Le Québec doit démissionner

Par Pierre K. Malouf le 27 décembre 2010

La société québécoise souffre de maux qui ne mettent pas sa vie en danger à brève échéance, mais qui lui causent des douleurs chroniques et des handicaps débilitants. Le Québec est un malade qui connaît ses symptômes mais qui n’ose pas nommer sa maladie, qui dispose dans sa pharmacie de tous les remèdes qui pourraient favoriser sa guérison, mais qui refuse de les avaler par crainte des effets secondaires, leur préférant des panacés qui agravent le mal au lieu de le guérir.

La CSST: Le mauvais tempérament de l’époque au Québec

Par Beryl Wajsman le 27 décembre 2010

Les événements en société sont connexes. Parfois indirectement. Parfois ils reflètent simplement le tempérament de l’époque. Mais c'est pour cette raison que ceux qui affectent ce tempérament, ceux qui ont un poste politique important, doivent être imputables quand ils pratiquent la politique de l'annulation.

The Confidence Game

Par Akil Alleyne le 27 décembre 2010

Orator.jpgIn mid-November, I logged on to Facebook to be treated to the following status on the profile of a friend of mine: “What’s the matter, Harper? Afraid you’ll lose the confidence of the House if you put your Afghan war plans to a vote?” My immediate response—which I promptly posted as a comment on my friend’s status—was “Probably.” Stephen Harper’s Conservative government, of course, remains parked at “minority”, theoretically vulnerable to sudden death via a no-confidence vote in the House of Commons. Given this Damoclean threat to his political survival, Harper’s evasion of Parliament did not exactly take me by surprise. Nor was I especially taken aback at reports that the Opposition Liberals had quietly acquiesced in the Tories’ artful dodging. Michael Ignatieff’s Grits have so far struggled to create the “winning conditions,” if you will, for another federal election. Those efforts might not be helped by abandoning an honourable mission that a past Liberal government initiated in the first place.

These boots are made for walking…Supporters of store owner condemn Khadir's smears of Israel

Par P.A. Sévigny le 27 décembre 2010

these_boots.jpgThese boots are made for walking……and as far as Sharon Freedman and her friends are concerned, that’s just what they’ll do. On Christmas morning, at least a dozen homeless kids are going to get a stellar Christmas present, courtesy of Freedman and a few friends who want to let everyone know how a bit of Christmas charity speaks louder than anything Québec Solidaire’s Amir Khadir might have to say about a St. Denis store owner’s right to mind his own business.


If the shoe fits…L’ignorance, la haine et le boycottage

Par Dan Delmar le 27 décembre 2010

Les boycotts sont souvent puérils et inefficaces. En politique extérieure, ils n’ont pas plus de valeur que le geste d’un enfant braillard qui interrompt le jeu et rentre à la maison avec son ballon. En matière de boycott, de nouveaux critères d'immaturité et d'ignorance viennent d’être tracés par Palestiniens et Juifs unis (PAJU), groupe soutenu par le député de Québec solidaire Amir Khadir.
Don’t let the name fool you: PAJU is a radical pro-Palestinian group that aims to unite Palestinian and Jews only in their hatred for the state of Israel and all those who, even passively, support it. Along with Khadir, they are working to transform St. Denis into what they call an “Apartheid-free zone.”


Victory in November: Opportunities and Perils for Republicans

Par David T. Jones le 27 décembre 2010

Washington, DC - The Republican Party, having won a substantial victory in the November 2 election, is about to encounter that existential challenge.  Be careful of what you ask for; you may get it.

Five Reasons Why I'm Not Neutral

Par Lauryn Oates le 27 décembre 2010

five_reasons.jpgAs the Taliban now run shadow governments in all but one of Afghanistan’s provinces (the Panjshir) amounting to a government-in-waiting, and one by one NATO governments announce their withdrawal dates, there is a glum resolve here among many aid workers that one day very soon the government we may be dealing with in Kabul will be a Taliban one. And so some are starting to seek engagement with the Taliban now, hoping they might be more accommodating than the miserable years of 1996-2001, when the overwhelming majority of organizations fled, and those who stayed, worked within bizarre and frustrating restrictions, many of which barred aid to women and girls. Overall, the restrictions and the fickle and unpredictable behaviour of the host government then meant aid simply could not reach all of the most vulnerable, and many lives were lost as a result.

