Political trash-talking is nothing new, but it’s getting worse

Politicians behaving badly may be an attention-grabbing tactic, said Dennis Pilon, a York University political science professor and author of Wrestling with Democracy. At a school board level – a common launching pad for political careers – representatives have a low profile, and may make headlines by being difficult. “Sometimes conflict is a better way of raising your profile than co-operation,” Pilon said in the Toronto Star March 15. Read full story.

Porter Airlines Facebook poll misleading, critics say
Porter Airlines is hitting turbulence with an online poll that critics say misleads voters into supporting the Billy Bishop airport expansion. . . . Alan Middleton, a marketing professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business, said the poll was fair because it was at least more transparent than other forms of lobbying which often take place behind closed doors. “In a world where lobbying takes so many different forms, I don’t find this one dramatically offensive,” he said in the Toronto Star March 17. Read full story.

All-star group heading to fall writers conference
The first Windsor International Writers Conference in November promises to leap off the page with a Who’s Who of the written and spoken word, reported the Windsor Star March 14. . . . Among the guest speakers already confirmed is Michael Greyeyes, a Plains Cree and associate professor of drama at Toronto’s York University. Read full story.

Cash-crop condominiums
“When we tell the stories of our wealthiest men, we tend to tell the stories that are of no consequence: We repeat their names, which have generally remained constant for most of recent memory; we futilely recite the numbers of their net worth; and we mythologize the secrets to their success,” wrote York University PhD student Kenneth Cardenas in the Philippine Daily Inquirer March 16. Read full story.

Could Ukraine be another Bosnia?
“There are familiar apparitions in Bosnia when it comes to Ukraine,” said Jasmin Mujanovic, a Balkans researcher at York University, in Al Jazeera America March 14. “The strategy being deployed by Russia bears remarkable likeness to what was done by the Milosevic government in Yugoslavia. It’s occupation in the name of ethnic solidarity or protection of peace – you occupy a territory and then engineer a referendum.” Read full story.

What’s critical psychology? Look it up!
Critical psychology is rarely taught in the US. But the new Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology could go a long way in remedying this, reported Psychology Today March 14. . . . In putting together the new encyclopedia, Professor Thomas Teo (who is on the faculty of Toronto’s York University and internationally respected for his work in the history and philosophy of psychology) invited critical psychologists – from humanists to postmodernists, from Marxists and feminists to post-colonialists – to write the 1,000 entries that appear. Read full story.