Opinion-Policy Nexus

A childish episode on the road to government arrogance?

The problem with majority governments is that political parties that are fortunate enough to have a majority tend to assume they have a mandate to do pretty much whatever they wish. When a majority of seats is combined with high popularity in the opinion polls – as is the case with Justin Trudeau’s Liberals – self-confidence can easily become high-handedness and arrogance.

Republicans should blame themselves for Trump

If I believed in conspiracy theories, I could make a case that Donald Trump's American presidential candidacy was part of a conspiracy to damage the Republican Party.

The problem isn't simply that many expect him to lose the presidential election, some recent polls notwithstanding, but rather there is concern that race will adversely affect down-ballot contests.

Will Tory convention produce any surprises?

Federal Conservatives will assemble in Vancouver next week in their first national convention since they fell from grace last fall and, according the hype on the party's website, "It promises to be one of the most exciting and closely watched conventions in our party's history — you won't want to miss it!"

Alberta's Rachel Notley has shown she is a superstar among premiers

What a difference a year makes! Both Rachel Notley and Justin Trudeau can attest to that.

A year ago last week, Notley took over as premier of Alberta. She had come from nowhere, from leader of a four-member caucus to head of a majority New Democratic government in a province that had been governed by Tories for 44 unbroken years.

The socialists in power in Edmonton? Don't be ridiculous!

As Trudeau soars, Wynne sags – and Patrick Brown waits in the wings

Can Justin Trudeau prevent Patrick Brown from becoming the next premier of Ontario?

This may seem like an odd question, but bear with me for a moment.

Let’s turn the clock back three years, to April 2013 when Trudeau was elected national leader of Liberal party. One of his earliest and most enthusiastic supporters was the new Liberal leader in Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, who had been sworn in as premier just two months earlier.

PhD, Jeffrey Simpson, and other things I learned from the Donner Dinner

Last night my wife and I attended the annual Donner Prize Dinner for the best book pubilshed that year on Canadian public policy.  My co-authored book with Tom Flanagan and Andre Le Dressay was shortlisted many years ago and ever since, we've been invited to the dinner.

It's actually a pretty fun event. Great appetizers.  Excellent dinners.  An an open bar.  Usually interesting dinner mates (this time we were seated with Carolyn Tuohy, Chad Gadfield, and my most excellent colleague, Andy Sancton).  Talk about an academics' dream (we dream small)!

It’s time to put the ‘Senate Scandal’ behind us

A few questions. Would it not be the appropriate, and decent, thing for the Right Honourable Member for Calgary Heritage – that would be Stephen Harper – to offer an apology to the Honourable Senator  from Cavendish, P.E.I.? That would be Mike Duffy. Let’s make it a profuse apology.

Seniority is a lousy way to hire teachers

As we move into teacher hiring season, it’s time for Ontario policymakers to take a hard look at Regulation 274, which makes seniority the ruling principle in hiring.

Imagine, for a minute, that you’re a recent university graduate and you get a job as a bank teller in Toronto. Over the next 10 years, you work hard at the bank and earn local, provincial and even national recognition for your work. Customers love you, co-workers look up to you, and supervisors praise your contributions to the branch.

Opinion-Policy Nexus is a forum of opinion and commentary on topics related to public opinion and public policy. Views expressed in any blog entry are those of the author and do not reflect LISPOP's positions.

Questions? Email us at: blog@lispop.ca

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