Volume 10: Issue 1: The Last Front Page

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  • All the news that’s fit to post

    Even as the thud that announces the arrival of the morning newspaper on his doorstep grows ever fainter, John Robson’s coffee cup is more than half full. Good riddance to the boring liberal pablum that has dominated Canadian print media for over a century, he writes. The Internet, for all its faults, heralds the imminent return of healthy journalistic anarchy, with salutary implications for democracy, as editorial creators and distributors re-learn that content is king and advertising is secondary to commercial success.

  • Yesterday’s news

    Paul Stanway’s long career in journalism has been almost entirely in the newspaper business. He was there in 1980, when the first Trudeau government sought to rescue the industry from “concentration of ownership,” even though it was actually the start of a golden age of competition, innovation and money-making in the print media. With newspapers now in irreversible decline due to the proliferation of online media, the second Trudeau government has launched a new rescue mission for Canadian journalism. It will be no more successful than the first, Stanway writes, and journalism will survive the transition from paper to digital because of the innate human desire for knowledge and understanding, not government intervention.

  • The Canadian Internet News Corporation

    If you believe that democracy needs journalism like humans need oxygen, then you should at least consider the argument that Canada needs more CBC. Until the private sector figures out how to make news profitable again, writes Dale Eisler, Mothercorp is our best bet for ensuring that Canadian journalism survives the transition from print and cable to the internet. Already the country’s largest news-gathering operation, it should quit sports and entertainment, go all news all the time, be resolutely fair and objective, and erect an impenetrable firewall between itself and the State.

  • A world of information — and none of it local

    Town criers once delivered local news. Then came community newspapers, then radio, then local TV stations. Then came the Internet, which is crushing those local news gathering and delivery systems and the financial models that sustained them. It’s hammering national newspapers and broadcast networks too, but there is something more immediate and ominous about the eclipse of local news. Jeff Hodgson wonders what happens to community without it, and looks for ways to bring it back.

  • The real truth about fake news

    This article does not contain the real story about what happened on 9/11 or Barack Obama’s Kenyan birth certificate or proof that the Democrats operated a child sex ring in a Washington pizza joint. Instead it is Alexandra Pope’s rueful exploration of the fake news phenomenon and its explosive growth on social media. There’s a lie and a sucker who believes it born every millisecond on the Internet, and it’s getting harder and harder to separate fact from fiction. But Pope says there’s one sure way to get real news on the web –pay for it.

  • The revolution will be digitized

    All the fearmongering in the mainstream media about Brexit, Donald Trump, fake news, Islamophobia, climate change, and the imminent end of civilization isn’t really about any of those things. It’s actually the death rattle of the MSM. The digitization of the news media is breaking up the corporate and ideological cartels that have dominated journalism for decades, writes Ryan Rados. They are about to be supplanted by hordes of citizen journalists who will diversify and democratize the news via the Internet. None of them will get rich but really, who should you trust to tell you the truth, a million-dollar-a-year network news anchor or a gumshoe reporter earning fractions of a cent per click?

  • Can democracy survive Twitter?

    Patrick Keeney is as smartphone-enslaved as the rest of us, but he’s more worried about it than most. Not for himself, but for civil society and democracy. Keeney sees modern digital communications technologies as exacerbating many of the most pernicious social trends of our time: mistrust of elites, rejection of family and community, and “hyper-individualism”. The messages conveyed by new digital mediums are mostly post-modern and progressive, which is not how anyone would describe New England Patriots’ coach and Super Bowl champion Bill Belichick. So it gave Keeney hope when he heard Belichick growl: “I’m not on SnapFace.”

Volume 10: Issue 4: The New Campus Rebels

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  • The New Campus Rebels: C2C Journal’s Winter 2016 Edition

    Trigger warning: the Winter 2016 edition of C2C Journal contains ideas and opinions that are not tolerated on many university campuses today. Some of them may offend human rights codes, refuse to acknowledge identities, and even question “settled science”. But if you believe provocation in defence of free expression is no vice then take heart, you are not alone, as you will discover in a collection of essays and articles about the rising backlash against politically correct tyranny, on campus and elsewhere, starting with Paul Bunner’s lead editorial, Jason VandenBeukel’s profile of University of Toronto counterrevolutionary Jordan Peterson, and Jason Tucker’s exclusive interview with Peterson.

  • ‘We’re teaching university students lies’ – An interview with Dr Jordan Peterson

    University of Toronto psychology professor Jordan Peterson was interviewed at his home on November 13 by Jason Tucker and Jason VandenBeukel on behalf of C2C Journal. What follows is a transcript of their conversation, edited for length and clarity, in which Peterson explains why he launched a one-man campaign this fall, via YouTube and other media and in public debates, against legislating protection for gender identity and expression into federal and provincial human rights codes and hate crime laws. Through his videos and numerous news stories, Peterson’s ideas have reached millions of people and precipitated a vigorous public debate about gender identity and free speech.

  • Jordan Peterson: The man who reignited Canada’s culture war

    The last bastion of liberalism, the Economist recently said of Canada. While the rest of the world was embracing reactionary populism, we were a progressive light in the growing darkness. What they missed, though, was a YouTube video by a University of Toronto professor declaiming new laws banning old words in the name of transgender rights. Millions of hits later, Jordan Peterson looks like the vanguard of a counterattack on political correctness and the spark that reignited the culture wars in Canada. Jason VandenBeukel pokes the fire for C2C.

  • Failing campus freedom

    Ask a university student about free speech on campus today and many will report that you can’t say anything without fear of offending someone. That’s a sad statement about what should be safe places for young people to develop and debate new ideas. According to the 2016 Campus Freedom Index compiled by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, most Canadian universities and students’ unions are failing badly at upholding free expression. But some, write John Carpay and Michael Kennedy, are choosing to let intellectual freedom reign over hurt feelings.

  • Kicking against the PIRGs

    One of the ways the left has dominated political discourse and activism on university campuses for many decades is through PIRGs – Public Interest Research Groups. Founded in 1971 by American progressive pioneer Ralph Nader, the secret of PIRGs’ success was a steady stream of funding from mandatory student fees. But now, tired of seeing their money used for politically correct causes, some Canadian students are organizing successful “NOPIRG” campaigns to end those fees. Queen’s University anti-PIRG activist Vanessa Walsh reports from the front lines.

  • In praise of unsafe spaces

    Pushback against oppressive political correctness on university campuses is erupting all over the western world. A new collection of essays by authors from both sides of the Atlantic is yet another indication that social justice warriors have gone too far and provoked a broad, determined and eloquent opposition to rise up in defence of academic freedom, the cornerstone of intellectual inquiry and democratic debate in a free society. Patrick Keeney reviews Unsafe Space: The Crisis of Free Speech on Campus

  • Not my rights movement

    Ottawa writer and conservative political activist Fred Litwin has been involved in the gay rights movement for four decades. He has seen it grow and evolve to include a wide range of people who genuinely need and deserve legal rights and protections. But he’s had it with the militants in the modern transgender rights movement. In their rejection of biological reality and nonsensical demands for social and legal accommodations, writes Litwin, they are corrupting medicine, undermining free speech, and threatening the legitimacy of the mainstream gay rights movement.

  • The values that universities forgot

    In a time where guest speakers with unapproved ideas are routinely badgered off campus stages, where bad jokes or impolitic slogans can get university students expelled, and where even academics with tenure risk losing their jobs if they dissent from administration orthodoxies, it seems fair to ask, who will put out the fires when the book-burnings begin? Well, for one, the Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship. SAFS president Mark Mercer explains.

  • Unscrewing the millennials

    University campuses are the last place on earth you’d expect to find a hawkish fiscal lobby like the Canadian Taxpayers Federation trolling for support. But that’s exactly where they’ve taken their Generation Screwed campaign, right to the young people who are being saddled with a massive intergenerational debt by their elders. The message is going over really well with most students, writes campaign executive director Aaron Gunn, despite concerted resistance from some students’ unions, school administrators, and the usual suspects in campus social justice crowd.

  • Where have all the stoics gone?

    The tribunes of the social justice movement want two things above all else; protection from hurt feelings and the overthrow of Western Civilization. Those objectives are not as incongruous as they seem. A core value of Western Civilization is, or was, stoicism – from which sprang virtues like courage, sacrifice, and loyalty. Without stoicism, we are a society of grievances competing for state protections and entitlements. This way lies ruin, writes Daniel Bezalel Richardsen, in an essay informed by the Meditations of second century stoic philosopher and Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius.

  • Merry Christmas from Donald Trump

    One of Donald Trump’s blustery campaign promises was “if I’m president, you’re going to see Merry Christmas in department stores again, believe me.” A slap at Christophobes, it was typical of his politically incorrect comments on everything from feminism to climate change, terrorism to refugees. With President Trump setting the tone, writes Nigel Hannaford, the public square will become a much noisier, ruder and freer place.

Volume 10: Issue 3: The Art of Conservatism

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  • The political power of art

    As Andrew Breitbart famously said, politics is downstream from culture. So why do conservatives insist on paddling against the current, snubbing arts and culture, and imagining they can win hearts and minds with cold reason alone? In film, music, and the literary and visual arts, the left tells powerful stories that exalt progressive values and denigrate conservative ones. It’s their key competitive advantage in politics, writes Brigitte Pellerin. And it will remain so until conservatives open their minds and wallets to the possibilities of harnessing the power of art to their values.

  • Why conservatives should stop worrying and start loving art

    Yes a lot of contemporary art is left-wing agitprop. Yes it’s outrageous that taxpayers have to pay for it. And yes some artists take particular pleasure in producing art that makes conservative heads explode. So what? Get over it, writes Olivier Ballou. Art and artists are more politically diverse than conservatives think, and they are the tribunes of a free, democratic and prosperous society. Even the abstract artists!

  • The fantastic fiction of Guy Gavriel Kay

    Nothing in the books, essays, poems or tweets of Canadian writer Guy Gavriel Kay explicitly declares his political orientation. But a reader might deduce, from the vast knowledge of history and evolution of cultures that informs and inspires the fantastic fictional worlds Kay creates, that he shares conservative convictions about the importance of history and tradition. Moreover he subscribes to the ancient aphorism that “mythology is what never was, but always is,” which suggests a devotion to timeless moral truths. Most importantly, writes Bob Tarantino, Kay’s stories expand our understanding of what it is to be human, which is the essence of great literature.

  • Not wanted in the village

    If a conservative wrote The Great Canadian Novel, what would it be about? Joshua Lieblein has an idea, but he doubts any Canadian publisher would touch it. So instead he’s written a satirical memo about such a book, from a traumatized manuscript reader to her editor boss.

  • Free the museums!

    The Liberal government says it’s going to make admission to all national parks free next year as part of Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations. Good idea, writes Renze Nauta. But surely our 150th birthday is, at bottom, a celebration of our history. So the Liberals should go one further and make admission to our national museums and galleries free too, and not just for next year, but forever.

