Demography is not destiny, but it sheds light on the events leading to these two referenda, the Quebec one taking place in 1995, and the Scottish one last week, and has also implications concerning the changing voting ages around the world. In most countries the voting age is 18. However, the Scottish National Party's voted unanimously in October 2007 to lower it to 16, which subsequently became law. Argentina's Cristina Kirchner's party did the same in 2012, in preparation for the 2013 elections.
The first time was in 1980 when Quebec’s premier, René Lévesque, called for a provincial referendum on pursuing a negotiated secession from Canada. The key issue for the separatists was the preservation of the French language and culture.
Authors: Reuven Brenner
Publication: La Presse, IRRP
In its first paragraph, the draft bill of the Quebec government, tabled on December 7, 1994 in the National Assembly, declares that "Quebec is a sovereign country."
In the next paragraphs the bill indicates ways in which constitutional, territorial and legal issues, as well as those linked with currency and international alliances would be settled in case of separation. Paragraph 15 states:
With classical music's popularity thriving in Asia (as millions of youngsters in China in particular are studying piano and violin from early age), and with the financial difficulties facing classical music in the West, opera houses in particular (as the New York City Opera bankruptcy, the present negotiations at the Metropolitan Opera, the last minute rescue of this year's season at the Rome opera house, and the constant strikes at classical music venues in France suggest), the question is: can classical music be financed without significant government subsidies?
US Secretary of State John Kerry and his predecessor, Hillary Clinton, stick to their firm belief that a two-state solution is the only way to end the long-running Middle East conflict involving Israel and Palestine They are mistaken.
J’ai toujours considéré l’investissement et la Bourse comme l’une des activités humaines parmi les plus stimulantes qui soient.
... Comme le dit l’économiste canadien Reuven Brenner, le progrès économique et social repose d’abord et avant tout sur notre capacité à marier le talent et le capital.
Read full article: Orientation Finance
You have heard about the “seismic”, “shocking” and “bombshell” results from last month’s vote in Europe for the EU parliament. Many traditional, centrist parties lost ground and in France and in the UK, anti-EU parties (the Front National and UKIP respectively) received the most votes (around 25% in each case).
Ever since France's defeat in 1870-1 in the Franco-Prussian war, when military strength was identified with numerical superiority, demography, language and culture have become permanent parts of, and, at times, the focus of French politics.
Warren Buffett and Tech Stocks: Why Doesn't the Oracle's 'Common Joe' Portfolio Include Apple or Google?
With Mr. Buffett's annual celebration last weekend and some grumbling about his failure to beat the market in four of the last five years, people keep reminding me of a piece I wrote in 1996 for Dow Jones about Buffett's portfolio.
... Reuven Brenner holds the Repap Chair at McGill's Desautels Faculty of Management, serves on the Board of McGill's Pension Fund, and is a member of its investment committee. Brenner's last book is World of Chance (2008).
“And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country,” is the saying now famously associated with John F. Kennedy, though Oliver Wendell Holmes said it eight decades before.
This same statement is the precise recipe for the survival and success of family businesses too, though as far as I know, nobody put it quite this way: “And, so, my dear relatives, ask not what the business can do you for you; ask what you can do for the business.”