The last two individuals that the Liberal Party of Canada put up as candidates to be the country’s prime minister were both, by most definitions of the phrase, public intellectuals. And both were savaged by their chief opponents, the Conservative Party of Canada, precisely because they were public intellectuals.
In their French-language attack ads leading up to and during the 2008 federal election, the Conservatives sneered at “professor” Stéphane Dion. Again, in 2011, Michael Ignatieff’s academic credentials and long career as a public intellectual was not, so far as the Conservatives were concerned, an asset for someone hoping to be prime minister but instead was something to be laughed at and derided. Continue reading The Public Intellectual: A good or a bad thing?
The Wall Street Journal reports:
… during a visit to China by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, which ended on Monday, China and Japan announced a series of deals that promote the use of the yuan in trade and investment between the world’s second- and third-largest economies, which would limit somewhat the use of the dollar in Asia, the world’s fastest growing region. Specifically, the two countries agreed to promote direct yuan-yen trade, rather than converting their currencies first to dollars, and also for Japan to hold yuan in its foreign-exchange reserves, which are now largely denominated in dollars.
Japan “seems to be acknowledging implicitly that there will be a single dominant Asian currency in the future and it won’t be the yen,” said Barry Eichengreen, a University of California at Berkeley economic historian. Harvard University economist Jeffrey Frankel said that “this hastens a multicurrency world, but this is just one of 100 steps along the way.”
[Read the whole piece: Tokyo and Beijing Agree on Currency Pact – WSJ.com.
For those interested in the future of journalism, a couple of worthwhile reads, first, from Matthew Ingram, a former colleague of mine at the Globe and Mail, who argues: “Critics of HuffPo news “theft” are missing the point” and a response from David Weinberger, an excerpt of which, I reproduce below: Continue reading Weinberger responds to Ingram: Are aggregators like HuffPo killing the news?
Very witty, from Carleton University economist Frances Woolley:
What books should you give your children (nieces, nephews, friends) if you want them to grow up to become economists?
Harry Potter’s magical universe is a Thatcherite’s nightmare with its protectionist restrictions against magic carpet imports and bloated public sector. With a tri-metalic (gold/silver/bronze) currency and no paper money, effective monetary policy is impossible. The economic fundamentals of the wizarding world are basically unsound.
What about some of the classic children’s literature?
Read the rest at: Worthwhile Canadian Initiative: Books for budding economists.
Michael A. Cohen looks at Ron Paul’s foreign policy who, in some respects, sounds like a Canadian New Democrat:
As Adele Stan, who has covered Paul closely for Alternet said to me, “progressives don’t get Paul’s anti-war talk from their own people (i.e. Democrats) and to hear it from him satisfies this deep spiritual yearning to hear someone say that we shouldn’t be bombing other people around the world.” Continue reading Foreign Policy: The World According to Ron Paul
We have lots of special programming in store for you during the Christmas Break but Daily Brief will be taking a break, back first thing in the new year. So tonight’s broadcast is our last one for 2011. We hope you’ll join us. Our lineup at this point includes: Continue reading Daily Brief Preview: Syria's pain; Republican crunch time; 2012 predictions
In this post:
- Brian Topp not in the top tier of NDP leadership candidates
- Reaction to Capstick’s comments
- Some thoughts on the complexities of the race
Continue reading Handicapping the NDP Leadership race: A surprising top tier has emerged
Last year, in the papers across our chains, I published a list of MPs that I thought were doing a great job as MPs. Looking back on 2010 I saluted the work in Parliament of Jack Layton, Chris Warkentin, Ted Menzies, Peter Julian, Siobhan Coady, Claude Bachand, Bob Rae, and Thierry St.-Cyr. Continue reading Who's been the top MPs of the year?
Even as monitoring teams from the Arab League arrived on the ground in Syria, security forces continue to attack and kill protestors. Foreign Affairs Minister John Just issued the following statement: Continue reading Canada condemns violence in Syria