Des parlementaires du monde entier émettent une déclaration sur l'antisémitisme: Cotler mène la CILA à un accord historique

Par Beryl Wajsman le 27 décembre 2010

icca.jpgDes parlementaires de six continents étaient sur place pour émettre le Protocole d'Ottawa - un document qui représente la coopération globale dans la lutte contre l'antisémitisme à la fin de la deuxième conférence de la Coalition interparlementaire de lutte contre l’antisémitisme (CILA), cofondé par le député de Mont-Royal Irwin Cotler. La conférence était la plus grande de sa sorte, et a donné l'occasion pour que les délégués puissent explorer des données et échanger sur les meilleures manières de combattre l'antisémitisme autour du monde. La CILA rassemble 46 pays et plus de 250 parlementaires du  monde entier pour mener le combat contre la résurgence de l'antisémitisme global. 

Obama’s Recovery from Ahmadinejad’s Politics

Par Rouba al-Fattal le 27 décembre 2010

Two are not fit for a political office: the religious man, if he is sincere, and the true intellectual. The religious system is based on sacred constants, while the political system is chaotic based on constantly changing variables. No compromise can exist on religious dogmas, but politics is the art of negotiation and settlement. Policy maneuvers are not void of plots and deceptions, while bargaining is off-limits to the true religious, either you accept all of God’s commands or you exit the circle of the pure faithful. So, how could a dogmatic cleric turn into a professional politician?

A moveable feast

Par Beryl Wajsman le 27 décembre 2010

WedNit3_small.jpgSome thirty years ago, Diana and David Nicholson opened their storied home at 33 Rosemount Avenue in Westmount for conversations with friends every Wednesday night. Those  conversations grew into a Montreal tradition that rivals the most influential political and literary salons of Washington, London or Paris. Almost every leader from the worlds of politics, finance, medicine, science, academia and any other vocation you can think of have passed through their warm and welcoming doors.


1500 mercredis consécutifs!

Par Alan Hustak le 27 décembre 2010

WedNit9_small.jpgCe n’est peut être pas impressionnant si vous le dites rapidement, mais contemplez le nombre pour un instant et il est en effet impressionnant. 

Since David and Diana Nicholson held their first salon in February, 1982, we’ve gone through seven Canadian Prime Ministers, five United States Presidents, ten premiers of Quebec, eight periods of negative economic growth, four economic recessions, and two Quebec referendums. The ramifications all of which have been either debated, dissected, discussed or dismissed by those who have kept the flame of friendship burning at their table for 28 years. There have been Wednesday nights on Christmas Eve, even on a Leap Year a Wednesday in 1992. Through it all there has never been an occasion when no one has shown up.

Toast to a House

Par Wanda Potrykus le 27 décembre 2010

WedNit11_small.jpgFor 1495 consecutive Wednesdays this stately mansion on its quiet tree-lined street in Westmount has opened its yellow door with the admiral’s port and starboard lights of red and green firmly, quietly beaming welcome to a motley crew of you and yes, I...to meet and greet, to talk and tease, and laugh and joke and sing...and ring in the changes of government, economies, birthdays, markets, years, ideas, philosophies, generations, recessions, opinions, seasons, reasons...even millennia...during times of sadness and madness...of plenty and of want...while it has steadfastly borne the brunt of countless openings and closings, farewells, hallos, and bon voyages...swinging shut for the final time behind some...but opening more often than not...for the crew of long time regulars...with or without their varied guests...and pasts... 

Lasting connections

Par Helen Forbes le 27 décembre 2010

I think my late boss, Richard J. Kaiser and I started going to Wednesday nights in 1981 or '82. Sometimes there were 20 or 30 people, sometimes as few as 10, often in the summers when people were away. Richard J. ended up giving up on the late nights as he had kids to get to school the next morning but I kept going.

