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

Photo: Dave King/flickr

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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Wage increases for public workers: Time for a rethink

Photo: Flickr/Caelie_Frampton

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Warren (Smokey) Thomas gets angry when he hears the newly elected majority Liberal Ontario government being described as progressive. 

The President of OPSEU (Ontario Public Service Employees Union) wants everyone to know there are no provisions in the proposed Liberal budget for increases in public service salaries over the next four years. This comes after salary freezes have been in effect for the last three years.

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The future of the 21st-century European left

Photo: philippe leroyer/flickr

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Hannah Arendt decried a modern world of loneliness with people absorbed by work and consumption. Where was civic life, public space, the "venture into the public realm," participating with others in trust?

Arendt identified what has become a major problem for the European left: political apathy and indifference to civic duty, as revealed by voter turnouts of less than 50 per cent in the recent European parliament election.

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Fighting the right-wing plague that struck Europe

Photo: Marine Le Pen. Credit: Blandine Le Cain/flickr

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A plague of extreme right-wing parties has struck Europe, as evidenced by results of the recent European Union Parliamentary elections.

The extreme right prevailed in France, Great Britain and Denmark, EU countries that have largely escaped the economic disease that afflicted the PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Spain): soaring unemployment, sovereign debt crises, imposed austerity.

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Europe disenchanted: After the European Parliament elections

Photo: European Parliament/flickr

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The great French poet Victor Hugo speaking to an international peace conference in 1849 called for the establishment of a United States of Europe. With the blood hardly dry after World War II ended in Europe in 1945, a group of French thinkers, notably Jean Monnet, drew up plans for European economic co-operation.

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The Putin pivot: A new era in global politics

Photo: Mark Turner/flickr

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A $400-billion agreement between China and Russia last week changed the global geopolitical landscape.

In a far-reaching memorandum of understanding between the two powers, China bought itself some energy security for the next 30 years, and Russia unlocked its Siberian natural gas reserves.

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