Geoffrey Stevens's blog

Long pre-election phase portends a minority

Published Sep. 16, 2013, in The Waterloo Region Record

Visitors to Ottawa can be excused for being bewildered these days. They arrive expecting to find a bustling, vibrant national capital, filled with eager politicians seized with the great issues of the moment. Instead, they find a Potemkin village, a cardboard capital in which, if you exclude a few groundskeepers and lunch-bound deputy ministers, nothing moves.

Sometimes it takes a firm push to get government moving

Published Sep. 9, 2013, in The Waterloo Region Record

The wheels of government grind exceedingly slowly, as many citizens can attest from personal experience. And the more senior the government, the more slowly its wheels seem to turn. Decisions that might require a few days can take weeks or months, if not years.

Sometimes it takes a firm push, or a boot in the posterior, to get a government moving. Here are a couple of recent examples.

Obama would be wise to reconsider course on Syria

Published Sep. 3, 2013, in The Waterloo Region Record

The late Robert McNamara, who was secretary of defence under presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson — in the days of the Vietnam War — learned a lot about the statecraft of warfare. Among the 11 most important lessons he said he learned was this: be prepared to re-examine your reasoning.

The Senate expense scandal will leave a legacy

Published Aug. 19, 2013, in The Waterloo Region Record.

Will anyone, 10 or 20 years from now, remember the Great Senate Expense Scandal of 2013?

Canada, let it be said, does not play in the big leagues of political corruption. The country generally ranks in the top dozen of the world’s cleanest nations – never as clean as the Scandinavians or the Swiss, but always cleaner than the Americans. That’s according to an annual ranking published by Transparency International, an independent monitoring organization based in Berlin and headed by Canadian Huguette Labelle.