Listen to the scientists. And prepare for the absolute worst.

“We are living in a global public health crisis moving at a speed and scale never witnessed by living generations. The cracks in our medical and financial systems are being splayed open like a gashing wound. No matter how this plays out, life will forever look a little different for all of us.” – Dr. Cornelia Griggs, critical care specialist at a 4,000-bed New York City hospital, writing in the New York Times, March 19

There will be many lessons to be learned from COVID-19, and two big ones are already staring us in the face.

Canada gets it right on COV-19, unlike the United States

Canada is a favoured nation in many, many ways, not the least of them being the strength of our political institutions and the ability of our elected leaders to rise above partisanship and self-interest in times of crisis.

I can think of no better way to illustrate the point than by comparing the responses at the highest levels in Canada and the United States to the coronavirus pandemic. The response in Ottawa may not have been perfect, but the Trudeau administration clearly understands that the paramount responsibility of government is the protection of the public.

The Democrats are seeking their own old white male to defeat Donald Trump

Canada’s Conservatives and the Democrats south of the border have two things in common, aside from being on the outside looking in.

First, both parties are lost, confused about their identity and unsure which way to turn find the path to power.

Second, both parties, although defeated, actually won the popular vote in their last elections – yet neither has any confidence that the leader they are about to choose will lead them to victory.

They broke the mold when they made John Crosbie

John Carnell Crosbie, who died at 88 in St. John’s at the end of last week, was not a politician like the others – not like any other I have ever come across.

He was very smart, witty, opinionated, at times outrageous, sarcastic, chauvinistic, and contemptuous of those among his fellow politicians who got ahead by going with the flow. Crosbie was not a “going with the flow” sort. He was his own person, an independent thinker and unpredictable performer, fearless (or foolhardy) when it came to spurning political correctness.  

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.

Behold brave Horatius Ford at the Bridge!

Premier Doug Ford,
Queen’s Park,
Toronto

My Very Dear Premier Ford,

I fear I have neglected you terribly. When you scored your historic victory back on June 7, 2018, punting the evil Liberals into outer darkness and restoring democracy and good government to our province, I promised to provide you with regular readings from the applause meters we have installed across Ford Nation.

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.

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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