Like this article? Chip in to keep stories like these coming.
The victory in the Greek elections Sunday of the anti-capitalist Syriza (coalition of the radical left) led by Alexis Tsipras is being celebrated by Europeans rejecting policies that have produced over 11 per cent unemployment across the Eurozone.
The new direction for economic policy that Syriza is calling for will be opposed by the powers-that-be that imposed austerity across Europe: the so-called Troika: the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt; the European Commission in Brussels; and the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C.
Every year has its ups and downs, of course. But there's something about New Year's that makes one naturally want to emphasize the positive. So here is my personal list of five positive economic developments from the year past -- both globally and right here at home -- that warmed this particular economist's left-wing heart in 2014.
1. Canadian dollar falls back toward purchasing power parity
The Scottish independence referendum offered Canadians lessons on democracy and nation.
1. Fully 87 per cent of eligible voters exercised their democratic franchise. Most impressively, 97 per cent of Scots registered to vote. Canadians turnout rates for federal elections have declined from the 80 per cent range to about 60 per cent. The Canadian permanent voter list inspires little confidence. Lower turnout rates equate with less democracy.
It was not to be. With an 87 per cent turnout, Scottish independence was rejected by 55 per cent of voters in the September 18 referendum.
Following vigorous debate and discussion throughout the country, the Yes campaign gained strength leading up to the vote, up 20 percentage points in support, but it still fell short of the No side.
Vote-counting from each of 32 local authorities (councils) went on through the night until the decisive result from Fife at 6 a.m. local time Friday. Early returns revealed No strength with a series of wins reported by locality. The capital, affluent Edinburgh, and the oil capital, Aberdeen, gave some 60 per cent votes to the No.