  • Conservative arts policy: Not an oxymoron

    When conservatives treat arts and culture with the same disdain that artists generally bestow on conservatives, guess who wins? Margaret Atwood and Neil Young, every time. Why? Because art is important to everybody. If conservatives want to win, write Geoff Owen and Leif Malling, they better reconcile themselves to that fact, put serious thought and effort into arts policy, and stop dumping on artists.

  • The right way to rock

    Ever wonder what’s going on in the head of the guy who’s being tossed above the crowd in the mosh pit at a heavy metal rock concert? Jason Tucker knows, he’s been there. And in his mind, metal is an elemental expression of conservative values. When metalheads sing, and dance, they are making a statement about their love of freedom that is perfectly aligned with the philosophy of Burke, Mill and Hayek.

  • Conservative art? It’s complicated

    For many conservatives, realism is the litmus test for good art. If it’s modern and abstract, its crap. That’s too narrow for Nigel Hannaford, uber-conservative though he may be. For him, there’s only one definition of conservative art – that which sells. If it has value in a free market, its conservative. If taxpayers are compelled to pay for it, it’s not.

  • A poet worth reading? Start believing!

    Chances are the last poem you read, and enjoyed, was written more than 50 years ago. Or longer, if your tastes run to the likes of Kipling, Carroll or Thomas. Incomprehensible post-modern wankers have owned poetry ever since. But take heart, writes Peter Shawn Taylor, formalist counter-revolutionaries are on the march. And one the funniest and pithiest of the tribe is A.M. Juster, pseudonym for a conservative ex-Washington bureaucrat and biotech executive whose personal story is as interesting as his poetry is entertaining.

Volume 10: Issue 2: Democracy in America

  • Democracy in America

    The 2016 U.S. presidential campaign is an unrivalled spectacle of political entertainment that is by turns fascinating, repulsive, and worrying. As the primaries wind down and the main event begins, C2C Journal launches its Summer Edition on the theme of Democracy in America. The title, borrowed from the famous 1835 book by French political philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville, heralds the overarching theme of ten essays we will publish over the course of June, starting with Trevor Shelley’s examination of Tocqueville’s remarkably prescient hopes and fears for the country that became the world’s strongest defender of democracy but is now making a mockery of it.

  • The sum of all Tocqueville’s fears

    The French political philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville expressed great hope and admiration for the United States in his seminal 1835 study Democracy in America. In many ways the country went on to succeed beyond his wildest dreams as both a model for democracy and its greatest defender. But Tocqueville had a nightmare vision of America too, populated by statists and demagogues, competing for the votes of ignorant, irresponsible citizens. In the 2016 election campaign, writes Trevor Shelley, Tocqueville’s worst fears are being realized.

  • The corrupt voter at the rotten core of democracy

    “Look in the mirror,” former Alberta Premier Jim Prentice told voters just before they gave his government a mighty heave ho. Albertans had plenty of reasons to be mad at Prentice, but the mirror comment was the last straw. How dare he blame us for Alberta’s problems? But if not us, then who? Millions of Americans will elect either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump president of the United States this fall. Both are manifestly unfit for the job and four years hence voters will be madder than ever. This vicious circle won’t be broken, writes John Robson, until voters own up to their role in it.

  • Fear of Trump and loathing of Clinton on campaign trail ‘16

    If American political satirist Hunter S. Thompson were still around to offer his “gonzo” journalistic treatment of the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign, he might play it straight because the thing is almost too weird to satirize. But Jason Unrau is up to the challenge, and unlike all the worry warts who liken the Trump-Clinton match-up to democratic Armageddon, he sees it as the greatest political show on earth, featuring The Donald as the saviour of American exceptionalism.

  • How conservatism can survive Trumpism

    In 1993 the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada disintegrated into warring tribes of right-wing populists, Quebec nationalists, religious conservatives, libertarians and Red Tories. It took 13 years to reunite the right and oust the Liberals from power. Today the Grand Old Party of the U.S. conservative movement is at least as badly fractured, creating a political vacuum now occupied by Donald J. Trump. Whether he wins or loses in November, his xenophobia and protectionism will probably deepen the divisions in the Republican Party. And if so, writes Peter Shawn Taylor, there is much the Republican Party could learn from the kind of ideological and organizational rebuild that revived conservatism in Canada.

  • Why Americans yearn to be great again

    The U.S. education system has been hijacked by cultural vandals who have dismantled its core purpose of intergenerational transfer of cultural values, creating a nation without a unity narrative.

  • Democracy in America (same as it ever was)

    Everyone who thinks the U.S. presidential contest between “Crooked Hillary” Clinton and “Lyin’ Donald” Trump is the worst choice American voters have ever faced should think again. Sure they’re both awful, writes Matt Bufton, but no worse than the parade of slave owners, warmongers, and megalomaniacs who have competed for the presidency in the past.

  • All the angry young white men

    Out on the fringes of American democratic discourse, where some of the most reptilian Donald Trump supporters are basking in the rhetorical heat of his political incorrectness, lies the “alt-right” movement of young, angry, white males. They’re a pathetic lot, writes J.J. McCullough, but their socio-economic isolation and alienation is real, and they may be the vanguard of America’s next big radical – and dangerous – political movement.

  • The Ruins of Democracy in America

    Fifty-five years ago then U.S. president John F. Kennedy famously admonished his countrymen to “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”. It is unimaginable that either of the candidates running for the presidency in 2016 would say such a thing. Too many voters now think government exists to take money from someone else and give it to them. This is the product of a U.S. education system that has forsworn America’s founding conservative ideals and failed to adapt to the new global economy, writes Luigi Bradizza. Thus millions are following Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in a race to the bottom of democracy in America.

  • Another Clinton, for Better or Worse

    Now that the FBI has decided Hillary Clinton should not face criminal charges for mishandling classified documents on her private email server, nothing stands in her way winning the U.S. presidency except Donald Trump, and he seems to be doing his best to blow it. So we better get used to the idea of President Clinton II. Tim Anderson and Paul Bunner suffered whiplash charting all the policy and philosophy zigs and zags she’s taken on her path to the White House. They suggest Canadians buckle up; her presidency is going to be a rough ride for us.

  • How Trump Wins

    Islamist terror in Orlando, mass police murders in Dallas, angry street protests in cities across the United States. The specifics are different, but the level of political disorder compares to 1968, the year of Martin Luther King’s assassination and the Tet offensive in Vietnam. Republican Richard Nixon exploited the resulting anger and fear and won the presidential election that fall on a martial vow to make America safe again, beating Democrat Hubert Humphrey’s limp promise of appeasement. If this year’s campaign follows a similar trajectory, writes Kelly Jane Torrance, it could well put Donald Trump in the White House.

Volume 10: Issue 1: Notes from the Political Wilderness: The Harper legacy and the future of Canadian conservatism

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  • A hawk among doves

    As prime minister, Stephen Harper’s international speeches were often peppered with tough talk about “punching above our weight” and “restoring Canada’s status and influence” on the world stage. From the war in Afghanistan to unequivocal support for Israel to calling out Vladimir Putin to fighting Islamist terrorism, there was scant diplomatic nuance in Harper foreign policy. The moral clarity was refreshing and revolutionary, writes Candice Malcolm. But now “Canada’s back” under Justin Trudeau, in its traditional guise as an “honest broker” and “helpful fixer”, and Malcolm suspects the mullahs in Iran are as pleased as the bureaucrats at Foreign Affairs.

  • So much for the Peaceable Kingdom

    Depending how they manage the federation, Canadian prime ministers have been variously described as headwaiters, cheerleaders, referees or dictators. The latter was often attached to Stephen Harper, the supposed autocrat who shunned first ministers’ meetings and allegedly ran roughshod over the provinces. But on his watch, especially compared to the tumult of the Pierre Trudeau and Brian Mulroney eras, there was relative peace in the kingdom: Western alienation and Quebec nationalism both receded. It may be a tough act to follow for new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – the self-described “referee” of the federation – who is already facing a nasty East-West divide over pipelines. D’Arcy Jenish explains.

  • How the Court Party outlived Harper

    Among the many conservative hopes that accompanied Stephen Harper’s arrival in office a decade ago was an ambition to toughen the criminal justice system and rebalance the powers of the legislative and judicial branches of government. In Rory Leishman’s view, there was modest progress on the former and almost none on the latter. It was not for lack of trying; the Court Party is just too entrenched in Canadian law and policy-making to be budged by mere elected legislators.

  • Justin Trudeau’s Big Idea: Ideas (and history) don’t matter

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave an interview to the New York Times in December that deserved far more attention than it got. “There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada,” Trudeau said, adding that Canada is the world’s first “post-national state”. Is that what Canadians will be celebrating when the country turns 150 next year? Mark Milke hopes not, for he contends that a country without a national identity is a country without a future. Trudeau seems not to have noticed, but he may have framed the next big debate between progressives and conservatives.

  • Give the people what they want

    Warning to fiscal conservative purists: this article by Jeff Hodgson contains ideas some may find blasphemous. Why do progressive governments tend to govern more often, and for longer, than conservative ones? It’s because Canadians almost always sell their votes to the highest bidder, and they don’t care about deficits and debts until it looks like they might lose their credit rating. In the wake of the first Trudeau Liberal budget that tripled down on the deficit and abandoned any plan to balance the books, Hodgson’s advice to out-of-power conservatives is stop obsessing about debt and learn to love spending.

  • Canada’s first post-Laurentian Prime Minister

    Stephen Harper didn’t look or sound like a radical, but he was radically different than any of the 21 Canadian prime ministers who came before him. It wasn’t the far right radicalism his enemies accused him of – but simply his overarching western, conservative view of the functioning of the federation and the relationship between the state and the individual. His predecessors were all reliable servants of the Laurentian Thesis, the old paternalistic liberal, eastern elite consensus that prevailed until Harper. The essence of his legacy, write George Koch and Martin Grün, is that Canadians will remember their taste of liberation from the Laurentians and insist on more.

  • Canada’s next Conservative leader

    If politics is Hollywood for ugly people, political leadership campaigns are beauty contests for political geeks. But they matter, a lot. Maybe too much. For decades we’ve been imbuing our political leaders with hopes and expectations and dreads and disappointments that no mere mortals could ever hope to live up, or down, to. So it begins again with the undeclared race for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada. Mathieu Dumont and Paul Bunner sketch profiles of a dozen possible, probable or potential candidates.

  • Conservatives, conservation, and climate change

    It seems pretty clear that one of the reasons conservatives are out of power almost everywhere in Canada is because they lost the political debate over climate change. But it’s a debate conservatives could win, writes Mark Cameron, if they look at the science objectively and advocate for solutions rooted in their own conservationist and free market principles. If they don’t, the left will monopolize climate policy, to the detriment of free markets, property rights and effective environmental protection and conservation.

