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12 of 425 are essays by William D. Gairdner

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Gairdner, William D.  

Something everyone should know about latex
Conservatism in a Nutshell

“True conservatism” is here defined, described, and distinguished from its merely temporal political manifestations as a transhistorical set of human attitudes and concepts that hold constant over time and can can be found at war with the radical temperament wherever the latter arises or has gained control of the socio-political-legal processes of human life.
Democracy Against The Family

In a faith civilization, the State plays a supportive role because the Family is a sacramental institution, but in a secular civilization such as ours, especially when it rests on a radical democratic political creed, the State and the Family inevitably become competitors for the allegiance of citizens, and in this sense they are enemies. A revised version of an address to the World Congress of Families II, delivered in Geneva, Switzerland, November 17, 1999
Educational Junkscience

A parent asks why scientific education in the public schools is so ideologically one-sided.
From Democracy to Hyperdemocracy

A people undisturbed by the manifest incoherence of its own political philosophy is obviously ripe for manipulation. It no longer makes sense to use the terms "democracy" and "freedom" interchangeably, as we have always done. When people felt strong in their communities, were more fiercely independent, and even longed to be free of overbearing government, the two words indeed seemed the same because people thought it natural to use the former to acquire and defend the latter. But the words are used quite differently now.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the Romantic Roots of Modern Democracy

The defining moment in the life of the Western world was the profound shift in thinking from the Classical and Christian mode that had informed our civilization for almost two millennia, to the secular Romantic one which has characterized the West ever since. It is impossible to understand modern totalitarianism, democracy, or Rousseau himself, unless we see that while he was certainly an architect of the Romantic sentiment, he was riding a wave of revolutionary sensibility that began in the Reformation and continues unabated. In Note 3 to this essay Canadians will be particularly interested to see the firm evidence of Rousseau’s thinking in the work of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, something revealed here for the first time.
Society: The Third Marriage Partner

Marriage is increasingly being treated as little more than a loosely-binding legal contract between two people. As a result, society is losing benefits it used to enjoy from family contracts with more-binding social, religious, and legal obligations, and it is bearing new social and financial costs as a direct result of the creeping redefinition of marriage. Originally published in The National Post. Republished with permission.
Spanking: No Pain, No Gain

Spanking and hitting are not the same moral action. The first seeks correction in the name of a higher ideal, the second is done out of anger only. Spanking is a form of pre-emptive pain used to prevent greater pain, moral or physical, and this is a proper justification for the prevention of rebellion, political or domestic. Activists want spanking police to control parenting and regulate home life.
The Charter: A Slice of the Trudeau Enigma

Why did Pierre Trudeau, former Canadian Prime Minister known for his anti-Americanism, construct an American-style Charter of Rights and Freedoms to accompany the Canadian Constitution? Adapted from a letter to columnist Robert Fulford, who had ruminated on the occasion of Pierre Trudeau's death on some of his conflicting characteristics
The Quebec Conundrum

An argument that a radical idea of “democracy” is being used to break up Canada, one of the world’s longest-lasting and proudest democracies. It is an argument that can’t fly, but the people don’t know why.

The Social Union - A Debate (with Janet Ajzenstat, Brian Lee Crowley, Lorne Gunter, Ken Holland, Rory Leishman, Michael Lusztig, Judy Rebick, John Robson, Paul Romney)

Dr. William Gairdner sparked a debate in late 1998 on conservativeforum.org about government plans for a "social union", a federal government promise of largesse to provinces and various groups in return for constitutional and political peace. Dr. Gairdner and eight other distinguished commentators, not all conservatives, contributed their perspectives to the debate. The liberal government implemented its social union agreement with the provinces in 1999. The debate remains interesting for its discussion of the founders' intentions, and of the degree to which an elected government should set its promises in legal concrete, unassailable by subsequently-elected governments which may have different priorities.
The Trouble with Democracy

Democracy is no longer what many people believe it to be. Radical evolution ocurring within the framework of liberal democracy threatens cherished ideals of freedom and morality. The word "democracy" is now used to promote and defend all sorts of contradictory policies and points of view, which are exposed and explored in The Trouble with Democracy. This essay is the Introduction to the book The Trouble with Democracy, published by Stoddart Publishing. Reproduced with the permission of the author and the publisher.