Inside the Current IssueFrom the deadly attacks in Paris to the left-wing Syriza party’s election victory in Greece, news from Europe loomed large in the early months of 2015. Inroads 37 takes an in-depth look at these developments . Three critical Arab writers respond to the Paris attacks. Irene Martín analyzes the implications of Syriza’s victory, while Marc Sanjaume examines the rise of its kindred party in Spain, Podemos. Ronald Beiner sketches the ideas and influence of Aleksandr Dugin, an ideologue who seeks to unite enemies of liberalism under Russian leadership. Back in Canada, two articles look ahead to October’s federal election, while another questions the need for an inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women.
by Reg Whitaker
The Prime Minister was delivering an apocalyptic warning to his country. Like an ancient Hebrew prophet, Stephen Harper conjured a satanic spectre: “A great evil has been descending over our world, an evil that has been growing more and more powerful.” This ogre is “violent jihadism … one of the most dangerous enemies our world has ever faced.”
Harper was speaking with the conviction that comes from personal experience. After all, he had only recently emerged from the closet where he hid while a “violent jihadist” was gunned down by the parliamentary Sergeant-at-Arms. Out of the closet, he had morphed into the Avenging Angel, and he had a lethal weapon of his own: Bill C-51, The Anti-terrorism Act 2015. But Read more
by Arthur Milner
At the age of ninety-three and a half, my mother went for 30-minute walks. Then she took a turn for the worse. We went to the doctor. “Doctor,” she said, “I would like to die. Can you help me?” “No,” said the doctor, “and don’t ask me again.” After that, she frequently asked family members to help her die. She suggested going to Switzerland.1 We were concerned, but no one did anything.
She walked more slowly, then she needed a walker, then a wheelchair. She was often sleepy. She got a lung infection and was sent to the hospital. She refused to be admitted, went home with enough analgesic to keep her dopey and, three days later, died. The Read more
The alternative vote is not a significant improvement over what we have now
by Dennis Pilon
As the Liberals gear up for October’s federal election, there is much talk of reconnecting with Canadians and remaking the party’s policy profile. One of the party’s big ideas is democratic reform. Justin Trudeau ran for the leadership on democratic renewal, including a specific commitment to champion a new voting system: the alternative vote (AV). In a leadership debate in Vancouver in 2013 he declared that AV would “change the tone of politics completely” because politicians would need to reach out to voters of other parties. Since then, other senior Liberals have echoed his views. In August 2014 Deputy Leader Ralph Goodale asserted that AV “requires you Read more
When I was a child, my father often mentioned Denmark and Sweden as examples of civilized countries, real democracies where citizens had rights and duties. I remember him sighing, as if to make us understand that our own country was a long way from this situation. With his modest income, he was never able to travel to these countries, but he was fascinated by the equality among citizens, and between men and women, that prevailed there. He was especially intrigued by the monarchy in Nordic countries, which people respected as a symbolic system without having to put up with its escapades and extravagances. He also recalled Denmark’s attitude toward the Jews at the time of the gas chambers. In short, Read more
by Mezri Haddad
For most analysts and politicians, the carnage at Charlie Hebdo and the hostage-taking in Vincennes – the first offensives in the war against France and the Republic – are traumas that nobody could have anticipated. But not for the French Muslim elite, or for the soldiers in the clandestine war against terrorism, or for the few journalists who dare to name the unnameable at the risk of being accused of Islamophobia. Along with enlightened Muslim intellectuals, they knew that this had to happen some day. They know to fear the worst if those in power don’t take this national tragedy as an occasion for a thorough review of their policy on immigration, integration, education, the Read more