  • Canada’s progressive now, but for how long?

    Canada’s political pendulum swung hard to the left in the last few years, electing Liberal and NDP governments almost everywhere, and culminating with the 2015 Conservative defeats in Alberta and Ottawa. How long will this progressive hegemony last? Nigel Hannaford studied the cross-country election calendar for the next four years to determine where and when the pendulum may swing back to the right.

Volume 9: Issue 4: Canada Surrenders to Climate Change

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  • What Now for Canadian Energy?

    C2C Journal editor Paul Bunner opens the 2015 Winter Edition with a preview of its timely theme – energy and the environment. As the massive global climate change summit opens in Paris, Canada’s energy-fuelled economy is in dire straits. Oil and gas prices are down, taxes and regulations are up, job losses are mounting, and investment is fleeing to jurisdictions where it is actually possible to get pipelines and other energy infrastructure built. Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s dream of making Canada an “energy superpower” has stalled, and his successors are trying to keep the oil flowing by putting a generous coat of green lipstick on our energy pig. Let us pray that it gets the global warmists off our case.

  • When Carbon was King

    Stephen Harper arrived in office in 2006 vowing to make Canada an “energy superpower”. Despite unrelenting pressure from his legions of environmental critics, as prime minister he pushed hard to advance that objective, especially with the oilsands. In the end he presided over substantial growth in several energy sectors including, ironically, solar and wind. But as Naomi Christensen writes, the Harper decade that began with such optimism and ambition for Canadian energy development ended in an energy recession. His successors are blaming him, of course, but as with mutineers on a becalmed ship, the crew will eventually come for them too if the winds don’t change.

  • Canada’s Carbon Makeover

    Only Nixon could go to China they said of the former U.S. president’s history-changing outreach to Chinese Communist dictator Mao Zedong in 1972. Now it seems that only a new NDP government in Alberta with an ambitious plan to reduce carbon emissions and a new Liberal prime minister in Ottawa with an unequivocal commitment to fighting climate change can obtain a “social licence” for Canada’s beleaguered oil industry. Given how little licence was obtained during the Harper Conservative era, writes Dale Eisler, the new approach is worth a try.

  • Will Canada Ever Build Another Oil Export Pipeline?

    It is estimated that there are 3.5 million kilometres of pipelines in the world today. This vast network has expanded rapidly in recent years, driven by demand for hydrocarbons used in power generation, transportation, heating and cooling, and manufacturing. But in Canada, four big pipelines that could increase our energy self-sufficiency and exports have been stalled by environmental protests and politics. Without them Canadian energy will be landlocked in a continental market that is awash in U.S. oil. The economic consequences of that, writes Paul Stanway, should be much more frightening than our present pipeline phobia.

  • All Gassed up and Nowhere to go

    Canada produces far more natural gas than we consume, and for decades we have sold all the surplus to the United States. But the shale gas boom in the U.S. has pummelled prices and demand. New opportunities abound for Canadian liquefied natural gas exports to the emerging economies of the Pacific, but we’re way behind competitors like Australia and the U.S. in building the LNG ports needed to tap those markets. The usual Canadian suspects, government regulation and red tape, have a lot to do with that, writes Andrew Pickford. Like the Mackenzie Valley pipeline debacle of the 1970s, it’s shaping up as another big missed opportunity for Canada’s energy sector.

  • As the World Burns

    Celeste McGovern has covered foreign aid and development issues as a journalist for over two decades. She was in Rio in 1997 when Canada’s Maurice Strong, “the man who invented climate change”, and a few like-minded global governance schemers introduced the “Earth Charter”, a sort of environmental 10 commandments for ending capitalism and saving the planet. The Paris Climate Summit was the biggest green gabfest yet, McGovern writes, but these things are like soap operas. Lots of drama and new episodes every few years, but not much really changes.

  • The Problem With One Customer

    U.S. President Barack Obama said he rejected the Keystone XL pipeline because the Alberta oilsands crude it would have carried is “dirtier” than other oil and because America doesn’t need it. Actually, oil produced in California and Alaska and imports from poorly regulated countries generate higher upstream emissions than oil sands crude. So that was a “green herring”. Obama was on somewhat firmer ground in saying more Canadian imports weren’t needed to ensure U.S. energy security. Christopher Sands and Jesse Barnett examine the boom in U.S. energy production and decline in consumption that slaked America’s thirst for Canadian oil.

  • A National Climate Change Program? When Pigs Fly

    C2C Journal wraps up its Winter 2015 edition on energy and the environment with a look at how Canada will meet the commitments it signed onto at the Paris Climate Summit. The short answer is it probably won’t, unless the Trudeau government forces the provinces to drastically raise their carbon prices, lower their emission targets, and eliminate all their self-serving exemptions. If that happens, writes Peter Shawn Taylor, the damage to the economy will be exceeded only by the damage to Canadian federalism.

Volume 9: Issue 3: Ready or Not, Canada Chooses Change

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  • Stanway - C2C election Main Image

    Framing the Ballot in Campaign ‘15

    Long before the writ dropped August 2, election planners for all the parties began drafting their messaging strategies and scripting the daily campaign events and policy announcements. At the very top of their agenda was the job of “framing the ballot” – the subtle and sophisticated art and science of trying to define the choice voters will make on election day. Over a long career of covering elections as a journalist and planning them as a senior political staffer, Paul Stanway has developed a deep understanding of how this process works. His analysis of where the Conservative, NDP and Liberal parties are currently positioned in their quest to frame the ballot kicks off C2C Journal’s comprehensive coverage of Campaign ’15.

  • C2CJournal-Keeney Justin Gradgrind

    Science vs Ideology in Campaign ‘15

    Perhaps befitting the leader of a party hunting middle-of-the-road votes, Justin Trudeau avoids ideology in his rhetoric and his platform. That’s for the other guys, the “extremists” to his left and right, who are so driven by partisan dogma that it blinds them to the virtues of “evidence-based” public policy. Promising to rely on experts and “hard, scientific data” may help Trudeau overcome doubts about his competence to be prime minister. But most voters want to know what their leaders believe in, writes Patrick Keeney, and the risk for Trudeau is that they will conclude he believes in nothing.

  • Hodgson - C2C Journal Ad wars

    The Best and Worst of the Air War

    By the end of the 2015 federal election campaign Canadians will have heard the phrase “just not ready” so many times some may think it is Justin Trudeau’s given name. Somewhere in Canada today, the person who first uttered that line in a Conservative focus group goes quiet when family and friends say how tired they are of hearing it. But loving or hating it doesn’t matter; what matters is making it stick. And that’s what the Air War is all about, wallpapering the multi-media landscape with key messages designed to assassinate your opponents and aggrandize your team. Jeff Hodgson’s election feature for C2C Journal is an interactive compendium of the best and worst ads of Campaign ’15, featuring hyperlinks to most of them. You may weep or marvel at the state of modern political communications.

  • C2CJournal - Malcolm ethno vote

    Canada’s New Kingmakers

    A decade ago Stephen Harper and Jason Kenney calculated that the old Liberal model for electoral success in Canada was broken. Economic and political power had shifted from Ontario and Quebec to the West and to the fast-growing populations of new immigrants in suburban ridings across the country. They developed a message aimed at those voters and it helped win three successive elections, culminating in the big 2011 majority where over 40 percent of new Canadians voted Conservative. No other centre-right party in the world has pulled this off. Can the Conservatives do it again in 2015, when the European refugee crisis has become a campaign issue, and the Tories are being cast as insensitive to immigrants? Candice Malcolm weighs the odds.

  • Where the Revolution Isn’t

    Current election polling suggests Canadians could wake up to a very different Parliament on October 20, but in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the northern territories there is little evidence of much hunger for either “real change” or being “ready for change”. Paul Pryce went looking for both in federal and provincial polling, by-election results, riding redistributions, and the 2015 crop of candidates, but all he found was apparent contentment with the status quo.

  • Liberal leader Justin Trudeau addresses a group during an event in Bouctouche, N.B., Tuesday, September 8, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

    Atlantic Canada, Trudeau’s new Liberal base

    For over two years the Conservative government has been taking a pounding in Atlantic Canada over its modest reforms to Employment Insurance. Meanwhile, it got almost no political credit for awarding a $25 billion shipbuilding contract to Halifax that will produce thousands of jobs. Whatever that says about the regional appetite for work vs pogey, it spells disaster for Conservative candidates, and big election gains in the region for the Liberals under Justin Trudeau. He has promised to roll back some of the Tory EI changes, and reduce impending cuts to premiums, which are disproportionately paid by workers and employers in high-employment regions of Canada. In a place where a quarter of the workforce collects EI every year, write Marco Navarro-Genie and Michael Kydd, that’s good politics.

  • Stanway - C2C Journal - BC campaign

    Battleground BC: The Econo-Enviro Divide

    The 2015 federal election campaign battle for the hearts and minds of British Columbians is, at bottom, a contest between environmental protection and economic security. If it plays out like the 2013 provincial election, the latter will trump the former and the Conservatives will retain their hegemony. But if fear of pipelines, fatigue with the Harper Tories, and full turnout of progressive voters rules the day, Paul Stanway predicts October 19th will be a good day for the NDP – and to a lesser extent the Liberals – and B.C. may well decide who gets to form the next government.

  • Harper vs Notley for the Soul of Alberta

    The stunning NDP victory in last spring’s provincial election marked a big leftward shift in Alberta politics. Yet polls consistently indicate another near-sweep of the province for the federal Conservatives this fall. How can this be? On policy and principles, the two parties are as different as night and day. Conservative leader Stephen Harper has made NDP Premier Rachel Notley his primary campaign target in Alberta, blaming her government for making the oil patch recession “much, much, worse”. She coolly replies that Harper is out of touch with the province’s new “values”. Whatever happens October 19, writes Colman Byfield, it won’t end this fight for the political soul of Alberta.

  • C2CJournal - Federal Election Campaig ad Bloc Quebec

    A veiled threat to the NDP in Quebec

    Ten of the 124 seats won by the Conservative party in the 2006 election were in Quebec. Most of those were in and around Quebec City. In the early days of Stephen Harper’s reign PMO staffers joked that he was not just the prime minister, but also “the mayor of Quebec City.” The joke died with the loss of half of the Conservatives’ Quebec seats in the 2011 election. The new “mayor” of Quebec City and most of the province is NDP leader Thomas Mulcair. In this year’s campaign, it seems certain his party will sweep the province once again. The only thing standing in their way, writes Tom Kott, is another eruption of fear and anger over les autres – this time wearing the Muslim niqab.

