The Droz Report


If you've arrived here from outside and are looking for "A spectre is haunting Canada," please click here. A bit of a reorganization is rendered outside links defunct.Geoffrey Dow



Secret origins of a concerned Canadian

'I started out as a child'

Portrait of the author is a much younger man. Drawing by The Phantom Photographer.
Portrait of the author is a much younger man. Drawing by The Phantom Photographer.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 — Politics is in my blood. Political engagement and activism was rampant on both sides of my family and many members of my extended clan carry on the traditions in one form or another.

For myself, I developed an interest in the world beyond the confines of street and town very young. One of my earliest memories must come from grade three when, on the school bus, I recall staring out the window and wondering whether Richard Nixon would be impeached — and also wondering why my ostensible peers wouldn't shut the hell up and let me think.

A couple of years after that — the summer following grade five or six, it must have been — my father came to pick me up after a soccer game. My team was one of the worst in that small league and we had been, as usual, soundly trounced. When I got into the car my father tried to commiserate, but I interrupted his attempt to buck me up with a question about the latest developments with the provincial NDP (or something like that.

And in grade seven or eight, when I had determined I would someday become Canada's first socialist Prime Minister, I very nearly came to blows with one of my best friends. The topic was the Vietnam War, and John simply would not admit the American cause had been a brutal imperialist invasion, not any kind of an act of defence.

We didn't exchange punches, but he threw me out and it was some weeks before we spoke to one another again.

As a teenager, I was active in the peace movement of the 1980s and, even when I grew disenchanted with demonstrations and (even more so) with the stultifying, though necessary, work involved with committees, I remained a keen observer (or so I like to think), even if I was no longer actively striving to change the world.

Enter the modern world.

Welcome to The Droz Report

Photo by The Phantom Photographer; image manipulation by Geoffrey Dow.
Photo by The Phantom Photographer; image manipulation by Geoffrey Dow.

Which brings me to the Droz Report.

Long time readers will know that I have occasionally dabbled in political essays (and/or rants; sometimes the two are not so easy to distinguish) here, but the election of 2011 has given me a renewed sense of duty. I believe this election is an important one and so intended to write about it on at least a semi-regular basis.

I make no pretence that I am disinterested observer, but I will do my best to ensure that I get my facts right.

I have at various times described myself as a liberal, a socialist, an anarchist and even a libertarian. Taken in combination you probably have a (very) rough portrait of my beliefs and aspirations for the future of human society.

I think ideologies, however, a inherently dangerous and tend to lead to decisions that seek to make people and societies fit the theory, rather than modifying the theory to fit the facts. This usually leads to Very Bad Things.

As a rule, I believe in individual liberty should trump government or corporate power; I believe monopoly is usually dangerous; I believe the freedom of conscience and speech are very nearly as important as the freedom to eat and the freedom to not be murdered.

And I believe that truth is real and that it is important. As I have said before in these pages, it is important to point out when the emperor is naked and even more important to call a liar, a liar.

So please, if you catch me out getting my facts wrong, call me on it! My purposes here are didactic, but my intention is to convince you to at least consider my point of view through use of facts, not lies. (But feel free, also, to argue with my interpretation of the facts and my analyses of what's going on.)

That's about it. Welcome to The Droz Report.

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