Geoffrey Stevens's blog

The perils of keeping (or not) election promises

Election promises are fraught with danger for politicians.

Both Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau are learning about the perils of promises, although their enlightenment is coming from opposite directions. Trudeau is being savaged in Parliament, on the internet and in some quarters of the mainstream media for breaking a promise – to wit, that a Liberal government would replace Canada’s first-past-the-post electoral system and to do it before the next election in 2019.

The new bully on the block: petulant, delusional and perhaps unstable

The House of Commons returns to work today after its refreshing, one trusts, 46-day Christmas recess.

MPs will be anxious to tear into the great issues of the day in the Ottawa bubble, starting with the Prime Minister’s vacation in the Bahamas and continuing, no doubt, to the irksome question of how much, or little, the government is actually prepared to do about cash-for-access political fundraising.

But these matters, which loomed so large a couple of weeks ago, now seem trivial. The big stuff, the serious stuff, is happening south of the border, in Washington.

Trump and O’Leary: two rich men toying with the middle class?

Arlene Dickinson, star of CBC’s Dragons’ Den, wasted little time putting her former co-star in his place when she was asked what she thought of Kevin O’Leary’s entry into the Conservative leadership race last week.

“For seven years, I sat shoulder to shoulder with Kevin,” she said. “We'd spend long hours together, listening to hardworking Canadian entrepreneurs pitch their businesses, which, all too often, led to real-life stories of enormous struggle.

It’s the silly season in Ottawa

Opposition MPs are cheerfully beating up the Prime Minister over his family’s post-Christmas vacation.

They contend he violated conflict-of-interest rules by, first, accepting the invitation of the Aga Khan to be his guests on his private island in the Bahamas, and, second, by travelling on their host’s private helicopter between Nassau and Bell Island, 120 kilometres away, without obtaining approval in advance from the Commons conflict of interest and ethics commissioner.

Forget about the Aga Khan; Trudeau needs to return to reality

One of the trickiest questions in politics concerns where to draw the line between the public’s right to know and the politicians’ right to privacy.

The question is not a new one. It is an active concern in Washington where President-elect Donald Trump’s many private business activities – not to mention the involvement of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a big-time real estate investor, with mysterious Chinese financiers – reek of conflict-of-interest.