Andrew Cohen

Obligation not celebration

Barack Obama comes to Ottawa today, and you have to wonder why. He will see nothing of the capital and the capital will see nothing of him.This supernova will be little more than a flash across our northern sky. His visit is as perfunctory as a campaign stop. The tone and timing is more about...

Thursday, February 19, 2009, 10:55 AM

The conundrum over Afghanistan

For months, perhaps years, we have heard how the situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating.The spread of corruption, the return of the Taliban, the ineptitude of the police, the mounting violence, as we saw again yesterday — all suggest a war that seems unwinnable in a country that seems...

Thursday, February 12, 2009, 10:54 AM

Politics of fear and smear

If you were wondering about the decline of our politics — or, more precisely, why so few Canadians voted in the last general election — consider the story of Bill Casey, the long-serving, independent-minded member of Parliament from Nova Scotia.Mr. Casey was elected from the riding of Cumberland-...

Thursday, February 5, 2009, 10:31 AM

Who is this prime minister?

Ralph Waldo Emerson famously said that “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” Emerson, the 19th-century American philosopher, thought the better part of wisdom is one’s willingness to abandon flawed, mistaken or dated beliefs.By this measure, Stephen Harper is Emerson’s man. He’s...

Thursday, January 29, 2009, 11:12 AM

A third force in Canuck politics

It is heartening to learn that Barack Obama plans to make his first foreign trip as U.S. president to Canada.It is something of a tradition for a new president to visit Canada before he visits anywhere else. It is an expression of respect for America’s oldest friend and largest trading partner.In...

Thursday, January 22, 2009, 11:28 AM

Eulogy for coalition

There is important news from Quebec this week. Gilles Duceppe, the leader of the Bloc Québécois, says that reports of the death of the coalition are greatly exaggerated.He denies that it has been weakened by the surprising emergence of Michael Ignatieff as interim Liberal leader. And he has been...

Thursday, January 15, 2009, 11:23 AM

Obamania ... for now

In the National Museum of American History, the repository of this country’s past, the curators are not waiting for the inauguration of Barack Obama on Jan. 20.They have already entered his name and face in its gallery of presidents, a permanent exhibition subtitled “A Glorious Burden.” There he is...

Thursday, January 8, 2009, 10:41 AM