Lavold's Social Studies 30-1
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China is struggling to keep control over its version of the past

China is struggling to keep control over its version of the past | Lavold's Social Studies 30-1 | Scoop.it
A battle is raging in the realm of historiography
Mr. Lavold's insight:
Totalitarian regimes often use the rewriting of national history as a means of maintaining control over their populations. Information is power - controlling information, therefore, permits the centralization of power. As you read this article, think about how the Chinese government is using its version of history to maintain its dominance over Chinese society and how this is a violation of liberal democratic beliefs.
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Canadian democracy is broken - Macleans.ca

Canadian democracy is broken - Macleans.ca | Lavold's Social Studies 30-1 | Scoop.it
But how to fix it? Columnists Andrew Coyne and Paul Wells debate the question.
Mr. Lavold's insight:
This is an interview with two prominent journalists dealing with a range of issues focused on problems that exist in the Canadian system of democracy. To what extent do you agree with their positions?
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Mark D. Jarvis & Lori Turnbull: Canadian prime ministers have too much power

Mark D. Jarvis & Lori Turnbull: Canadian prime ministers have too much power | Lavold's Social Studies 30-1 | Scoop.it
The winner of the prestigious Donner Prize, an annual award for the best book on Canadian public policy, was announced last night by Allan Gotlieb, chairman of the Donner Canadian Foundation, at a gala awards dinner at the Carlu in Toronto hosted by Don Newman, chairman of Canada 2020.
Mr. Lavold's insight:
One of the strongest arguments made against the Canadian political system is that it gives too much power to the Prime Minister, who can, through party solidarity, guarantee the passage of legislation in a majority government. This article proposes that this is a major problem that needs to be addressed.
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Canadian Parliamentary Review - Article

Canadian Parliamentary Review - Article | Lavold's Social Studies 30-1 | Scoop.it
Mr. Lavold's insight:
As we compare and contrast the American and Canadian systems of democracy, we need to look for the issues that divide the two systems and evaluate them. This article looks at both systems with a critical eye.
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Matt Taibbi on the Summer of the Media Shill

Matt Taibbi on the Summer of the Media Shill | Lavold's Social Studies 30-1 | Scoop.it
Matt Taibbi on why campaign 2016 won't just have lasting implications for American politics. It's obliterated what was left of our news media.

Via Mr. MacCollum
Mr. Lavold's insight:
The media is incredibly important in a healthy democracy - how else will the people know what their government and politicians are doing in order to hold them accountable? What happens when the media stop being objective and end up influencing the outcome of elections? This article tackles that difficult subject in light of the media's role in the current American presidential campaign.
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Mr. MacCollum's curator insight, August 15, 5:34 PM
What role does the media play in an active democracy? One critic has some harsh words for what's happening.
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Donald Trump's ideology of violence

Donald Trump's ideology of violence | Lavold's Social Studies 30-1 | Scoop.it
Want to know why Donald Trump’s rallies are so violent? Just listen to him.

Via Mr. MacCollum
Mr. Lavold's insight:
This is sooooo scary. While comparisons to Hitler are certainly inaccurate, there are some similarities in the way that Trump appeals to certain demographics.
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Mr. MacCollum's curator insight, March 13, 12:13 AM
Reading this article chilled me to the bone. I am at a loss for words about what is happening here.
Mr. MacCollum's curator insight, March 13, 12:14 AM
Reading this article chilled me to the bone. I am at a loss for words about what is happening here.
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School District Halts Webcam Surveillance | WIRED

School District Halts Webcam Surveillance | WIRED | Lavold's Social Studies 30-1 | Scoop.it
A suburban Philadelphia school district is deactivating a webcam, theft-tracking program secretly lodged on 2,300 student laptops following allegations the device was used by administrators to spy on a boy at home. “I think given the concerns of parents and community members, I think we have a responsibility to at least take a pause and…

Via Mr. MacCollum
Mr. Lavold's insight:
Consider the violation of privacy inherent in what this school board is doing. 
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Mr. MacCollum's curator insight, December 17, 2014 12:50 AM

I talked about this in class a couple of weeks ago, it's an old story, but one that shows the extent to which peeking into personal lives has progressed. Should this be permissible in a democratic society?

