Wegierski: “Inter-not” — Has a Canadian right-wing “blogosphere” had an impact on politics, society, and culture in Canada? – updated to 2023

Partially based on research done with Mike Krupa, M.A., for a paper accepted for the August 28-August 31 2014 American Political Science Association (APSA) Annual Meeting and Exhibition (110th APSA Annual Meeting)(Politics after the Digital Revolution) (Washington, D.C.),  from which we had to withdraw because of unforeseen personal circumstances.   The emergence of the Internet, where social, political, and cultural commentary could supposedly be freer of so-called “gatekeepers”, is said to have introduced a greater and more genuine pluralism of outlooks to societies. Considering that […]

Wegierski: Looking at the structural problems of Canadian conservatism at the close of 2022

A conservative infrastructure is definitely lacking, says Mark Wegierski It must be said that Canadian conservatism has not made too many extensive and discernible advances in Canada, despite the winning of a majority government in the federal Parliament, by the Harper-led Conservative Party, in the federal election of May 2, 2011. The Conservatives ended up routed in the federal election of October 19, 2015. They had manifestly failed to create some kind of independent conservative infrastructures during the propitious time of their majority government. The […]

Fifteen years since the Dziekanski tragedy: Mark Wegierski reflects on the incident from October 14, 2007

Fifteen 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 over-zealous RCMP airport police rushed in and Tasered him a […]

“Third parties” in Canada – updated to 2022 (Part Four): Mark Wegierski looks mainly at the left-wing New Democratic Party (NDP)

In the 2011 federal election, the NDP won 103 seats, thus becoming a “second party” – the so-called Official Opposition. The Liberals were reduced to 34 seats, about the lowest number they have ever held in the federal Parliament. However, in the 2015 federal election, the Liberals came roaring back with a majority, and the NDP were reduced to 44 seats. In the 2019 federal election, they won 24 seats, and in the 2021 federal election, they won 25 seats. In 2022, the NDP announced […]

Wegierski “Third parties” in Canada – updated to 2022 (Part Three): Mark Wegierski looks mainly at “third parties” in Western Canada

“Third parties” in Canada – updated to 2022 (Part Three) Western Canada has also been an area where many third parties have arisen. The Green Party, which has contested more recent federal elections, finally elected its first MP in the 2011 election. The leader of the federal Green Party, Elizabeth May, won the British Columbia riding she was running in. She also won again in the 2015 election. The federal Green Party had won about 4 percent of the vote in successive elections. However, under […]

Wegierski: “Third parties” in Canada – updated to 2022 (Part Two): Mark Wegierski looks mainly at “third parties” in Quebec

“Third parties” in Canada – updated to 2022 (Part Two) Interestingly enough, some of the most significant “third parties” have existed in Quebec. A major Quebec-nationalist (but also Catholic-traditionalist) party that flourished on the provincial level in Quebec before 1960 was the Union Nationale. The party and the province was led for decades by Maurice Duplessis – a figure somewhat similar to U.S. “strongman” Huey Long – who was called “Le Chef”. Duplessis had (in 1948) given Quebec its distinctive, traditional-looking flag – the blue […]

“Third parties” in Canada – updated to 2022 (Part One): Mark Wegierski looks mainly at the Reform Party of Canada

“Third parties” are an endlessly fascinating topic of study for political theorists. The notion of “third party” arises in polities characterized by “first-past-the-post” voting systems, where there are usually only two major parties. Polities characterized by proportional representation (PR) voting systems, tend to have a multiplicity of parties. Particular popular attention – although scant electoral support — is given to “third parties” in the U.S. – where the “two-party” system is so strongly entrenched. Since the 1850s, with the rise of the Republican Party, there […]

Wegierski: What should the legacy of Vimy Ridge, be for Canadians?

Mark Wegierski meditates on the possible meaning of the battle of Vimy Ridge for Canada, 105 years later. To many current-day observers, Canada’s participation in the First World War, and the great victory at Vimy Ridge in April 1917, may often seem like events that happened several centuries ago. The battle of Vimy Ridge was indeed one of the few bright spots in a grinding, bitter conflict. The roaring tide of change in Canada has been so massive, that it could appear that the events […]

Wegierski: The 2007 Shane Doan controversy in Canada

Mark Wegierski recalls a rare Canadian victory over “political correctness” fifteen years ago. The news in Canada around April 2007 had been convulsed with the issue of Shane Doan, then the captain of the Canadian team at the World Hockey championships. He was accused of uttering an anti-French slur years before that – and therefore was supposedly unfit to be the captain of the team. Fortunately, massive public resistance put the efforts of various mostly Quebec Liberal and Bloc Quebecois politicians on ice, so to […]

Wegierski: A General Introduction to Board Wargaming with a Focus on Political, Social, and Cultural Aspects of the Hobby — Paleocons vs. Neocons in Board Wargaming

There are in America, Canada, and most European, and some Asian countries today, a large number of what could be called „geek subgenres.” Apart from a more general interest in some of these areas by a larger proportion of the population, they are also followed by dedicated fan communities. These would include science fiction (such as Star Trek and Star Wars); fantasy (which was pioneered by J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings); role-playing games (such as Dungeons and Dragons); comic-books; and multifarious types of […]