Doug Saunders Profile picture
International-Affairs Columnist, The Globe and Mail. Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy. Author of Arrival City, Maximum Canada, etc
Grant Wilkins Profile picture Brian Jewett Profile picture 2 added to My Authors
12 Sep
All of tonight's German election debate so far has been devoted to the question of which parties you would or wouldn't form a coalition with. And really, it's the underlying question of the whole thing
Laschet: Finger-wagging and indignant. Scholz: Bemused and unflappable. Baerbock: Smiling and collegial
If you'd like to watch it with english translation:
Read 9 tweets
21 Jul
Given that a) we’ll all need proof of vaccination to do just about anything by end of year, if not of summer and b) a mishmash of paper/email proofs is privacy-invading and insecure and c) a standardized secure electronic document isn’t — why are we delaying on vax passports?
I mean, if even **FOX NEWS** has implemented a vaccination passport, I don’t think the political hurdles are going to be that hard to clear…
There’s a very good, very secure and anonymous system already built and tested and in place and fully rolled out by 27 countries you may know (plus a few others). Why not just adopt that one?
Read 4 tweets
19 Jul
There were a lot of good album covers in the '60s, but did anyone have a better string of them during their own lifetime than Monk? Image
I mean, this doesn't look like 1957 graphic design, and it sure didn't sound like 1950s music either Image
His best album, in both its title and design, captured the blend of hard-edged geometry and soul-searching humanism that defined his oeuvre Image
Read 6 tweets
1 Apr
I spent the week looking at countries that did well pandemic-wise and then didn’t, and the sole determining factor isn’t lockdowns or testing but...vacation travel. Those that prevented it, or made hotel quarantine universal, were safe. Those that allowed it had 2nd and 3rd waves
Canada and Germany really stand out here — both countries got ALL their Covid-19, from winter 2020 onward, from southbound vacation travel without enforced quarantine. Both got a second wave from allowing people to go south post-summer. And both have a third now from this.
Also regions. Atlantic Canada had a police-enforced quarantine and as a consequence saw few cases and experienced few or no lockdowns or restrictions on day-to-day life. They got to have dinner parties!
Read 4 tweets
4 Jan
Last year the Geneva-based Mixed Migration Centre commissioned me to look into the effects of the pandemic on urban migrants. Months of research showed me that COVID-19 is an "arrival city" disease like no other before.

Allow me to discuss what I found.…
After drawing on large-scale data from the IOM, OECD, the World Bank and national- or local-level data from hundreds of sources and studies, here's what I found: Pandemics have always hit the nexus of migration and cities, but none to the extent, or in the manner, of this one Image
I found three major worldwide effects of the pandemic on urban migration-origin communities:

- Concentration of infection in immigration districts
- The largest 'reverse migration' event in history
- Huge stranded populations of noncitizen migrants

I'll discuss in detail. Image
Read 41 tweets
7 Jun 20
Those who are skeptical of the value of reducing the role of police forces in cities -- such as Minneapolis appears just to have done -- really ought to read the work of Patrick Sharkey. I got into this two years ago, and will discuss it a bit...…
Sharkey studied the role of police in crime rates in his important study Uneasy Peace: The Great Crime Decline, the Renewal of City Life, and the Next War on Violence. It looked at "broken windows" theories and found that having more police on the streets DOES reduce crime. BUT
...He found that the reduction in crime rate caused by increased street policing is not dependent on the type of policing. It can be cops, or rent-a-cop security services, or community patrols, or (maybe most importantly) even an increase in visible CCTV cameras -- SAME OUTCOME
Read 13 tweets
10 Apr 20
The park behind our apartment is absolutely jammed with people, every surface covered. The police just came in, got on their megaphone, and loudly read everyone the riot act re social-distancing rules. Then thanked everyone for following them.

The whole park then applauded
I actually just wrote a column about the need to keep parks open and tolerating closeness there as a pandemic-management priority, and mentioned stories of police thanking crowds in other parks. As usual, the perfect anecdote appears before your eyes the day after you file
Although Berlin now approves of everyone flocking to the parks & police thank them, it remains verboten to cook there (big blow to Turkish-German families) or use playgrounds, or be too close if you don’t live together. Weed dealers now get busted for distance (and skin colour)
Read 4 tweets
11 Mar 20
Toilet paper panic-buying mystified me at first. Of things you need in great volume if you’re quarantined for 2 weeks, it’s not high on the list. (You can fire up your bidet in a pinch). But there are two things I now realize about it:
1. As a commodity of uniquely high physical volume, TP offers very few units per metre of shelf space. Supermarkets are just-in-time stocked, with minimal back room warehousing — when you’re out, the distributor restocks.

This easily creates a visual perception of scarcity
2. This visual appearance of declining supply — despite near-unlimited actual supply — has a psychological effect. Of course, TP is the dictionary definition of a demand-inelastic product; you’ll pay whatever for it. You’ll also perceive an emptying shelf as reason to buy...
Read 9 tweets
11 Mar 20
Here’s an area where both UK and Canada ought to think of investing, and maybe fast
The above graph is really serious. The Hong Kong and Italy reports show that the main thing varying the Coronavirus death rate is availability of ICU beds and ventilators. A very large % of those hospitalized require these for average of ~4 weeks each.…
The seriousness of the ventilator-supply problem is driven home by this @zeynep thread. Her point: a Corona response with limited ICU beds increases the mortality rate OF EVERYTHING ELSE because you must triage very sick people out of intensive-care beds

Read 6 tweets
21 Oct 19
For those abroad trying to understand today's Canadian election, here's an underlying fact: For the past quarter century, in every election, about 60% have voted for a candidate from a left-leaning party

The outcome depends only on how that vote divides among parties
Both Canada's left-wing vote and its right-wing vote are remarkably consistent; there is little movement between polarities, just among parties within those polarities. Here's that data in tabular form:
In the '90s, Canada had two competing right-wing national parties, which pretty much guaranteed majorities to the Liberals. They united just as the major left parties (NDP and Liberals plus Bloc in Quebec) strengthened and began to split the left-leaning vote SO Tory governments
Read 19 tweets