Don’t make Trump the underdog

Billionaire Donald Trump has stormed onto the scene of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. While his more politically seasoned competitors on both sides of the aisle are careful and scripted, Trump is, well, Trump. He’s wildly candid and bombastic, and swings – sometimes within the same sentence – between claiming to ‘love’ certain groups of…

A new debate in fisheries science; hoping to practice what I preach

Fisheries science is known for having several high-profile controversies; and there is a new one these days: ‘balanced harvesting’. At issue is whether or not we should shift towards a fisheries management philosophy that tries to spread fishing pressure across all sizes and species of fish in an ecosystem – harvesting each size and species in proportion to…

Greece and bad macroeconomics

Reading about the crisis in Greece these past weeks has often reminded me of a 2010 book by Australian economist John Quiggin, provocatively titled Zombie Economics: How Dead Ideas Still Walk Among Us. If you haven’t read it yet, you should. In the book, Quiggin chronicles the ‘birth’, ‘life’, ‘death’, and ‘reanimation’ of several influential ideas in macroeconomics…

Conservative Albertans tasting their own vote-splitting medicine

This just in: the CBC projects an NDP victory in Alberta – Canada’s most small-c conservative province – home to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and governed provincially by the Progressive Conservatives (PC) for the last 44 years. And it’s an NDP majority (projected), not a minority. So what happened? Is this a sign that a new progressive Alberta…

How and why Stephen Harper is a bad economic manager

Prime Minister Stephen Harper likes to tell Canadians that his Conservatives are the only to party to be trusted with the economy. If you’ve watched Question Period, a speech by the PM or his finance Minister, Joe Oliver, or one of the ‘Economic Action Plan’ ads, you’re probably familiar with some of the talking points:…

Why a politician’s character matters more than their platform

-Matt Burgess- As a Canadian, I have been forced to think a lot over the last few years about the importance of character in politics. Stephen Harper, the current Canadian Prime Minster, has been widely criticized for vindictive, ruthless, secretive and hyper-partisan behaviors, by both left- and right-wing pundits. Those who support Harper as PM largely do…