  • C2CJournal Federal Election Ontario Malling

    Breaking the Ontario Deadlock

    Sorry other Canadians, but Ontarians will decide who gets to govern our country on October 19. They’ve got 121 (36 percent) of the 338 seats in the House of Commons. Through most of the campaign, the Liberals and Conservatives have been running dead even there, with the NDP a close third. Heading into the home stretch, the outcome is still far from certain, writes Leif Malling. Much depends on whether Ontarians hedge their bets, as they usually do, by balancing the Liberal government in Queen’s Park with a Conservative one in Ottawa.

  • The Dauphin Beats the Devil

    A Trudeau’s back in power and the House of Commons looks like it did when his poppa was running things. Turns out all that 2011 talk about a “Big Shift” of power from east to west, from the Laurentian liberal aristocracy to a Prairie conservative meritocracy, was a mirage. Colby Cosh provides a comprehensive post-mortem on one of the most rancorous – and perplexing – elections in Canadian history.

Volume 9: Issue 2: Lighten up Canada: Political Humour in the Age of Outrage

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  • If you have no sense of humour, stop reading now

    From Shakespeare to Twain to Leacock, the most memorable and influential political commentators of history have been humorists. And from Macdonald to Disraeli to Reagan, the most successful and effective politicians have been the funniest. Alas, it is our misfortune to live in politically humourless times, where the mildest political mis-step is cause for crucifixion, where no joke goes unpunished as an insult, and every real or imagined affront provokes unfettered outrage. The Summer 2015 edition of C2C Journal aims to fix all that. It is a collection of essays, anecdotes, polemics and a poem that celebrate political humour. Risky you say? Maybe, but worth it because a democracy that cannot laugh at itself is no better than a dictatorship.

  • A toast to Canada’s first and funniest prime minister

    The humourless political landscape we call Canada was not always this way. Our founding Conservative Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald, who was roundly pilloried in the media as a drunk and a racist on the occasion of his 200th birthday earlier this year, was also the funniest politician our country has ever known. Despite a life marred by personal tragedies, Macdonald remained a razor-sharp wit and irrepressible jokester throughout his career. Peter Shawn Taylor has assembled a hilarious assortment of his greatest puns, putdowns, and pranks.

  • Why conservatives are funnier than liberals

    When Pierre Trudeau was asked how far he would go in imposing martial law during the October Crisis, his famously insouciant reply was, “Just watch me.” Bada-bing. When Ronald Reagan was rehearsing a national radio address announcing expanded religious freedoms, he famously tweaked the opening line to announce “we begin bombing [Russia] in five minutes.” Bada-boom. The contrast illustrates Philip Cross’s argument that conservatives are intrinsically funnier than liberals. Always have been and always will be, because conservatives accept human imperfectability, while liberals are obsessed with fixing it.

  • Funny tales from campaign trails

    Just about everybody who’s ever worked on an election campaign has at least one funny story to tell about their experience. Some of them are so funny they become the stuff of legend. The Summer 2015 edition of C2C Journal offers a compilation of such stories, some already legendary, some destined to be, including a few from such veteran political campaigners and campaign-watchers as Preston Manning and Ted Byfield.

  • Caution: This article defends privileges

    Political correctness has always been a little funny, in the same way that watching a child’s tantrum can be funny. Unlike kids’ tantrums though, political correctness never goes away. It just seems to get sillier – and more sinister – over time. The old debates over things like feminine honorifics and words to describe physical and mental handicaps seem quaint by comparison to today’s bizarre disputes over race and gender. They’re funnier than ever in Fred Litwin’s compilation of modern PC stories for C2C, but more ominous than ever too, in their implications for free expression, tolerance, social harmony, and humour itself.

  • Explaining the beaver to the eagle

    In 2003 Preston Manning was recently retired from a decade in federal politics and free to speak candidly about his experiences. On the occasion of the 34th annual Leacock Luncheon at the McGill University homecoming in Montreal, he did just that in a speech that did full justice to the event’s namesake. Revealing a comedic talent rarely glimpsed by Canadians during his political career, Manning left the audience in stitches with a speech explaining Canada’s unique political culture to Americans. An abridged version appears in this edition of C2C Journal.

Volume 9: Issue 1: How I got here: Personal journeys to political beliefs

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  • In praise of examined lives

    The Spring 2015 Edition of C2C Journal is like nothing else we – or any other magazine that we know of – have ever done. It is a fascinating collection of political biographies by a dozen Canadian writers, young and old, men and women, conservative and liberal, English and French, well-known and unknown. Each piece explores the influences and epiphanies that shaped the writer’s political evolution. By turns poignant and hilarious, touching and courageous, and invariably introspective and insightful, these essays speak to the journeys we all take to political conviction and engagement.

  • How love and Plato transformed my life

    During a backpacking tour of Europe in 1971-72, Rainer Knopff very nearly missed the train carrying his personal and political destinies. Things might have turned out very differently for the future political scientist and member of the “Calgary School” of conservative academics if the train had not returned to the station, thereby reuniting him with the woman he would marry and his (then unread) copy of Plato’s Republic.

  • It began with a can of Gold Water

    Former federal Conservative cabinet minister Monte Solberg understood from a young age that there was something different about his family. It was unusual enough to have a father who read widely, cared passionately and participated actively in politics. But this was Rosetown, Saskatchewan, in the 1960s, where socialists had ruled for decades, and his father’s politics were conservative. Like father, like son: when the Reform Party was born 20 years later, Monte caught the wave that carried it to Ottawa.

  • Twenty years a fool: My long journey home from the left

    Elizabeth Nickson’s story has all the makings of a Hollywood bio pic: A Westmount exile, who rebels against power and privilege, becomes a globe-trotting leftist journalist chronicling the great revolutionary narratives of her time. Then she sets out to discover the awful truth about her patriarchal 400-year-old colonist clan and everything changes. But Hollywood won’t touch her script because what she finds are eternal truths, about love, charity, sacrifice, Christianity and genuine freedom.

  • Choosing sides in the clash of civilizations

    As a young man Fred Litwin was as progressive as they come, a passionate advocate for gay rights, justice for Palestinians, and the peace movement, among others. At the turn of the millennium, he started to have doubts, particularly after reading Horowitz’s book about his communist-to-conservative conversion. Then came 9-11, and the chorus of America-bashing by the Left in its wake. It was the last straw, and Litwin decided to come out as a gay conservative.

  • A conservative bureaucrat is an oxymoron, until he’s not

    Philip Cross was a third-generation civil servant who became renowned for his brilliant data analysis and scrupulous objectivity as Chief Economic Analyst at Statistics Canada. Then he traded the velvet coffin of government for the shark-infested pool of the private sector, becoming a self-employed economic policy analyst and pundit. His former colleagues at Statcan wondered if he “had fallen on his head.” But for Cross, liberation from government was a natural expression of his conservative philosophical convictions – and an experience he recommends to anyone trapped in the drudgery of the civil service.

  • The Calgarian who loved Alberta so much he became a Liberal

    “You’re from Calgary and you’re a Liberal?” Warren Kinsella has been getting that bemused question pretty much all his life. He came by his liberalism honestly enough as a member of an Irish Catholic clan from Montreal. They fled west when the separatists got too crazy, only to discover there were separatists in Alberta too – and most of them were conservatives. That clinched it: the Calgary Kinsellas would remain Liberal, even if meant being a (mildly) oppressed minority.

  • My head and heart, always in the Right place

    You could hardly be the daughter of a refugee from Communism without being predisposed to free market conservatism. So it was for Lydia Miljan, but what really cemented her right-wing political convictions was the classes she took from the classical liberal scholars who comprised the “Calgary School” at the University of Calgary, and the people and ideas she encountered later at the Michael Walker-led Fraser Institute. Now teaching at a southern Ontario university, Miljan is passing on those ideas to a new generation.

  • No political home but my own

    Bernd Schmidt grew up in the ruins of post-war Germany and the rubble of its ideology. He was actively involved in the political upheavals of the Sixties, but never a blind follower of movements that subjugated means to ends. Then he moved to Canada’s Yukon, far removed from the hurly burly of the world. From that calm distance, Schmidt has settled into no political home but his own, where individual freedom reigns in harmony with commitment to the public good.

  • The (short) political history of a Millennial

    Jeremy Cherlet is just 24. His political beliefs are still evolving, but unlike many of his peers, he is actively engaged in political life. He credits five seminal experiences with shaping his worldview, including 9-11, the Internet, trips to Germany and Israel, and working as an intern for a conservative Christian politician. Some of these reinforced his biases; some reversed them. All fuelled his passion for political involvement.

  • A pox on all your political parties

    Brigitte Pellerin became an ardent capitalist the day she got her first $11 pay cheque from McDonald’s. She went on to fight for a wide range of right-wing causes as a journalist and political activist. Today, however, she can hardly muster the enthusiasm to vote. Years of disappointments from conservative politicians and parties have left her politically homeless. Pellerin is still on Team Liberty, but as she surveys the Canadian political landscape today, she fears she may be its last remaining member.

  • After Keynes & the NEP, I chose Rand and liberty

    Colby Cosh grew up in small-town Alberta in the Seventies and Eighties reading Ayn Rand while government presided over runaway inflation and ruination of the oil industry. University taught him almost nothing, and chose Alberta Report’s rabble-rousing newsroom as his grad school. In another time he might have taken up arms against the state in the American Revolution or Western Canada’s Rebellions. But in today’s fights for liberty, his pen is mightier than any sword.

  • A francophone, conservative, federalist Montreal ‘Stockaholic’? Incroyable!

    The language and culture barriers between Quebec and the rest of Canada fuel the proliferation of shallow stereotypes. Looking at La Belle Province from Halifax or Vancouver or Toronto, it’s easy to imagine legions of leftists in a sea of sovereigntists. The political reality is much more complex, of course, and Paul Beaudry proves the point. A natural born contrarian, he grew up francophone, federalist and conservative in Montreal. Then he discovered libertarianism, which further antagonized his teachers and inhibited his social life. Today, though, with separatist and socialist fortunes ebbing in Quebec, Beaudry no longer feels like a lonely right-wing counter-revolutionary.

Volume 8: Issue 3: Canada and the New World Disorder

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  • Will Foreign Policy Frame the Ballot in 2015?

    Foreign policy rarely figures prominently in Canadian federal election campaigns. Typically the ballot question is framed by domestic issues, fiscal and economic conditions, and the personalities of the party leaders. But a year out from the 2015 election, foreign policy issues are omnipresent in Canadian politics. From Islamist terrorism at home and abroad, to Russian aggression in Eastern Europe, to the Ebola outbreak in Africa, the world seems a dreadfully dark and dangerous place. As a result, write Michael Taube and Paul Bunner, a big question on voters’ minds next October may well be, which party and which leader can best keep our country safe?

