A Hypothetical Question to Canadians

Let’s hypothesize that you choose a leader that promises to preserve all the good things of this country, including the Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, to fix what is not working properly and to do away with all that is bad.

A few years down the road he dissolves and makes illegal all other Canadian political parties. Only the Canadian Socialist Party is authorized to function as a political organization.

He allies Canada with some Big Power, say Russia or China.

Protected by the Big Power, he nationalizes all foreign companies and confiscates all private businesses, from banks to hot dog stands, without compensation to proprietors or shareholders.

Parliament rubber-stamps government decrees. All newspapers, television and radio stations are mouthpieces of the CSP. Independent blogs are cancelled.

The richest and many of the middle-class, from experienced managers to doctors and nurses, seek political asylum in the USA. Their personal properties, from homes to jewelry, are confiscated.

Some who decide to stand their ground and fight the Leader are killed in combat, executed by firing squad or sentenced to thirty years in jail without parole.

Canadians who correspond with relatives in the USA are deemed disaffected and placed under observation.

Canadians can only apply for passports and travel abroad if they get official permission from their government’s ministry of State Security.

Regardless of their knowledge, experience and effectiveness, only members of the Canadian Socialist Party get the best-paying jobs, move to the homes of those who fled and are authorized to purchase cars and boats.

A ration card determines what and how much people eat and what to wear.

Healthcare and education remain free for all Canadians. College and universities are tuition-free. Students don’t pay for anything, not even for books, but upon graduation they are sent to the provinces where the State says they are needed and how much they will earn. The rationale is that now professionals have to repay the cost of their education.

GDP and GDP per person decline. Productivity plummets. The Leader blames the USA for all that is wrong and keeps promising that soon Canada will be the most productive, efficient and marvelous country in the world.

Whenever the Leader convenes an outdoors political event to commemorate an anniversary of this triumphant revolution, managers at workplaces and informers in neighborhoods “invite” staff and residents to attend and listen to the brilliant speech the Leader will make. People go because the next time appliances are distributed by the ration card those who missed the rally won’t get the refrigerator, or the TV set, or the washing machine they need.

After 57 years of this, the Leader dies. How many Canadians will mourn him?

Think about it.

Is Some Scientific Research Useless?

Ninety-nine percent of the time I shake my head in awe at new discoveries and silently thank scientists
for their work. But one percent of the time I shake my head in disbelief and think “Was it important to learn this? How much money this study cost? How
does this contribute to better understanding our present or to make our future better?”

Hypothetical Bright Futures Versus Dark Pasts

The Cuban experience shows that when it comes to politics, we should all be suspicious of saviours.

Fidel Castro’s Letter to Obama

Precious few people reach 90 in possession of all their mental faculties, so when this morning I learned that Fidel Castro had penned a 1,500-word letter to President Obama, I thought that reading it would give me an idea of the state of the dictator’s mind. Probably he dictated to a secretary and then asked […]

President Obama Goes to Cuba

Is it surprising that Barack Obama will visit Cuba in March? I don’t think so. But what does the Cuban political elite plan to do as the rapprochement advances?

Anniversary of a National Disaster

On January 1st, 1959, a jubilant Cuba greeted the flight of a dictator and his henchmen. Castro, the new leader, made the nation experience its worst political, economic and social disaster in the 20th century.

On Climate Change

The Economist, a British weekly, in its November 28th to December 4th issue, has a 14-page Special Report titled Hot and Bothered that has made things much clearer to me. I strongly recommend it to those who are interested in this important topic.