Canada heading for short-lived government

Canadian voters are set to abandon 25 years of political stability June 28 and elect a parliament so divided that the new government will be an uneasy alliance given little chance of lasting more than 18 months, reported Reuters news service June 16. The Liberals would pay a price for working with the New Democrats, who are likely to push for steep increases in social spending and resist the traditional Liberal drive to use surplus government revenue to pay down debt, suggested Reuters. “There would be almost a vote-by-vote agreement, and the country would be going back to the polls within the next 18 months to two years,” said James Laxer, a political science professor with York’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies and University.

Use digital games in classroom

Often decribed as excessively violent or a breeding ground for anti-social behaviour, video and computer games are now being looked at in an entirely different way by a small army of educational researchers, reported CanWest News Service in a story printed by the National Post and Regina’s The Leader-Post June 16. Backed by a $3-million grant from Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the researchers not only accept that kids are drawn to the games, they see the educational value in playing to learn. The project brings together researchers from institutions across Canada, including York University, Université Laval, the University of Moncton and Dalhousie University. Other partners include Alberta’s Ministry of Education, Bell Canada, and the TELEStraining Inc. The project is part of a larger movement that will see international gurus of gaming technology in education converge on Vancouver June 17 for a four-day conference hosted by the University of British Columbia.

Nationalist is radical, says fringe candidate

Phil Rose, 35, a doctoral student in ethnomusicology at York University, is running for the Canadian Action Party in Niagara West-Glanbrook riding, reported Welland’s The Tribune June 16 in a story about fringe party candidates. Rose believes if more Canadians knew about CAP more would be attracted to its message of standing up for Canadian sovereignty, said the Tribune. He said the party is radically centrist. “These days it’s radical to be a nationalist,” he observed.

On air

  • Robert MacDermid, political science professor with York University’s Faculty of Arts, discussed the federal leaders debate and the performance of the candidates, on a panel on “Michael Coren Live” (CTS-TV), Toronto, June 15.