Symposium on the Saint Lawrence: A tribute to Wednesday Night

Par Kimon Valaskakis le 27 décembre 2010

In Plato’s original symposium which took place in the house of the tragedian Agathon, seven Greek philosophers compared thoughts and experiences on the subject of love (Eros, Agape but primarily love of wisdom which is the etymological meaning of philosophy itself).  This started a long historical tradition of erudite discussions over the dinner table (and was probably even the precursor of the modern day business lunch).

Thank You

Par Paul Shrivastava le 27 décembre 2010

Thank you for this grand celebration of Wednesday Night, and of Diana and David's leadership in creating and sustaining community discourse.  For a new comer to Montreal like me, Wednesday Night offered it all - an introduction to the city's buzz, latest political news and gossip, lofty analysis, Punditry at its best, the seduction of a Parisian salon, an open, inviting and friendly  atmosphere.  It was a pill that made me feel instantly like an "insider".  At least once a week I felt like I knew exactly how things really were.  The discussions were well researched, erudite, and incisive, the disagreements were friendly and civil, and the video tapes archive is there to prove it.

The quiet charms of fascinating people

Par Steven Lightfoot le 27 décembre 2010

It all started for me 20 years ago. My friend Marina knew I was interested in ideas and the sharing of them, and she had run across this really interesting couple living in Westmount. They held what could only be described as a 19th century Parisian salon right in their home. They had been doing this literally every Wednesday Night for years, which sounded implausible, but was true.

No small feat: 1500 sparkling nights....and one cracked chair

Par Roslyn Takeishi le 27 décembre 2010

WedNit12_small.jpgIntellectual Salons have been a social reality from the 16th century onwards, starting as an Italian invention, then flourishing in France throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. They are the place for the exchange of ideas. David and Diana Nicholson have been hosting their Salon for over 28 years in their Westmount home. On December 1, 2010, we celebrate 1500 Consecutive Wednesday Nights, a seriously committed undertaking.

Something to look forward to

Par Antal Deutsch le 27 décembre 2010

Wednesday Night is a delightful microcosm of educated Anglo and Allo-Montrealers. The over-all tone is leftist, in the let-us-save-the-world style of the early seventies. There are a couple of sacred cows that are carefully not discussed: Israel vs. the Palestinians, and the suppression of individual rights (nominally language, but really economic) in the name of “collective rights” in Quebec. The over-all leftist tone not withstanding, much attention is devoted to the stock-market.

Montreal’s Source of Enlightenment: « Les beaux esprits se rencontrent »

Par Alexandra T. Greenhill le 27 décembre 2010

As a traveler crossing the desert in hope beyond hope happens upon an unexpected lush oasis, so did we stumble upon Diana and David’s miraculous Montreal institution, at which political, social, artistic, and scientific questions are discussed weekly with never ending passion and an abundance of new perspectives. This is what the Salons of the French 18th century Age of Enlightenment must have felt like and the impact of these gatherings is of similar scope to be felt for decades to come.

Thinking that's outside the box

Par Margaret Lefebvre le 27 décembre 2010

It was the year 1991 and all was not well in the Canadian nation..  The Meech Lake Accord had collapsed, Quebec was feeling even more alienated then even after the “night of the long knives”; Canadian unity was at a crisis point, hoist on a feather, and rumblings of passionate discontent could be heard throughout the land.

1500 Wednesday Nights and a very special friend

Par Catherine Gillbert le 27 décembre 2010

My thoughts about Wednesday Night always centre on the atmosphere created by the Nicholsons in their wonderful home.  The open door, the hugs and handshakes and the glass of red wine is the right way to make anyone feel perfectly at home.  Although I have lived in Canada for almost 50 years I never really felt as if I belonged until I discovered Wednesday Night. No longer the outsider looking in, I have found a place where I am free to hold any number of contrarian positions without being considered an imposter.  As in an Oxford Common Room, divergence of opinion is the staff of life for Wednesday Night.