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What ISIS Really Wants

What ISIS Really Wants | Lavold's Social Studies 30-1 | Scoop.it
The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it.
Mr. Lavold's insight:

This is an excellent article demonstrating the origins, beliefs and goals of ISIS (Daesh). Given the effects that this surprisingly small group of fanatics is having on our liberal democracy, it is important to try and understand what they are all about.

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Niqab ban at citizenship ceremonies unlawful, as Ottawa loses appeal

Niqab ban at citizenship ceremonies unlawful, as Ottawa loses appeal | Lavold's Social Studies 30-1 | Scoop.it
The federal government has lost its appeal of a lower court ruling that struck down a ban on wearing niqabs at citizenship ceremonies. The ruling comes in time for the woman at the centre of the case to take her oath and vote on Oct. 19.
Mr. Lavold's insight:

Should muslim women be required to show their faces in order to be sworn in as Canadian citizens? Harper thinks so... but the courts disagree. This issue reflects numerous liberal issues - freedom of religion, privacy rights, freedom of speech and security. What do you think?

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Everything you need to know about the parties’ platforms, from taxes and terrorism to the environment

Everything you need to know about the parties’ platforms, from taxes and terrorism to the environment | Lavold's Social Studies 30-1 | Scoop.it
Here’s your guide to the four main parties’ record and pledges as the campaign begins
Mr. Lavold's insight:

This is an excellent summary of the campaign promises and party platforms of the four main combatants in the current Canadian federal election. What values and beliefs do these platforms reflect? Where would they put the parties on the political/economic spectrum? Can you see any contradictions? 

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The defiant Kim Davis, the Ky. clerk who refuses to issue gay marriage licenses

The defiant Kim Davis, the Ky. clerk who refuses to issue gay marriage licenses | Lavold's Social Studies 30-1 | Scoop.it
When she was elected clerk in a rural Kentucky county, Davis vowed to "follow the statutes of this office to the letter." But now she faces misconduct charges and the scrutiny of the country for her stance on gay marriage.
Mr. Lavold's insight:

One of the problems faced by liberals is what to do when freedoms conflict. This is just such an example - freedom of religion vs. freedom of speech vs. freedom from discrimination. 

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Mr. MacCollum's curator insight, September 8, 2015 11:18 PM

What do we do in a 'free' society when someone's sincerely held eblief clash with someone else's legally held expectations from government. This case has even attracted the intervention of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on the side of Ms. Davis. An extremely interesting case.

Miya Midgett's curator insight, October 28, 2015 10:51 PM

On September 8th, 2015, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, refused to issue a marriage license to a homosexual couple. In June 2015, the Supreme Court issued gay marriage to become legal nationwide. When Kim Davis heard of the news, she had asked to be exempt from this law as it "interferes with [her] religious beliefs." Many were angered at this because it's their tax dollars that pay her salary. The homosexual couple, leaning over her desk, told her they were paying her to watch her discriminate against them as others were yelling for her to do the job she signed up for- marrying couples. As recalled, the job description wasn't "marry only straight couples." However, Kim Davis walked away from the couple, refusing to marry them and in result, ending up in a jail cell awaiting trial.

I believe this relates to Government for several reasons; it involves a law being disobeyed, it involves discrimination against sexuality, and although it involves freedom of religion, our first amendment, I still believe her act was incredibly ridiculous. In America, everyone is 'equal.' Her job is to marry everyone regardless of sexuality and the gender of partners, if she doesn't like it, it's time to either resign, or bury herself in that jail cell. Like freedom of speech, it can only go to a certain extent- once it reaches the point of breaking the law, action is taken.

This shows Kim Davis's bias against gays.

 

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First Nations leader says he has never voted federally – but wants others to

First Nations leader says he has never voted federally – but wants others to | Lavold's Social Studies 30-1 | Scoop.it
Despite repeatedly calling on aboriginal voters to participate in October’s federal election, the head of the Assembly of First Nations says he has never cast a federal ballot – and “may or may not...
Mr. Lavold's insight:

One of the most important responsibilities of citizens in liberal democracies is to help chose who will form the government through voting. It is part of the foundation of active citizenship. Yet many Canadian citizens refuse to vote. This article points out the irony of a First Nations leader encouraging his people to vote (in order to have an influence on the government) while refusing to do so himself.