  • Threat Inflation in a Time of Peace and Stability

    When Franklin D. Roosevelt said in 1932 that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” he was trying to buck up America’s spirits during the depths of the Great Depression. It’s hard to imagine Prime Minister Stephen Harper saying anything quite like that in the context of today’s fears about terrorism, Russian aggression, and other national and international security threats. If anything, the PM seems to think we’re not fearful enough. But he, and all of us, should relax, writes Paul Robinson, because we’re actually living in a time of unprecedented peace, stability and security.

  • How to Play Russian Roulette

    2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, which began in part because of persistent Russian meddling in the Balkans. The Soviet Empire that grew out of the Bolshevik Revolution was largely created by Russian meddling in the affairs of its eastern and central European neighbours before, during and after the Second World War. Today the Russians are meddling in Ukraine, among other countries. The point is, the core of Russian foreign policy never really changes. We should not be surprised or acquiescent. If we give Vladimir Putin an inch, he will take a mile. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been saying as much for years, write George Koch and John Weissenberger, and it’s time for tougher action by Canada and the other western powers to contain modern Russian aggression.

  • How to Fight Radical Islam? Free our ‘Captive Minds’

    Many in the West were once inclined to appease communism and fascism because they promised a secular materialist utopia, which was a great comfort to a post-religious society confused and uncertain about the purpose and meaning of life. Besides, appeasement was easier than confrontation. The same mindset now cripples our response to radical Islam, writes Patrick Keeney, by deluding us into thinking that jihadi terrorism, at home and abroad, has little to do with the Muslim religion, and much more to do with materialist causes like poverty, inequality or “social exclusion.” This delusion blinds us to the true menace of Islamist “religious totalitarianism.”

  • Hunger and its Discontents

    O Canada what a fortunate country to have such an abundance of fertile land and fresh water. Not just fortunate in the sense of a people well-fed and watered, but in the geo-political sense of a country well-endowed with vital strategic assets in an increasingly hungry and thirsty world. Food insecurity has been a catalyst for social and political upheavals throughout human history. The world’s population is headed from 7 billion today to as many as 11 billion by 2100. Global food reserves are falling, and prices are spiking. This is a recipe for the next big global security crisis, writes John C. Thompson, and Canadian foreign policy makers would be well advised to start planning now for its challenges and opportunities.

  • The Religious Turn in Canadian Foreign Policy

    The creation of the Office of Religious Freedom by Canada’s Conservative government in 2013 was widely panned as a symbolic gesture, aimed mainly at the ruling party’s theoconservative base. With a staff of five and budget of $5 million a year, what real impact could it have in a world awash in religious persecution and violence? That remains to be seen, although it already has projects underway in several countries. And in “God’s Century,” writes Robert Joustra, where theology is supplanting ideology as the primary fuel of political conflict, we should all be praying for the success of the OFR

  • Reviving and Revising the Canada First Defence Strategy

    In its early years the Harper Conservative government was committed to rebuilding the Canadian Forces after the Liberal “decade of darkness.” Then the Great Recession hit, the Afghanistan War ended, and defence procurement spending went dark, again. It’s unlikely to be revived in an election year, writes Jeffrey F. Collins, but it must and eventually will be, with a new emphasis on navy and air force hardware to meet the new challenges and priorities of global security in today’s post-“boots on the ground” environment.

Volume 8: Issue 2: Should We Reopen the Constitution?

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  • Reconsidering Canada’s Unloved Constitution

    Even the framers of Canada’s 1982 constitutional reforms thought they were flawed. But reopening the Constitution is a taboo subject among Canada’s political class and as a result, from Senate reform to internal trade to aboriginal rights, it is increasingly judges, instead of elected legislators, who are calling the shots. The contributors to the Fall Quarterly edition of C2C Journal examine the spectrum of constitutional maladies and offer provocative prescriptions for reform.

  • Why We MUST Reopen the Constitution

    A Constitution ought to be inspiring and functional. Canada’s is neither. Instead of a clear set of governing principles, it’s a mass of contradictions. Instead of a framework for democratic evolution, it marginalizes legislators. The 1982 Framers vandalized the work of the 1867 Founders, put the country in a Constitutional straightjacket, and left our fate to the Courts. However risky and difficult another attempt at reform might be, John Robson says it’s time to take the plunge.

  • Why We Must NOT Reopen the Constitution

    Sure the Constitution’s a mess. Absolutely it puts Canada at risk of succumbing to what Vaclav Havel called “soft totalitarianism,” where judicial whim becomes legal tyranny. But another round of starry-eyed constitutional deal-making is even more dangerous. Peter Stockland urges patience, for the damage done in 1982 will eventually be undone as our core values of parliamentary supremacy and the common law reassert themselves.

  • What Does Quebec Want?: Nothing of Constitutional reform, says Maxime Bernier

    Ever since the Quiet Revolution, the question “What does Quebec want?” has been central to every debate over constitutional reform. With the federalist cause ascendant in Quebec today, it seems an opportune time for a reasonable discussion about the question. C2C’s Mathieu Dumont and Quebec federal Conservative MP Maxime Bernier recently had that discussion in Montreal. Bernier said Quebec has no constitutional agenda other than for Ottawa to respect provincial jurisdiction. It is a measure, perhaps, of how much Quebec – and Canada – have moved on from the bitter, paralyzing debate that nearly tore us apart in the late 20th century.

  • How to Get Internal Free Trade Back in the Constitution

    The 1867 Founders put unfettered interprovincial free trade in the Constitution. A 1921 Supreme Court decision suffering from a Prohibition hangover took it out, and Canada’s economy has suffered from domestic protectionism ever since. All this could be fixed, says Marni Soupcoff – and perhaps even the distortions of Equalization lessened, as well – with litigation aimed at restoring the Founders’ original intent.

  • Harper’s Gitmo: The Sisyphean Task of Senate Reform

    Nothing demonstrates Canada’s constitutional paralysis quite as vividly as the impossibility of Senate reform. The Upper House is a national scandal, everybody wants it reformed or abolished, and we’ve been trying to fix it for a hundred years. The Harper government has tried harder than most, only to be thwarted by the Supreme Court. But Ian Brodie says reformers should not lose faith. Where there’s a will there’s a way – and both may be at hand.

  • It’s Not the Charter, It’s the Judges

    Everybody bellyaches about judges when they disagree with a decision, but in Canada conservatives and libertarians have grumbled louder and longer than most. Many blame the 1982 Constitution and Charter when decisions don`t go their way, but Bob Tarantino says the problem is not the law, it’s the judges. Liberals and progressives have dominated the legal system for decades and if the right wants to balance the scales of justice, it has to build a conservative legal community from the ground up.

  • So Much Litigation, So Little Reconciliation

    The aboriginal rights provisions in the 1982 constitutional reforms profoundly changed the way Canada deals with First Nations land and treaty claims. Before then they were mostly resolved through negotiation with governments. Since 1982, the courts have taken a lead role. As Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, Beverley McLachlin has made “reconciliation” the guiding principle of decision-making related to aboriginal rights cases. But after 30 years of litigation, writes Yule Schmidt, reconciliation is still a long way off.

Volume 8: Issue 1: The (phony?) generation wars

Volume 7: Issue 4: Everything you know is wrong

Volume 7, Issue 3: Canada: A Nation of Cities

Volume 7 – Issue 2: Fifty Shades of Sex, Gender and Politics

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Volume 7 – Issue 1: Quacks and Conspiracies: The undermining of science and your health

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Volume 6 – Issue 3: Canada’s Dumbed-Down Discourse

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  • Forgotten war? How about the war that has been selectively remembered

    You cannot get very far these days without running into Sir Isaac Brock, Tecumseh, Laura Secord or Lieutenant Colonel Charles de Salaberry and hearing how the War of 1812 defined Canada. While the Harper government ignored the 250th anniversary of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 2009 because of its political implications, the bicentennial of the War of 1812 is getting the full-on treatment because of its political implications: It is a war Canadians won together. Funny thing, though, the Americans are also convinced they won the War of 1812.

  • Dumbed down discourse: How much are the media to blame?

    Have the media been part of a dumbing down of political discourse for several decades? Lydia Miljan thinks so. We have access to more information than ever before, but it’s still difficult to obtain detailed critical analysis of all political party platforms and policies. The media focus on the horse race during election campaigns at the expense of serious policy discussion. Left-of-centre parties receive much less scrutiny than right-of-centre parties do. Are we living in an age of missing information?

  • When Krugman is Right

    In this adaptation of a lunchtime talk to Civitas last May, William Watson discusses what courtesies and attention the members of different ideological “teams” owe each other. His conclusion: They currently owe more than they are offering.

  • The “Tolerant” University

    Since the 1960s, the number of university students has expanded much faster than the growth in the Canadian population. Along with this exponential expansion, there has been a diminution in academic standards and an increase in incivility. Rodney A. Clifton argues that university students are replacing the traditional values of civility and responsibility with modern values based on relativism.

  • Potemkin Progressivism

    Debate: Be it resolved that Canada is progressive. Peter Jon Mitchell: Yes, but it's a Potemkin "reality" and won't last

  • Heralding a new progressive Canada, from sea to shining sea

    Debate: Be it resolved that Canada is progressive. Michael Den Tandt says yes, it’s evident in polls and policies across the country

  • Caricaturing Christianity: An Interview with Michael Coren

    Michael Coren discusses the state of knowledge about Christianity in Canada today with C2C board member, Andrea Mrozek.

Volume 6 – Issue 2: From Tolsoy to growing up in India, to Cicero and the CBC: Must-read Summer Books

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  • CBC Insider tells all in new book

    The CBC continues to polarize Canadians. While many view it as a cultural touchstone, many others also see it as an expensive anachronism in a multichannel universe. Bob Tarantino reviews a new book by former CBC insider Richard Stursberg, who recounts his time at the helm of the institution during one of its most tumultuous periods. The book’s subject points to a fundamental question which Stursberg grapples with, in an only unsatisfactory way: does the CBC deserve a billion dollars a year in public subsidy?"

  • How Western culture rescues women

    Aruna Papp burst into Canada’s national consciousness when she undertook a study about the cultural factors behind honours killings in Canada. Now, Papp, along with some help from journalist Barbara Kay, has released a new book recounting her personal journey to Canada, which is reviewed by C2C’s own Mark Milke. Rather than say Canadian society is the problem, Papp argues that cultural beliefs often prevent female emancipation.

  • Canadian mystery novel provides truth about Aboriginal life

    Novelist Leo Tolstoy wrote that the truth can be found in fiction. This is evident in Incidents in the Life of Markus Paul, a 2011 novel by Canadian writer David Adams Richards. While ostensibly a murder mystery involving a New Brunswick First Nations reserve, Incidents uncovers truth about human nature and our preference for easy answers. Joseph Quesnel reviews this novel and also discusses how it elucidates Native-newcomer misunderstandings.

