Canadian Politics

How the PMO Became the Butt of Its Own Protest

Keith Beardsley | Posted 08.25.2013 | Canada Politics
Keith Beardsley

Political staffers always walk a fine line between what they are willing to do and what they shouldn't be doing when it comes to partisan political activities. Today we have a good example of that with allegations in the media that PMO staff had a direct involvement in organizing and coordinating the demonstration that took place earlier this month when Justin Trudeau gave his outdoor press conference. Was it really necessary to protest at Trudeau's press conference? Did the protest achieve its objective and embarrass Trudeau? Did the protest earn positive press coverage for the Conservative Party and more importantly for the Prime Minister?

What I Would Change About Politics in Canada

Elizabeth May | Posted 08.25.2013 | Canada Politics
Elizabeth May

2013-06-21-blog_canada_day_v02.gif In Canada we've got a problem. The symptoms are easy to spot. For example, low voter turnout, a less than vital Fourth Estate and public apathy. What could we change to restore the kind of healthy democracy that would re-engage voters, stop the growth in public cynicism and give Canadians a system -- and individual politicians --they could believe in? Here's a short prescription for what ails our democracy.

Where Have All The Political Leaders Gone?

Jeffrey Bernstein | Posted 08.21.2013 | Canada Politics
Jeffrey Bernstein

Daily updates of the scandals washing over politicians from Montreal to Ottawa to Toronto have some officials looking more like Clay Davis of The Wire's Baltimore than much else. Where have all the leaders gone? Part of the problem, surely, is who we deify. We are guilty of perpetuating a celebrity-obsessed culture, whether those figures drop rhymes, dimes, or guidelines.

Why Do Canadians Still Tolerate Political Scandals?

Gerry Som | Posted 08.13.2013 | Canada
Gerry Som

Last December, I wrote a blog post about my thoughts on how to prevent political scandals in 2013. Yet, I read the newspapers or online news in Canada...

The Problem With Tax Havens

Tom Cardamone | Posted 08.11.2013 | Canada
Tom Cardamone

A tax haven (or "fiscal paradise" in french) seems like a benign, if rampant, breach of the law. It's just a matter of shifting money around, right? Except when a secret company/tax haven is used to shield the activities of a notorious African dictator. Suddenly, the mysterious offshore world no longer seems so harmless.

Was Brent Rathgeber's Stand Too Little Too Late?

Daniel D. Veniez | Posted 08.09.2013 | Canada Politics
Daniel D. Veniez

Like most Canadians, before last week I had never heard of Alberta Conservative MP, Brent Rathgeber. How downright refreshing it was to hear a member of the House of Commons talk fervently about the vital role of the legislative branch as a check on executive power. Too bad that conviction didn't surface earlier. Much earlier.

Rathgeber's Resignation Leaves More Questions Than Answers

Keith Beardsley | Posted 08.10.2013 | Canada Politics
Keith Beardsley

I admire politicians who are respectful, honest and principled. Perhaps that is what I find so fascinating about the Brent Rathgeber affair. But for someone as principled and articulate as Rathgeber, I am surprised he never spoke directly to the Prime Minister on the night he decided to leave the caucus.

10 Reasons Why Harper Isn't Really Canadian

Elizabeth May | Posted 08.06.2013 | Canada Politics
Elizabeth May

In a Global interview with Laura Stone, I am quoted as saying that Stephen Harper is "not Canadian." Having lunch with a reporter on virtually no sleep is a high risk proposition, but I didn't say anything I didn't mean. The issue is this: unlike any prime minister in our history -- Liberal or Conservative -- Mr. Harper reflects a political culture foreign to Canada. What makes me say Mr. Harper has strayed from those traditional Canadian values and style of governance? Well, here's a short list.

Protecting Canadians' Interests First in the Arms Trade Treaty

Deepak Obhrai | Posted 08.06.2013 | Canada Politics
Deepak Obhrai

If properly done, an Arms Trade Treaty can help limit the worldwide trade in illicit arms. But unlike the NDP, we will always take the time to ensure the interests of Canadians are protected. We do our homework. We make sure that any treaty we sign onto is good for Canada, and good for Canadians.

Media Bites: The Secret Not-So-Boring Side of Canadian Politics

J.J. McCullough | Posted 08.06.2013 | Canada Politics
J.J. McCullough

2012-04-27-mediabitesreal.jpg A large reason why Canadian politics often seems so boring is because Canadians (or at least our politicians) are usually too timid to honestly debate the issues that actually make this country an interesting place -- Quebec, immigration, the constitution, etc -- and instead pass off stuff like cheese market reform as brave iconoclasm.

Will a Retired Supreme Court Justice Do?

Terrance Oakey | Posted 08.05.2013 | Canada Politics
Terrance Oakey

On May 31 Canadian Labour Congress president Ken Georgetti issued a press release suggesting supporters of union financial disclosure legislation currently before the Senate "cannot find a single constitutional expert who will agree that Bill C-377 is constitutional." We've received a legal opinion that says otherwise.

Canada's Informal Focus Group

Keith Beardsley | Posted 08.05.2013 | Canada
Keith Beardsley

Yesterday I had the opportunity to take part in an unofficial focus group. I say unofficial as it wasn't organized by any of the research or polling c...

