Trudeau was “mugged by four thugs” in the dreadful English debate

Frank Graves, the pollster, wasted no time in rendering his verdict. Three minutes after the charade ended, Graves tweeted: “OMG, is it over? … It was a meaningless waste of time. Possibly the most vacuous and tedious debate in Canadian political history.”

Sorry, Frank, but aren’t you gilding the lily? That English-language debate on Thursday night was worse than that. It was ghastly, an embarrassment, an insult to the intelligence of Canadians, and a disservice to voters who hoped to learn something useful about the five leaders and the issues in next Monday’s election.

All of a sudden, it’s a cliff-hanger election with issues that need to be debated

The “election about nothing,” as it was called in the beginning, has turned into a cliff-hanger – a desperately close affair with voters asked to choose between competing approaches to fundamental issues and to the role of government in the years ahead.

The Conservatives under their new leader Erin O’Toole began five or six percentage points behind the Liberals in national polls, but they parlayed disapproval of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s calling of the snap election into a lead of four or more points in the early going.

His dream of a majority having slipped away, Justin Trudeau faces a steep path to re-election

Justin Trudeau’s gamble in calling an election two years ahead of schedule in a bid to convert his Liberal minority government into a majority has blown up in his face.

Heading into the third week of the five-week campaign, his Liberals find themselves battling to hang onto enough seats to avoid being swept into opposition. They have dropped into second place into most public opinion polls. Seat projections, while still forecasting a Liberal plurality, suggest that a majority is almost certainly out of reach.

Bill Davis was a moderate reformer who made change work

William Grenville Davis, who died yesterday morning at the age of 92, was a key transitional figure in the political history of Ontario and Canada.

When “Brampton Billy,” as he was fondly known, became premier in 1971, his hometown was a rural town in the throes of becoming a city, his capital was still known as “Toronto the Good” – white, Anglo, heavily Protestant, and, to many newcomers, profoundly boring – and his country was still shedding the remnants of its colonial garments.

Parliament’s venture into digital era unlikely to continue after COVID

If, as they say, necessity is the mother of invention, she must surely be the mama of our new-fangled hybrid Parliament, as the House of Commons ventured into the digital age in its effort to carry on as normally as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was the most radical innovation since the introduction of television in the House in 1977.

Stop the election! Take care of business!

Is it too late to pull the country back from the brink of a late summer or early fall federal election?

Yes, I know the polls have spoken. They have told the prime minister that a majority Liberal government is within his reach now, but that the window of opportunity may not be open for long. If he waits, then falls short of a majority – or worse – his delay will go down as one of the great gaffes of contemporary Canadian elections.

Political opportunism says damn the torpedoes! Go now, go hard, go fast!

If there is to be a summer election, no one has told the prime minister

Election? What election? If there were an election, you would think the prime minister would know.

But no.

“In an election campaign, you make promises about what you might do once you’re elected. Right now, we’re continuing the work that we got elected for in 2015 and in 2019,” Justin Trudeau assured reporters in Montreal on Thursday. The Liberal government, he explained, is simply doing this summer what is has been doing since it was elected six years ago – growing the economy, creating good jobs, and protecting the environment.

Catherine McKenna’s Ottawa Centre is Mark Carney’s brass ring

Catherine McKenna, the infrastructure minister in the Liberal cabinet and champion of the party’s green wing, offered her friend Mark Carney, the former central banker – governor of both the Bank of Canada and Bank of England – the brass ring when she announced she will not be seeking re-election.

If he grabs it, Carney will be virtually assured of a place at or near the head of the queue of candidates for the Liberal leadership, post Justin Trudeau.

The brass ring is McKenna’s riding of Ottawa Centre.

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.


  • 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
  • Matthew Arp
  • Nikolaos Liodakis
  • Robert Williams
  • Simon Kiss
  • Timothy Gravelle
  • Zachary Spicer