  • The Partnership that Helped to Win the Cold War

    Established narratives have romanticized the relationship between US President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher when evidence points to their relationship as actually being strained. Grant Morgan reviews a new account of the relationship in a new book by Richard Aldous, which argues that personalities matter as these two great leaders worked together to define the period.

  • Befriending Those No Decent Person Would Talk To

    When Marco Cicero, the famous Roman orator, ran for consul, his brother Quintus offered him some practical campaigning advice. Prof. John Von Heyking, a political scientist at the University of Lethbridge, reviews this ancient Roman guide for some modern political insights.

  • How the American Military went off course

    Has American society allowed political and military chiefs to wage war without much restraint? Prof. Barry Cooper of the University of Calgary tackles a provocative new book by Rachel Maddow on American military might, with some useful insights for Canada’s own national defence debate

Volume 6 – Issue 1: Courts and Charter

  • The Charter at 30: Charter Jurisprudence that Went off the Rails

    In the 30 years since the adoption of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, any cautious optimism that freedom loving Canadians had in 1982 has proven to be unfounded as the courts have continuously enabled an ever-expanding state to the detriment of freedom.

  • Interview with former Supreme Court of Canada judge John (Jack) Major

    Interview with former Supreme Court of Canada judge John (Jack) Major By Chris Schafer

  • Charter Hyperbole: The New Politics of Heresy

    Law, especially rights-entrenching constitutional law, has become a new sacred text, allegedly defining the legitimate community and putting apostates beyond its pale. In Canada, the pulpit hyperbole that cast Wilfrid Laurier as a heretic in late 19th Century Quebec has been replaced by the “Charter Hyperbole” now used to demonize Stephen Harper.

  • Civilization: The West and The Rest

    In this wide-ranging account, the economic historian Niall Ferguson sets out to explain the rise of Western civilization, as well as defend its achievements from the enervating effects of multiculturalism, post-modernism and post-colonialism. Ferguson argues that the economic, social and political institutions of the West still provide the best hope for guaranteeing lives which are meaningful and rewarding, and for solving the problems the modern world faces.

  • Free? Democratic? Society?: Re-examining Section 1 of the Charter

    All rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Charter are subject to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society. This article explains how the courts have been using the words "free and democratic society" as a hollow feel good notion devoid of any specific meaning to substitute the analysis of what a society founded on democratic principles and made up of free individuals should be with utilitarian tests designed to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number of people at the expense of the least misery for the smallest number of people.

Volume 5 Issue 4: The Two Solitudes Persist

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Volume 5 Issue 3 – Canada: Where to Now?

Volume 5 Issue 2 – Property Rights

Volume 5 Issue 1 – Democracy in the Middle East: 1848 or 1989?

Volume 4 Issue 4 – Culture

  • Leftist Artists and Their Totalitarian Friends

    An analysis of how social engineering and eugenics have their origins in the socialist and progressive movements and ideas of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and how some of those generally considered on the right and light side of history in fact did much to cause great harm and suffering.

  • Tom Thomson, Conservative Hero?

    Tom Thomson is regarded as one of Canada's greatest artists. People come from all over the world to view his magnificent paintings in art galleries and museums. But will Thomson still be regarded as a national treasure if he turns out to be a conservative? This controversial article examines Thomson's life and work, and reaches a conclusion that will surprise many readers - and drive a stake in the heart of Canada's left-leaning arts community to boot.

  • Eavesdropping on the other guys: What cultural conservatives can learn from the left’s critique of itself

    Fragmentation has not only cost the conservative movement electorally during the past decade. It has weakened its intellectual coherence in forming an authentic response to the sophistries of postmodernism. Now an unlikely source, the Catholic Marxist thinker Terry Eagleton, offers an intriguing way out of the dilemma.

  • A Radical Opening – A Conservative Cultural Policy

    No matter how brilliant their ideas, conservatives will never find acceptance in a world where films, theatre, television, literature and music portray them as sons and daughters of the KKK. It is time that conservatives step up, embrace the arts and help bring our culture into full maturity. Nickson explains how.

Volume 4 Issue 3 – Provincial Conservatism

Volume 4 Issue 2 – Modern-Day Slavery in Canada

Volume 4 Issue 1 – Whatever Happened to Treason?

  • Islam and Western Society

    Michael Coren asks whether Islam is reconcilable with western, pluralistic values. Using examples of the Islamic reaction to the Danish cartoons of Mohammad and how one particular town in England has changed through Muslim immigration, he raises severe doubts about the future of the relationship unless we change out current attitudes. Coren explains that while many Muslims simply want to live as westerners, we have yet to fully understand the radical Islamic imperative which seeks to transform the nature of any society where it settles. It would be simple, but incredibly dangerous, to assume that Islam follows similar patterns to other religions. He argues that this debate is the most important of the age.

  • The Meaning of Treason: Unintelligable Apart from Primacy of the Individual

    “Is treason merely a relativistic concept?” asks Gordon Gibson in this essay on the necessary primacy of the individual. After all, the author points out, “The word describes a significant attack on the fundamental order of things, usually a form of governance. But if that order of things is illegitimate in the eyes of the viewer – dictatorships or theocracies as seen by Westerners or godless democracies as seen by the godly”—we are forced to ask if there a more absolute idea that would define treason as a betrayal of the individual or of human rights.

  • The Rise of Treason and the Decline of Canadian-Based Terror Threats

    A former Canadian Ambassador with 36 years of service in eastern and central Europe, the Caribbean and Moscow, along with service as head of Canada’s immigration service, James Bisset argues the unwillingness to call treason by its proper name—and preference to use other, less serious sections of the Criminal Code when dealing with terrorists is an example of how deeply political correctness has permeated our society: “There is a dangerous tendency to obscure the truth and to camouflage unpleasant facts by ignoring them or by using euphemisms to minimize their gravity. “

  • Treason From 16th-Century England to 9/11

    “In advanced countries, treason is an antiquarian offence,” writes Lord Black in his survey of treason from the 16th century to the attacks in New York and Washington in September 2001. “Toleration of conscientious objection and a media tendency to mistrust militarism and nationalism and to seek the ‘sources’ of even foreign discontent have made treason an unfashionable allegation, as it implies national moral superiority. “

  • Hold People Accountable for Actions, Not Thoughts

    “There is no shortage of offences with which to charge those who threaten Canada’s national security, writes University of Calgary professor Tom Flanagan in his call for treason to stay, for all practical purposes, buried in Canada’s past. While Flanagan does not see removing treason from the books as desirable, neither are new prosecutions with treason as a charge. As for other non-criminal matters such as Quebec separatists, “In a democratic polity, such large-scale problems of allegiance can only be solved by political conciliation, not by hunting down and punishing traitors,” writes Flanagan.

  • Reflections on Citizenship and Treason: A Historical Perspective

    “In the years between August 1947 when Kanao Inouye, a Japanese-Canadian also known as the Kamloops Kid, was hanged for war crimes and the conviction of Mohammed Momin Khawaja, a Pakistani-Canadian, in October 2008 under the Anti-Terrorism Act , Canada changed significantly, “writes Salim Mansur. The open immigration policy adopted since the mid-1960s is desirable and not without obvious benefits asserts Mansur, but somewhere in the process, Canadian’s sense of membership and belonging that citizenship represents has become diluted: “Due to the increasing prevalence of dual and multiple citizenships that an individual can maintain, then under these conditions, the relationship between an individual and the state is increasingly utilitarian.”

  • Book Review: Tolerism: The Ideology Revealed

    By Howard Rotberg, Mantua Books, 231 pp, $25 Howard Rotberg’s new book, reviewed by David W. Livingstone— Page 50 Rotberg sets out to show that tolerance has been “raised to the be-all and end-all of human existence” and to point out the problems that excessive tolerance brings in its wake: “It disarms our best minds and our future leaders from protecting the important values and freedoms for which our forefathers have fought, and even died.”

  • Interview: John O’Sullivan

    Overlapping allegiances: C2C’s interview with former Margaret Thatcher adviser, John O’Sullivan. In this interview with John O’ Sullivan, now executive editor at Radio Free Europe in Prague, O’ Sullivan reflects on multiculturalism, the IRA’s 1984 Brighton hotel bombing and the Toronto 18.

Volume 3 Issue 4 – Reclaiming Compassion

  • Interview: Iain T. Benson

    An interview with Iain T. Benson, Senior Associate Counsel, Miller Thomson LLP, and former Executive Director, Centre for Cultural Renewal in Ottawa, Ontario, conducted November 10 th , 2009.

  • Social Conservatives and the Harper Government

    Social conservatives focus on what is permanent in human nature, emphasize the importance of tradition, trust in a market economy and put the family ahead of the state. Rejecting John Rawls’ notion that a political order can be established that is neutral between diverse moral and religious worldviews, as well as the concept of a specifically Christian law, they also believe that the origin of enacted laws is the natural moral law, a legal philosophy developed by Greek and Roman thinkers long before Christianity appeared on the historical scene. The Harper government has been reasonably supportive of a social conservative vision, as attested by its implementation of the Child Care Allowance Program, the abolition of the Court Challenges Program and its balanced environmental policies. There seems little doubt that the CPC is the national party most capable of addressing other issues of particular concern to conservative-minded people, notably as regards the interpretation of freedom of expression and freedom of consciences, as well as the reinforcement of the traditional family through family taxation.

  • Book Review: Progress and Property Rights: From the Greeks to Magna Carta to the Constitution

    Review of Progress and Property Rights: From the Greeks to Magna Carta to the Constitution , by Walker Todd.

  • Community is not a Liberal Word

    Strong community acts as a powerful force to keep government in check. Strong communities are made up of strong families, yet families are on the decline in Canada today. No wonder then, that government sits at an unwieldy 42 per cent of GDP. Social conservatives acknowledge the importance of strong families in creating community, which in turn is able to support families and social programs today taken on by our welfare state. Though it may be true that classical liberals of yesteryear (conservatives today) paid little attention to community—this is because they took strong communities for granted. We can no longer afford to do so, as the ongoing decline of strong families will continue to create impetus and motivation for larger and larger government programs.

  • Islam and Western Society

    Michael Coren asks whether Islam is reconcilable with western, pluralistic values. Using examples of the Islamic reaction to the Danish cartoons of Mohammad and how one particular town in England has changed through Muslim immigration, he raises severe doubts about the future of the relationship unless we change out current attitudes. Coren explains that while many Muslims simply want to live as westerners, we have yet to fully understand the radical Islamic imperative which seeks to transform the nature of any society where it settles. It would be simple, but incredibly dangerous, to assume that Islam follows similar patterns to other religions. He argues that this debate is the most important of the age.

