It wasn’t so long ago that national borders were considered fusty relics of a bygone age. A knowledge economy respects no boundaries, we were told. Europe had erased all its internal borders. The UN was demanding migrants be given the right to go wherever they wanted. To question illegal immigration was xenophobic. Today, borders have returned with a vengeance. And not just between countries – even Canadian provinces are throwing up roadblocks and intercepting travellers. Mathew Preston sorts out the competing sources for this surprising resurgence of gatekeeping around the world, and charts the political implications.
Since the late Roman Empire, when legions could not move until distant functionaries approved budgets for food and other essentials, bureaucrats pursuing selfish agendas have sometimes done more damage than enemy action. Canada’s politicized national defence administration is a modern example of this phenomenon, and the concerted attempt to destroy the Canadian Forces Reserves as a meaningful organization surely ranks among the more damaging cases. Mathew Preston, through his review of C.P. Champion’s Relentless Struggle, illuminates the stirring campaign of those who fought to keep our Reserves alive.
In Part I of our special two-part report, published on July 3, C2C Journal’s Mathew Preston looked at the nature and successes of populist movements in Denmark, Italy and Australia. Contrary to the elites and establishments who castigate populism as eruptions of alt-right extremism, Preston illuminated how in embracing policies from across the political spectrum, populism defies ideological lumping. In Part II, Preston profiles additional countries and evaluates just how and why populism got where it is today.
The election of Donald Trump, the vote for Brexit and the eruption of the gilets jaunes movement in France exemplify the global rise of populism. It’s a phenomenon the international commentariat has condemned as a dark and dangerous political disorder arising from the far right end of the political spectrum. In the first of a special two-part series, Matthew Preston examines successful populist movements in Australia, Italy and Denmark. They are more complex and politically diverse, Preston’s reporting reveals, than can be contained in a simplistic left-versus-right, sensible-versus-extreme narrative.
Wonder why China and Saudi Arabia are publicly berating Canada with seeming impunity these days? Well, who respects a country that is so blatantly unserious about defending itself, especially in a world where tensions are clearly rising among the major powers and their allies? As Ottawa prepares to take possession of some worn-out Australian F-18 fighters bought on the cheap, Mathew Preston undertakes a detailed comparison of Aussie and Canuck military capabilities and defence policy and comes up with mortifying answers to these questions.
The CBC story on the World Wildlife Fund’s 2018 Living Planet Report read like a casualty count after a global thermonuclear war. “60 percent of the world’s wildlife has been wiped out since 1970,” shrilled the CBC. Mathew Preston went looking for the corpses and instead discovered selective, exaggerated and misleading propaganda about the health of flora and fauna. Habitat destruction and species decline are serious problems in many parts of the world, but it’s far from the Armageddon painted by the WWF and CBC, and in developed, democratic, free-market countries like Canada, most species are doing just fine.
Huawei makes great smartphones with the potential to be weapons of cyberwar between China and the West. That may partly explain why Canada arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou for possible extradition to the U.S. As Mathew Preston reports, we’re being forced to take sides.
A Canadian military helicopter’s tragic crash into the sea off Greece, killing all six crew members, again raises questions about Canada’s military procurement. The Cyclone model in question is already years behind schedule. As Matthew Preston recounts, aircraft procurement has been highly politicized in Canada, due partly to the Liberals’ diversity goals and fixation on peacekeeping.