legalization of cannabis, rural and urban poverty, constitutional reform, official-languages policy and the structure of foreign aid have been thoroughly, openly and constructively addressed by Senate committees… Every region of Canada is represented in the Senate, and its demographic and skills mix is representative of Canada as a whole.

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Right Now: Conservatism in Canada is on the edge. We need bold new ideas

Friday, November 8th, 2019

Contrary to popular belief, conservatism is not a political ideology. Russell Kirk, the great American conservative writer, described it as “a state of mind, a type of character, a way of looking at the civil social order.” To make conservatism a winning political force again, we must apply our way of looking at the civil social order in a way that fits with the reality of life in 2019.

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