Archive for the ‘Governance History’ Category

« Older Entries |

The same old stories: How the narratives around Canada’s political parties become pathology

Sunday, October 6th, 2019

Parties and their leaders are encumbered and shaped by their histories and internal and external expectations. Even if there have been some unexpected twists at times, each occupies a distinct space in the Canadian political system. And each is prone to following its past patterns and pathologies.

Tags:
Posted in Governance History | No Comments »


Let us now give thanks for Michael Wilson’s GST

Wednesday, February 13th, 2019

The GST was designed to be revenue-neutral; its goal was not increasing government revenue but instead raising it in a smarter, more progressive and more economically efficient way… Value-added taxes tax spending and encourage saving. Traditional sales taxes are regressive, falling hardest on low-income people, but credits for low-income Canadians make the GST progressive. The revenue is fairly stable. The system of input credits makes tax evasion far less likely than under a sales tax.

Tags: , ,
Posted in Governance History | No Comments »


The left has yielded language to the right

Monday, November 5th, 2018

… the biggest rhetorical victory of the right has been its capture of the term “populist.” Historically in North America, populism has had both left and right variants. Some were anti-immigrant and racist. But the most successful, such as the People’s Party of the late 19th century or the Progressives of the early 20th were left-leaning… populism has been no stranger to either Canada or the U.S. So it seems odd that it has become, among left-liberals, a dirty word.

Tags: , , ,
Posted in Governance History | No Comments »


In praise of the income tax, on its 100th birthday

Thursday, July 6th, 2017

The income tax made it possible for Canada to develop into the advanced society that we are today, enabling us to raise the revenue to fight the Second World War and then create strong public programs in health care, education and social insurance that have pushed us toward the top of every global index of human development.

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Governance History | No Comments »


Quebec, Canada and the national unity crisis we outgrew

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

… the formerly dominant fault-line in the province’s politics – sovereignty vs. federalism – has become increasingly over-shadowed by rural-urban questions, divergent regional interests and a more typical ideological divide between conservatives and social democrats… Greater provincial autonomy; more control over taxation, international relations, immigration and cultural policy; opting out from federal programs with full compensation – all are a fait accompli.

Tags: ,
Posted in Governance History | No Comments »


The other Canadian anniversary: 100 years of income tax

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

The one constant in all of this change is growing revenue from the personal income tax. In terms of per-person federal personal income taxes, the burden has increased from roughly $14 a person in 1918 (in 2016 dollars) to roughly $4,120 in 2017, an almost 300-fold increase.

Tags: , , ,
Posted in Governance History | No Comments »


A short (surprising) history of democratic reform

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

The problem with electoral reform, then and now, is that it’s such a hard sell, and most people aren’t buying — federally, provincially, even internationally: In the UK, a 2011 referendum on an AV (ranked ballot) system failed miserably despite the support of many influential leaders. Our own politicians remain bitterly divided because electoral reform means different things to different parties — and meets with indifference from most people.

Tags: , ,
Posted in Governance History | No Comments »


Canadians giveth, the taxman taketh away

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Taxes, and taxes alone, take more of our income than they used to. Canadians’ taxes, including business taxes hidden in the price of goods and services, have increased almost 2,000 per cent, nearly three times the rate of inflation. From a third of our income in 1961, all taxes combined now take more than 40 per cent. Why? … the list of things Canadians were presumed unable to do for themselves, or do well, has expanded on many fronts, from health care to charity. And so the state has expanded dramatically as it takes on added tasks.

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Governance History | 1 Comment »


Stephen Harper, Canada’s true father of federation

Friday, May 27th, 2016

… when money became tighter in the 1980s and Ottawa pulled back funding for existing programs, only to propose new ones, provinces fought back, vowing not to be fooled again… [Harper] reshaped the federation by refusing to intrude in health care, education or other areas of social policy that properly belong to the provinces… For many, it is a cramped, meagre federalism. For others it is a recipe for harmony in a large, thinly populated and diverse country.

Tags: , , ,
Posted in Governance History | 1 Comment »


Sanders at fulcrum of debate on progressives

Friday, February 5th, 2016

For most of the 20th century, left politics centred on economic justice… By the 1980s, it was clear that the right, the capitalist side, was going to “win.” Their world view would become the world’s. Many on the left made a strategic shift, from an economic focus to other issues: race, gender, human rights, identity politics… [But] if you awake each morning with a sick feeling because you’ve lost or might lose your job, your wage is declining, you have to cut back and back… it only works so far.

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Governance History | No Comments »


« Older Entries |