My avatar across the web: a photo of my feet in grey-white socks and brown sandals.

Ben Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

2 Articles Tagged with “Life is Like Risk”

  1. State of the nation

    Now that everyone in Ottawa has some breathing room, what exactly is the state of Canada as a democracy and as a nation?

    With the decision to prorogue government, constitutional expert Errol Mendes believes that Governor General Michaëlle Jean has set a dangerous precedent. In the future, prime ministers who face confidence motions in the House of Commons may also request prorogation of Parliament. Mendes does suggest that Parliament itself could "pass legislation to prevent abuse of the prorogation in the future," so that's good news--except that our Parliament doesn't seem too eager to pass any legislation so far.

    Democracy Isn't Dead, Just Violated

    The good news is that democracy isn't dead: long live democracy. In fact, contrary to the spin being spun by both sides, the past few days have had nothing to do with democracy. Yes, it was a political crisis and an economic crisis; it was not a crisis of democracy. It's not business as usual, but everything that has happened has happened within the bounds of a parliamentary democracy.

    But that doesn't mean everything is fine.

    As mentioned above, the Governor General's decision does set precedent that will affect the operation of our democracy in…

    Read more…

  2. On attacking from Kamchatka

    Roll your dice, ladies and gentlemen. After sixty years of continuous gameplay, I'm sure you're eager for it to be over, but there's still a few cards left to be won.

    I'm sure that it came as a big surprise to everyone when Russia announced its intentions to absorb South Ossetia after unilaterally declaring it independent. Now Russia has effectively seized control of the territory. Russia's actions are irrational and somewhat disturbing, but what else is new? Unfortunately, I'm having trouble forming an opinion.

    For those of us too young to have lived through the Cold War or the aftermath of the subsequent decades, it can be hard to understand the significance of Russia's actions. It doesn't help that--at least here in Ontario--our one compulsory high school history course ends after World War II. Let's break the facts down and see if we can make some sense of what's happening.

    First, some background. South Ossetia is a region in Georgia that is loyal to Russia. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Georgia became an independent country, but South Ossetia wanted to join Russia--and they were willing to fight for it. Naturally, Georgia does not want to lose a…

    Read more…