Rick Salutin

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Rick Salutin is a Canadian novelist, playwright and critic. He is a strong advocate of left wing causes and writes a regular column in the Globe and Mail.
Columnists

Donald Trump challenges belief that religion matters in politics

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I was whizzing through the latest book by British psychoanalyst-author Adam Phillips -- he's prolific and I only manage to read every third book or so that he writes -- when I tripped on this line:

"If religion and its structures of moral authority were to be no longer objects of desire -- and towards the end of the 19th century, unlike today, this seemed like a distinct possibility ... "

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Columnists

What do Canadian journalists have against electoral reform?

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I feel like writing a letter to the editor about surly, negative journalistic reactions to the prospect of electoral reform. There are exceptions, though only Andrew Coyne of the National Post comes to mind.

Many journalists seem preemptively nostalgic for a foul, undemocratic system that has only longevity in its favour, like the death penalty in the U.S. Pardon, the death penalty may have more to be said for it.

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Fort Mac invites a search for meaning but symbolism is harder than it looks

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Someone I know out West says there's a strong sense of not being allowed to explicitly connect the Fort Mac wildfires with its oil drilling activity, you have to "tiptoe" around the "meaning" or coincidence.

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Bring on the Cancon: A review of cultural policy is long overdue

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Many thanks to culture ("heritage") minister Mélanie Joly for announcing a review of cultural policy. These reviews sometimes feel like the most ancient form of Canadian culture. This one is overdue. Why?

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Columnists

Deliverology 101 is more like neoliberalism 2.0

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Attawapiskat and the importance of community

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I've never visited Attawapiskat to "cover" its crises, past or present, as many journalists have. Despite that, I want to say something about it. The late Edward Said encouraged non-Muslims to deploy their common humanity to try to understand events in the Muslim world. You don't always need expertise or direct experience, you can go some distance without them.

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Warning: This column is about trigger warnings

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Warning: this column is about trigger warnings. That's the kind of lame witticism writers are tempted by (and succumb to), regarding trigger warnings, the latest subcategory for mockery in the genus, Political Correctness. The delightful, multifarious Stephen Fry stuck his foot in it this week:

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The left has surged back elsewhere. Why not the NDP?

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A certain lassitude seems to have gripped the NDP for this weekend's leadership review in Edmonton. Donald Trump might call them low energy, like Jeb! Hey, they could try changing their name to NDP!

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For the Internet generation, revolutionary change is nothing to fear

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Columnists

Rob Ford's common touch and the origins of Ford Nation

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I was listening to CBC-Radio's annual, self-satisfied Canada Reads contest when news of Rob Ford's death broke in. You couldn't picture Ford on a panel of advocates for one of those worthy novels -- or any CBC panel -- yet you could see most other politicians: John Tory, Kathleen Wynne, even Stephen Harper. Rob didn't register as a culture guy, he was the opposite: The Library Closer.

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