  • Freedom to Build: Homes for the Homeless

    The homeless of Canada, as a growing and suffering demographic, warrant our concern. Contrary to public perceptions, approximately half of these individuals are employed, and even more are willing to work. However, since the cost of housing has greatly outpaced wage growth, minimum wage and low paying jobs are no longer sufficient to cover accommodation in many of Canada’s major cities. The homeless are primarily a symptom of a restrained housing supply, particularly the low-cost variety. While numerous government programs and community initiatives have sought to address homelessness, they have proved ineffectual and often counterproductive. The homeless population has continued to expand, along with the relevant waiting lists and government agencies. These initiatives will continue to fail while the underlying cause, the many impediments to and the lack of private housing, is not addressed.

  • The Conservative Vision of Social Justice

    In this article Monte Solberg argues that Canadian conservatives are missing an important opportunity to dramatically improve the effectiveness of well over half of current government spending and to dramatically improve their political popularity at the same time. But doing this requires the government to define and communicate their idea of a conservative vision of social justice. Solberg looks at the rise of this idea in the US, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Volume 3 Issue 3 – Assessing the Recession & Navigating the Recovery

Volume 3 Issue 2 – Perspectives on Canada’s Drug War

  • A Critique of the Drug Legalization Agenda

    No one can know what our society would be like if we changed the law to make access to cocaine, heroin, and PCP easier. I believe … that the result would be a sharp increase in use, a more widespread degradation of the human personality, and a greater rate of accidents and violence.

  • Interview with Chuck Doucette, Retired RCMP Officer

    Our interview with Chuck Doucette, a 35 year veteran of the RCMP, on his experiences in drug enforcement

  • My Party: Right or Wrong?

    A review of Bob Plamondon's Blue Thunder: The Truth About Conservatives from MacDonald to Harper, Key Porter Books, 474 pages.

  • A Frank Analysis of Canada’s Newest Drug Policy Approach

    There is a long standing debate in Canada about whether substance abuse should be treated as primarily a health or enforcement issue. While is ample evidence that alcohol and other drugs play a significant role in crime, the efficacy of “getting tough” with substance-involved offenders is often called into question by critics who suggest that punitive approaches may not be the best way to respond to these problems. The high rates of re-arrest among offenders who are dependent on alcohol or other drugs certainly add credence to this argument. However, does this mean that there is never a legitimate role for coercion when addressing substance-involved crime?

  • The Price of Pot Prohibition

    It is a moral question that we are facing. And there is every reason to believe that keeping marihuana illegal is not just immoral, it's deeply, profoundly irrational. From a rational public policy perspective, marihuana prohibition is, to be charitable, unwise. It may very well be the most unwise public policy around. At least, it is difficult to find public policies that cost so much, benefit us so little, and destroy as many lives as marihuana prohibition. Or so I will argue.

  • The Conservative Case Against Decriminalization

    For some Canadians, Canada’s leadership in cannabis consumption might be a matter of indifference, if not national pride. Such complacency is misplaced. With millions of Canadians already suffering from the evils of alcohol abuse and tobacco addiction, no one should be indifferent to the growing menace of cannabis abuse and addiction.

  • The Libertarian Case for Decriminalization

    A free-market in drugs is a social state of affairs where any individual would be free to produce, trade, or consume drugs free of any regulation or taxation and that the sole the purpose of government (in so far as drugs are concerned) would be to protect her in the possession of her drugs (and/or the means of production necessary to produce them) and to mediate any disputes she might have regarding her drugs. In this essay, I explain what it would mean to establish a free-market in drugs in Canada.

Volume 3 Issue 1 – Political, Monetary, and Constitutional Illusions

  • A Response to Professor Cooper on the War in Afghanistan

    Before getting to his criticism of my case against the war in Afghanistan1, Professor Barry Cooper spends the first half of his article on his various objections to libertarianism. In his first paragraph, he asks, “What is libertarianism?” and adds, “Henderson does not provide us with an account of what he means.” There’s a reason I didn’t define libertarianism: I never used the words “libertarian” or “libertarianism.” That was a word that the editors of this publication put in the title of my article.

  • The Innate Parochialism of Canada’s Modern Constitutional Consensus

    “If there is one constant theme in the scholarly literature concerning American and Canadian constitutional laws, it is that the two nations are quite different.” That opinion, from which the authors of Judging Democracy will dissent, is the scholarly consensus formed around the notion that the American constitutional tradition “promote(s) individual rights and place(s) substantial restrictions on the capacity of government to legislate for the common good. By contrast the Canadian Charter is much less individualistic in both text and interpretation.” The authors then explain that they “have written this book in part to refute this analysis.”1

  • Sorting Through Keynesian Rubble

    Should governments run deficits to pay for ‘stimulus packages’? ‘Of course!’ say many Democrats, liberals, socialists and others who flatter themselves that they are ‘progressive’. ‘Heaven forbid!’ say many Republicans, libertarians and others in the USA and Canada who like to think of themselves, quite wrongly in some cases, as ‘conservative’. On occasion, these opinions, whether ‘left’ or ‘right’, may rest on some understanding of how a market economy works. But all too often, it seems, they are mere gut reactions—nothing but the result of prejudice and ideological bias.

  • Forget “Unfettered” Markets…

    Are Western governments doing enough for their citizens by intervening in the markets during the current economic crisis? This was the question posed by Ed Broadbent in a speech earlier this year at York University. The former federal NDP leader argued that after decades of deregulation, a return to more active involvement of the state in the economy was necessary to boost economic growth and restore “social rights”.1 However until very recently it was environmental issues and especially global warming that were top of most Canadian’s minds.2

Volume 2 Issue 4 – The Economy

Volume 2 Issue 3 – National Defence

  • Canadian Engagement in Latin America can counter Chavez Mischief

    When Prime Minister Stephen Harper conducted his first official visit to Chile, Colombia and the Caribbean in July 2007, he undertook important steps in renewing Canada’s historical ties with Latin America. Now with a renewed electoral mandate, the prime minister should continue to promote an agenda of liberalism, free trade, and democracy in the region, both for the sake of the people in the region and neutralize the destructive authoritarian influence of Venezuela’s Colonel Hugo Chavez.

  • The Libertarian Case against the War in Afghanistan

    Shortly after the U.S. government’s attack on Afghanistan in October 2001 (which, of course, followed the September 11 attacks on the United States), the Canadian government joined the United States, the United Kingdom, and other countries in an occupying coalition in Afghanistan. The first major wave of Canadian troops arrived in Afghanistan in February 2002.

  • A Graveyard For All: The Trouble With Relativism

    Naming a book The Book of Absolutes is a bit hubristic. It’s also redundant. The Book should suffice to christen the book that reveals absolutes. Setting that defect aside, I believe that we should forgive author William Gairdner’s boast, too. His candour and daring is refreshing in an age awash in wishy-washiness. I much prefer it to the feigned humility of one who formulates comprehensive rules and recommendations for restructuring society and then labels it but “a theory.”

  • C2C’s Exclusive Interview with (Retired) General Rick Hillier: Former Canadian Chief of the Defence Staff

    Former General Rick Hillier, CMM, MSC, CD, a native of Newfoundland, served as the Canadian Chief of the Defence Staff from February 4, 2005 to July 1, 2008. C2C editor Chris Schafer interviewed Mr. Hillier recently on his thoughts on Canada’s role in the world and Afghanistan.

  • Canada Should Push For a Retro NATO

    It was inevitable that NATO expansion eastward would at some point run into a hostile Russian reaction. The attack on South Ossetia by Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili in August was the last straw and Russia finally showed its teeth by crushing the Georgian offensive in 48 hours. The Russians then added insult to injury by recognizing the independence of South Ossetia and the other breakaway region, Abkhazia. The West faces the prospect of a new arms race—and if not the specter of nuclear warfare, at least a serious setback to global peace and security.

  • The Fallacies and the Facts about Terrorism

    Terrorism, like so many other human activities, can be a complicated subject – so complicated that nobody has yet managed to come up with a concise and accurate definition for it.

Volume 2 Issue 2 – Federal Election 2008

  • A “Power Shift”: Conservative Principles for the Environment

    As Canada gets ready to elect a new government, energy and environmental policy are on the front burner. The Liberal “Green Shift” plan conforms to two of the “first principles” of liberal governance: maximizing wealth redistribution, and maximizing control of the commanding heights of the economy. Liberal leader Stephane Dion’s plan would satisfy both principles by levying a federal carbon tax, then doling out the revenues “progressively” while letting the federal government expand its control of the commanding heights of the energy sector and provincial governance by tweaks of the tax code generally invisible to the public.

  • Election ’08 Report: Challenges Facing Harper

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said on many occasions that he views the path to a stable, durable, Conservative majority government as a long march.By that measure, in the recent election campaign, he achieved several important milestones: He broke through Ontario's resistance; he won new levels of support among Canada's ethnic communities and New Canadians; and began to make urban inroads. It looks like he has bridged the gender gap with important groups of women.

  • A Plan for Economic Prosperity

    With less than a month to go in the federal election, there has been little real debate on the fiscal policies needed to improve Canada’s economic growth and productivity performance. What Canada needs is a fiscal plan focused on economic prosperity that creates and strengthens the incentives for individuals and businesses to engage in productive economic activity.

Volume 2 Issue 1 – Canada-U.S. Relations

Volume 1 Issue 4 – Aboriginal Affairs

  • The Canadian Founding: John Locke and Parliament

    The study of Canadian identity has preoccupied many Canadian political, sociological and historical scholars. Like Canadian unity, it is a topic that virtually has its own industry. Scores of books have been written and conferences convened on the subject, and yet still no one has found a definitive answer to the question of what Canadian identity actually is.

  • The Entrepreneurship Explosion and Aboriginal Property Rights

    There has been tremendous progress in aboriginal entrepreneurship over the last ten years. Without any pretence of offering a complete list, here are some examples of success stories, both big and small:

  • Fundamentalism in Religion, Politics and Science

    The word ‘fundamentalism’ has traveled a long way since it began life in California nearly a hundred years ago. At first it was a defence of what were seen as the ‘fundamental’ beliefs of American Protestants. The literal truth of the Bible, the creation of the world by God, miracles in the Old and New Testaments, and the central miracles of the Virgin birth and bodily resurrection of Christ had been called into question by Darwinian Evolution, by scientific naturalism more generally, and by the so-called ‘higher criticism’ of the Bible by German theologians.

  • Truth, Reconciliation, and Aboriginal Residential Schools: A Reply to Michael Ignatieff

    Late in the autumn of 2007, approximately 87,000 aboriginal people who attended the 130 residential schools, many of which were administered by the Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, and United churches, began receiving payments from the Federal government. For these people, the payment is $10,000 for their first year, or part of it, in residence, and $3,000 for each subsequent year, or part it.

  • Back to the Future: Helping indigenous peoples recover autonomy and self-reliance

    It is no secret small and big-C conservatives have a perception problem within the Aboriginal community . Every election, Aboriginal organizations send out ringing endorsements of Liberal candidates, arguing that Grits are usually the lesser of two evils. Moreover, Aboriginals associate right-wing policies with leaders who wish to eliminate treaty and Aboriginal rights and, unfortunately, this misleading message trickles down to the masses.

