Sorting out the federal Conservative leadership competition, with its 14 candidates, is bit like trying to unscramble an omelet. It would be simpler if, instead of a secret, preferential ballot weighted to give each of the 338 ridings an equal number of votes, the party had opted for an old-style brokered convention.
The opposition parties worked themselves into a fair lather last week when Parliament was informed that it had cost taxpayers $127,000 for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family to vacation in the Bahamas at Christmas.
“Completely outrageous,” snapped NDP leader Thomas Mulcair.
“When did the prime minister forget that it's his job to serve Canadians and not the other way around?” demanded Blaine Calkins, a Conservative from Alberta.
THE First Minister’s announcement that the SNP Government intends to seek a section 30 order to hold a second independence referendum contained within it a few hints about the key messages of a future Yes campaign.
When communities debate the opening of a new casino, the discussion typically begins with questions about the economic impact. Proponents of casinos argue that gambling revenue will aid municipal budgets, the casino will employ many people, and increases in tourism will develop the overall economy. Casino opponents typically counter by refuting claims of a tourism impact. They then highlight the potential for increases in problem-gambling rates, which will have a negative impact on young families and their children while placing strain on local social-support systems.
No one ever said running a government is easy. Far from it. These days, in Canada and many other countries, the task is made infinitely more difficult and perilous by the mess in Donald Trump’s Washington.
The U.S. capital has become a seething swamp ruled by conspiracy theorists, would-be power brokers and rank amateurs who haven’t the faintest idea of how to make a government work.
Watch British Columba.
The six-year-old provincial Liberal government of Premier Christy Clark meets the electorate on May 9, and the outcome is anyone’s guess.
B.C. elections are often isolated provincial phenomena with little impact beyond the mountains. This time, however, the outcome will resonate as far east as Ontario where another Liberal premier, Kathleen Wynne, is in even deeper trouble than Clark. A Clark victory would at least buoy depressed Liberal spirits in Ontario.
Today’s Conservative Party of Canada is not your grandmother’s Conservative Party. That much we know.
But what kind of party will it be going forward? The answer will be determined in large measure by the outcome of the current leadership race. Candidates have one month left to sell party memberships in this one-member, one-vote competition, followed by two more months of campaigning before the votes are counted on May 27.
Who among the mob of candidates (there are 14 of them at present) will emerge as leader in May?
“The press is the enemy” – Richard Nixon to Henry Kissinger, 1972
“[The media] is the enemy of the American people” – Donald Trump, on Twitter, Feb. 17, 2017
The highest purpose of a free press is to speak truth to power.
From time to time that purpose is challenged by demagogues and embattled political leaders, as it is now in Donald Trump’s America, and it was in the early 1970s.