National Newswatch

Election 2021: What Will and Won’t Change

Sep 21 2021 — Don Newman — If you look at the top line numbers it will be hard to disagree with the assessment that this is the election that changed nothing. The Liberals win the most seats and the Conservatives win the popular vote. The Liberals have a minority government with a caucus that is — at press time and without […]

Down to the Final Days of Uncertainty

Sep 17 2021 — Lori Turnbull — In the final days of the federal campaign, all eyes are on the national polls, which show a tight race between the Liberals and the Conservatives (though some polls are tighter than others). On the Friday before the election, Nanos Research indicated that 31.9 percent of voters had the Liberals as their first choice, compared […]

British Columbia May Hold the Balance of Power

Sep 15 2021 — Robin V. Sears — For two decades, it has been a cliché that the voters of suburban Toronto have a unique hold on who will form government for the rest of Canadians. It’s true that the GTA voters have been fickle, flipping between Liberals and Tories several times. But Quebec has been more punishing to each of the major […]

The Home Stretch

Sep 14 2021 — Don Newman — The final week of this election campaign, like the home stretch of every campaign, will include a lot of interesting things to watch for as the cases made by all the leaders are crystallized and wavering voters find a home. That will likely include sparring between Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and New Democratic Party Leader […]

Twitter, for Better and Worse: The Evolution of Campaign Culture

Sep 13 2021 — Keith Boag — Every federal election campaign provokes a round of pearl-clutching and head-shaking over just how bad retail politics have become, as though previous iterations of this exercise were marvels of civility and restraint. Watching “Campaign 2021” has got me thinking about the great free trade election of 1988, as it’s come to be known. Free trade […]

Leaders Frustrated by Lousy Debate Format

Sep 10 2021 — Don Newman — In the National Hockey League at playoff time, the referees assigned to the games are given one instruction: Don’t become part of the game. Let the players decide the outcome. That same instructions should have been given to the moderator and journalists taking part in the English-language debate Thursday evening. Instead of at least some […]

Towards the Final Days: It Comes Down to the Leaders

Sep 8 2021 — Lori Turnbull — For the first half of the federal campaign, it looked like the decision to call an early election had turned into an unforced error on the part of the Liberals. They had been expecting that in a short campaign over the summer, enough voters in key swing ridings would reward Justin Trudeau’s government for all […]

Assessing climate sincerity in the Canadian 2021 election

Sep 3 2021 — Mark Jaccard — Canadian voters want to elect climate sincere politicians but identifying them isn’t easy, especially as each party touts the merits of its climate plan. So non-partisan experts like me try to help by assessing climate plans, a task I’ve performed for over two decades. For the federal 2021 election, I here assess the GHG targets, […]

The Fuzzy Math of Party Platforms

Sep 3 2021 — — We can’t afford any of it, or any of them. Halfway through this election campaign we have now seen the platforms of the major parties. One thing is clear about all of them. Amid the record deficits incurred by the management of the COVID crisis, Canada can’t afford all of the promises that either the […]

Inflation as an Election Issue: A Primer for Leaders

Aug 31 2021 — — Should the recent rise in inflation be an important issue in the ongoing federal election campaign? More specifically, should it be raised in the leadership debates — in French on TVA September 2, and the two Leaders’ Debates Commission events in French on September 8 and English on September 9? Yes and no. Here are […]

Erin O’Toole’s Leftward Gamble

Aug 26 2021 — Don Newman — The first week of the election campaign ended with Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole climbing into a statistical tie with the Liberals. The second week began with him making not one, but two interesting policy suggestions on the campaign trail. Since both suggestions fly in the face of traditional Conservative solutions to the problems they are […]

There are Bigger Ballot Questions than Afghanistan

Aug 24 2021 — Don Newman — It happened the same day the election was called. Very few saw the impact it would have. But in the days since the writs were issued, it has become the news story overshadowing everything else. Even though in terms of relevance to Canadian voters, it would seem far down the list of potential ballot questions. […]

How to Avoid a Seinfeld Campaign

Aug 23 2021 — Kevin Lynch and Paul Deegan — While former Prime Minister Kim Campbell was fatefully misquoted in the 1993 election campaign as having said, “An election is no time to discuss serious issues,” the sentiment she expressed in her verbatim answer to a reporter’s question about social programs — “This is not the time, I don’t think, to get involved in a […]

Lessons from the Nova Scotia Election: Beware of the Polls and Front-Runner Syndrome

Aug 21 2021 — Lori Turnbull — The Nova Scotia provincial election turned out to be a “change” election in many ways. First and most obviously, the government changed hands: Iain Rankin and the Liberals were defeated and will be replaced by a majority Progressive Conservative government under Tim Houston’s leadership. The opinion polls conducted during the campaign did not predict this […]