Dear Dominion readers,
A quick update. The newsletter normally goes out every week on Tuesday mornings, but it’s been disrupted a bit of as of late due to some time consuming and exhausting academic and personal (upcoming wedding) commitments. I was planning on sending one out this week, but to be honest with you all I’ve been dealing with some severe burnout, and I’ve realized this week I just need to take a short break.
The newsletter will return as scheduled next week and I promise it will be a good one. It’s going to be on the topic of political realignment in Canada, and I’ve got what I think are some very interesting newsletters lined up that will be better served if I am recharged and refreshed. The Dominion has been growing by leaps and bounds in the short time since it launched, and I’m blown away by its growth and the feedback/encouragement I've received.
But just in case you are desperate for some reading material, I’ve put together a few of the favourite pieces of thinking and writing I’ve done recently. I hope this will keep you satiated until next week, and I promise you there’s lots of exciting things in the pipeline:
I’ve shared a link to this in the newsletter before, but earlier this year I wrote an essay making the case for a revived “Red Toryism” in C2C Journal. I don’t mean what we generally mean by the term Red Tory today, but an older tradition in Canadian conservatism that could be a unique homegrown revival that taps into shifts in conservatism elsewhere in the anglosphere. Developments since I wrote this have been extremely encouraging, and I’ll be returning to some of the under-developed ideas in here in the coming months.
Another timely piece, and one I’m quite proud of, is a piece I wrote for The Critic making a fairly accessible case for scepticism about judicial supremacy and making the judiciary the final arbiters for constitutional and moral questions, especially when it comes to debates around rights. Much of my academic work touches on these kinds of political and constitutional questions. Please check out The Critic if you haven’t already, it’s a new British magazine that puts out lots of good stuff.
This piece in The American Interest that came out right before the federal election last year explains why Canada is immune to the kinds of particularistic political forces at the national and federal level that we’ve seen explode elsewhere in recent years, because of our unique national identity (or lack thereof). But, this national immunity may actually make us more vulnerable to these forces at the local and regional level, and the price of our national immunity to “populism” might actually end up being fragmentation.
Another piece in The Critic written about how the pandemic should force us to think with much more clairvoyance about expertise in governance and the inevitability of tradeoffs and uncertainty in public policy and decision making. In short, expertise alone cannot rule.
A few short columns I wrote in the National Post with my friend Asher Honickman making the case for a New National Policy and a Parliamentary Revival. These are two parts of what Asher and I think a new kind of Canadian conservatism should look like, one that fits with many of the themes in the pieces above and will be discussed in the coming months in The Dominion.
Thank you again for your patience, and apologies for being unable to write a full newsletter this week. I promise you the disruption will be well worth it!