  • Our man in Havana

    C2C editor Mark Milke was in Cuba for the resignation of Fidel Castro; here are his observations on 49 years of Fidel.

  • Aboriginals in Canada: segregation or equality?

    Will Canadian courts uphold the creation of a semi-sovereign Nisga’a “nation” in northwestern British Columbia? Does Canada’s Constitution allow for quasi-independent Aboriginal principalities within Canada, each with the power to pass laws which prevail over Canadian federal and provincial law? To what extent should aboriginals have the same rights and responsibilities as other Canadians? What, specifically, should “aboriginal self-government” mean in practice? What terms and conditions should new treaties incorporate?

Volume 1 Issue 3 – Faith & Politics

  • Reconciling Faith and Liberty: Can a social conservative be a libertarian?

    It is a popular notion within the libertarian elite that conservatives who adhere to traditional morality cannot be libertarian. The libertarians see a desire on the part of moral conservatives to ‘impose’ their vision of the moral good life on society as a central feature distinguishing them from those who are committed to ‘leaving people alone.’ Many social conservatives also have a problem identifying with right-wing hippies calling for hard drug legalization and normalized prostitution.

  • Navigating the Faith/Political Interface

    Why even concern ourselves with "the faith/political interface"? Several compelling reasons exist for doing so, including: National and international security: Islamic extremists, professedly motivated by religious as well as political convictions, are a threat to national and international security. Their actions also threaten the political status and security of the vast majority of Muslims throughout the world who do not share these convictions.

  • The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics, and the Modern West

    In academic circles, the future of Muslims in the post-Cold War world was being debated long before the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In The End of History and the Last Man , the 1992 book he expanded from a National Interest essay, Francis Fukuyama argued that the world was witnessing "the universalization of Western liberal democracy." The Islamic world, he wrote, "would seem more vulnerable to liberal ideas in the long run than the reverse." Samuel Huntington published a response of sorts in The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order , his own article-turned-book, which held that Islamic countries would remain theocratic and illiberal. In large part, Huntington wrote, differences between Islam and the West resulted from the "Muslim concept of Islam as a way of life transcending and uniting religion and politics versus the Western Christian concept of the separate realms of God and Caesar."

  • Christianity and Politics, Past and Present

    One can hardly pick up a newspaper or newsmagazine these days and not find an article on the contentious subject of faith and politics. In the United States, there are heated debates over President George W. Bush’s world view, the religious right, and foreign policy in the Middle East. Recently, editorialists have been preoccupied with the role of religion in the lives of various Democrats and Republicans who would run for the presidency, and the candidates themselves have issued public statements on the matter. These controversies aside, there remain the perennial controversies about abortion or the teaching of creation and evolution in the nation’s schools.

Volume 1 Issue 2 – Foreign Policy

  • African Aid: Beyond Celebrity Platitudes

    Canadian foreign policy in Africa, as a reflection of G8 foreign policy, is directed towards achieving sustainable growth and eliminating poverty. These goals are laudable, although billions of dollars spent in aid over the past few decades have done little to achieve this. In an attempt to reverse these sub-par returns in well-intentioned aid, or at least to gain some popularity with music-lovers, G8 leaders have turned to Bob Geldof and Bono, for advice. Incredibly, these two musicians appear to have a great impact on G8, and thus, Canadian policy-making and action. Yet, from outside policy-making circles looking in, these two men appear to have accomplished little but to create a new business model for concert promoters.

  • The Threat and Opportunity of Non-State Actors to a Conservative Foreign Policy

    Free trade, protecting individual liberty, promoting democratic governance and alleviating suffering are all components of a conservative foreign policy. However, the achievement of these objectives is being hamstrung by the traditional (and increasingly antiquated) theory of realism.

  • We’ve been here before: Middle Eastern terrorism circa 1776

    In the self-hating narrative all too popular and which serves as a substitute for thoughtful historical analysis, the West deserves recent Islamic-based terrorism – or at least – should expect nothing less. We bring such atrocities upon our own heads given our collective history of imposed colonialism, insensitivity to other cultures and willingness to sacrifice all others and our own principles. We do this for black gold to heat our gargantuan homes and fuel our obscene SUVs. This is the bleating apologia from everyone from Michael Moore to the late Edward Said, from New Democrats to the ever-pacifist Bloc Quebecois, from critics at home and abroad.

  • Heads or Tails? Extra-national Dimensions of International Development

    Twenty-one years ago, Bob Geldoff and a litany of well-intentioned celebrities gathered in London to raise awareness and money to end world hunger. At the time, connections between poverty in the developing world, and dinner in Canada seemed tenuous at best. It was rare to get fresh artichokes out of season; phone calls to Hong Kong were well over $1 a minute, and long-weekend flights to Florida, for all but a few jet-set-millionaires, were completely out of the question. Today, thanks to global supply chains and communication networks, vine-ripened tomatoes sit in corner stores across the country, and South African apples are part of most Canadian diets.

  • Merkel & Sarkozy: Thatcherism Lite

    What do the daughter of a Grantham grocer, the daughter of a Prussian pastor, and the son of a Hungarian heir have in common? According to the received wisdom proffered by the Fourth Estate, potentially quite a bit. In the wake of the installation of Angela Merkel as the Chancellor of Germany, and the recent election of Nicolas Sarkozy to the Presidency in France, gallons of ink have been spilt on the subject of whether either of these conservatives possess the political skills and determination required to achieve Thatcheresque reform of their moribund economies. There is considerable optimism that the national economies critical to the continental European economy, boasting unemployment rates of 12.6% and 10.2% respectively, will shortly benefit from some revolutionary restructuring.

  • Islamic Imperialism or a Political History of Islam?

    Of all the world’s major religions, none is at the center of as much controversy today as Islam. Wherever it comes in contact with other religions, a political storm arises. From Paris to the Balkans, Chechnya to Xinjiang, Kashmir to the Sudan, and most notably, in the heart of the Middle East itself, Islam seems unable to make peace with its neighbours. Various explanations, excuses and accusations have been made in response to this phenomenon. None, however, seem as prescient or as penetrating as that presented by Efraim Karsh in his latest work, Islamic Imperialism: A History .

  • Incremental Conservatism: Mr. Harper Goes to Ottawa

    Criticism from the right of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has recently come into vogue. Economists from the Fraser Institute have condemned aspects of Conservative tax policy. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation called the 2006 budget “Liberal Lite.” Gerry Nicholl, who used to work for Mr. Harper at the National Citizens Coalition, has become a frequent critic in the Globe and Mail and other media. And, going beyond media criticism, people associated with the Free Dominion website held an organizational meeting in May 2007 to found a new version of the Reform Party. Are things really so bad, that after only 18 months in power, conservatives are ready to go back to the days of division on the right?

Volume 1 Issue 1 – The Future of Conservatism

  • Why Canada Needs Conservatives, Though it Tends to Imagine Otherwise

    Canadians are fortunate beyond measure. Given that underneath we're the same creatures that the world has ever seen, the liberty, civility, prosperity and opportunity that we enjoy is astounding. Little wonder that people the world over want to move here, while relatively few seek to flee. An awareness of our good fortune must supplement our appreciation for the enormous effort that goes into making Canada such a pleasant place to live. We should be more grateful and less smug.

  • Federalism, Like It’s 1867

    How often do you get a blast from the present while reading history books? It certainly happens when the subject is Canadian unity. For instance, if you heard a Quebec politician complain about a supposed fiscal imbalance within our federation because “the share of income tax collected by the province . . . is still clearly inadequate” and claim that “by so often giving short shrift to Quebec’s pleas up to now, the federal government has acted as though it meant to put a brake on our province’s social and economic development”, you could be forgiven for believing that former Parti Québécois premier Bernard Landry had made a comeback. In fact, a Liberal Premier, Jean Lesage, uttered these criticisms in 1963. [i]

  • Solzhenitsyn’s conservatism

    Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s life and works are a testimony to moral, political and literary courage. His short stories, novels, speeches and his own experiences convey, perhaps more than any other author, the drama, terror and heroism that manifested themselves throughout one of humanity’s most violent and decisive periods. By collecting excerpts from these works together in one volume, the editors have performed a valuable service for English readers seeking to understand the forces and ideas that gave birth to and continued to support totalitarianism long after its bankruptcy was realized.

  • The Emerging Conservatism of the Anglosphere

    There are those in my gown town who believe that every political idea expressed in the Anglosphere originates in the United Kingdom. This belief draws indignation from the city’s colonial contingent, which champions the contributions of non-Britons from Rand to Kymlicka. However, we colonials are forced to admit that, particularly over the past thirty years, it has typically been in Britain where global shifts in political attitudes have first been fully expressed in political platforms.

  • Explaining the Facts of Life – “Idea” Conservatives & The Media

    “The facts of life are conservative” said Margaret Thatcher. Perhaps, but the facts never speak for themselves, which is especially problematic for any Canadian mildly interested in ideas. Too many newspapers have hollowed out their editorial, analysis and comment sections; the number and length of book reviews have been slashed; in both newspapers and on television, investigative reporting is often absent (there is no Canadian television equivalent of John Stossel for example); and the Canadian media is more monolithic than the American media, in part because our smaller population makes diversity in staffing and the sheer number of outlets less possible.

  • Growing Up in Castro’s Cuba

    In a strange twist of a double coincidence, Luis M. Garcia was born in 1959, the year of Cuba’s revolution, and in the town of Banes, the birthplace of deposed dictator Fulgencio Batista (born there in 1901). Garcia’s shopkeeper parents, initially supportive of the 1959 revolution, later applied to leave Cuba after they lost their small business in one of Fidel Castro’s nationalization programs. The application to leave meant that from that moment on, the Garcia family were “gusanos” – “counter-revolutionaries” – in the view of the regime.

  • Enrightened Thinking

    In an era of instant news headlines and empty libraries, a project that seeks to deepen our thinking on a sustained basis through the written word seems downright old-fashioned. To make the point clearer, do you think that many people would respond favourably today to this ad in your local paper?

  • Nixon in China

    Only one presidential trip in memory has resulted in the creation of a famous political saying. From Richard Nixon’s seminal visit to China in 1972 came the “Nixon Goes to China Rule” of politics, the crux of which is that the politician perceived to be least likely to do something will actually have the easiest time doing it.

  • Going Global with Peace, Order and Good Government

    The world needs more Canada. So How come Canada and "democracy assistance" are oxymoronic? In a blast-from-the-past from Canada's Journal of Ideas, relevant again because of Tunisia and Egypt's uprisings, Shuvaloy Majumdar and Christopher Sands argue Canada should imitate how Ronald Reagan and U.S. labour leader Lane Kirkland helped out Poland's Solidarity in the 1980s....