Geoffrey Stevens's blog

Trudeau was “mugged by four thugs” in the dreadful English debate

Frank Graves, the pollster, wasted no time in rendering his verdict. Three minutes after the charade ended, Graves tweeted: “OMG, is it over? … It was a meaningless waste of time. Possibly the most vacuous and tedious debate in Canadian political history.”

Sorry, Frank, but aren’t you gilding the lily? That English-language debate on Thursday night was worse than that. It was ghastly, an embarrassment, an insult to the intelligence of Canadians, and a disservice to voters who hoped to learn something useful about the five leaders and the issues in next Monday’s election.

All of a sudden, it’s a cliff-hanger election with issues that need to be debated

The “election about nothing,” as it was called in the beginning, has turned into a cliff-hanger – a desperately close affair with voters asked to choose between competing approaches to fundamental issues and to the role of government in the years ahead.

The Conservatives under their new leader Erin O’Toole began five or six percentage points behind the Liberals in national polls, but they parlayed disapproval of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s calling of the snap election into a lead of four or more points in the early going.

His dream of a majority having slipped away, Justin Trudeau faces a steep path to re-election

Justin Trudeau’s gamble in calling an election two years ahead of schedule in a bid to convert his Liberal minority government into a majority has blown up in his face.

Heading into the third week of the five-week campaign, his Liberals find themselves battling to hang onto enough seats to avoid being swept into opposition. They have dropped into second place into most public opinion polls. Seat projections, while still forecasting a Liberal plurality, suggest that a majority is almost certainly out of reach.

Bill Davis was a moderate reformer who made change work

William Grenville Davis, who died yesterday morning at the age of 92, was a key transitional figure in the political history of Ontario and Canada.

When “Brampton Billy,” as he was fondly known, became premier in 1971, his hometown was a rural town in the throes of becoming a city, his capital was still known as “Toronto the Good” – white, Anglo, heavily Protestant, and, to many newcomers, profoundly boring – and his country was still shedding the remnants of its colonial garments.