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Replace this archaic institution with a citizens’ senate

June 15, 2015 Articles, Media / Op-ed
Replace this archaic institution with a citizens’ senate CLAUDIA CHWALISZ Contributed to The Globe and Mail Published Monday, Jun. 15, 2015 3:00AM EDT With the expenses scandal and the unpopular Bill C-51 being passed, the Canadian Senate has recently come under fire from the New Democratic Party and the Greens. After the Senate vote on C-51, NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair tweeted, “The unelected, under investigation Senate just passed #C51. Canadians can count on an #NDP government to repeal this dangerous law. #Abolish.” While the NDP has pledged to abolish the unelected, ever-growing institution for a long time, these recent events have reignited a new flame around the issue. With the party now leading in the polls, the chance of reform in the next Parliament is, for once, reasonable. Yet, what’s less clear is with what, if anything, the Senate will be replaced? Does the party want Canada to become a unicameral system, with only one legislative body? It seems this is implied, as calling for “reform” would maintain the need for a second chamber. While calling for unicameralism would be a mistake – it would reduce the government’s legitimacy due to lack of oversight – the more radical proposal of…

Minorities visibly absent in Canadian politics

June 3, 2015 Articles, Media / Op-ed
Minorities Visibly Absent in Canadian Politics Written by  New Canadian Media Friday, 22 May 2015 12:58 by Mark A. Cadiz (@markacadiz) in Toronto Many Canadians boast about their country’s diversity. There is a sense of pride attached to it. Yet, when it comes to the foundation of Canada’s democracy, proportionate representation fails miserably. From municipal levels straight up the parliamentary halls of Ottawa, the demographic remains largely the same — middle-aged, white males. A study by macro economist, Kai L. Chan titled “Canada’s governing class: Who rules the country?”, reveals that as of September 2014 there were, “relative to the makeup of the [country’s] population, 107 ‘extra’ white males in Parliament, 64 ‘missing’ white females and 45 ‘missing’ minorities.” “The numbers are the numbers . . . and the under-representation is relative to the general population,” Chan says. “I am not surprised by the findings, but it was interesting to note that women and minorities are equally under-represented relative to their levels in the population.” Chan, a government and public policy professional who moved from China to Toronto when he was four years old, conducted the study to highlight the political issues he felt were important to address in the…

PAW Class Notes (April 22, 2015)

April 22, 2015 Articles, Media / Op-ed
ECONOMICS: Dr. Kai Chan *08 (in photo) writes from Dubai, where he is working as a policy adviser for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) federal government. Kai and his wife, Dominika, have been in Dubai since September 2011, shortly after their marriage in New York’s City Hall. They have immersed themselves into life in Dubai and have taken advantage of the location to travel extensively to Europe, Asia, and Africa. For this academic year Kai is a distinguished fellow at INSEAD at the Abu Dhabi campus. INSEAD, with campuses in Paris, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi, has as its motto “the business school for the world.” Kai was also on the team that was successful in getting the 2020 Expo for Dubai. While Kai was in New York, he was active in the Princeton Club as a graduate-alumni representative, hosting several alumni get-togethers. A proud Canadian -- and playing more hockey in Dubai than he did  in New York -- Kai is continuing to work to build up the Princeton alumni presence in the UAE, hosting quite a few visiting alums. Written by Timothy J. Butts *72 (Princeton Alumni Weekly Class Notes (April 22, 2015))

Canada’s parliament and its diversity problem

January 30, 2015 Articles, Media / Op-ed
Canada's parliament and its diversity problem BY ASHLEY SPLAWINSKI   | JANUARY 30, 2015 Canada is widely renowned for being a 'diverse mosaic'. However, a newly released study by Kai Chan concludes that Canada's current Conservative government and cabinet are not an accurate reflection of our population. Not surprised? Perhaps it's time to contemplate the meaning of "multiculturalism" in all of its controversial glory. Why are we just questioning this now? The term 'diversity' can be used quite loosely. However, in Chan's study, it is defined through: geography, language, religion, age, gender, education, ethnicity and occupation. Chan, currently a policy advisor to the prime minster of the United Arab Emirates, stated that his motivation to study parliamentary representation was fueled by the escalating tension between Canada's Conservative government and its scientific community. The relationship between policy and science has been outlined by the Canadian Science Writers' Association (CSWA) in a statement saying that, in the past, Canada's federal scientists were encouraged to publicly discuss their research. This changed when the Conservative government introduced media policies to control communication between scientists and the public. The move to cut funding to scientific services and programs added to the scientific community's concern, resulting in…

Toronto Star article: “Parliament’s lack of diversity goes beyond race, gender: study”

January 4, 2015 Articles, Media / Op-ed
January 2, 2015 Parliament’s lack of diversity goes beyond race, gender: study A study exploring the demographics of Parliament suggests a mismatch with the Canadian population that goes beyond race and gender to issues such as religion and education. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="545"] Report author Kai L. Chan says a homogeneous House and Senate are likely to result in "uniformed" perspectives that do not represent the general population.[/caption] By: Nicholas Keung Immigration reporter, Published on Fri Jan 02 2015   The ruling Conservatives and federal cabinet don’t look remotely close to the new Canada they represent, says a new study, which suggests there are real consequences to the lack of diversity. Kai L. Chan’s demographic study of who’s representing us in Parliament shows that the federal NDP comes closest to matching Canada’s visible-minority and gender realities, but both the House of Commons and Senate fail miserably in mirroring the diversity of Canada. “The socio-demographic biases are not without consequence as Parliament is the policy-making and political governing body of the country,” Chan writes in “Canada’s Governing Class: Who rules the country?” “When these decision makers debate the merits of initiatives, laws or policies that affect . . . women, minorities or the scientific community, the…




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