National Newswatch

How minority governments work — and what happens when they don’t

Oct 16 2019 — Aaron Wherry — The results of the federal election of 2019 should become more or less clear sometime after 10 p.m. ET Monday night, give or take a few recounts in particularly close races. Typically, election nights end with a declaration that the party that won the most seats is the “winner.” But winning the most seats isn’t […]

People are anxious — and this election campaign isn’t helping

Oct 13 2019 — Aaron Wherry — What is this election about? Perhaps, as some say, every election is about anxiety. The body politic has concerns and fears and it seeks out reassurance, security, stability or hope. But the 2019 federal election comes at a time when there is much to be anxious about — an unusual and profound array of things […]

Singh doesn’t rule out supporting a pipeline-owning Liberal minority government

Oct 11 2019 — Aaron Wherry — NDP leader Jagmeet Singh declined on Thursday night to categorically state that the fate of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion would be part of any post-election negotiations between NDP MPs and a potential Liberal minority government. Earlier on Thursday, the NDP announced its “priorities” for the next Parliament, pointing to six areas in which it […]

Fear and the border: why Andrew Scheer is talking about gangs and migrants now

Oct 10 2019 — Aaron Wherry — On Wednesday morning, with less than two weeks remaining in the federal campaign, Andrew Scheer worried aloud about MS-13, the notorious Salvadoran-American criminal gang. The Conservative leader stood near Roxham Road in southern Quebec, where asylum seekers crossing from the United States have forced the federal government to establish an unofficial border crossing. As Scheer […]

Trudeau’s challenge to Singh on Quebec’s Bill 21 has risks

Oct 9 2019 — Aaron Wherry — Going into Monday night’s debate, there was a small, but potentially significant, difference between Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh on the question of what, if anything, the federal government should do about Quebec’s Bill 21, legislation that bans the wearing of religious clothing by members of the province’s public service. But […]

Leaders’ debate a political tag-team match of six-way cross-talk

Oct 8 2019 — Aaron Wherry — “The choice Canadians are facing is clear,” said Justin Trudeau, turning to the camera across from him to speak directly to the television audience. Before he could finish the thought, he was subsumed by cross-talk. Halfway through Monday night’s English-language leaders’ debate, perhaps the single most-watched event of this fall’s campaign, Trudeau was trying to […]

Andrew Scheer’s mid-campaign identity crisis

Oct 4 2019 — Aaron Wherry — Andrew Scheer was not well known to Canadians when this election campaign began. For him, that wasn’t necessarily an insurmountable problem. But now he has spent nearly four weeks of the campaign struggling to explain to Canadians who he is, and muddling through a series of identity crises in public. When he ran for the […]

Liberals’ 2 campaign planes and their carbon offsets draw Scheer’s ire

Oct 4 2019 — Aaron Wherry — Maybe it’s questionable optics for Justin Trudeau’s campaign to be using two planes during this federal campaign when other campaigns are making do with one (or none). But it’s also true that better optics aren’t going to save the planet. It’s a familiar complaint, particularly from those who are critical of climate-change activists — that […]

Worried about climate change? You’ve got a tough decision to make

Sep 28 2019 — Aaron Wherry — On climate change, the choice facing Canadian voters in this federal election is stark — and not perfectly simple. Elections can be complicated that way. And if solving climate change was easy, we’d have done it by now. Climate policy has been at the forefront of a federal election just once before — in 2008, […]

Which party would have the clout in a minority Parliament?

Sep 27 2019 — Aaron Wherry — Jagmeet Singh and Elizabeth May have been taking turns declaring how uncompromising they would be if this fall’s election doesn’t result in a clear majority for any single party and post-election negotiations are required to decide who controls the House of Commons. It’s early yet — too early to predict with any confidence how the […]

Why Andrew Scheer’s campaign platform sounds so … familiar

Sep 24 2019 — Aaron Wherry — As the Liberals’ re-election campaign was foundering last week, Andrew Scheer was promising that a Conservative government would spend $1.5 billion to reduce medical wait times. It’s a commitment that might stir some nostalgia. Stephen Harper’s Conservatives identified reducing wait times as one of their top five priorities during the 2006 election. Once in government, […]