Duncan Cameron

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Born in Victoria B.C. in 1944, Duncan now lives in Vancouver. Following graduation from the University of Alberta he joined the Department of Finance (Ottawa) in 1966 and was financial advisor to the Canadian Delegation at the United Nations General Assembly in 1967. After working at the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), he went on to complete a doctorate from the University of Paris I (Paris-Sorbonne) in 1976. Duncan is an adjunct professor of political science at Simon Fraser University, a director of the Karl Polanyi Institute of Political Economy at Concordia University in Montreal, and a research fellow of the Centre for Global Political Economy at SFU. He was a member of the political science department at the University of Ottawa from 1975 until 2004.He is the author, co-author, editor or coeditor of 11 books including Ethics and Economics (with Gregory Baum), The Other Macdonald Report (with Daniel Drache), The Free Trade Papers, The Free Trade Deal, Canada Under Free Trade (with Mel Watkins) and Constitutional Politics (with Miriam Smith).
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Thumbs up to a publicly owned Quebec City arena

A media furore has irrupted in Canada outside Quebec (COQ). Strong local support for the return of a storied NHL franchise -- the beloved Nordiques -- to the provincial capital (disclosure: I spend part of the year here in Quebec City), linked to a request for federal financial support has emboldened editorial writers, columnists, cartoonists, and, undoubtedly, talk show hosts to vent their opposition.

Imagine, the Quebec government has pledged to invest $175-million (or 45 per cent of the costs) in a new public multi-purpose sports and entertainment facility in Quebec City. The Charest Liberals have decided it would be an important asset for the city where Aboriginals met Samuel Champlain in 1608, and most of the people in Quebec agree.

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The Liberals: Whatever happened to the greatest good for the greatest number?

Liberal Party fortunes are so bleak that when an EKOS poll put them at 29 per cent support (neck-and-neck with the Harper Conservatives) it was an occasion for celebration ... that is something other than having the good sense to hold a caucus retreat in beautiful Baddeck, Nova Scotia.

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Influence peddling charges upset Quebec political calculations

The initial public hearings of the Bastarache Commission in Quebec City have caused a political upheaval in Quebec. The political future of Premier Jean Charest, and his governing Liberal party, are now both openly questioned.

Following accusations made by a former Liberal Justice Minister, Marc Bellemare (2003-04), of influence peddling surrounding judgeships, Jean Charest named retired Supreme Court Justice Michel Bastarache to head up an official commission of inquiry into the judicial nomination process, and into the specific accusations made by Bellemare. Charest also decided to launch a civil suit against Bellemare asking for $700,000 in damages.

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Born to do good?

There is a scandal at Harvard. The Harvard Crimson reports that psychologist and professor in the Department of Biological Anthropology Marc D. Hauser has been sanctioned for scientific misconduct. A popular teacher whose Evolution of Human Behavior (aka the sex course) is the second most popular course at Harvard (after Econ 10), Hauser used web-generated survey data to investigate the moral sense in humans, and ran a research lab for animal study.

Afghanistan, another Vietnam?

Canadian mortar crew at Tarnak Farms outside Kandahar Air Field in 2006. Photo:  lohan1025/Flickr
It is a military disaster, based on faulty political analysis, and it reveals the deep-seated problems within the U.S. ruling class -- and Canada's -- and its projects for the world.

Related rabble.ca story:

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Afghanistan, another Vietnam?

Liberal foreign affairs critic Bob Rae says it's a mistake to compare Afghanistan to Vietnam. Writing in the Toronto Star he concludes that in Afghanistan " the West can't afford to lose." The "deep instability in many parts of the globe" pose a risk, not just to the regions like Afghanistan, but to us, he argues. Though Rae wants Canada's combat role in Kandahar to end, he proposes our political and aid efforts grow.

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The long shadow of the long census cancellation: A politician's nightmare

Who would have expected Stephen Harper to be so foolhardy as to ignore the outcry? As of Monday, 272 national organizations and prominent individuals are listed as opposing the cancellation of the mandatory long census. The prime minister should have had enough confidence in himself and his government to admit a mistake, and move on. By standing by his beliefs instead, he has created a politician's nightmare, a controversy that allows his opponents to grow support... by doing nothing.

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Just 15,000 families win 'The American Dream'

Most Americans do not know it. When they hear it, many people do not believe it. Since the early 1980s, in the U.S., most income gains have gone to the top one per cent of income earners. From 2002-07, two-thirds of new income went to one per cent of Americans.

Going back further to measure the period from 1993 to 2008 and comparing, one-half of new income had gone to one per cent of Americans -- with 99 per cent of U.S. residents getting the same increase in income as the top one per cent (defined as those earning over $308,000 in 2008).

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The Kalecki hypothesis

Writing in 1943 , the outstanding Polish economist Michael Kalecki affirmed that "even in a capitalist system, full employment may be secured by a government spending...." He wrote that "a solid majority of economists" shared this view.

His hypothesis was qualified by only two conditions. First, governments needed to have plans for full employment of "labour power." Second, governments had to be able to pay for needed imports of raw materials through exports. By this, he meant governments needed to have access to foreign currency. Securing domestic currency was no problem. Governments simply paid for employment programs by issuing government bonds.

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Checkpoint: American hegemony

American hegemony is the basic fact of global politics, recognized by all other powers. This has been the state of world affairs at least since the Bretton Woods conference of 1944 established the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund -- and put them in Washington, DC. The U.S. will to dominate its perceived enemies and intimidate its allies was confirmed by the two American nuclear bombing attacks on the civilian populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945

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