The briefest glance still proves how undemocratic our system is, in which you merely need more votes than other candidates, to arrive "first past the post," and win a seat.
Rick Salutin is a Canadian novelist, playwright and critic. He is a strong advocate of left wing causes and writes a regular column in the Globe and Mail.
What if the problem is elections, not democracy -- because elections aren't all there is to democracy. That may be hard to absorb, since we tend to equate them.
If you'd like a titillating read this summer, let me propose Debt: The First 5000 Years, by David Graeber. It's a book that dares to question "the very assumption that debts have to be repaid."
The confusing thing about that bus monitor story from the U.S. is that it was treated as a case of bullying. What it really involved was youth dabbling in ways to undermine adult authority.
I'm not arguing against Confederation, or for it. The point isn't to celebrate Confederation, so much as to explore and develop its possibilities.
A recent Star piece by two criminologists brought a new gaze to the idea of community. It examined reconstruction of public housing in Toronto's Regent Park.
The Harper government has put a big push behind the 200th birthday party for the War of 1812, as part of their campaign to glamourize Canadian wars.
Speaking of debts, as most governments do in order to explain why they can't create anything and need to cut back on whatever is already there, here's what I think we owe to striking Quebec students.
If you're under 40, the only economic wisdom you've ever known is the nostrums of neo-liberalism, which began in the Reagan-Thatcher 1980s and continues into the current round of austerity budgets.
What is more public: the CBC or the Internet? Maybe what we need is a distinction between public broadcasting, which is a mere matter of who formally owns a network, and public media.