Though China is sometimes invoked in quasi-admirable terms, the real goal for the anti-populist would be, in a sense, “getting to Singapore”, where there are (notionally) competitive elections, but much of the state functions on a perception of “clean”, meritocratic technocracy. However, Singapore is not “Singapore” and the reasons for this point to both the impossibility of closed systems of government being benevolent and the need for the anti-populists to stop dreaming and start addressing real concerns.
Society & Culture
In light of the recent discovery of unmarked graves at the former residential schools there has been an increased focused on indigenous issues. Particularly the idea that In order for Canada to truly achieve truth and reconciliation with the indigenous communities within our borders our education system must be modified and reviewed. This includes not only the curriculum, but also the resources available and the teaching methods used by educators.
In light of the current static and outdated state of Canada’s university system a change to a different model may be able to bridge these gaps. The German model in particular may be the perfect system for policymakers to experiment with.
The recent rise in homelessness and detention rates during the pandemic has raised concerns about the interconnectedness of race, prison and homelessness in Canada. Reallocating funds from police budgets to social housing budgets has the potential to address this issue.
One year after the 2020 mass shooting in Portapique, Nova Scotia by Gabriel Wortman politicians recognized the tragic day with moments of silence, tweets of remembrance and kind words, and speeches honouring the victims. Yet, none of these acts have significantly shifted either public policy or the societal normalization of intimate partner violence. This lack of action stems from the masculine nature of the state, which has a tendency to subvert feminist issues and voices.
Contextual analysis is what separates nuanced thinking in the justice policy realm from the basic Benthamite calculus still seemingly favoured by most of the political right. However, when it comes to the issue of guns and gun control, a great many left-wing politicians and activists have seemingly discarded this nuanced understanding for a combination of monocausal insistence and culturally-based revulsion. This singular focus betrays a lack of broader thinking on the issue as well as lack of understanding about the nature of guns and gun crime within our society.
Vaccine skepticism is no longer representative of a niche; it has reached mainstream culture through media outlets, politicians, popular and religious figures, making it incredibly difficult to navigate even one day of information consumption without bumping head on into it. The result is that vaccine skepticism is a bankable character trait: it makes money for traditional and new media, it sells products and also, very importantly, it ensures votes and accrues or preserves influence for those in power.
Every year millions of women are victims of violence, with rights transgression being a constant issue around the globe. Even more developed countries are facing difficulties in completely eliminating violence against women. The Gender pay gap, genital mutilation and femicide are some of the challenges most developed countries have been facing lately, and gender based violence persists worldwide (affecting one third of women globally). In the underdeveloped world, particularly Latin America and the Caribbean, gender inequality has been a critical issue, with several countries struggling to reduce the unacceptable number of gender-related homicides and violent crimes. In order for this issue to be effectively addressed several social dimensions, such as the economy, politics, education and others, need to be improved.
This International Women’s Day the United Nations celebrated under the theme of “Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a Covid-19 World.” The Canadian government followed suit by promoting the hashtag #FeministRecovery on March 8, 2021 in recognition of the uneven impacts the covid-19 pandemic has had on women. Specifically, the current pandemic has seen women exit the labour market in large numbers. Without women in the labour force, there is less chance that women will advance to leadership roles as there will be gaps in their resumes and skill depreciation over time. The issues that are preventing women from re-entering the labour force and progressing in their careers and achieving leadership roles urgently need to be addressed.
In today’s political climate, ethical scandals such as the SNC-Lavalin affair or the WE Charity scandal have not been able to affect the outcome of federal or provincial elections as much as might have been expected. Instead, societal polarization and an increase in voter cynicism have led to voters becoming increasingly concerned with tangible results and gains such as the impact on their own finances, healthcare and other aspects of their own lives. Thus, calling out governments for failures in the realms of tangible results is likely to be more effective than raging on about insider scandals that only those already deeply engaged in the process care about.