Letter: Mandatory voting isn’t the solution

In a Feb. 16 letter, Sima Shakeri wrote that Canada should institute mandatory voting, to cure what ails Canadian democracy. Shakeri praises Australia for its mandatory voting system, and its consistent voter turnouts of more than 90 per cent. This does not say much about the state of Australian democracy. After all, it is mandatory. In fact, researchers at the Australian National University released a study in December 2016 reviewing their most recent federal election, concluding that faith in Australia’s democracy hasn’t been so low since 1975. A 2014 study from the Lowy Institute found less than a third of voting-age Australians had confidence in the federal government. The same problem exists in our country. Eighty per cent of Canadians […]

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Food and Drink Blog: There’s nothing wrong with eating alone

“Does anyone want to come to dinner with me?” This question is asked often. I’m not against inviting people to go out for some nice social time, but sometimes I have to ask—why can’t you just go by yourself? Personally I love going places by myself, whether it’s a museum (where I actually prefer to go by myself) or for a nice cup of tea. I don’t like to be limited just because I can’t find anyone to come with me. This is especially true when travelling. It can be difficult and sometimes more trouble than it’s worth to try to organize other people on an excursion. Since being abroad, I have had many lovely adventures that were just me, […]

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Letter: Trump’s messages of fear won’t get him far

There’s been plenty of talk in this newspaper and around campus lately about the media circus that is the GOP (Republican) campaign. Jolson Lim penned an excellent reflection on Canadians’ obsession with Donald Trump in The Charlatan last week, while students from the deepest depths of Loeb to the top floor of the MacOdrum Library are jokingly telling each other to “Make America Great Again.” At its core, the media frenzy and political movement that seems to have only picked up steam since beginning as a joke sometime last year is just that: a joke. Donald Trump will not become president, just as Stephen Harper’s campaign was irreparably doomed last fall when he tripped and then choked himself by implementing […]

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Food and Drink Blog: Oktoberfest is Christmas for beer geeks

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. On an annual basis, I wait with anticipation for the dates to be announced. The minute tickets go on sale, I buy them, knowing full well they’ll sell out. It’s like a second Christmas to me, but with more beer. I’m talking about Beau’s Oktoberfest, of course. Christmas for beer geeks. I’ve been to a decent amount of beer festivals, and this one is by far the best. There are just so many things that are done right, from the location to the drool-inducing food, and—of course—the beer. My eyes glaze over a bit thinking about the special, one-off beers made just for this occasion.  Beau’s produces beers specifically for this event, available […]

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Letter: Canada’s identity is in a flux

The Syrian refugee crisis has challenged Canada’s identity as a generous, peacekeeping, and multicultural country. Federal leaders are making promises and perpetuating the romanticized Canadian identity throughout this 2015 campaign. But questions about the authenticity of these promises need to be asked. Are these realistic promises? Are the leaders using Canada’s peacekeeping identity to attract voters? Fear is used as a scapegoat by the current government to perpetuate their phobia of Muslim terrorists. The rhetoric of fear towards Syrian refugees plays a key role in the Harper government’s ability to ramp up control over Canadian security and borders. Islamophobia generates a panic, which Harper’s government is using to gain votes as he promotes his security agenda that is supposed to […]

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