National Newswatch

Olivia Chow Won the Battle for Toronto. Can She Win the War?

Aug 2 2023 — David Moscrop — COMPARED TO GOVERNING, winning elections is easy. And while Olivia Chow and her team might not describe their victory in Toronto’s mayoral by-election as a cakewalk, the challenges they now face are considerable. As mayor, Chow must navigate a chronically underfunded Toronto while navigating relationships with a divided city council, a Progressive Conservative government in […]

Did Pierre Poilievre Pass His First Test?

Jun 20 2023 — David Moscrop — BY-ELECTION SEASON is narrative season. From time to time, a seat will become vacant between general elections—members resign or die—and an election is required within six months to fill it. In a legislature with 338 seats and a country with a voracious pundit class and deep roster of political operatives, the occasional ad hoc electoral […]

Will US-Canada border deal mean riskier future for migrants?

Mar 27 2023 — David Moscrop — It had been nearly seven years since a US presidential visit to Canada when Joe Biden arrived in Ottawa last Thursday. President Donald Trump came by in 2018 for the G-7 summit, but it’s not the same as a dedicated stop. As these things usually go, Biden’s visit was cast as part politics, part policy. […]

Trudeau’s sweeping gun control bill is no knee-jerk reaction

Jun 9 2022 — David Moscrop — Gun violence in the United States is beyond catastrophic. According to the Pew Research Center, “45,222 people died from gun-related injuries in the U.S.” in 2020 — and the violence is not abating. Recent high-profile massacres in Buffalo and Uvalde, Tex., have focused national and international attention on the issue once more, but Congress is […]

Why the Conservatives would be wise to keep Erin O’Toole at the helm

Sep 22 2021 — David Moscrop — Some ballots are still being counted as Canada’s 44th general election comes to an end, but the outcome is decided. The Liberals have retained power and will continue governing in a minority Parliament. The final seat count, which may shift as mail-in ballots are processed, looks a lot like the 2019 distribution. The results are […]

How much does Ontario really matter to the federal election?

Aug 30 2021 — David Moscrop — The House of Commons is made up of 338 seats, 121 of which are allocated to Ontario. But when you’re tracking federal campaigns, you might at times be forgiven for thinking there are few, if any, races going on outside the vote-rich province. Media coverage and the energy that parties, particularly the Conservatives and Liberals, […]

How did Donald Trump do so well at the polls?

Nov 6 2020 — David Moscrop — It didn’t take long after polls began to close in the United States on Nov. 3rd for hopes of a Blue Wave to crash against reality. President Trump was doing better than predicted, even as challenger Joe Biden accumulated more votes than any presidential hopeful in American history. Nonetheless, by Thursday, as Donald Trump tried […]

What is Thomas Mulcair thinking? (surely it’s not ‘comeback’)

Feb 5 2019 — David Moscrop — During the past few weeks, Thomas Mulcair, formerly the leader of the federal New Democratic Party, currently a political pundit on television, has been up to something that, if not unprecedented in Canadian politics, is certainly unusual. As a commentator, he has suggested that his successor, Jagmeet Singh, may not be long for the political […]

The Senate of Canada is up on its hind legs. Will it bite?

Nov 28 2018 — David Moscrop — Independent senators now make up the majority in a newly relevant upper chamber—and, yes, they have the power to kill bills. Talk about reforming the Senate, the den of what our first Prime Minister called “sober second thought,” even if that wasn’t a capacity he himself had, is as old as the body itself. Throughout […]

Canada’s Conservatives are having a mini-meltdown

Aug 18 2018 — David Moscrop — Tracking the recent antics of members of the Conservative Party of Canada, you’d be forgiven for thinking that someone had spiked the water in their caucus. And not with the sort of substance that changes who you are but the sort that amplifies who you are — the sort that makes you more of yourself. […]

Fighting populism by understanding perceptions

Jan 11 2017 — David Moscrop — A surge of populism has swept up global politics, but populism isn’t a new phenomenon. Not even close. During antiquity, the Greeks worried about it, and the Romans had to deal with populist revolts more than once. So, while the political parties and movements that characterize themselves as “for the people” and “against the elites” […]

The report is in, let’s have the electoral reform referendum

Dec 1 2016 — David Moscrop — The federal government’s Special Committee on Electoral Reform has recommended a referendum on changing Canada’s voting system. The ballot, they suggest, should ask voters to choose between a government-designed proportional representation option and our current system — first-past-the-post. The Liberal members of the committee have dissented — saying that the recommendations from the majority report […]

When “following the rules” is not enough

Sep 22 2016 — David Moscrop — The spending controversy in Ottawa demonstrates that rules are less important than the public’s perception of what is right, reasonable, and fair. When news broke that two senior PMO staffers billed the government for more than $200,000 in moving expenses, the immediate reaction was rage and indignation. It mattered little that it appears that the […]

Long tenures for prime ministers are nothing to cheer

Dec 22 2014 — David Moscrop — Nobody likes a guest who overstays his or her welcome. And shame on the ones who do. But what about those we keep inviting back? Well, then it’s shame on us. In November, Stephen Harper became the sixth longest serving head of government in Canadian history, edging out Brian Mulroney. If Harper wins the next […]

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