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Opinion

Fiscal magic and voodoo

There is no creature on earth more risk-averse than a politician in government. Likewise, there is no one more likely to make expensive promises without the resources to make good on them.

How do they rationalize both positions? They rely on magic and voodoo. READ

Lack of targets could end mission in Iraq

There could be a pragmatic reason Canada’s six-month mission of airstrikes against Islamic State targets in northern Iraq will end as scheduled in April. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says we could run out of targets. “Is this going to be over in six months? No,’’ Baird said during an interview in his Parliament Hill office. “But that doesn’t mean the combat mission will go on. It depends — will we still have targets?’ READ

The winds of change

There’s no free ride when it comes to generating energy. Even the cleanest sources have environmental consequences. READ

A matter of integrity

If anyone enjoys the cut and thrust of partisan debate, it would be two former Wildrose MLAs from Central Alberta, Joe Anglin and Kerry Towle. Anglin has been regarded as sort of a lone wolf for some time now, so it’s fitting that if he could not sit as a member of the Wildrose Party for which he was first elected, he would sit as an independent. READ

A sad day in Alberta politics

The defection of two Wildrose MLAs to the Progressive Conservatives has been viewed by many as the end of the Wildrose Party and its legacy as an effective opposition to a 43-year one-party reign in this province. READ

Pipelines to nowhere?

Two years ago, student leader Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois rose to fame by becoming the face of Quebec’s so-called Maple Spring. He turned the episode that spelled the beginning of the end of premier Jean Charest’s tenure into a book titled Tenir tête. READ

Stephen Lewis joins the chorus criticizing Harper

At the age of 77, Stephen Lewis describes himself as being “happily in his dotage,” a man free to bare his soul and dispense with diplomatic niceties. READ

A real-time movie plot

Here’s the bare bones of a movie plot I’ve dreamed up. OK, I didn’t dream it up — as you can see from the headlines, this is actually happening. READ

Learning to be scientists

Our ancestors may not have called themselves “citizen scientists” or organized to collect data for scientific inquiry, but they were keen observers of the natural world. READ

Can’t hide from climate change

The need for action on climate change is getting closer to home and Stephen Harper, Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau are running out of places to hide. READ

Playing games in Caspian

Russian politician Andrei Zhirinovsky is all mouth, so it would not normally have caused a stir when he suggested earlier this year that Russia should simply annex the parts of neighbouring Kazakhstan that have a large Russian population. READ

Why Albertans don’t vote

What if they called an election and nobody came? It appears we’re getting perilously close to finding out. This is turning out to be quite the historic year in Canadian politics. Only three times in history have candidates been elected to the House of Commons with voter turnout below 20 per cent and all have happened in the past five months, all three in Alberta. READ

MPs in a cone of silence

Almost two weeks after being suspended from the Liberal caucus over alleged misconduct against two female NDP colleagues, MPs Massimo Pacetti and Scott Andrews have essentially fallen off the face of the parliamentary earth. READ

A breakthrough on climate change

When news got out that U.S. President Barack Obama and China’s President Xi Jinping had reached an agreement on climate change, the American blogosphere lit up with negative comments. READ

Not business as usual

If you think governments or political parties don’t listen to their critics, you need to pay attention to what came out of the two provincial party meetings held in Alberta over the weekend. READ

Punishment fits crime

The case of self-admitted “arrogant pissant” Justin Bourque signals a new era for Canada’s criminal justice system, which now has the power to lock up killers and throw away the keys. READ

Energy agenda loses steam

Just when Prime Minister Stephen Harper declined to join other world leaders on the podium of the United Nations climate change summit, the climate for his ambitious energy agenda continued to deteriorate across Canada. READ

Tories defy democracy

There was little doubt the federal government would approve the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project, regardless of public opposition or evidence presented against it. READ

A transit system travesty

The Advocate article on Tuesday said Red Deer is the largest city in Alberta that has no program for a lower-cost transit pass for low-income and disabled people. While that is true as far as it goes, the reality behind this is actually worse. READ

The time to act on climate change is now

Because we enjoy relatively pure air, clean water and healthy food systems, Canadians sometimes take the environment for granted. Many scarcely blink if oil from a pipeline spills into a river, a forest is cleared for tar sands operations or agricultural land is fracked for gas. If Arctic ice melts and part of the Antarctic ice sheet collapses, well… they’re far away. READ

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