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Brian Dijkema

Brian Dijkema is Program Director, Work and Economics at Cardus and senior editor with Comment. Prior to joining Cardus, Brian worked for almost a decade in labour relations in Canada after completing his master's degree with Cardus Senior Fellow, Jonathan Chaplin. He has also done work on international human rights, with a focus on labour, economic, and social rights in Latin America and China. Read More ›

Bio last modified June 1st, 2017.
Articles by Brian Dijkema
  • Contingency in Politics

    Brian Dijkema

    Whether it is aimed at electoral success, control of the legislative process, or control of popular opinion, this way of framing issues is a means to acquire or maintain power. In each case, the morphing of a problem from a complex problem with a variety of different solutions to a binary choice between two options is motivated by questions of power.

  • A Double-Edged Sword

    Brian Dijkema

    Montreal itself—a beautiful and wealthy city—is in the heart of the province in Canada working hardest to move religion out of the public square and box it well into the private sphere.

  • What Lies Beneath Public Discourse

    Brian Dijkema

    Yet we should be wary of the notion that legislation on scarves, stars, or crosses is the only place where questions of religion matter. There are many more aspects of political discourse and policy making that relate to people's deepest convictions.

  • The Back End of the Golden Goose

    Brian Dijkema

    But our general support for the development of our resource extraction sector—and our recognition of the huge benefit such work brings to Canada—shouldn't be equated with uncritical support. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

  • The Play-Date Apocalypse is Upon Us

    Brian Dijkema

    They will drop their trowels, shake their heads and wonder why they didn't see this earlier. They will head back to their tents and consign earlier theories of civilizational decline to the dustbin. It wasn't climate change, political corruption, economic inequality, a sudden collapse of global bee communities, plague, pestilence, or even aliens from outer space.

  • Usury and Unity

    Brian Dijkema

    The sting and force of the words are palpable, aren't they? The quote above comes from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, from a conversation with the head of payday loan company called Wonga.

  • Sacrifice Binds Us

    Brian Dijkema

    The purpose of his article, which I heartily recommend and endorse, is to leave behind the placards and plumb the depths of the word and its public implications for North America.

  • Socialist Acts?

    Brian Dijkema

    I've read The Communist Manifesto, large chunks of Capital, and a bunch of other Marxist material, and compared to the power of the Holy Ghost, the spectre of communism looks like Caspar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

  • Engagement > Catharsis

    Brian Dijkema

    Why? Well, take a look at what's in the picture: a styrofoam cooler, plastic water jugs, oranges, a plastic and metal sign, garbage bags, a bag of chocolates, some hummus, Tupperware, a can of lemonade, a sports drink, a backpack, a Tim Horton's ten pack of coffee, and a camping chair. Did I miss anything? Oh yes, cut grass, duct tape, a steel sign, and a pipeline.

  • Markets in Love?

    Brian Dijkema

    Of particular concern to my colleagues was the suggestion in Andrew Coyne's (recommended) column that, "It's not necessarily wrong to charge a fee, but it's not as right as donating it."

  • Le Parti Moustique

    Brian Dijkema

    If you were ever in doubt about the heights of lunacy which governments committed to a high-modern conception of secularism  can reach,  I present to you Exhibit A of the latest valiant effort from Le Parti Moustique.

  • Bad Medicine For Trade Unions

    Brian Dijkema

    We expect this type of response from those on the farthest and most loony left—think Sid Ryan, head of the morally and financially bankrupt Ontario Federation of Labour—but I'm always puzzled when those who traditionally look more skeptically on the state's use of coercive power take up the same tune.

  • Neither Too Simple Nor Too Complex: The Bangladesh Tragedy

    Brian Dijkema

    Let's begin, where we should, with the simplicity. Over four hundred people are dead and thousands are injured. It's a shame that in our rush to get at the complex nature of the context in which these people died, we forget this very simple fact. Four hundred people, made in the image of God, are gone from this world, not to return until the resurrection, and their loved ones are forced to pick up the pieces and continue living. I sometimes wish that our news outlets would, before they commit space to the pundits and the experts, make space to name the dead. It would bring a sense of sober simplicity to the spectacle of modern tragedies. These things are complex, but they're also simple, and we should talk about them in ways that are brutally simple and clear, so that we recognize the brutality of death.

  • Playing Peek-a-boo with Political Principles

    Brian Dijkema

    We are now well acquainted with the fact that Canadian political parties have drained the clear water of principle from the House of Commons and left it a swampy cesspool of power and pandering. Ray Pennings notes that "Political parties have become marketing machines with the single-minded purpose of protecting and promoting the brand under which political activists will compete for election." Andrew Coyne, continuing the theme, states: I say hiding, because the fact that modern political parties (and yes, we can absolutely include the Democrats and Republicans or the Tories and Labour) have abandoned political principle doesn't mean our political culture is suddenly less principled.

  • Keep the Super PACs out of Canada

    Brian Dijkema

    You hear this from both the left and the right in a way that would make Johnny Cash proud. From Dief the Chief to Jean Chretien, our anti-Americanism . . . sorry, our desire to maintain a unique Canadian identity—knows no political stripe.

  • Less Power, More Flourishing

    Brian Dijkema

    Charlie Brown always thinks he's going to kick the ball, but Charlie Brown always ends up falling on his back. He's never really out of the game, and he's always keen to try again—but each time he falls. Canadian unions are always up for another try. However, like Charlie Brown, there is a sense of predetermination, of inevitability in each try.

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