One of the great lessons we are now learning since World War Two is that democracy is fairly useless if it is merely inherited. Growing up in countries that have enjoyed advanced political systems doesn't guarantee that they will automatically function effectively. For it to truly work democracy must be reinvented in every generation.
I am appalled by the accusation of Turkey's president, Mr. Erdogan, singling out Rev. Fethullah Gülen as instigator of the recent military putsch. I am appalled because I am familiar with the work of this Turkish sage, have studied his thought and learned how he understands his mission in society.
By now, it's an almost entirely predictable routine: a celebrity takes a tour of the Alberta oilsands for a day or two and quickly harnesses apocalyptic rhetoric in press conferences to detail the experience. Chagrined industry spokespeople lash out. News coverage dissipates after a few days. Rinse and repeat.
"What about a miscarriage? What do I look for?" I asked my doctor as I was leaving her office the morning I discovered I was pregnant. She never once brought it up. I almost forgot to. "Oh, right. Yes, that could happen. It does happen." She seemed uncomfortable. "There's about a 20 to 30 per cent chance it will happen. Call me if you have intense cramping with bleeding at the same time. Some spotting is normal, as is some cramping. But they shouldn't happen together." Later when I told my girlfriend how much that stat had terrified me -- 20 to 30 per cent -- she laughed it off. "No, that means there's a 70 to 80 per cent chance it WON'T happen! You have to think of it that way." So I did. I knew friends of friends who'd had miscarriages, but it wouldn't happen to me.
Absolutely nobody benefits from the hateful, idiotic idea that repressing our genuine thoughts and feelings can ever be helpful to anyone -- so say what you feel. If you take a moment to articulate yourself clearly and without aggression, I absolutely guarantee that you'll be rewarded.
Once upon a time, policy-making was about finding the best ideas to solve a problem. Today, policy process is no longer about finding the best ideas. It is mainly about managing different interest groups, many of whom are in a position to derail a process they don't like.