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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Harper prepares Canada for another war

Photo: pmwebphotos/flickr

Following a cabinet meeting later this week, Stephen Harper will announce Canada taking an active combat role in the American-led coalition currently bombing the Islamic State (IS) group-held territory in Syria and Iraq. Until now, the Canadian military role has been limited to providing advisory personnel to Iraq Kurdish forces. In addition, Canada has been supplying humanitarian aid.

Harper is expected to announce that CF-18 fighters and refuelling aircraft will join the American bombing team.

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10 lessons for Canadians from the Scottish referendum

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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.

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Scotland votes no: U.K. muddles through

Photo: Kyoshi Masamune/flickr

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.

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Scotland the Brave: What does the future hold?

Photo: Ross G. Strachan/flickr

The land marked by the poet Robert Burns, the economist Adam Smith, and the reign of Mary Queen of Scots readies itself for a momentous referendum this Thursday. Some five million Scottish voters will decide: "Should Scotland be an independent country?" 

The voting age has been lowered to 16; about 97 per cent of the population have registered to vote; a turnout as high as 90 per cent has been predicted; and aggregated polling suggests a close result. At least one in 10 voters is undecided.

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Could the Yes vote win in Scotland?

Photo: Màrtainn MacDhòmhnaill/flickr

With less than 10 days before the September 18 referendum on Scottish independence, the Yes campaign has forged slightly ahead in a significant public opinion poll, gaining 26 percentage points in a matter of weeks.

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The 25/60 rule says Harper can be re-elected in 2015

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Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) can still win the next election, scheduled for October 2015. Yes, opinion polls have turned against the CPC. It's true many Canadians cannot abide Harper. And there is no great economic news in sight that can be used to whip up Conservative support among non-partisan voters.

Thanks to Canada's first-past-the-post electoral system, Stephen Harper can repeat his 2011 victory by garnering support from one voter in four. All he needs is for four voters out of 10 to stay home.

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The second most powerful woman in the world

Photo: Stephen Jaffe/International Monetary Fund/flickr

Forbes Magazine ranks Angela Merkel the most powerful woman in the world. As German Chancellor, she is certainly the most visible woman leader. The magazine identifies Janet Yellen as the second most powerful woman in the world. Yellen heads the Federal Reserve Board, the U.S. central bank. She was previously Fed Vice-Chair before being nominated as Fed Chair by President Obama in 2013, and confirmed by Congress.

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Bank with BRICS

Photo: flickr/J R

Celebrations surrounding the 70th anniversary of the Bretton Woods agreements that created the IMF and the World Bank are low key affairs. It does not help that the U.S. Congress has failed to ratify the most recent agreement to expand the IMF, required to make World Bank resources (tied to IMF borrowing quotas) grow as well.

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Scotland votes on independence

Photo: greensambaman/flickr

"Should Scotland be an independent country?" This question will be put to the people of Scotland in a referendum September 18. With just over a month to go, the "No" side campaigning as Better Together, has the lead over Yes Scotland, polling above 55 per cent.

A simple majority vote will decide the outcome.

The Scottish National Party, founded in 1934, promotes the independence option along with the Scottish Green Party and the Socialist Party of Scotland. The Labour Party, the Conservatives, and the Liberal Democrats are opposed.

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Harper versus Aboriginals and civil society

Photo: flickr/Gina Clifford

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Canada Day celebrations in London and New York were cancelled this year. The festivities had been contracted out to a Calgary consulting firm. The firm gave up on the project when big funders Blackberry, and Nexen Energy pulled out. While it was still billable time for the Calgary consultants, those who wanted to celebrate Canada Day in London or New York were out of luck.

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