Federal Politics

Running shoes for Charest? A draft for Harper?

There is nothing like a leadership race to stir the blood of political practitioners and start their adrenalin pumping, to ignite the latent ambition of newbies, and to cause oldsters to revive dormant dreams of leadership glory.

It’s like that in the federal Conservative party as 2020 begins.

24 Sussex Drive – Time to tear it down?

Here is a project for 2020.

Do something about 24 Sussex Drive, the official residence of the prime minister. Either fix it or tear it down.

The 34-room mansion, built between 1866 and 1868, is a disaster, deemed by inspectors to be in “critical” condition. Although it may not be in peril of falling down tomorrow, it is deemed no longer fit for habitation.

Failed expectations: Scheer had to go, now the Conservative party must change

If politics were a rational enterprise, an opposition leader whose party won the popular vote and increased its seats in the Commons by 20 per cent, while reducing the governing party to a minority, would be hailed, if not as a hero, at least as a significant achiever.

But politics, like the stock market, is not a rational endeavour. Achievement is not judged by results alone. It is also measured against expectations.

Minority government creates opportunities for bold action

Justin Trudeau faced a choice as his new minority Liberal government prepared to meet Parliament.

He could seize the opportunity to act boldly on various fronts – from climate change to health care and from effective gun control to aggressive, long-overdue reforms to improve the lives and opportunities of Indigenous Canadians.

Or he could play it safe – reassuring his left-centre base that he had not forgotten the party’s election platform, while hinting at just enough change to keep the opposition parties from the Liberals’ throat.

Memories of Diefenbaker’s humiliation resonate in Scheer’s struggle for survival

They say history doesn’t repeat itself, but it makes a pretty good stab at it when it comes to the federal Conservative party and its leadership.

In 1966, 13 years before Andrew Scheer was born, John Diefenbaker was humiliated and dumped from the leadership by a party that had been persuaded he could not lead it back to power – a fate that Scheer is struggling to avoid today.