Even political junkies must agree: it’s time to slow down. From mainstream media to the insatiable demands of cable TV and social media, the news cycle has gone out of control in the age of Trump. Before the public has a chance to absorb one event, disaster or outrage, another wave of information (or disinformation) sweeps over us.
“Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart. ...I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius....and a very stable genius at that!”
Who would have believed it?
"I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose voters" – Donald Trump, at a 2016 campaign rally in Iowa.
He was probably right.
Trump is one of a kind. He’s a politician who exists outside the box of political convention, a leader who frustrates the best efforts of pundits to predict what he may do or what havoc he may wreak in the year ahead.
John Diefenbaker waggled his finger sternly across the aisle as he instructed the Liberal government of the day in 1968: “It is a long road that has no ash cans.”
While the provenance of Dief’s metaphor is obscure, his warning was clear. You think you know what you are doing, but don’t get so full of yourself, so convinced of the rightness of your course that you do not see the obstacles littering the road ahead.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his present-day Liberals must surely understand the Chief’s message. Their 2017 has been full of ash cans.
“Good grief, Charlie Brown!”
How else can one react to the news that has set the blogosphere aflutter – or, should we say, atwitter?
The news: Justin Trudeau, our very own prime minister, has been named the Second Most Influential Person in the World.
The most frustrated politician in Ottawa these days has to be Andrew Scheer.
He has been leader of the opposition for six months, long enough to have moved out of the shadow of his predecessor, Stephen Harper, and long enough to put his own stamp on the Conservative party.
“Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” – Jesus to his disciples, Matthew 19:24
Chances are Bill Morneau will ride out the storm and live to fight another day as minister of finance, but he has not made it easy for himself or the prime minister.
One would think that among the easiest policy changes to sell in the United States is a tax reduction. This should be particularly true for a tax cut directed to the middle class, where the majority of voters are found. Whatever one thinks of Donald Trump's presidency, one must acknowledge that he has a remarkable gift for marketing and sloganeering. Whether apocryphal or not, the phrases "Make America Great Again," "Drain the Swamp" and "America First" have resonated with a significant slice of the U.S. electorate.
The Ontario provincial election next June 7 is going to be quite a battle.
The campaign already has most of the elements that political junkies could wish for. To start with there are 15 brand new ridings to fight over – including Kitchener South-Hespeler – as the Ontario Legislature expands to 122 members from 107.
When Parliament returns to work today following its week-long Remembrance Day break, one thing is certain: “Skippy” will be back at it again – holding Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s feet to the fire.