National Newswatch

National compromise on carbon pricing is within reach

Nov 14 2019 — David McLaughlin — A national accommodation on climate change and carbon pricing is staring us in the face. Irony of ironies, it is three western, conservative premiers who are pointing the way forward. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney surprised some by just announcing a policy of regulating industrial carbon emissions, including from the oil and gas sector, that is […]

Is our nostalgia around minority governments misplaced?

Nov 12 2019 — Shirley Tillotson — Minority governments in Canada are often hailed as seminal moments in Canadian public policy history. Conventional wisdom is that the compromises necessary during those periods result in more lasting change. But a closer look at the details of those years tells a different story. The message for parliamentarians in a minority government: you are playing […]

Feminist Senators are critical actors in women’s representation

Nov 11 2019 — Elizabeth McCallion — The results of the federal election have produced much scrutiny over the number of women in Canadian Parliament. The Senate is nearing gender parity, with 60 percent of Prime Minister Trudeau’s appointments being women. Gender and politics scholarship has shown that meaningful representation of women’s interests is likely to occur not just because of a […]

Scheer frustration

Nov 8 2019 — Geoff Norquay — Instead of blaming their leader, Conservatives should get out the mirror, do some soul-searching, and decide what kind of party they want to be. Conservative leader Andrew Scheer deserves a second chance. He did not fail to score on a “breakaway on an open net” in the recent campaign. Majority wins by a first-time leader […]

Conservatives need a new value proposition to present voters

Nov 7 2019 — David McLaughlin — Conservative leader Andrew Scheer has a rough few months ahead of him. Despite an increase in votes and seats, his election performance is being panned by many. He gained votes and seats while losing personal appeal and popularity – a difficult result upon which to base a “trust me” appeal to party members. Whether Scheer […]

How did the polls fare in Election 2019?

Nov 6 2019 — Claire Durand — Political pollsters who had predicted the outcome of the 2018 Quebec election could have been somewhat nervous as this year’s federal election approached. Their forecasts in October 2018 had been embarrassingly wrong: the polls substantially underestimated the support for the Coalition Avenir Quebec and produced a similarly large overestimate of the support for the Parti […]

House of Commons becoming more reflective of diverse population

Nov 5 2019 — Andrew Griffith — How well does Canada integrate immigrants and visible minorities into political life? While the barriers to entering political life are significant, as the Samara Centre for Democracy study on nomination processes has shown, the recent election is cause for hope. This article is based on an analysis of the 2019 election I undertook, using a […]

Only a fifth of Canadian mayors are women

Nov 4 2019 — Katherine Sullivan — The idea that municipal politics are much more accessible to women is a persistent idea in Canada, despite research by scholars such as Erin Tolley and others that has challenged this idea. Part of the problem has been the overly positive media coverage around women in municipal leadership positions, and also the lack of data […]

Eugene Lang

The Trudeaus and western alienation

Nov 1 2019 — Eugene Lang — Like father, like son. Nearly 40 years ago, in February 1980, Pierre Trudeau won a majority government with two seats in western Canada and none west of Manitoba. A year later the Trudeau Liberals unveiled the infamous National Energy Program (NEP). Thus began the modern era of Alberta alienation. To this day the NEP retains […]

Parties, not voters, to blame for slow rise of women MPs

Oct 30 2019 — Melanee Thomas — When the ballots were counted, Canadians had elected a mere 10 more women in 2019 than they did in 2015, bringing up the proportion of women in the House of Commons from 26 percent to 29 percent. At this rate, it will take decades for women to reach representational parity. Where Campaign 2019 highlighted that […]

Successful minority Parliaments require goodwill, humility

Oct 29 2019 — Bob Rae — There are few phrases more apt to create a chill than “hung Parliament.” It implies confusion, delay, obstruction and a general dither that no one is really in charge and “nothing gets done.” But the reality in Canada and elsewhere is that Parliaments where no one party controls a majority can actually be productive and […]

PM needs western adviser with sway over government agenda

Oct 28 2019 — Graham Fox — The prime minister should put a western adviser in the thick of national decision-making, and also look for ways to build issue-based coalitions. When he addressed reporters in his first post-campaign news conference, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau struck a markedly different tone than in his election night speech to supporters. He acknowledged the very real […]

A post-election glimmer of hope for cultural pluralism?

Oct 25 2019 — Anita Li — The 2019 campaign was a contentious period that revealed Canada to be more of a work in progress than the multicultural haven we claim to be. Still, on balance, the federal election results bode well for how the country will handle discussions of race and our evolving cultural identity over the next four years — […]

The parties went negative, and the media enabled them

Oct 23 2019 — Paul Adams — It is hard for outsiders to understand how gruelling, exhilarating, exciting, frustrating and physically demanding it can be for journalists covering an election. In the modern multi-media, multi-tasking universe in which journalists live, reporters on campaign planes may be tweeting, doing live interviews and writing several stories in the course of 18-hour days, often eating […]

Electoral candidates shouldn’t need white-collar backgrounds

Oct 21 2019 — Michael Morden — After the votes are counted tonight, 338 candidates will be headed to Ottawa to claim their seats as members of Parliament. The other 1500-plus candidates will be headed home. For some of them, that will mean coming to terms with a rough financial picture. Running for office in a competitive campaign is very expensive. Serious […]