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Ottawa cites hate crime laws when asked about its 'zero tolerance' for Israel boycotters

Ottawa cites hate crime laws when asked about its 'zero tolerance' for Israel boycotters | Lavold's Social Studies 30-1 | Scoop.it
The Harper government is signalling its intention to use hate crime laws against Canadian advocacy groups that encourage boycotts of Israel, Neil Macdonald reports. Such a move could target a range of civil organizations, from churches to labour unions.
Mr. Lavold's insight:

At the same time that the Canadian government supports standing up to Muslim extremism and attacks on western press such as Charlie Hedbo who attack Islam under the guise of freedom of speech, Harper's government is claiming that those who oppose Israel are promoting hate speech. Is freedom of speech absolute when it comes to who one supports or do not? Consider this situation.

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The Transformation of American Democracy to Oligarchy | Huffington Post

The Transformation of American Democracy to Oligarchy | Huffington Post | Lavold's Social Studies 30-1 | Scoop.it
The United States has the world's largest economy, is the most important contributor to scientific advancements, has the most powerful military and som
Mr. Lavold's insight:
The focus of this article is on the importance of money in the American political system and the effect it has on democracy in the United States. It is a ringing call to arms - do you agree?
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Canada's Prime Minister Wields Monstrous Power | The Tyee

Canada's Prime Minister Wields Monstrous Power | The Tyee | Lavold's Social Studies 30-1 | Scoop.it
Why are we scared to say it? Are we afraid of a truly democratic government?
Mr. Lavold's insight:
This is an opinion piece by someone who is very jaded by the Canadian system of, as he sees it, pseudo-democracy. His biggest concern? The power of the PM to control the elected representatives of the people.
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Analysis: U.S. may be entering age of political deadlock

Analysis: U.S. may be entering age of political deadlock | Lavold's Social Studies 30-1 | Scoop.it
The debt limit impasse in Washington, where a polarized Congress is struggling to avert an imminent U.S. default, points to a deeper crisis -- America may be entering an age of political paralysis.
Mr. Lavold's insight:
What happens when a political system based on compromise and cooperation becomes hyper-partisan? While the Canadian political system has been argued to make the PM too powerful, the American system, this article suggests, leads to political deadlock where important legislation (such as budgets) can't get passed. Where does that leave the people?
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Planned Alberta transmission line leaves landowners feeling powerless

Planned Alberta transmission line leaves landowners feeling powerless | Lavold's Social Studies 30-1 | Scoop.it
"Every morning I'm going to wake up and I'm going to see that tower. It's not right — why does the government get to tell us what to do?"
Mr. Lavold's insight:
One of the deepest disagreements between liberals and conservatives (the modern forms) is the degree to which the government should influence our lives. Liberals are accepting of government regulation in name of the common good (as long as it doesn't go too far), while conservatives believe that when governments introduce policies to force people to act in a certain way they are restricting personal freedom, which is unacceptable in a democracy. This article describes this controversy with reference to the Alberta government's decision to force farmers to accept the placement of giant power transmission towers on their land. 
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Traveling Through Venezuela, a Country Teetering on the Brink

Traveling Through Venezuela, a Country Teetering on the Brink | Lavold's Social Studies 30-1 | Scoop.it
Our reporter explores the country and its people in his first 30 days in the region on assignment for The Times.

Via Mr. MacCollum
Mr. Lavold's insight:
This is a fascinating article on a country that helped its people through major restrictions on economic freedom. It's all falling apart now - think about why and the implications for Canada and its mixed economy.
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Mr. MacCollum's curator insight, February 11, 3:05 PM

Venezuela is a country that has, after a fashion, to provide for the many impoverished people in the nation. They did this by bringing in extreme restrictions on economic freedom. The results, now that the income from oil have largely disappeared, are not pretty. This is an excellent read on a country teetering on the economic brink.

