Daniel Dickin
Daniel Dickin is a columnist for The Prince Arthur Herald. He obtained his B.A. in law and political science from Carleton University in 2011 and his M.A. in public administration from Athabasca University in 2014. He is the author of Liars: The McGuinty-Wynne Record and resides in Ottawa, Ontario. www.danieldickin.ca

Entries by Daniel Dickin

Should the NDP Be Allowed to Run This Election?

(224) Comments | Posted August 20, 2015 | 12:43 PM

This post has been updated to correct and clarify the following:

-A previous version of this post stated funds used for NDP satellite offices were spent on partisan activities, which could not be verified.
-A previous version of this post did not mention the NDP has challenged...

Read Post

Trudeau's Record Shows He's Not a Leader

(220) Comments | Posted July 14, 2015 | 12:39 PM

Justin Trudeau is simply not qualified for the job of prime minister. That's the argument of the first hard-hitting book that looks at Justin Trudeau's record as leader of the Liberal Party, The Dauphin: The Truth about Justin Trudeau [disclosure: I share a publisher Paul Tuns].

Canadians will...

Read Post

The Conservatives Balance Budgets and Keep Promises

(70) Comments | Posted April 26, 2015 | 10:54 PM

Last week Finance Minister Joe Oliver tabled Economic Action Plan 2015: Strong Leadership: A Balanced Budget, Low-Tax Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Security. This budget is only the latest in a long string of Conservative promises that have been made and kept, a proud record that will be...

Read Post

Ontario Liberal Scandals Continue to Pile Up

(53) Comments | Posted April 20, 2015 | 12:38 AM

One year ago, my book Liars: The McGuinty-Wynne Record was released, on how the McGuinty-Wynne Liberals run Ontario. It is the only book on the market -- positive or negative -- that seeks to define and explain the Ontario Liberals' record of mismanagement under Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen...

Read Post

NDP Missteps Have Distracted Us From Trudeau's Shortcomings

(52) Comments | Posted April 12, 2015 | 10:22 PM

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau's political slogan has been "building the team and the plan." So far, his "team" will be forced to be pro-choice and pro-marijuana, and his "plan" is legalizing marijuana, being against fighting terrorism, and placing a price on carbon.

Seriously. That's where the Liberals are at two...

Read Post

Why Canada Will Become a Dictatorship Under Trudeau

(597) Comments | Posted December 12, 2014 | 11:59 AM

Originally published in the Prince Arthur Herald

It's becoming clearer as the days of Trudeau's Liberals wear on: if elected Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau would turn Canada into a dictatorship.

This is the man who admitted he "admires China's basic dictatorship." It wasn't just a sarcastic...

Read Post

It's a Depressing Time for Ontario Politics

(24) Comments | Posted October 20, 2014 | 12:59 PM

Ontario had a rough summer. Many of us are still feeling the effects of the hangover from the June 2014 election that shamefully saw Kathleen Wynne's Liberals re-elected with a majority government.

Ontarians were quickly thanked for their support of the scandal-plagued Liberals: almost 34,000 more Ontarians found themselves out...

Read Post

No Matter Who Won the Ontario Debate, Wynne Lost

(6) Comments | Posted June 6, 2014 | 12:30 PM

The Progressive Conservatives' Tim Hudak and the New Democrats' Andrea Horwath emerged as the clear winners in Tuesday's leaders' debate, as Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne spent 90 minutes attempting to correct her party's record of debt, deficits, and corruption.

Within hours of the debate's conclusion polls made it...

Read Post

The Liberal Government Has Left a Terrible, Inexcusable Legacy For Ontario

(54) Comments | Posted May 31, 2014 | 2:57 PM

There's just no way the Ontario Liberals can put a positive spin on their legacy. Whether it's what they've done or what they say they want to do, everything this Liberal government touches turns to greed, corruption, scandal, mismanagement, or cronyism. It's been that way since Dalton McGuinty took office...

Read Post

The Ontario Election Ad Ban's Been Lifted and the Claws Are Out

(12) Comments | Posted May 23, 2014 | 6:09 PM

With week two of the Ontario election over and TV ads finally available, Ontario's political parties are beginning to shape their campaigns.

Last week, the release of Tim Hudak's Million Jobs Plan filled the news space about what Hudak's plan would and would not do.

Predictably, a portion...

Read Post

Only Hudak Has a Plan For Ontario So Far

(13) Comments | Posted May 19, 2014 | 7:34 PM

The first week of Ontario's election campaign has come and gone, and it's clear where at least one of the parties stand and where they intend to go.

Tim Hudak's Progressive Conservatives came out of the gate with their Million Jobs Plan, a plan to create one-million jobs...

Read Post

What Were the Liberals Thinking With This Budget?

(21) Comments | Posted May 12, 2014 | 5:28 PM

It's hard to imagine how the Ontario Liberals and Kathleen Wynne could have possibly thought their 2014 budget would fly with either the New Democrats or the Progressive Conservatives.

Increased payroll taxes would cost the average full-time worker $893 more per year.

A mandatory "Ontario Pension Plan" would become yet...

