LISPOP in the news

Governments need to clean up fundraising abuses

It is a simple, time-tested formula: money plus ambition equals access and influence.

In politics, the formula has been around for centuries. In the early 17th century, for example, King James I of England and Scotland discovered he could raise the money he needed to finance his activities without increasing taxes. He started selling peerages to wealthy subjects who had ambitions to move up the social ladder and gain access to, and influence in, the monarch’s inner circle.

Reflections from abroad: What comparativists can learn from territorial politics in the Canadian North

I first met Graham White when I arrived at the University of Toronto to complete a post-doctoral fellowship there. Because I had intended to compare institutional developments in different Westminster systems, and because I had just come from completing a PhD in Edinburgh, it seemed logical to compare devolution in the UK and Canada, as well as electoral reform in New Zealand and the republican referendum in Australia. All seemed to be examples of different attempts to adapt the Westminster system to domestic political cultures.

A Democratic guide to the Republican race

As the Republican presidential nomination contest slides into a somewhat predictable pattern, media coverage has moved beyond which candidate is collecting the largest number of delegates to the question of whether the leader — Donald Trump — can be stopped short of a majority on the first ballot of the July convention in Cleveland.

From a Democratic perspective, it should be noted that the more objectionable the Republican candidate is, the more likely he is to lose to the Democrat candidate, presumably Hillary Clinton.

Criminal justice system needs attention

The two trials — of Jian Ghomeshi and Mike Duffy — have more in common than the coincidental fact that both accused are or were celebrities from the broadcasting world.

Each was a criminal trial within a broader trial or debate. Each accused was represented by a superb defence attorney — Marie Henein for Ghomeshi and Donald Bayne for Duffy — who shredded the prosecution's case. In the end, each case turned on the issue of reasonable doubt.

Nations of Middle East must do more to help their region

As U.S. President Barack Obama enters the final year of his presidency his popular support level has slipped below the 50 per cent mark overall, but in the area of foreign policy it is significantly lower, and has regularly registered below 40 per cent in public approval for some months.

Much of the problem seems to stem from international events and the ubiquity of terrorism pursued by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), among others, that do not comport with the kind of world that the president aspires to.