The Canadian Senate Scandal Raises Many Questions and Few Answers

Keith Beardsley | Posted 07.27.2013 | Canada Politics
Keith Beardsley

No one can downplay the seriousness of the issue both for the individuals concerned, for the Prime Minister, the Conservative Party or the Senate itself. The accusations are very serious as the number of investigations indicates. We do have to be careful, though, to separate fact from rhetoric, and ask some hard questions to both sides of the senate scandals.

Top 10 Tips for Reaching Your MP This Summer

Alison Loat | Posted 07.26.2013 | Canada Politics
Alison Loat

The summer, when MPs have little to no interruptions from Ottawa, is an ideal time to reach them with any burning issues or concerns. We reached out to the inside experts on political engagement -- political staff. We asked for their advice on getting the ears of MPs. Here are some of their tips.

The Fraser Institute on Health Care: Around the World in 180 Days

Andrew Boozary | Posted 07.24.2013 | Canada
Andrew Boozary

Presented with the opportunity to pick from any of the health systems the world has to offer, who in the right mind would choose Canada's single-payer model after reading their post? Turns out a country did have the opportunity the choose. That country was Taiwan.

Why Is Harper Protecting Conservative Wrong-Doers?

Keith Beardsley | Posted 07.16.2013 | Canada Politics
Keith Beardsley

The Conservative caucus must be stunned at this on-going drama that unfolds day after day. In both the Penashue case and the recent Senate revelations the public is left with the impression that the Prime Minister is protecting individuals who have done something wrong. The public quite rightly should be asking "why?"

The Ironically Irresponsible Economic Action Plan Ads

Keith Beardsley | Posted 07.08.2013 | Canada Business
Keith Beardsley

Fiscal responsibility has been the hallmark of the Harper government from day one. It's therefore quite interesting to see in year seven of his reign that the opposition is focused on trying to destroy the credibility the Tories have on that front. It's a good strategy on their part, enabled by some help from the government side.

Media Bites: Harper Bashing Is the New Reporting

J.J. McCullough | Posted 07.06.2013 | Canada Politics
J.J. McCullough

2012-04-27-mediabitesreal.jpg Harper-bashers direct their most virulent criticisms towards scarier Harper initiatives they presume should exist but don't actually. Ratcheting back same-sex rights. Crushing the CBC. And so on. With anti-Harper straw men and conspiracy theories playing such a large role in Canadian politics these days, the journalist's mandate as neutral arbitrator of fact and fiction has never been more needed.

David Suzuki Empowers 8,000 Youth to Wake Up Canada!

Amy MacPherson | Posted 07.05.2013 | Canada Impact
Amy MacPherson

On April 25, 2013, renowned scientist Dr. David Suzuki attended the WFCU Centre to empower the crowd with his Wake Up Canada call. It's a campaign organized by the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition to support a day of action, encouraging kids to advocate for their environmental future through the very media that overlooked them this time around.

Is Justin Trudeau A Conservative?

Tom Kott | Posted 06.30.2013 | Canada Politics
Tom Kott

Trudeau is trying to find a new niche for the Liberal Party. A preliminary look indicated that he is trying to take the Conservative party's old right-of-centre spot on the ideological spectrum. With fewer differences between the two parties, Trudeau's youth and vitality may come as an asset in 2015 when Canadians go to the polls.

Is the Bangladesh Factory Too Far for Us to Care?

Andrew Boozary | Posted 06.28.2013 | Canada
Andrew Boozary

The death toll from the collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh now stands at over 350 people. In a wonderfully sensitive essay, Jian Ghomeshi raised the question of proximity when it came to our response to human tragedies. Distance may have become arbitrary, but how we draw the lines to connect our dots to one another has not. We can easily grieve, and most rightfully so, with the victims of Boston because we can all picture ourselves there. A feeling of complete and utter vulnerability. But when it's market forces or the lack of regulations that inflict terror, how are we to feel?

100% of Tax-Funded Mail Outs Go to 10% of Canadians

Keith Beardsley | Posted 06.26.2013 | Canada Politics
Keith Beardsley

Ten percenters are sent out through the House of Commons (i.e.: using taxpayer's dollars) and they are a mail out that is designed to allow an MP to communicate a few times a year with a mass mailing to 10 per cent of their constituents. In this day and age of technology and multimedia communications do we even need ten percenters?

Trudeau Needs To Do Better Than This

Daniel Dickin | Posted 06.23.2013 | Canada Politics
Daniel Dickin

Justin Trudeau needs to fire his public relations team. Either that, or perhaps the Conservative Party truth ads were entirely correct in depicting Trudeau as being completely devoid of the experience."Doesn't have the judgment or experience to be Prime Minister" could not have rung clearer in Trudeau's first week as Liberal leader.

Trudeau Attack Ads: Hit or Miss?

Keith Beardsley | Posted 06.19.2013 | Canada Politics
Keith Beardsley

Political attack ads are designed to make you think. Their aim is to get you to look at a person or an issue in a different light, one different from what the media or the party's political spin machine wants you to look at. Simply put, they work. While it seems everyone complains about them, they still watch them.

Trudeau Attack Ad: the NDP Are the Real Winners Here

Stephen Hampton | Posted 06.19.2013 | Canada Politics
Stephen Hampton

Both the Conservative and Liberal parties have declared themselves victorious over the recent Trudeau attack ads but the real winners of these ads have been the NDP. These ads allow the NDP the luxury of not spending money on, or bearing the negative condemnation that comes with running attack ads. Moreover the NDP benefit from the actual attack that the Liberals and Trudeau are taking because attack ads do work.