Today's discussion:

Disregard citizen unhappiness at your own peril, leaders

Economic measures are important data points, but they’re weak as singular measures of public policy success. When governments, Left and Right, lose sight of the goal of long-term happiness, they revert to a faulty definition of liberty, one which puts pure individual freedom before human dignity.

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Comments (16)

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Bruce Westmoreland

It’s only a matter of time before the Trudeau government creates a ministry of happiness. But who will be The Right Honourable Minister of Happiness? Right out of Monty Python.Lol!!

25th April 2024 at 7:42 am
Kim Morton

Don’t give the idiots stupid ideas. Or the power to act on them.

25th April 2024 at 10:06 am
Kim Morton

Legislating happiness is like herding cats. For sure, much of what makes an urbanite happy is not going to work for rural people like me. Across the political spectrum, the vast majority of rural people want to be left alone to do their own thing. City people, for whatever reason we cannot comprehend, want ever more rules and government intervention in their lives. This creates real problems when the idle rich from cities move to a rural area to retire, and insist we must now follow their rules and live how they think rural life is.

25th April 2024 at 10:14 am
Paul Attics

Long-term happiness is not a mandate, but rather the natural outcome of inherently effective policy.

25th April 2024 at 10:34 am

Happiness is created internally, their is no role for government or others of any station. If one cannot generate their own happiness they are not of much use to the nation.

25th April 2024 at 1:33 pm

The media is at its lowest point in history. it fans all the negatives it can get a piece of. If you tell comeone that they are unhappy enough times, there are those that will buy into it. Propaganda is not practised only in Russia.

25th April 2024 at 1:42 pm
Xiaoming Guo

If we stick at the bottom of the Maslow Pyramid and never feel materially satisfied even if we eat ourselves into obesity, or if our esteem is not built on mutual respect but on dominating and exploiting others, we will never have happiness.

25th April 2024 at 12:23 pm
Paul Attics

“…the path of a holistic view of creating the conditions for human flourishing,…”

The ultimate answer to our ongoing existence as a species. ‘Ethics’ in a nutshell. Every other concern, metric, and choice should be in service of this goal.

Human flourishing is evidenced by long-term happiness. This should be the North Star for any government (and groups or individual), regardless of any ideological underpinnings. In fact, with this as a genuine North Star, ideology is not even needed. Simply choose the best actions or inactions that result in the most human flourishing over the long term, while managing risk of course. That is not to say that the job is simple, not at all, but it does frame every policy choice in the proper partisan-free perspective.
Well said and thanks!

Coincidentally perhaps, the latest Sam Harris podcast episode is on this very topic. Without violating the spirit of the privilege as a paid subscriber I believe, I am sharing a link to the full episode to the forum readers:

25th April 2024 at 10:32 am
A. Chezzi

While Justin Trudeau may have taken Canadians for granted, not showing any empathy or understanding of what Canadians are experiencing, Poilievre is rage farming. He has tapped into the anger and frustration of Canadians but he is manipulating it for personal gain. He cannot think that if he is PM, he can just turn off the tap of anger which he has fully opened. A man raging against everything but has little to offer as an alternative except slick slogans, is courting danger. He may think he can control the mob but history shows that the mob has a life of its own once it is awakened and it turns on whomever it pleases if it is not pleased. Poilievre is setting high expectations for himself. He cannot control many of the factors influencing inflation, gas prices, supply chains. He will be spinning a different story if he is PM and if he claims Trudeau is responsible for everything and offers only BS, as PM he will be responsible for everything and will offer his own BS.
Yes, politicians disregard the unhappiness of Canadians at their own peril but they can also make a mistake courting emotions which can tear a country apart. From what I hear and see, Poilievre is playing a dangerous game and is not a PM in waiting

25th April 2024 at 9:10 am
Ray Howarth

It’s likely that the conservative caucus and shadow ministries and beavering away with their respective policy wonks to put together a platform to present to the electorate when the time is right.
In the meantime, PP is correctly alerting the public to the misdeeds and miscalculations of the current coalition of crazies and it is consequently the electorate that is getting mad as hell.
Rage at point is entirely appropriate.

25th April 2024 at 10:32 am
Greg Jackson

Every comment you post features Liberal talking points, like “rage farming”. You need to come up with something different and better. If you think that Trudeau has done well and Poilievre has it all wrong, give us some examples, PLEASE!
Poilievre brings facts and accountability to the House of Commons. Trudeau on the other hand specializes in double-speak and obfuscation. He sold the soul of the Liberal Party to the NDP, in return for their support of unpopular Liberal policies, heavily influenced by NDP socialism. He did this not to advance responsible policy, but to control the various committees trying to hold him accountable for all kinds of corruption, from interfering in prosecution (SNC-Lavalin), to the gift of lucrative government contracts to Liberal cronies, that delivered sky-high costs and little value to taxpayers, (ArriveCan, We, etc.). When you examine the record, rage is an appropriate response.

25th April 2024 at 12:41 pm

PP presents nothing, ever, just votes and rails against everything. He is playing the populist game, which intelligent Canadians will not buy into.

25th April 2024 at 1:37 pm

yes, pp is acting like a typical beer drinking low brow and expecting intelligent people to see him as a leader?????

25th April 2024 at 1:35 pm
Michael B

I’m happy that I was born when I was born.

25th April 2024 at 12:07 pm

I am happy that I was born in this country, no bombs falling from the skys, just communities where people help each other, build relationships which create a happy community, no mes, or myselfs, us, all of us.

25th April 2024 at 1:39 pm
Michael B

“…no mes, or myselfs, us, all of us.”
Where do you live? I’ll move there.

25th April 2024 at 9:10 pm