Autocratic regimes use energy as a weapon

International power politics employed by the likes of Russia have resulted in many countries looking for new energy sources

Autocratic regimes use energy as a weaponBy Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre Russia cut off the natural gas supply to Ukraine in mid-winter 2009, ostensibly over a pricing dispute. It was a reminder that energy can be used as an economic and political weapon by autocratic regimes – in this instance, Vladimir Putin’s Russia. We have more recent…

The people versus Donald Trump

When a leader suggests he will subvert the democratic process, voters have recourse. We’ve seen it in the Philippines and elsewhere

The people versus Donald TrumpAn apocryphal story circulated in the Philippines in the early 1980s of a dinner party conversation between President Ferdinand Marcos and Catholic Bishop Jaime Sin. Marcos reportedly said, “I really admire those Americans. They know the results of their presidential elections the day of the election.” In response, Sin reportedly said, “Well how about us…

It’s time we all stood up for Julian Assange

What message do we send dictators and the people who live under their tyranny if we don’t have the courage to live up to our own ideals?

It’s time we all stood up for Julian AssangeIt’s very rare to hear Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson and scholar Noam Chomsky agree on anything but a largely underreported topic brings both ends of the political spectrum together: the Julian Assange affair. In a recent interview, Carlson’s guest Glenn Greenwald pointed out that efforts to silence Assange go back to the administration of…

China targets everyone in the world

The Communists have issued arrest warrants for six pro-democracy advocates living outside Hong Kong

China targets everyone in the worldIn a little noted move, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) flexed its imperial muscle – criminalizing criticism of it anywhere on the planet – by issuing an arrest warrant for U.S. citizen Samuel Chu, a pro-democracy advocate for Hong Kong. In fact, by publishing this op-ed, this media outlet and I are breaking CCP laws…

The Congo’s great liberation turned into abject failure

How great plans quickly descended into decades of dictatorship, corruption, kleptocracy and violence

The Congo’s great liberation turned into abject failureThe year 1960 was auspicious for European decolonization of Africa. In rapid succession, no fewer than 17 countries became independent. One of them was the Central African territory previously known as the Belgian Congo. June 30 was its magic date. And given its vast natural resources, some people had high hopes. Alas, things quickly turned…

Tyranny oil should be treated like blood diamonds

Oil and gas revenues can be used by tyrannies, autocracies and dictatorships to oppress their populations

Tyranny oil should be treated like blood diamondsWhy would consumers treat tyranny oil differently than blood diamonds or clothing made by child labour? One of the more bizarre reactions to bare facts came recently after a colleague and I analyzed oil-and-gas-producing countries and their degree of freedom – the Tyranny Index, as we labelled it. Some argued such tracking is irrelevant because…

One government after another fails in face of COVID-19

Governments around the world have been tardy, negligent, dysfunctional or otherwise an impediment to an aggressive and successful outcome

One government after another fails in face of COVID-19While residents around the world deal with restrictions imposed to minimize transmission of COVID-19, many wonder how we got into a predicament where thousands die, millions are infected, and millions more lose their jobs or investment nest eggs. There were preliminary indications as far back as Nov. 17 that some people who frequented the wet…

How do we shake China’s firm grasp after COVID-19?

We have surrendered far too much control of the economy to the Chinese, from sports equipment to broader supply chains

How do we shake China’s firm grasp after COVID-19?We’ve apparently reached halftime in the media’s battle against COVID-19, and the savants are doing highlight packs of the big plays and terrible mistakes made so far. It’s not a pretty picture. It would be nice if we could use the sports system of replays to go back and correct a few things from a…

How Canada can face down Chinese tyranny

China is trying to bend Canadian culture to its will. This will only get worse as Chinese economic clout grows in Canada

How Canada can face down Chinese tyrannyA Vancouver court is the battleground for two visions of Canada’s future. The United States wants the extradition of Meng Wanzhou, a top Huawei executive, while China wants Canada to let her go. As a matter of principle and strategy, Canada must stand up to Chinese imperialism by siding with the U.S.  The Huawei faceoff…
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