The antivax tantrum

The antivax tantrum

Canadian anti-vaccination activists have been throwing a tantrum. They’ve been blockading hospitals. During the election they were throwing gravel at political events. Yelling and swearing at candidates. Vandalizing candidates’ personal property and election signs. They say it’s because they’ve been “pushed too far.” They say that the government is limiting freedom. They claim they want…

Two kinds of campaign
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Two kinds of campaign

Movies make political campaigns look dramatic. There’s always some veteran campaigner with rolled up shirtsleeves and a loose necktie running a “war room,” yelling at junior staffers, throwing papers around and smoking cigarettes. There’s always a huge scandal, and the chief strategist has a brilliant idea that turns the whole election around. I’ve been on…

How to ask the right political questions
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How to ask the right political questions

It’s election season again in Canada. You can tell, because the robocalls have started, the requests for donations are more urgent, and politicians across the country have bought some new shoes for door-knocking. This should be a happy time for Canadians. We are champions of “peace, order and good government,” which is why having a…

The Money Taboo

The Money Taboo

“So, how much money do you make?” It’s hard to imagine starting a conversation this way. You can ask about a person’s education and grades. You can ask what music they like. You can even ask why they still follow a certain Toronto Hockey Team even though they haven’t won a Stanley Cup in the…

The Great Frost of 2020
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The Great Frost of 2020

The winter of 1709 was a killer. In England it was called “The Great Frost.” In France it was called “Le Grand Hiver.” Over three weeks in early January, temperatures dropped across Europe to levels not seen in 500 years. The Mediterranean Sea froze. Trees exploded. Livestock died in the barns. In Switzerland, wolves prowled…

Virtue Signaling and The Cynic
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Virtue Signaling and The Cynic

In the politically charged early decades of the 21st century, there is a new term to describe the public performance of righteousness. These days, it’s called “virtue signaling.” Virtue signaling is when you share your opinion on a social or political issue simply to get praise or acknowledgment from people who share that point of view. It’s the social media equivalent of praying in public.