Read Post

The Truth About the 2011 Federal Election

(9) Comments | Posted May 1, 2014 | 6:08 PM

Published for the Prince Arthur Herald

Commissioner of Canada Elections Yves Cote has concluded his investigation regarding the alleged "robocalls" that took place during the 2011 federal election, and it's not what the media or Opposition NDP or Liberals wanted to hear.

The report, released on...

Read Post

The NDP Is Filibustering Democracy

(26) Comments | Posted March 4, 2014 | 11:12 AM

Published for the Prince Arthur Herald

Opposition parties need only look in the mirror if they're seriously wondering why "closure" and "time allocation" have increasingly been used in parliamentary affairs.

Of course, both are valid procedures that have existed for decades. Closure requires that a question...

Read Post

Why Wynne Lost Big at the Reddit "Ask Me Anything" Event

(5) Comments | Posted February 14, 2014 | 11:40 AM

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne attempted to appear connected to the younger generation and responsive to the many questions and concerns of Ontarians, but she failed miserably.

On February 11, Wynne held a Reddit "Ask me Anything" session. AMA sessions are supposed to be about "something uncommon that plays...

Read Post

Forget Sochi, the Tories' Budget Deserves a Medal

(4) Comments | Posted February 11, 2014 | 7:08 PM

Economic Action Plan 2014 wasn't even tabled in the House of Commons before NDP leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal leader Justin Trudeau complained about it.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's 10th federal budget, officially titled "The Road to Balance: Creating Jobs and Opportunities," focuses on delivering real results...

Read Post

Trudeau's Abolition of Liberal Senators Changes Nothing

(0) Comments | Posted February 7, 2014 | 9:31 AM

Originally published for the Prince Arthur Herald

Justin Trudeau has banished all 32 Liberal Senators from the Liberal caucus, yet he's managed to accomplish absolutely nothing in the process.

At a surprise meeting Wednesday morning, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau told his Liberal Senators they were all fired from...

Read Post

Fair Elections Act Is the Change Canadians Have Been Waiting For

(7) Comments | Posted February 6, 2014 | 5:02 PM

Originally published for the Prince Arthur Herald

On Tuesday the Conservative government introduced the Fair Elections Act, a comprehensive list of reforms aimed at modernizing Elections Canada and Canada's whole electoral system.

Bill C-23 was introduced by Minister of State for Democratic Reform Pierre Poilievre and...

Read Post

A Troubling 2013 for Justin Trudeau's Liberals

(26) Comments | Posted December 19, 2013 | 11:21 AM

Parliament has risen for its Christmas break and won't sit again until January 27, 2014. In true Christmas spirit, it's a time for reflection on the good and bad of 2013, and how that record may be updated in 2014.

Unfortunately, the record for Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party has been...

Read Post

House of Cards: 11 Questions to be Answered in Season 2

(0) Comments | Posted December 19, 2013 | 6:44 AM

(Spoiler alert: Season 2 predictions will include recaps of what happened in Season 1. If you haven't seen Season 1, get over to Netflix and watch it!)

Netflix's House of Cards was nominated for four Golden Globes just hours before they launched their Season 2 trailer. They were also nominated for nine Emmys and took home three. Indeed, the part-political thriller, part-drama, part-social science experiment starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright was an incredible hit in its first season. Unfortunately, Season 2 will be the final season for House of Cards, citing the actors' and producers' preferences to do movies over a television series.

Here are 11 questions to be answered in House of Cards Season two:

1. Reporter and former Underwood mistress Zoe Barnes is onto Frank Underwood's (Spacey) murder of Representative Peter Russo, and she confronts Underwood by saying "I need to know I wasn't a part of someone's... murder." How close has Barnes come to the truth, and with whom has she shared this information? (The trailer suggests at least her fellow colleagues Janine Skorsky and Lucas Goodwin.)

2. Underwood suggests "the road to power is paved with hypocrisy... and casualties." Who will those casualties be in Season 2? In Season 1, casualties included union bosses and members, Congressional staffers, reporters, unions, business owners, Congressmen and women, Democratic Party officials, and even the life of a sitting Congressman. Some of those characters were "fired," killing them out of the series. But what about those who remain: reporters Zoe Barnes, Lucas Goodwin, and Janine Skorsky? Lobbyist and former Underwood employee Remy Danton? Personal friend of the President Raymond Tusk? Underwood's chief of staff Doug Stamper?

In the Season 2 trailer, we see Underwood tell Stamper "we need to invite a full frontal attack." Stamper tells Underwood "I don't think that's a good idea, sir." We see a white hood removed from a man's head, as if he had just been kidnapped. We also see a white powder come out of a manila envelope Skorsky opens in her office. What sort of response is Underwood hoping to accomplish?

3. Underwood feels he needs to prove "what the Vice President is capable of." Well, what is the Vice President capable of? The man whom Underwood is replacing, Jim Mathews, left the job as Vice President for a run at Governor of Pennsylvania because he complained being Vice President was only about shaking hands and signing autographs. He complained he had little value in advising the President on policies and courses of action. Now that Underwood is in the Vice President's chair, what does he want to prove? Will he use the seat to quickly punish those who disobeyed him as Majority Government Whip (e.g. Representatives Abrams and Vanderberg)?