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Explainer: Everything you wanted to know about electoral reform

Explainer: Everything you wanted to know about electoral reform | Lavold's Social Studies 30-1 | Scoop.it
Canadians like the idea of reforming the electoral system but no one can agree on exactly how. Campbell Clark outlines some of the options and explains​ which options appeal to the federal parties

Via Mr. MacCollum
Mr. Lavold's insight:
Everything you wanted to know about electoral systems and which one might work best in this country (and which ones might work best for which political parties!)
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Mr. MacCollum's curator insight, May 13, 11:52 PM
You're all going in to diploma exams? You want to understand the voting system? Here's a recommended read. Outstanding explainer.
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The One Weird Trait That Predicts Whether You’re a Trump Supporter

The One Weird Trait That Predicts Whether You’re a Trump Supporter | Lavold's Social Studies 30-1 | Scoop.it
And it’s not gender, age, income, race or religion.
Mr. Lavold's insight:

We have studied authoritarianism this term - see how people who demonstrate authoritarianism like Trump and what this might mean for the upcoming American election.

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How will $15M for shelters help women in Alberta?

How will $15M for shelters help women in Alberta? | Lavold's Social Studies 30-1 | Scoop.it
It took three attempts before the young Edmonton mother summoned up the courage to leave her abusive husband for good. For four years Cara (not her real name) had walked on eggshells dodging the verbal, emotional and mental abuse.
Mr. Lavold's insight:

This is a great example of modern liberal government spending. What would be the response of the right to such use of tax dollars? 

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Federal election 2015: what the parties are promising | Toronto Star

Federal election 2015: what the parties are promising | Toronto Star | Lavold's Social Studies 30-1 | Scoop.it
Keep track of the pledges made by the party leaders running in the 2015 federal election.
Mr. Lavold's insight:

Here's another media collection of party platforms to help you understand where the Canadian political parties are on the political/economic/social spectra.

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Editorial: The message of the Fahmy verdict

Editorial: The message of the Fahmy verdict | Lavold's Social Studies 30-1 | Scoop.it
Mohamed Fahmy is not the only journalist in the world imprisoned on fake charges — far from it. His case is one of the most high-profile and brazen examples, though. He's a well-connected, widely s...
Mr. Lavold's insight:

Egypt claims to be a democracy - yet its system contains numerous examples of violations of liberalism - and thus should be considered illiberal. Typical of many such regimes is the use of the court system to silence the media who's job it is to hold the government accountable to their people. This editorial deals with a recent example of this practice. How democratic is Egypt given these actions? 

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Terry Glavin: Canada is watching Syria die

Terry Glavin: Canada is watching Syria die | Lavold's Social Studies 30-1 | Scoop.it
With their homeland being reduced to an apocalyptic nightmare, among Syrian-Canadians, there is also an unquenchable sorrow.
Mr. Lavold's insight:

The question of accepting refugees into Canada (particularly from Syria, these days) is a volatile issue that reveals the deep divides between the right and the left. See if you can identify the ideological position of this writer and anticipate how the other side would respond.

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Mr. MacCollum's curator insight, September 8, 2015 11:23 PM

A very emotional story of human tragedy that has been developing for months that has recently exploded into the Canadian consciousness. The reaction of the various political parties has been parsed and has led to some people changing their opinion on who they might vote for (at least this week).

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11 things you should know about China's stock market — and maybe economic — crisis

11 things you should know about China's stock market — and maybe economic — crisis | Lavold's Social Studies 30-1 | Scoop.it
China's problems go much deeper than just its stock market.

Via Mr. MacCollum
Mr. Lavold's insight:

One of the things we will be discussing this year is the nature of economic systems - and the problems of the Chinese economy are playing havoc with the global economy - including Canada. It is really important that we learn what is going on so we can make the necessary economic decisions for the future.

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Mr. MacCollum's curator insight, August 24, 2015 11:24 AM

This is where we're starting this year, in the shadow of what's been going on in China in the last couple of months. Likely you haven't been paying attention, which is fine and normal, but it's time that we should.

Mr. MacCollum's curator insight, September 15, 2015 6:41 PM

With over 1.4 billion people the Chinese impact on the world economy is immense. They seem to have been having their problems lately, what exactly might that mean for you?