What a difference a year makes

Hon. Kathleen Wynne
Premier of Ontario
Queen's Park, Toronto

My Dear Premier:

I am writing to you today in my capacity as a befuddled voter in Ontario. My question is this: What the heck has happened to you and your Liberal government?

You were supposed to be rolling happily down the road to June 14, 2018 — the scheduled date of the next provincial election — but somehow you have lost your way, left the road and driven into a deep ditch from which you may not be able to escape.

Justin moves to restore his father’s muscular federalism

The Trudeau Liberals are moving into the second phase of their mandate, investing some of the political capital they collected in the first phase (the honeymoon or “sunny ways” period) to assert the primacy of the federal government in three areas of national concern.

These are climate change, pipelines and the preservation of medicare. Taken together, the Liberals’ approaches in these areas signal a desire to reestablish a muscular federalism reminiscent of the Pierre Trudeau era.

If Donald Trump should win the election

Recent polls have suggested that Donald Trump was pulling uncomfortably close to Hillary Clinton, prior to the first televised debate between them. His most significant appeal has been to represent a change in the status quo of governmental gridlock, and being opposed by a candidate little more popular than himself, despite his multitude of personal flaws. That momentum toward the Republicans seems to have been arrested by Trump's performance in that opening encounter, and his behaviour in the days that followed.

The Senate expenses war may be over, but the hostilities linger on

We have all heard or read stories about those Japanese soldiers who went into hiding, combat ready, in the jungles of Indonesia or the Philippines as the Second World War was ending, only to re-emerge decades later to discover to their amazement that the war was over.

These stories bring to mind the Senate of Canada.

Head winds and storm squalls will test Good Ship Trudeau

The Justin Trudeau government has enjoyed remarkably clear sailing for its first 11 months. 

The Prime Minister’s personal popularity is the envy of rock stars and hockey heroes. The polls continue to show that in an election today the Liberals would command a larger share of the popular vote and win more seats than they did when they elected a majority government last October.

But there are clouds on the horizon. The easy sailing is over as the Good Ship Trudeau confronts its first stiff head winds, along with some smaller but dangerous squalls.

Trump will stoop to any depth to destroy Clinton

Every now and again, the question of RCMP protection for the prime minister and his family becomes a minor issue in this country. It’s always a cost issue.

It happened with Stephen Harper in 2014 and it happened again last week with Justin Trudeau. New figures come out that document the cost of overtime, travel, etc., for officers assigned to protect the PM and his dependents. A predictable little ritual ensues. Opposition critics profess to be scandalized. They wring their hands in faux sympathy for the poor taxpayer.

Trump tactics are big boost for Clinton campaign

Pundits have suggested for months that the outcome of the U.S. presidential election would likely be determined by which candidate became the focus of the campaign. Given the unprecedented unpopularity of both major party candidates, the astute strategy is to make one's opponent the election story. If the electoral focus is upon Hillary Clinton, it would help Donald Trump, and if it is about Trump, that should assist Clinton.

Book Review: Petty and Profound

What do municipalities and First Nation reserves have in common? Both are used to being told what to do. It’s natural, then, that any review of Indigenous self-government would examine how these two get along at the most elemental level. A Quiet Evolution is the first research of its kind, and prompts the reader to wonder why nobody thought of this before.

There’s a disconnect between pundits and pollsters

There are times when pundits and pollsters just can’t get their acts together, times when the advice tendered by columnists and commentators seems to fly in the face of public opinion as reported by polling companies.

This is one of those times, both in Canada and the United States.

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.

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