Andrea Mrozek

Andrea Mrozek

Does liberalism get the big questions right? The question was the subject of a Munk Debate on the evening of Nov. 3 in Toronto.

My short answer is yes. Better put, it gets more things right than competing philosophies. Capitalism, it has been said, is the worst economic system except for all the others. Liberalism is a better solution for our common lives than socialism or communism. Yet at the end of the night, the winning side of the debate were those who were opposed. How have we arrived at a point where so many appear to be questioning liberalism?

Some years ago Brad Wilcox, the University of Virginia sociologist, gave a conference presentation  about how mothers differ from fathers. The feedback forms revealed a portion of the audience thought the presentation was so self-evident as to be unnecessary. On the other side, a significant number were offended by the concept of sex differences in parenting. 

There are several themes that emerge from watching the 1 Million Person March 4 Children in Ottawa on Sept. 20. Organized by Kamel El-Cheikh, an Ottawa-based Muslim father, this community was galvanized into action when a teacher in Edmonton criticized a Muslim student who had been absent for Pride activities in June. The audio recording went viral, largely because the teacher’s conclusion was that without agreement on issues of gender and sexuality, the student doesn’t belong in Canada. If that doesn’t galvanize protest, I don’t know what will. And it did.

When Lanark, a county on the outskirts of Ottawa, terminated its contract with one child care licensing agency at the end of August, it was a surprise to the agency and families. Parent fees doubled and 12 child care spaces were lost as two daycares closed.

“The joys of parenthood: apparently the best kept secret.”

In 1969 Time magazine featured supermodel Raquel Welch, the iconic model and actress, on the cover. A bikini-clad Welch stares the reader down with intensity. Whether driven of a sense of religiosity or simple desire not to have an almost naked stranger on the coffee table, Time received 900 letters, the overwhelming majority in protest.

“First Gender Equity Manitoba Grant will be Awarded to Pride Winnipeg to Support Permanent Staffing, Expand Pride Activities across Province,” reads the May 25 press release.