Forum

HAT Forum
Sat June 4th 2016
11 a.m. To 1 pm
519 Church Street Room 303 or 304
Topic: “The State Apology"
Facilitator: Moses Klein

Thinking about examples of political leaders who have, on behalf of their country, apologized for past actions.

1. What functions do or should such apologies serve?
2. When is a public apology appropriate? When is it not appropriate?
3. When are apologies enough? When are apologies not enough? What more needs to be done?
4. On May 18th, Justin Trudeau made two widely reported apologies in the House of Commons. At 3 PM he apologized for Canada turning away the Komagata Maru in 1914; at 6 PM he apologized for his role in the now-infamous altercation on the House floor. How are these two apologies different?

A few examples of public apologies to consider:
(a) Justin Trudeau’s apology for the Komagata Maru on May 18th.
(b) Stephen Harper’s 2008 apology for the residential schools.
(c) The 1988 apologies of Ronald Reagan and Brian Mulroney for the internment of Japanese-Americans and Japanese-Canadians respectively during WWII.
(d) Bill Clinton’s 1998 apology, during a visit to Africa, for the slave trade.
(e) Barack Obama’s 2009 apology for Jim Crow.
(f) David Cameron’s 2010 recognition of Bloody Sunday as “unjustified and unjustifiable”.
(g) Gordon Brown’s 2009 apology for the treatment of Alan Turing.
(h) Nestor Kirchner’s 2004 apology for Argentina’s Dirty War.
(i) F.W. de Klerk’s apology in 1996 to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for apartheid.
(j) Konrad Adenauer’s apology for the Holocaust.
(k) Shinzo Abe’s 2007 apology to comfort women.
(l) Kevin Rudd’s 2008 apology for the treatment of aboriginal people.
(m) John Paul II’s 1992 apology for the persecution of Galileo.

HAT Forum
Sat May 28th 2016
11 a.m. To 1 pm
519 Church Street Room 303 or 304
Topic: “Do we need another Enlightenment?"
Proposer: Cecilia Rayo

Our political system is unable to respond to looming economic and environmental crises that present a clear and present danger to our way of life, and instead of thoughtful planning and responsible leadership we get demagoguery, posturing, and theatre.
Rational thought cannot prevail in the current social and media environment, where elections are won by appealing to voters’ hearts rather than their minds. The rapid-fire pace of modern politics, the hypnotic repetition of daily news items and even the multitude of visual sources of information all make it difficult for the voice of reason to be heard.

1. Do you agree with this view of modern politics? If you do so, why?

2. Do you think that the first Enlightenment was successful in its predicted outcome that the reasonable individuals could construct a new rational society predicated on liberty, equality and brotherhood? Explain your answer.

3. The public opinion battlefield is the hert not the head. Do you agree with this statement? Explain….

4. How do you think that we could restore sanity to the politics of this world?

HAT Forum: After the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

HAT Forum
Saturday 19 September 2015, 11:00-1:00
519 Church St., Meeting Room #304
Topic: After the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Proposed by: Moses Klein

After Catherine Rodd's talk last week, how do we see Canada's progress in terms of the objectives of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission?

(1) Has the paradigm for relations with aboriginal peoples changed since the days of residential schools?

(2) What can non-aboriginal Canadians do to achieve a more mutually respectful relationship with aboriginal Canadians?

(3) What can aboriginal Canadians offer non-aboriginal Canadians?

(4) What can non-aboriginal Canadians offer aboriginal Canadians?

(5) Are you optimistic about the future of the relationship between aboriginal and non-aboriginal Canadians?

HAT Forum: Personal Choices and the Environment

Personal Choices and the Environment

HAT Forum
Saturday 15 May 2015, 11:00-1:00
519 Church St., Meeting Room #304
Proposed by: Moses Klein

1.       How much can personal choices affect environmental issues?
  • ·         land use
  • ·         overpopulation
  • ·         climate change
  • ·         air or water quality
  • ·         resource conservation
  • ·         waste
  • ·         toxins

2.       What, if anything, do you do to improve the environment or minimize harmful effects?
3.       What are some things that we could do better?

4.       How important are personal decisions, as opposed to political decisions, in protecting the environment?