Wegierski: Polish language knowledge and Polish-Canadian identity

Mark Wegierski asks, can there exist a Polish-Canadian identity with declining Polish language knowledge in Canada?   In the statistics of the Canada Census, over the last few decades, the percentage of persons of Polish descent who claim knowledge of the Polish language, is not particularly large (around a third). Indeed, it can be seen that knowledge of the Polish language is declining among the generations of Polish descent born in Canada. In my opinion, this places the Polish-Canadian newspapers, most of which appear almost […]

Will there ever be a conservative uprising in liberal, post-Sixties’ Canada?

Donald Trump is currently renegotiating Free Trade with Canada, a country where over 80% of its trade is with the United States; and where probably over 80% of the population detests him. Canada’s armed forces are notoriously underfunded, and Canada’s contribution to NATO has been ridiculously small. Canada is quite happy with being a „free rider” on U.S. military defense spending, spending next to nothing on its own military. It is also to some extent a „free rider” on the U.S. healthcare system, making use […]

Wegierski: The Failure of the Canadian Right — from Brian Mulroney’s “defeat in victory” to the torpedoing of Stockwell Day to Stephen Harper’s flop in 2015

It could be argued that, over the last five decades, the Canadian Right has conclusively failed to articulate a “counter-ethic” to the now-prevalent “Liberal idea of Canada” and is now on the fast track to extinction in the Canadian polity. The origins of the decline of the Canadian Right can be traced to the battles from 1963 to 1968 between Liberal Prime Minister Lester Pearson and the staunch Tory John Diefenbaker (who was Prime Minister from 1957 to 1963), and the initial burst of “Trudeaumania” […]

Wegierski: Examining the “right-wing Green” critique of current-day America

Based on an English-language draft of a presentation for the 2013 Conference of the Polish Association for American Studies (PAAS) (Eating America: Crisis, Sustenance, Sustainability) (Wroclaw, Poland: University of Wroclaw, Department of English Studies), October 23-October 25, 2013. The paper was accepted for publication in The Polish Journal for American Studies, vol. 8 (2014), but additional work on the paper, necessary for publication there, was not completed because of unforeseen personal circumstances. Green or ecological/environmentalist ideas, which are sometimes instantiated by capital-G Green parties, are […]

Theoretical rights, multiculturalism, and marginality – the Polish-Canadian case

Partially based on a draft of an English-language presentation read at the 6th Congress of Polish Canadianists (Polish Association for Canadian Studies — PACS) (Poznan, Poland: Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan), April 5-7, 2013. Beginning in the late-1960s, Canada has enacted an extensive policy of multiculturalism, which became especially entrenched since the introduction of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982. Governments in Canada (federal, provincial, and municipal) have been committed to supporting (at least to some extent) the cultural and organizational activities of […]

Wegierski: Political, constitutional, juridical, and socio-cultural aspects of the origins and development of the Canadian State

Partially based on an English-language text that appeared in Polish translation under the title “Kanada – eksperyment wielokulturowosci.” (Canada: an experiment in multiculturalism) trans. Olaf Swolkien. Miedzynarodowy Przeglad Polityczny (International Political Review) (Warsaw, Poland: Fundacja Srodkowoeuropejska – The Foundation for Central European) no 5 (no 10) (December 2004-January 2005), pp. 221-231. Formally speaking, Canada is a federal constitutional monarchy of the British Commonwealth with a parliamentary, not congressional, system. The head of the federal government and the primary decision maker is the prime minister, the […]

Wegierski: Poland after 1989 and Canada after the “Trudeau Revolution”: Comparing the Emergence of “National Democracy” and Late-Modern “Liberal Democracy”

(An abbreviated version of this paper was posted in English on Telos Scope, the blog of Telos Press, October 26, 2017.) (The paper was read in English at the Telos in Moscow Conference. After the End of Revolution: Constitutional Order amid the Crisis of Democracy (Moscow, Russia: Telos-Paul Piccone Institute and National Research University Higher School of Economics), September 1-2, 2017.) This presentation compares two societies, which – although both claim to be “Western” as well as vibrant liberal democracies, are in many aspects quite […]

Ten years since the Dziekański tragedy

Mark Wegierski reflects on the incident from October 14, 2007. Ten years ago, on October 14, 2007, Robert Dziekanski, a forty-year-old Polish immigrant to Canada, met a tragic death at Vancouver Airport. Having arrived at the airport, he waited in the airport’s enclosed baggage area. His mother was in another part of the airport, and was erroneously told that he hadn’t arrived, and she then left the airport. After waiting for over ten hours, Robert understandably became angry, and started to make a ruckus. The […]

On the Sesquicentennial (150th Anniversary) of Canadian Confederation: The decline of the Tory tradition in Canada since the 1980s (Part III)

To paraphrase from T. S. Eliot – where, today, is “the British” that we have lost in “the Canadian”? – and where is “the Canadian” that we have lost in “the multicultural”? Gad Horowitz also has the courage to make a frank admission about socialist (11) Canadian nationalism: “Socialism is internationalist…If the United States were socialist, at this moment, we would be continentalists at this moment. If the possibilities of building a socialist society were brighter in the United States than in Canada, or as […]

On the Sesquicentennial (150th Anniversary) of Canadian Confederation: The decline of the Tory tradition in Canada since the 1980s (Part II)

One should also mention John Gamble, who unfortunately became increasingly embittered at his treatment by the PC party in the 1980s, and eventually drifted into unqualified extremism. Brian Mulroney owed a huge political debt to Gamble for keeping the anti-Clark forces alive – thus contributing to Joe Clark’s weak showing in the leadership review and Mulroney’s subsequent win in the leadership convention of 1983. Despite the fact that Gamble was the PC party’s official candidate in the riding, the collusion of the PC and Liberal […]