insight & evidence


Policy Wonk posts that are primarily commentary or observations on society.

Observations On The 2024 World Happiness Report


By Peter Nicholson This note summarizes and comments on key findings of the 2024 World Happiness Report (WHR), the latest in a series of annual publications that explore the nature and implications of a particular concept of “happiness” in a cross-nation comparative context. There should be much greater awareness of this exceptionally rich body of work and of its implications for public policy...

What Motivates Trump’s Base?


By Peter Nicholson George Monbiot, writing in the Guardian, argues for a broader and deeper analysis of the Trump phenomenon, positing that Trump voters possess an “extrinsic” value set, while Biden voters are more likely to express “intrinsic” values.[1] Monbiot is right that Trump represents the epitome of extrinsic values and thus may be powerfully attractive to those of a similar values...

The Case for a Recovery Blueprint:


Achieving Well Being through Convergence, Collective Action and Collective Impact by Bernie Miller The 40 years prior to the pandemic was far from a “golden age of shared prosperity in North America” and it was more like the “Gilded Age” of the late 19th Century. In March 2020, when COVID-19 changed lives across the globe, Nova Scotia – and many other societies — were faced with puzzles...



TO CONTROL COVID-19 IN CANADA Testing is not an end in itself but is undertaken to inform the decisions needed to control the virus responsible for COVID-19 while minimizing unintended consequences. In A “Smart” Testing Strategy To Control Covid-19 In Canada, Vivek Goel has partnered with the PolicyWonks, Peter Nicholson and Jeff Larsen, to argue that Canada should be testing a great deal more...

COVID-19: The Border Dilemma


How to Let People In, While Keeping the Virus Out COVID-19 presents a particular challenge at our border, the 49th Parallel which is the longest undefended border in the world. The Border Dilemma, a paper created by Peter Nicholson and Jeff Larsen, describes a path where we can let people in while keeping COVID-19 out. The following is a short excerpt from the paper –...

insight & evidence