National Newswatch

Don’t be fooled by ShutDownCanada or misleading claims from dishonest activists

Feb 18 2020 — Tom Flanagan — On Tuesday, while activists reportedly tried to “arrest” Premier John Horgan at his house in British Columbia, Prime Minister Trudeau spoke to the House of Commons, stressing the need for “patience” as rail blockades continue to prevent freight and passenger across Canada. Indeed, the #ShutDownCanada movement is in full swing in B.C. and across the […]

Only Parliament can fix Canada’s pipeline impasse

Sep 10 2018 — Tom Flanagan — Politicians are scrambling for ways to restart the Trans Mountain pipeline after the recent Federal Court of Appeal decision. Let me offer an explanation of how we arrived at this impasse. What has happened to Trans Mountain is not surprising. This is the third time in 12 years that the Federal Court has blocked a […]

Proposed citizenship test guide will only mislead new Canadians

Aug 18 2017 — Tom Flanagan — The federal government is currently working on a revision of Discover Canada, the study guide for the test that immigrants must pass before obtaining citizenship. To judge from a recent Canadian Press story, the new manual will read like a Liberal campaign platform. Perhaps that’s not surprising, because the Liberals control the government. Maybe it’s […]

Scheer’s sunny way will attract disappointed Trudeau voters

May 29 2017 — Tom Flanagan — Andrew Scheer is the new Conservative leader, beating Maxime Bernier by the narrowest of margins, 51 per cent to 49 per cent. Mr. Bernier campaigned on an adventurous platform of economic libertarianism, including an end to supply management and corporate subsidies, and new approaches to equalization and to health-care funding. Mr. Scheer, in contrast, stressed […]

What the Liberals stand to lose after electoral reform deception

Feb 2 2017 — Tom Flanagan — So. Farewell then, electoral reform. We hardly knew ye, but you won’t be missed (except by the Greens and NDP). How do we make sense of this? Was it just another campaign promise conveniently abandoned? We could file it next to the $10-billion budget deficit, quickly replaced by $30-billion. And the United Nations Declaration on […]

On fundraising, slam Liberals for their morals, not their methods

Dec 16 2016 — Tom Flanagan — For the past two months, the opposition parties have hammered the federal Liberals for holding intimate soirées at which donors pay $1,500 to have a drink with a minister or even the Prime Minister. As his explanations become ever more laughable, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks like a punch-drunk boxer, holding onto the ropes until […]

Alliances are key to the Conservative Party crown

Nov 28 2016 — Tom Flanagan — The Conservative Party leadership race has a dozen candidates but no front-runner. Kellie Leitch’s lead in public opinion polls means little, because the leader will be elected by party members, not the general public. Election rules will exercise great influence on the outcome of the race. Each of the 338 constituency associations gets 100 points, […]

Could a populist wave also sweep Canada?

Nov 17 2016 — Tom Flanagan — Many observers see similarities among Donald Trump’s victory in the American presidential election, the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, and right-wing populist or conservative-nationalist parties in Europe; for example, the National Front in France, the Freedom Party of Austria, and Jobbik in Hungary. Is any of this relevant to Canada? Left-leaning Canadian politicians are […]

Alberta NDP changes campaign rules with cunning new spending strategy

Sep 3 2016 — Tom Flanagan — Under the guise of “getting the big money out of politics,” Alberta’s NDP government is methodically changing the province’s election campaign rules to give itself the best possible chance the next time around. After winning power in 2015, the NDP quickly brought in legislation to prohibit corporate and union donations to political parties. All parties […]

Kenney will put a charge into Alberta conservatism

Jul 6 2016 — Tom Flanagan — Jason Kenney is about to announce his candidacy for leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta, running on a platform of a merger with the Wildrose Party. The purpose is to avoid splitting the right-wing vote in the next provincial election and thereby maximize chances of defeating the governing NDP. In one sense, it’s […]

Liberals may be wise to run out the clock on electoral reform

Apr 20 2016 — Tom Flanagan — The 2015 Liberal campaign platform promised that “2015 will be the last federal election conducted under the first-past-the-post voting system.” Like many campaign commitments, this will be harder to implement than to promise. The Liberals would undoubtedly prefer the alternative vote (AV), in which voters rank their preferences rather than simply marking their first choice […]

Why an Alberta PC, Wildrose merger isn’t in sight

Mar 24 2016 — Tom Flanagan — By-elections can be important for many reasons. Tuesday’s provincial by-election in Calgary-Greenway was significant because of its impact on the rivalry between the Progressive Conservatives and the Wildrose Party. It was a close call, but the PCs managed to hold onto this riding, vacated by the untimely death of popular MLA Manmeet Bhullar last November. […]