Stephen Harper returns, and he has plenty to say

The former Conservative prime minister has advice for us on Trump, economics, immigration and more

Stephen Harper returns, and he has plenty to sayStephen Harper is back. After flying under the radar for the last three years, Canada’s former prime minister has returned to the arena, albeit not as an active politician. Instead, he’s a commentator with several messages to impart, all of which are packaged in his new book Right Here Right Now. Not everyone is impressed.…

Fear and loathing in the realm of Donald Trump

In the Trump world, money is the key metric and the truth is relative. Can the midterm elections change anything?

Fear and loathing in the realm of Donald TrumpNow that I’ve read A Higher Loyalty (James Comey, 2018), War on Peace (Ronan Farrow, 2018), Fire and Fury (Michael Wolff, 2018) and Fear (Bob Woodward, 2018), I feel like I really know the ultimate protagonist. The portrayals of U.S. President Donald Trump are remarkably consistent. He is: vain, compulsively in-the-moment, intellectually lazy, a misogynist…

Looking through an unusual lens at Ronald Reagan

Movie Nights with the Reagans provides an intimate look at a presidency that continues to influence the political landscape

Looking through an unusual lens at Ronald ReaganLovers of both movies and politics will want to check out a new book Movie Nights with the Reagans by Mark Weinberg. Published by Simon and Schuster, it’s an intimate, heartfelt remembrance of what it was like to share regular weekend movie nights at Camp David in the 1980s with President Ronald Reagan and first lady…

Harry Truman completely unprepared for his accidental presidency

The inauspicious heir to the White House had planned to play poker the night Roosevelt died. Instead, he became president

Harry Truman completely unprepared for his accidental presidencyVice-President Harry Truman’s life changed on Thursday, April 12, 1945. That was the day Franklin D. Roosevelt died and Truman became the 33rd president of the United States. To virtually everyone, including himself, Truman was an inauspicious heir. Journalist A.J. Baime’s The Accidental President nicely captures the general bemusement. Born in small-town Missouri in 1884, there…

Is the pursuit of policy actually the absence of action?

Academic author Michael Howlett's book Canadian Public Policy: Selected Studies in Process and Style leaves too many questions unanswered

Is the pursuit of policy actually the absence of action?I’m thinking of writing a book called Public Policy Isn’t. What’s a policy? Is it the policy of a government to pass a law to achieve a goal? Or does a law require those implementing the law to adhere to certain policies? It’s perhaps both. How about the members of the public in public policy?…

Feuding ideologies the second American civil war?

Conservative Arthur Brooks argues people can head off a cultural and political implosion by celebrating the perspective of the other

Feuding ideologies the second American civil war?Various commentators have concluded that America is in the throes of its second civil war. Dennis Prager, a conservative radio host, has concluded that the political left and right share no common value system (such as respect for freedom of speech), therefore there can be no collaborative coming together over core beliefs. He argues that…

Crossroads: the growing Republican divide

Rather than a positive endorsement of their world view, Republican electoral success comes down to a simple rejection of the Democrats

Crossroads: the growing Republican divideThe U.S. Republicans are at a crossroads. And no, it’s not down to the havoc – real and imagined – being wreaked by President Donald Trump. Or at least it’s not mostly down to that. The problem is more fundamental than one man. At the level of its political and intellectual leadership, the party isn’t…

Political “wobbles” prove politics really is a blood sport

Theresa May's recent political "wobble" brings to mind Margaret Thatcher and the 1987 British election, which she won in spite of herself

Political “wobbles” prove politics really is a blood sportBritish Prime Minister Theresa May’s hapless performance in the recent United Kingdom election brought to mind another British prime minister’s voting travails. Although her ultimately decisive victory pushed the unpleasantness into the shadows, Margaret Thatcher – the Iron Lady, no less – had a serious wobble en route to winning a third consecutive mandate in…