Inroads: A Journal of Opinion

Biannual Canadian journal focusing on economic, social, and political issues.

Articles from No. 32, Spring

A Generation That Is Deepening Democracy
Like Henry Milner I have spent the better part of the last two decades studying and thinking about democracy. Unlike Milner, I believe the new generation rising up under the banners of the Quebec student strike and Occupy Wall Street are creating innovations...
An Ex-Politician's Quebec Election Blog
Change, but what change? August 27 (election day--8) If the most recent Leger Marketing poll is accurate, the Liberal Party could suffer its worst defeat since 1867. Completely abandoned by francophones, the Liberals survive only thanks to massive...
Are Muslims a Threat?
Doug Saunders. The Myth of the Muslim Tide: Do Immigrants Threaten the West? New York: Vintage, 2012. 199 pages. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Doug Maunders, the European bureau chief of the Toronto Globe and Mail, has written an interesting book with...
A War for Hemp, Iron and Timber: A Response to John R. Grodzinski's "Remembering the War of 1812"
I wish to take issue with several of the points made by Major John R. Grodzinski ("Remembering the War of 1812," Inroads, Summer/Fall 2012, pp. 112-24) and, more generally, the standard interpretation put forward by historians of the war of 1812. ...
Clash of the Centuries: What Happened When Quebec's 20th-Century Government Encountered Its 21st-Century Social Movement
It was four o'clock on May 31, 2012, the 109th day of the Quebec student conflict. Michelle Courchesne, then Quebec's recently appointed Minister of Education, left the building where she had met with representatives of the student associations for...
Class, as Seen from the Right
Charles Murray, Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960-2010. New York: Crown Forum, 2012. 416 pases. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] A person could be well into middle age and not remember it, but for most of the 20th century class was the central...
Constituency Parliaments: An Antidote to the Democratic Stalemate in Canada
The image we hold of our future is itself an important element of that future. The expectations we arouse become a strong motivating force in realizing them. --Pierre Elliott Trudeau With the steadily increasing political alienation of Canadians,...
Energy Policy: Redirecting the Conversation
Modern Canada's social justice and social cohesion have been largely been built on the back of a continually growing economy, fuelled by affordable and abundant energy available to pretty much everyone. Affordable and abundant energy allows us to lead...
Harper's Axe Hits Canadian Studies Abroad: The End of the Understanding Canada Program Reflects Changing Foreign Policy Priorities
On May 1, the Harper government quietly announced that it was terminating funding for Understanding Canada, the latest iteration of the Canadian Studies program. The Canadian government's support for international scholars of Canada, which has lasted...
How Did Netanyahu Come to Believe He Runs the World?
September 17, 2012 I arrived in Israel Friday morning, travelled to Bethlehem in Palestine, and then to the international city of Jerusalem. There's no trace, that I've seen, of the apparently upcoming war with Iran or the recent protests against...
Introducing Inroads 32
Ever since citizens of ancient Athens first gathered on the Pnyx to deliberate on the affairs of their city-state, how best to translate the will of the people into public policy has been a subject for debate. The debate about democracy is more intense...
Language Policy without the Emotion
With the Quebecois winning the September 4 general election, language politics has once again been primed in Quebec and across Canada. The PQ's election platform contained a number of policy initiatives designed to protect the French language. Two...
Making Policy by E-Referendum: Should Canada's Political System Be Overhauled to Incorporate 21st-Century Technologies?
It was reported in August 2011 that Canada's Chief Electoral Officer, Marc Mayrand, will be seeking approval to test Internet voting in a 2013 federal byelection. This move toward embracing the digital world was likely triggered by such developments...
Obama 2012 versus Obama 2008
Finally, it's over. What are we to make of the 2012 U.S. election campaign? All appeared to be going according to plan for Barack Obama until the first presidential debate. Mitt Romney was able to move to a seemingly more moderate position without...
Social Media Politics: Are the New Movements, from Quebec to Wall Street, Compatible with Representative Democracy?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Overall, electoral participation has been declining in democratic countries for the last generation, as has party membership. (1) Many factors have been blamed for this weakening of the foundation of representative democracy--including...
Spain's Indignados: For a Better Representative Democracy, and More
On Sunday, May 15, 2011, about 20,000 people attended demonstrations in more than 50 Spanish cities to protest politicians' performance in the economic crisis. The slogan that mobilized them was "Real Democracy Now! We are not merchandise in the hands...
Tax Policy by Referendum: British Columbia's Unharmonized Tax Reform
There is a parallel between the student protests in 2012 leading to cancellation of Quebec's tuition fee increases and the referendum a year earlier that put a stop to sales tax reform in British Columbia. No one likes paying higher taxes or fees....
The Marikana Tragedy: South Africa's Social Contract with Its Working Poor Breaks Down
On August 16 the South African Police Service killed 34 mineworkers, injured 78 and arrested 270 others who had gathered on a rocky outcrop a 90-minute drive from Johannesburg near the Marikana Platinum Mine owned by Lonmin Plc. A week earlier, ten...
The Northern Gateway to Nowhere
Every few decades an issue arises that unexpectedly becomes a defining moment for the country. Such issues can creep up and catch decision-makers unawares. The great free trade election of 1988 was one such: when Brian Mulroney signed the Canada-U.S....
The Questions That Hard Power Advocates Don't Ask
David S. McDonough, ed., Canada's National Security in the Post-9/11 World: Strategy, Interests, Threats. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012. 320 pages. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Canada's National Security in the Post-9/11 World, edited...