4. How will the relationship between Barnes and Goodwin progress? In Season 1, once Barnes finally ends her affair/fling with Underwood she seems to come to her senses and begins to settle down in a relationship with Goodwin. The two are beginning to become a power couple-journalism team as they begin to learn about Underwood's house of cards with Skorsky. Yet, we also see Barnes passionately kissing another female in a bed. Is Barnes back to her old ways of sleeping around to get a story? Or is she still confused and full of father issues?

5. Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) continues to stand by her ruthless husband, saying "I know you'll do what you think is best." However, in Season 1 she was not against plainly sabotaging her husband's political plans when she felt her own politics were more important (for her non-profit water filtration organization). Will Claire be pushed to a breaking point, or will she continue to stand by her husband? Why does Underwood appear to be burying his wedding ring?

6. Who will take office in the upcoming elections? As we left Season 1, Vice President Mathews was leaving the office for what was thought to be an easy win to be re-elected as Governor of Pennsylvania. Paul Capra, the shipbuilders' union leader and childhood friend of Russo, was approached to run as the Democratic candidate to replace Russo after his death. Capra declined at the time, but will he change his mind?

7. Did Doug Stamper, Underwood's chief of staff, cause Underwood public humiliation and embarrassment over Stamper's use and bribe of Rachel the prostitute? In Season 1, Stamper bribed Rachel to say she was never in the car when Russo was arrested for driving while intoxicated. That bribe came back to haunt Stamper when Rachel blackmailed him, saying she knew who Stamper was and threatened to take down Stamper's boss (Underwood). This caused Stamper to put Rachel up in a new apartment and help her start a new life for herself.

Stamper's generosity came to help Underwood, when Stamper needed Rachel to get Russo drunk and do a radio interview on Russo's run for Governor while still drunk the following morning. In the Season 2 trailer, Underwood says to Stamper "I did my part, now put it to bed Doug. I won't submit myself to this sort of exposure again." How much of Stamper's actions are known, and did Stamper's actions hurt the Vice President, or was Underwood able to contain it? Will Stamper be fired?

8. How influential will Raymond Tusk be in Season 2? In Season 1, it was Raymond Tusk who was secretly vetting Underwood for his suitability as Vice President while Underwood thought he was vetting Tusk for his suitability as Vice President. To make Tusk reveal his hand and potentially feel more loyalty to Underwood, Underwood attempted to shake up a few of Tusk's nuclear energy investments by approaching some oil and gas companies to engage in insider trading. The plan didn't work, since Tusk was tipped off and sold his investments.

In the Season 2 trailer, we hear what sounds to be Tusk telling the President "you would be making a disastrous mistake." We also hear Tusk telling Underwood, "the tip of your ice berg is melting," suggesting Tusk may also be on to Underwood's house of cards. Finally, we see Tusk on the phone telling someone "yeah, hit him now." What sort of repayment will Tusk expect for supporting Underwood's nomination as Vice President, what sort of power does Tusk wield to retaliate against Underwood, and how will the President view the Tusk vs. Underwood conflict?

9. Who will replace Underwood as Majority Government Whip? Underwood, being promoted into the Vice President's chair, will have an enormous influence over who is chosen as his replacement. Will he choose a lapdog, a loyal and friendly Representative? That seems unlikely, since there were few Representatives with whom Underwood was friendly in Season 1. What seems more likely is that Underwood will nominate someone he doesn't like, either so he can later cash in on favours or so that person can be humiliated and eventually thrown aside when a better replacement can be found.

10. In a news interview, we see the title "dirty laundry" on a television as a reporter asks a female "so this goes all the way to the White House?" She responds "it might." But the voice does not sound like Barnes' or Skorsky's -- who is this new person? Further, is this the same dirty laundry from Season 1 (Russo's death, Barnes' affair), or is this new dirty laundry?

11. How much will the President stand for? Remember, Underwood's house of cards started because Underwood felt he was passed over by the President for a Secretary of State spot. One could think now that Underwood has the Vice President's chair he would rekindle any hard feelings he has, but that would be wrong.

In Season 1 Underwood admitted he wanted the Vice President's spot so he could run for President in 2016. That means he will be a very active and visible Vice President, as he seeks every opportunity to put his face on the positive government accomplishments and hide from the negative. That's why the trailer shows Underwood in front of the cameras or being interviewed by reporters several times, whereas in the first season very rarely did he make media appearances. We see the President tell Underwood "I told you to stop back-channeling," to which Underwood replies "I can turn this around, sir." The President responds with "you are out of line, Frank!"

And finally, with season two being the final season, how will it end? Will it be 2016 with Underwood having announced his intention to seek the Democratic nomination for President? Will it end in present-day with Underwood remaining as Vice President? Will Underwood have resigned?

These are just a few questions that will surely be answered throughout Season 2. Season 2 is to be released on February 14, 2014 on Netflix, with all episodes being immediately available.

Published for the Prince Arthur Herald


Read Post