National Newswatch

NDP needs jolt of energy, new voters, Singh can bring

Sep 18 2017 — Alice Funke — How do you choose from among your friends? It’s the most painful part of a leadership contest in a political party, an organization that depends on volunteers for so much of its basic governance and organizing work. The friendships and personal loyalties forged through shared ideals and endeavours, wins, and as often painful losses, are […]

Wanted: Party Leader with a listicle of qualities

Sep 17 2017 — Alice Funke — As an exercise, I tried to draft a job description for a federal party leader. That is one daunting job. A political party has two main jobs in our democracy: to recruit, train and elect candidates, and to develop and promote a nationally-balanced, coherent platform for government according to that party’s political philosophy and membership […]

Minority Math is Hard on the Liberals

Sep 28 2015 — Alice Funke — The Liberals have run a strong and energetic campaign thus far under leader Justin Trudeau, so it seems unfair how hard it will be for them to find enough seats to claim the head of a minority government. Whether you’re following one of the popular poll aggregator and seat projectors, or just working from your […]

Campaigning in 3D: Six more weeks of the three-way race

Sep 8 2015 — Alice Funke — Following the maxim that you shouldn’t wear white after Labour Day, none of the major political parties will be waving the white flag just yet either. But as the extra-long election campaign called by the incumbent Conservative Prime Minister crosses the hump from pre-season into prime time, there are signs the governing party’s machinery is […]

The State of the Slates

Aug 27 2015 — Alice Funke — As we head into Labour Day weekend, the three main parties are within eyeshot of completing their national 338-seat slates, as is the Bloc Québécois in la belle province. The NDP leads the pack with 326 or 96% of their candidates selected, with the Liberals just behind at 322 or 95%, and the Conservatives close […]

Why a new Québec-based party is running in the Peterborough by-election, and other unintended consequences of sloppy law-making

Jul 1 2015 — Alice Funke — The law of unintended consequences is getting quite a workout with these – legally necessary – but otherwise totally pointless federal by-elections. The fact they weren’t called long ago, but now have to be called this close to a fixed election date, the fact that the spending limits are obscenely huge because of the long […]

Candidate Drilldown: Vancouver Island Part I

Jun 25 2015 — Alice Funke — The seven seats on Vancouver Island are key to both the Conservative and NDP paths to victory, and have been a key regional concentration of Green Party support. Recently some of its ridings were the focus of publicly-released opinion polls from an activist group. The Island gained a seat during the redistribution, and is home […]

Liberals lose four candidates in a month

Jun 11 2015 — Alice Funke — Four federal Liberal candidates have quietly stepped down over the last few weeks, and are in the process of being replaced. The first one we know of is lawyer Susan Watt, who won a contested nomination against former Liberal leadership contestant George Takach last November, in Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON. Her resignation was kept quiet by the […]

The difficult math of the Alberta provincial election results

May 6 2015 — Alice Funke — Doing the arithmetic in the Alberta election was the easy part, but fully absorbing the math of it all is surely more difficult for both federal and provincial conservatives today. One provincial seat (Calgary-Glenmore) was left in a PC-NDP tie after last night’s unofficial tallies, which under Alberta election laws could result in an instant […]