A blog that wants to start conversations about policy in Canada. Email: politiquepolicy [@] gmail. com
The fraternity of federalism is what characterizes the Canadian political structure.
When conceptualizing that fraternity, James Madison sought to create a collective out of many particulars. In doing so, our founding myths and sense of nationalism are the sinew that binds us together as a nation.
On the eve of Victoria day, and in the midst of renaissance of Indigenous activism I begin to wonder how well as a federation we care for each other.
The components of modern federalism include - fiscal arrangements, political and legal responsibilities, and myths that instruct the why behind the -because I am Canadian. To be honest, the programs and administrative function of the federal government don’t always seem to be the most relevant to daily Canadian life.
Are we a compassionate nation for our brethren because we redistribute wealth through taxation? because we like the idea of public education and health care? because we share some history as a colony?
I am still not sure, but in my experience with the study of federalism the piece of the puzzle that makes us all Canadian quite often seems untouchable or irrelevant. I am also puzzled how a nation, that hopes to build relationships between Canadians, new immigrants, Indigenous communities in the spirit of nation-to-nation partnerships expects to do so using a framework that doesn’t allow much room for empathy and understanding.
Is it time to start practicing a federalism of compassion?
I am right handed. I don’t know what this means about my intellectual abilities or development. Or, if it predisposes me to right-wing thinking for that matter.
The arbitrary use of the left/right paradigm to describe a group of people’s views on politics or policy issues has become slightly maddening for me to observe.
During my career as a University student, I often used the definition between left and right to characterize someone’s intellectual orientation. At times, this definition was used to replace the us-them paradigm with a left-right paradigm on the battleground of ideas.
As I continue to view the merits of this seemingly arbitrary definition between two groups of thought that in some ways are similar and in other ways diametrically opposed - I wonder if it is useful at all? I have concluded that the left/right paradigm is pretty useless and stunts my ability to expand my understanding of the realm of ideas.
In policy development you are asked to be politically neutral . To do this as a policy analyst you have to be aware of your own biases and the context in which you are making recommendations.
At its core, politics is about people and the way power impacts their lives. Policy is putting those ideas about power into action - is there enough analysis of this gross generalizations of the myriad of schools of thought in the left/right paradigm to enrich policy analysis? or is this paradigm being used flagrantly without much regard for the deeply troubling binary it creates?
Essential question: is the use of the left/right paradigm useful to policy analysis?
Inspiration for this article: Marginalized and on the defensive, university conservatives forced to grow tougher.
Side note: I am looking into researching conservative social-theorists more thoroughly. Any suggestions?