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Patrick Brousseau

Exclusive the Herald interview with Joseph Nye

On Thursday of last week, eminent political theorist and Harvard professor Joseph Nye conducted a lecture at McGill University on the subject of international governance and emerging markets. The Herald’s Chief Copy Editor, Patrick Brousseau, had the opportunity afterwards to sit down with the former Dean of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and ask him a few questions regarding recent trends and events in international relations as well as his new book, The Future of Power.I have a question regarding your new book, The Future of Power. In it you say that contextual intelligence, which you describe as “the ability to understand an evolving environment and capitalize on trends,” will be particularly crucial in allowing future leaders to convert power resources into successful strategies. Drawing on your experience from the American education system, do you believe that they are adequately preparing future leaders to meet this challenge?Yes and no. I mean, if you look at American universities, there are some very good courses that deal with the kinds of issues that are going to be at the heart of foreign policy in the way that I described it in the book – learning how to deal with the “rise of the rest” and the diffusion of power. On the other hand, if you ask how this gets across to the public as a whole, that’s where I’m more worried. A lot of that education isn’t done formally in the classroom, it’s done by the way politicians speak to the public, and in that sense I’m afraid that not many politicians are speaking to the public in these terms. They tend to speak in rather old-fashioned terms.In that case, is the problem that politicians are simply not speaking in these terms, or rather that they actually think in these terms?Well, some of both.… Read More

Darwin, Evolution, and the “Theory” of Intelligent Design

Charles Darwin’s 202nd birthday came and went this past Saturday with very little fanfare or attention given to it. Then again, what could possibly exceed the celebration we were treated to in 2009 which marked not only the eminent English naturalist’s would-be 200th, but also the 150th anniversary of the publication of his seminal work, On the Origin of Species,which introduced the world to the ground-breaking concept of evolution by natural selection. I mean, back then Google even saw fit to honour Mr. Darwin with one of its trademark logo changes – a not insignificant achievement for a man whom a great portion of people either openly despise or mock for his work. This year the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education even went so far as to declare, for the first time, February 12th as “Darwin Day.” Yet as much as Darwin’s theory of evolution has come to be accepted by a great number of people, including an overwhelming majority of academics, there are still an equal number who oppose the teaching of his theories in classrooms around the world and decry them as heresy.Perhaps the greatest threat to evolution’s place in our education system is the seemingly minor (but actually incredibly important) matter of semantics. For those unaware, semantics refers to the study of meaning, but in this context particularly the meaning of words and their significance.You see, for some time now it has been the bane of evolution’s existence to have been invariably paired with the word “theory.” This single word, when joined with evolution, creates the illusion that there is a controversy surrounding it and that, far from being fact, it still remains to be proven. This of course opens the door to every manner of protest against the teaching of it in schools or, at the very least, allows groups the opportunity… Read More

The Forum I

Welcome to the first edition of The Forum, where we highlight the best comments from our most popular articles and give you the chance to decide what you think for yourself! Just follow the links to the articles and see what everyone is talking about. Heck, while you’re there, leave a comment of your own on one of our opinion articles. Who knows, you just might end up in next week’s Forum!A millionaire’s letter to President ObamaOne commenter describes the article as “a hyperbole and a half”; another hyperbolically declares, “Millionaire’s tears soak the homeless.”To find out what they’re talking about and give your two cents, check out Ilan Mann’s article.The myth of single-tier medicine in CanadaCanada has no sacred cow bigger than healthcare. That being said, William D. Gairdner wastes no time tipping said beast in his latest article.Some of the more interesting responses he elicits include one commenter’s ominous statement to Americans, “This is the reality in Canada. Scary right?” Another added, “Health care is not free.” Cow tipped, my friends.Low tuition fees no panacea for low-income familiesThe First Commandment of student politics in universities goes a little something like this: “Thou shalt not raise tuition fees.” Ben Eisen and Jonathan Wensveen, however, are clearly not subscribers to such dogma as they examine whether lower tuition fees actually lead to higher enrolment among low-income families.If one commenter’s post is any indication, in which he compares the authors’ arguments to “saying 95% of men who have heart attacks are wearing a wrist watch, therefore wrist watches cause 95% heart attacks,” you should probably give it a read. On the plus side, I can finally start wearing my watch again.More seats for Quebec? NDP stance is unconstitutionalAn NDP supporter calling his party’s position “just ridiculous” and supporting a Conservative government… Read More

The Forum II: “this article is bad and you should feel bad”

Barbara Kay: indulgence in due process makes mockery of justice“This article is bad and you should feel bad,” reads one commenter’s post. If that isn’t an invite to check out Barbara Kay of the National Post’s article on the death penalty, I’m not sure what is. For the other side of the issue, take a look at the response to it in our Letters to the Editor.Time for a Queen’s Park shakeupThe province of Ontario voted earlier this month to return Premier Dalton McGuinty and the Liberals to power. To see why the PAH endorsed the PC, and still does, click here. In what can only be described as extreme sarcasm, one reader describes the endorsement as “a shocking move no one expected.” Hey, we’re not called Pravda for a reason.Republican candidates’ misplaced prioritiesLet’s face it; most Canadians suffer from an inferiority complex when it comes to the United States. So every now and again it’s good medicine to read a little about how they are getting it wrong south of the border. For your daily dose, check out Bobby Kelly’s article on the Republican candidates.A vision for Liberal renaissanceRight now most Liberals in Canada would probably settle for a party with a pulse, let alone a political renaissance. Not PAH columnist Zach Paikin, though. To see why, give his article on the future of the Liberal party a read and see if you agree.⇦ PREVIOUS FORUM Read More