Mel Watkins

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Mel Watkins is Professor Emeritus of Economics and Political Science at the University of Toronto. He is Editor Emeritus of This Magazine and a frequent contributor to Peace magazine. He is a member of Pugwash Canada and former President of Science for Peace. Watkins is recipient of the 2008 inaugural Galbraith Prize in Economics and Social Justice awarded by the Progressive Economics Forum. Website:
Mel Watkins

The hair-raising secret history of the atomic bomb

| February 28, 2014
Mel Watkins

If you believe that Keystone is carbon neutral you'll believe anything

| February 3, 2014
Mel Watkins

Clive Thompson latest in long line of Canadians writing about power of media

| January 17, 2014
Mel Watkins

The Staple Theory at 50: Bitumen as a staple

| January 6, 2014
Mel Watkins

From the Great Transformation to the Great Financialization: Kari Polanyi-Levitt's new book

| October 8, 2013

On the surprising outburst of democracy that helped hold off U.S. attack on Syria

In a world in which what's happening is analyzed and dissected, chewed up and spat out, before it even happens, there is, in fact, a surprising amount of surprise.

Consider recent days. With the U.S. poised to strike Syria for its government's alleged and apparent use of chemical weapons, suddenly we learn that the British House of Commons has denied the British government authorization to join the U.S. in the strike, a virtually unheard of event. No one, at least on this side of the pond, seems to have told the Obama administration that a possibility was actually a probability.


Mel Watkins

Canada's mergers and acquisitions in 2012

| January 23, 2013

The Iron Lady: More nightmare than politics

Both as a movie buff and a veteran leftie, I've been waiting to see The Iron Lady so I could write about it. I even re-read Thatcher's memoirs The Downing Street Years to refresh my memory.

Having now seen the movie, I have to admit that I'm perplexed as to what to say and advise, other than that you should definitely see it and make up your own mind.

Like 99.9 per cent of the critics, it must be said loud and clear that Meryl Streep's performance as Thatcher is magnificent, so much so as to justify seeing the movie for that alone. Above all, Streep is utterly compelling as an old and demented Thatcher, carrying on conversations with her dead husband Denis who is, for her, still present.


New Politics Initiative at 10: Time to look forward

There have been times in the past when there was a call for the NDP to move left: from the Waffle 40 plus years ago, to the New Politics Initiative in the more recent past. The times today, however, are different, perhaps radically so. Let us look forward rather than backward, uncertain as the exercise inherently is.

On the one hand, while unemployment and inequality are hardly new, these are truly tough times for far too many people. To paraphrase the great economist John Maynard Keynes, capitalism, never a thing of beauty, is no longer delivering the goods to most people.

Plus, compared even to 10 years ago, there is fresh evidence almost daily of the frightening consequences of climate change.


Once upon a Waffle

The Waffle is long dead and little remembered. Forty years ago, at the very tail-end of the fabulous decade known as the 60s -- if you missed it, too bad -- it burst on the scene as a radical grouping within the NDP with a Manifesto calling for an independent socialist Canada, no less, and did so to media attention the likes of which the left has yet to match.

The 60s were already in trouble, Richard Nixon having been elected president of the United States and leader of the free world in 1968. Here at home, by 1972 the NDP establishment, an alliance of party and trade union brass, was unwilling to tolerate the Waffle talk inside and outside the party.


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