The return of the Red Tories

The return of the Red ToriesBack in September 2012, I wrote a column suggesting that Jean Charest’s recent political retirement wasn’t the end of the story. A man in his mid-50s who’d spent almost his entire adult life in politics would find it difficult to irrevocably wash his hands of the whole business. Now, on the brink of his apparently…

Next Conservative leader faces difficult road

A Conservative leader must be intelligent, confident, experienced, have miles of backbone, and the ability to build and maintain political bridges

Next Conservative leader faces difficult roadAndrew Scheer announced on Dec. 12 that he would be stepping down as federal Conservative leader. Whoever succeeds him faces a tall task. Most political analysts knew that Scheer would have a real tussle on his hands to survive next April’s planned leadership review. He’d been attacked by the left and right flanks of his…

Scheer’s departure shows political dissent has been crushed

Neither the Conservatives nor Scheer displayed the remotest capacity to fight back by hammering home the counter message about a Liberal Party in disarray

Scheer’s departure shows political dissent has been crushedIn the end, it’s probably just as well for both the Conservative Party and Canadians that leader Andrew Scheer resigned. Drawing, quartering and hanging might have been all the rage in the Elizabethan era. But it is, to paraphrase a certain prime minister, 2019, and no one gains today by having public political execution preceded…

Making federalism work in a country infected by favouritism

The sense of being marginalized and treated as second-class provinces has long been felt in the West. But opting out won't suit our needs

Making federalism work in a country infected by favouritismI was born in Quebec, and raised, married and had my children in Montreal. You might think that makes me a Quebecer but there are those who disagree. I’m an Anglophone. Some feel that only Francophones with generations of history in the province are ‘real’ Quebecers. For the past several decades, I’ve lived in B.C.…

No Eastern promises for Justin Trudeau

An unexpected weather report predicts that gale-force umbrage will pelt the prime minister’s ‘sunny ways’ parade all the way to Parliament Hill

No Eastern promises for Justin TrudeauPick any synonym for gob-smacked and you will probably find it on the crib sheet of adjectives commentators across Canada now enlist to describe Justin Trudeau’s decision to wear blackface in public at least twice in his privileged, white-man’s life. But, in the Maritimes, where the federal Liberal Party enjoys only the slimmest margin of…

Will Justin Trudeau follow in his father’s footsteps?

Pierre Trudeau came perilously close to losing it all in 1972 to an unassuming federal Conservative leader. That fate may well await his son

Will Justin Trudeau follow in his father’s footsteps?A charismatic leader with most of the bloom off the rose near the end of his first mandate. An ordinary leader, elected from a province with the fraction of the population of a major city. The current Canadian federal election? Yes, but also the contest in 1972 – the first I covered as a young…

Liberals swept Norman under the rug well before election

If not for government venality and incompetence, the vice-admiral would still be at his post, doing his job

Liberals swept Norman under the rug well before electionCanada has often punched above its weight in military matters. Our contributions to both the First and Second World Wars were out of all proportion to our small population. Canada sent its best troops and the bravery exhibited by these fine souls was crucial to victory. Our troops and the competence our military leaders are…

Will Doug Ford campaign with Andrew Scheer this fall?

The federal Conservative leader is in a real dogfight with Justin Trudeau and the provincial Tory leader’s help could make a difference

Will Doug Ford campaign with Andrew Scheer this fall?During a traditional political campaign, parties and leaders use as many weapons at their disposal as possible to win elections and form governments. In the Oct. 21 Canadian federal election, expect the major party leaders to campaign with like-minded premiers and opposition leaders as part of that strategy. Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will appear…

Will Salim Mansur’s political alliance with Maxime Bernier matter?

The outspoken academic might have had a chance running for the Conservatives. When they dropped him and he joined the PPC, his chances diminished significantly

Will Salim Mansur’s political alliance with Maxime Bernier matter?Like most Canadian conservatives, I’ve made no secret about my serious reservations about Maxime Bernier and the People’s Party of Canada. But many of us also recognize that the PPC, like other new political parties, will experience its fair share of hardships and growing pains. Bernier deserves credit for picking up one very good candidate…

Green Party turns to political ‘prince of darkness’

Warren Kinsella could end up being the Green Party’s most important political acquisition

Green Party turns to political ‘prince of darkness’When the Globe and Mail’s Robert Fife tweeted last week that longtime Liberal strategist Warren Kinsella would advise Elizabeth May and the federal Green Party in the fall election, it surprised some Canadians. Kinsella’s disappointment with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau isn’t a big secret. He’s not been impressed with his leadership, policy positions and public…

Is Independents Day coming in Canadian politics?

A growing number of Canadians are tired of the traditional parties and politics as usual. Wilson-Raybould and Philpott could offer a choice

Is Independents Day coming in Canadian politics?Every July 4, millions of Americans celebrate Independence Day. If two members of Parliament are successful this fall, millions of Canadian voters could one day celebrate Independents Day. Former Liberal ministers Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott were at the centre of the SNC-Lavalin controversy earlier this year that turned the federal government upside down. Prime…

Tear down Canada’s interprovincial trade walls

The annual national price tag for maintaining internal barriers may top $130 billion

Tear down Canada’s interprovincial trade wallsInterprovincial free trade, the lowest hanging fruit on the tree of Canadian economic policy, never fails to raise the federal government’s thirst for marvellously empty rhetoric, especially during the toastmaster circuit of every election cycle. So it was earlier this year when New Brunswick’s very own Dominic LeBlanc – minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs…

Canada’s first political sex scandal was really a dud

Gerda Munsinger, allegedly a low-level Soviet spy, was sexually involved with at least one, and possibly two, cabinet ministers

Canada’s first political sex scandal was really a dudI’d been in Canada for just a few months when the Munsinger affair broke. In March 1966, John Diefenbaker – the former Progressive Conservative prime minister – was berating Liberal cabinet minister Lucien Cardin in the House of Commons on the subject of government laxity regarding security. Exasperated, Cardin struck back by raising the Munsinger…

SNC-Lavalin reminds us that big government invites big scandals

If we want fewer scandals, we must scale back government to limit the temptation to indulge in scandalous behaviour

SNC-Lavalin reminds us that big government invites big scandalsThe SNC-Lavalin scandal, which continues to dominate headlines across Canada, has many moving parts. It’s hard to disentangle everything so as to assign blame. But the situation provides an important lesson that seemingly many have forgot: big government invites big scandals. Political power can be misused for personal gain. It can be wielded in ways…
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