Minefields await leaders and parties in the minority Parliament

Elizabeth May has announced her resignation as leader of the Green Party, and the remaining federal leaders – with one exception – will be picking their way through minefields for the next few months.

The exception is Yves-François Blanchet, who has been leader of the Bloc Québécois since January of this year. The party was on life support when he took over. He brought it back to official party status – and more – on Oct 21.

The Conservatives are at a crossroads: change or become irrelevant

Andrew Scheer is never going to be prime minister of Canada.

And his Conservative party is never going to be closer to power than it is today – a strong opposition in a minority Parliament – until it recognizes that the country is changing. A political party that cannot adapt to change faces a bleak future.

Minority PMs: What Justin Trudeau should NOT learn from Joe Clark

Justin Trudeau meet Joe Clark.

You prime ministers have a few things in common, starting with your election outcomes.

Conservative Clark became prime minister in 1979, following an election in which he, like Trudeau a week ago, failed to win the national popular vote, yet took enough seats to form a strong minority government – to replace Pierre Trudeau’s majority Liberal version.

A dirty election goes down to the wire – and the West Coast – tonight

In elections past, western Canadians were wont to complain that geography, time zones and the electoral system conspired to devalue their votes on the big night. With the outcome clear by the time ballot-counting crossed the Ontario-Manitoba border, eastern Canadians were snugly – smugly, to western eyes – asleep in their beds before polls closed in British Columbia.

It is going to be different tonight. It may well take west coast votes to whether the next government will be Liberal or Conservative – and majority or, more likely, minority.

This brutish election is almost over – and not a moment too soon

Six more days to go. Six days in a federal election campaign that, to borrow a thought from the 17th century English philosopher Thomas Hobbes, has been “nasty, brutish, and short.”

Well, not short. It seems as though the campaign has been going on forever. Certainly, nasty and brutish, especially the outright fabrications and character assassinations peddled indiscriminately on social media.

Does anyone know what makes Andrew Scheer tick?

Andrew Scheer has a real shot at becoming prime minister. The polls have his Conservatives in a statistical tie with Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, and the Liberal lead in seat projections seems to be shrinking daily.

At moment, a minority government of one or the other appears likely, but if change is in the wind, no pollster or pundit can predict how far the change may go. A close race could turn into a runaway.

It’s a nasty campaign with the leaders afraid to say what they really think

A few impressions as the federal election campaign heads into its second official week.

It is shaping up to be a nasty, brutish campaign with negatives drowning out positives, the kind of campaign that misleads more than it informs and will turn off more voters than it inspires.

It’s election time – time to put credit cards and cellphones away

A veteran political strategist/organizer of my acquaintance has a blunt caution for candidates who come to him for advice.

Bundle up all your credit cards, he tells them. Bury them in your home freezer. Bury them deep, beneath the frozen peas and broccoli and that mince pie left from Christmas. Do not thaw them out until the campaign is safely over.

This is good advice for politicians in the Oct. 21 election campaign, which will begin for real within a week, whenever Prime Minister Trudeau drops the writ.

He’s back! Stephen Harper comes to the aid of Andrew Scheer

In this era of fixed-date federal elections (on the third Monday in October), political strategists work on premise that most voters snooze through the summer pre-campaigns and only shake themselves awake and pay attention after Labour Day.

Now with Labour Day in the rear-view mirror and the prime minister poised to drop the writ in 10 to 12 days, the electorate is presumably becoming focussed. So, here is a small political quiz. What are these three sets of numbers? What do they mean?

162-143; 153-146; 158-135

An alarming exercise in poor judgment, but will it hurt Trudeau?

Americans are starting to worry about a recession. So what does Donald Trump do? The maestro of diversion, he changes the channel. The United States, he proposes, should buy Greenland.

What? Buy Greenland? Absurd!

Of course, it’s ridiculous, but the distraction works. Historians, economists, climatologists and political scientists rush to join the Buy-Greenland debate as the inane idea floods the airwaves and social media.

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.

Authors

  • Ailsa Henderson
  • Andre Perrella
  • Anna Esselment
  • Anthony Piscitelli
  • Barry Kay
  • Ben Margulies
  • Christopher Alcantara
  • Christopher Cochrane
  • Geoffrey Stevens
  • Jason Roy
  • Jorg Broschek
  • Loren King
  • Manuel Riemer
  • Nikolaos Liodakis
  • Robert Williams
  • Simon Kiss
  • Timothy Gravelle
  • Zachary Spicer

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