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What on Earth is Going on? is a podcast for the curious, where small talk is banned and tangents are prized. Strap yourself in for genuine dialogues with people who think deeply and are ready to tackle the big questions, such as broadcaster Terry O'Reilly, economist Miles Corak and journalist Jessica Vomiero.

Join Ben Charland to peel back the headlines and ask, what are the forces, people and ideas that shape the human story today? Have things always been this nuts, or are they getting crazier by the day? From the Mafia to the Beavertonwomen in politics to women in leadershiphistory to artificial intelligence, and entrepreneurship in the digital age to the art of wheelchair fencing, just what on Earth is going on?

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Nov 1, 2019

Rampant and increasing polarization of our politics? The turn to populism as a result of economic inequality? The growing, scarcely regulated political power of social media and Big Data? These are some of the forces that are reshaping our politics in North America, with a minority government in Canada and an impending election (and ongoing impeachment inquiry) in the United States.

Ben chats with Queen's University political scientist Jonathan Rose about all this and more.

About the Guest

Jonathan studied at University of Toronto and Queen's where he received his Ph.D. In addition to Queen's he has taught courses at the International Studies Centre (Herstmonceux, UK), Charles University in Prague, Bratislava, Slovakia and Kwansei Gakuin in Osaka, Japan where he was the Visiting Professor of Canadian Studies. In 2008, Jonathan was a Visiting Research Fellow in the School of Political Science and International Relations at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

He is the author of Making Pictures in our Heads, Government Advertising in Canada (New York: Praeger Press, 2000). He is also the co-editor of Canada: the State of the Federation, 1998 and is the lead author of First Ministers’ Conference, the Art of Negotiation, a simulation exercise published by Broadview Press and translated into three languages. His most recent book co-written with Patrick Fournier, Henk Van der Kolk and R. Kenneth Carty is When Citizens Decide: Lessons from Citizens' Assemblies on Electoral Reform (Oxford, 2011).

Jonathan's teaching is varied. He has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in Canadian politics, political communication, federalism, the mass media, electoral systems, intergovernmental relations and public policy. In 2010 he received the Frank Knox Certificate of Commendation for Excellence in Teaching. In 2011, Jonathan was the recipient of W.J. Barnes Teaching Excellence Award.

He has provided advice to the Auditor General of Canada on government advertising and sponsorship, and is a member of the Advertising Review Board for the Auditor General of Ontario, a board that enforces legislation regulating government advertising in Ontario. In 2006, he had the privilege of being the Academic Director of the Ontario Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform, the first such body in Ontario and second in the world.

Learn more about Jonathan or follow him on Twitter (@JonathanRose).

Mentioned in this Episode

The Quote of the Week

"A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding."
- Marshall McLuhan (1911-80)