The closing of the campus mind is proceeding apace. Today more than two-thirds of right-leaning academics across North America consider themselves caught in a hostile workplace. While several Canadian provincial governments have unveiled policies to officially protect free speech at post-secondary institutions, Ian Brodie believes that the nature of the university governance model and sheer resistance doom this top-down model to failure. A new approach is needed. Otherwise, predicts Brodie, the “progressive” left’s campaign to impose its upside-down definitions of diversity and tolerance will continue to rack up wins.
The fractured Alberta conservative movement seems bent on mutually assured destruction, leaving the accidental NDP government free to remake the province in its own socialist image. One way it’s doing so is by imposing its statist progressive dogma on the education system. If there’s anything that should unite conservatives, this is it, writes Ian Brodie, and the proponents of a single conservative political alternative to the NDP should make parental choice in education their core principle and central policy objective.
In an effort to recruit next year’s crop of student interns for jobs on Parliament Hill, this fall the Conservative Party of Canada urged University of Calgary conservatives to “let the lefties run campus” and work in Ottawa instead. Bad call, writes Ian Brodie. Campus politics is a great training ground for young political activists of all stripes, and it’s self-defeating for Conservatives to leave it to the “lefties”.
D’Arcy Jenish argued this week in C2C Journal that critics of Conservative tax policies who say they’ll only benefit the rich are missing the point. In the long run, Jenish wrote, these tax breaks will help protect younger taxpayers from the government debts, health costs and public sector pension liabilities bequeathed to them by the baby boomers. That may be, rebuts Ian Brodie, but the more immediate question is whether they will appeal in this fall’s election to the “aspirational” middle and lower-middle income voters who were attracted to the Tories by GST cuts and child tax credits in 2006.
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.