William Watson is an associate professor in the Department of Economics at McGill University, where he served as chair from 2005 to 2010.

Articles by this author

A Fond "Au Revoir" to France

Writing this, I am surrounded by cartons half-filled with my family's worldly goods. By the time you read it, we'll be back in Montreal, a one-year sabbatical in France's Haute-Savoie département (south and west of …

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A message from the editor's desktop

Do think-tanks matter? This month, as our use of colour suggests, something special. Thirty years ago ”” April 11, 1972, to be exact ”” the letters patent of a new Canadian research institute were filed. The …

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From the editor's desktop

Oh, the perils of magazine publishing! I closed this column last month with the wish that the Canadian Alliance would stick with their flat tax proposal at least long enough for our October issue, the first …

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Getting used to Bush

As this is written, with six weeks left in the US presidential elec- tion race, George Bush is ahead in the polls. The same wise commenta- tors who just a month ago were prais- ing …

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Good Management Should Count Highly

I have the kind of personality, essen- tial in a writer of newspaper columns, that when confronted with a questionnaire of the type devised by Policy Options and IRPP immediately quarrels with its implicit premises. What …

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Has neo-conservatism failed?

Something in the Canadian soul loves defeat. This paper was originally written for the University of Manitoba's “ Delta Marsh retreat.” Presenting it last October in a former hunting lodge perched on the bleak and windy …

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Jerks on all sides

In the last issue of Policy Options, my fellow columnist Joseph Heath wrote an (as always) interesting piece advising Canada's political parties to beware their members whose ”œpolitical affilia- tions are grounded more in visceral …

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Le mot du rédacteur

30 ans déjà ! Ce mois-ci, un numéro tout en couleurs pour marquer une occasion toute spéciale. Il y a trente ans ”” le 11 avril 1972 pour être précis ”” étaient en effet déposées les …

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Living with the Euro

Part of going to a foreign country is spending time in stores fumbling with change, trying to make sense of the local currency. Arriving in France last August to spend the academic year here, I found …

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Martin – neither JFK nor Gorbachev

To commemorate the change in prime ministers, I've been re- reading Double Vision, Tony Wilson-Smith and Edward Greenspon's terrific book on the Chrétien govern- ment's first term, when all the hard work of deficit reduction was …

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More money? Not for this prof, thanks

Permit me, as a university profes- sor, to let down the side a bit on the question of funding for higher education. If I were in charge of Canada's public finances ”” an eventuality (relax, bureaucrats!) certain …

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Mot du rédacteur

Périlleuse, la publication d'une revue ! Le mois dernier, je terminais ma chronique par un voeu : que l'Alliance canadienne s'en tienne à son projet de taux d'imposition unique ”” au moins jusqu'à ce que …

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Oh, no, not separatism again

I was a nerd in high school. I read everything I could get my hands on and I generally outscored my teachers on the monthly current events quizzes that the now long defunct Montreal Star …

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Putting ourselves in a fix

The last time Policy Options hosted a discussion of whether Canada should return to the fixed exchange rate it had during the Second World War and then again from 1962 to 1970, following the ”œDiefenbuck” …

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The 50-50 Rule Lives – if Barely

The mid-1990s were a period of remarkable transparency in Canadian politics. In 1993, the federal Liberals published their famous Red Book and, after an electoral tri- umph, went ahead and governed from it ”” more or …

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The right: on the outside looking in

”œWell, welcome to the 1980s!” declared Pierre Trudeau the night of February 18, 1980. The very next month Canada got itself a brand new policy magazine to go with its not quite brand new government. …

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Time for plain talk about social policy

As this is written, two days after the televised leaders' debates in the 2004 federal election, the news is filled with stories about a Liberal collapse and a Tory minority or even majority ”” although …

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Was That Premier Romanow Reporting?

The blessing””and curse””of the Internet age is that even if you're living a quarter of the way around the globe, as I am this year in France, you can keep in touch with what's going on …

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Watertight federalism seals both ways

I keep changing my mind about whether the recent federal- provincial deal on health care and its ”œasymmetrical” annex for Quebec is a good thing or bad. On the one hand, it's ridiculous and disheartening that …

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What should the Conservatives do next?

If victory has a thousand fathers, defeat brings out millions of know-it-alls. After their defeat in the June 28 federal election the Conservatives are getting lots of advice on how to win next time round, …

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Who's your daddy not so crucial here

In game two of last fall's American League baseball championship, 56,000 crazed New York Yankee fans taunted Boston Red Sox ace pitch- er, Pedro Martinez, by chanting, as only leather-lunged New Yorkers can do, ”œWho's …

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Why the French Said Non!

What a year to be in France. This spring, in the diplo- matic end game on Iraq, the Franco-American  friendship went through one of its roughest patches since relations between the two coun- tries began …

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