An unending stream of the best and the brightest

Par David T. Jones le 27 décembre 2010

It seems like forever; it seems like only yesterday that I first encountered David and Diana Nicholson and enjoyed a "Wednesday Night."  In the winter of 1993, I was political minister counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, and I attended this first Night as "spouse of" my wife Teresa who was the economic/commercial officer at the U.S. consulate in Montreal.

A True Salon

Par Teresa C. Jones le 27 décembre 2010

In 1992, when I arrived in Montreal to replace the number two at the U.S. Consulate General in Montreal, I had a few days of overlap with John Riley, my predecessor.  He told me all about this fascinating salon that he attended and that I should attend.  He even took me to a Wednesday night meeting.  Coming from Washington and the interagency maze of experts, it was refreshing to find a group who actually thought as well as they talked.  Diana and David had the magical ability to draw out the best of the discussion and the discussants.  The topic didn't matter. 

Wednesday Night: The Cardinal would feel at home

Par Margaret Duthie le 27 décembre 2010

Wednesday-Night – for me is a coming-together in what I imagine to have been the style of the French Cardinal Richelieu who founded the French Academy (Académie française) in 1635., but was also famed for his literary 'salons.'

1500 Wednesdays

Par Prof. Gerald Ratzer le 27 décembre 2010

David and Diana Nicholson have to be congratulated for what is clearly a record setting contribution to the social and intellectual fabric of Montreal.  From what started as an after-class get together with her McGill professor Carl Begie over a drink, this has expanded into a well researched and documented salon, few in the world can revival.

It changes lives

Par Katherine Waters le 27 décembre 2010

My husband David and I weren't sure what to expect at our first Wednesday Night.  We'd heard that several economists, stockbrokers, investment counsellors, bankers attended.  Would a journalist and an English Lit professor of socialist inclinations and little disposable income  fit in?

A magnificent and unanticipated pleasure!

Par Prof. Guy Stanley le 27 décembre 2010

The Italian historian Benedatta Craveri remarks  in l’Âge de la conversation (Gallimard 2002) that the conversation of the Salon over the course of a century or more, beginning in the 17th century after the the French wars of religion, developed a civilizing ideal of social conduct based on courtesy and mutual pleasure. Over the course of its development, as other historians noted (e.g. Anne Martin Fugier in her account of Les salons de la Troisième Républic (Perrin/Tempus 2009)) the ideal of sociable conversation deepened as participation broadened to include writers, artists, and politicians.

A Special Thanks to David and Diana Nicholson for Wednesday Nights

Par The Hon. John Ciaccia le 27 décembre 2010

We are grateful for the opportunities you have given us to meet, to talk , to sometimes dispute but always to enjoy your company and that of the many and varied people who have joined you on Wednesday Night. 
You have opened your home and your hearts to us all. We have been fortunate to have had this oasis in the midst of apathy inattention and confusion. A place where the events of the time will have been reviewed, discussed, discarded, embraced but never overlooked. They have enriched us all- and left us yearning for more.

To be or not to be, is still the big question

Par P.A. Sévigny le 27 décembre 2010

While death and taxes continue to be the two immutable factors of modern life, questions raised by legal euthanasia seemed to be less concerned with the inevitable end of life as opposed to the where, when and especially how the lights get turned off.
“It’s not so much about if we’re going to die,” said Dr. Stephen Liben. “It’s all about how we’re going to die.”


Guns and money running for the exits: Timidity and introspection characterize the latest G20 and NATO summits

Par Robert Presser le 27 décembre 2010

Two important international meetings took place in November – the G20 met in Seoul and NATO met in Lisbon.  While one is an international economic forum and the other is a military alliance originally conceived to prevent Soviet agression, their outcomes are linked by a lack of vigour and funding.  The flaccid direction from both of these summits does not bode well for the near future of economic cooperation nor for a coordinated response to serious threats from Iran, the Taliban/Al Qaida and North Korea.

Will the IMF bailout help Ireland recover from the debt crisis?

Par Arthur-Paul Strigini le 27 décembre 2010

ireland_map.jpgHow will the Irish economy recover from the debt crisis? Will the bailout plan work? And will the Irish economy bounce back quickly? How will the Irish people be affected by this situation? These are some of the questions one can ask after the events of the last few weeks.

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