The demands of party discipline require MPs to be like tribal warriors who obediently and loyally follow orders, meaning it’s hard for them to advertise their leadership skills; being a good follower isn’t the same as being a good leader. The upshot of all this is that when a party is forced to find a new leader, it’s often difficult for that party’s membership to evaluate the potential replacements.
So, the way things are going now in terms of fiscal policy, taxpayers should be prepared. Canada could soon be deluged with flocks of naked geese.
For the Liberals to do this, they’d have to shatter their own principles. When they were in opposition, the Liberals routinely denounced the Economic Action Plan campaigns, arguing (quite rightly) they were nothing but taxpayer-funded partisan propaganda.
I’m not defending the status quo nor am I minimizing the impact of changing our electoral process. Certainly the voting process matters a lot to the political classes. But what really matters isn’t ‘how’ we elect our leaders, it’s ‘why.’
The old cynical tricks, they argue, have now been replaced with a new ‘sunny ways’ brand of politics. And perhaps that’s true. But cynical politics has a way of lasting.
Indeed, it seems all it takes to achieve political fame these days is a well-crafted plan to grab the media spotlight.
Justin Trudeau will fight terrorism, without actually fighting terrorism; he will battle climate change with new taxes and regulations without somehow harming the economy; he will spend the country into years of deficits, while at the same time being fiscally responsible.
It’s difficult to oppose a government that’s stolen all your ideas.
Even in the face of a common danger like ISIS, Canadians these days find themselves divided, arguing about military strategy, about refugee policies, and about security measures.
Like it or not, fiscal conservatism as an ideology is about as fashionable with politicians these days as the mullet hairdo.
I expect that even with change-happy Trudeau sitting in the Prime Minister’s Office, a lot of stuff will remain the same.
His lasting impact will be how he scared the Liberals into mutating our democracy.
Under a less skilled or weaker leader, Harper’s carefully nurtured Conservative coalition could split apart at the seams.
Conservatives saw opposition to the niqab, not as attacking a religion, but as defending Western traditions. So like it or not, tribal politics can always be rationalized and therefore will always be with us.
During these finals days before voters cast their ballots, the dynamics of an election race can change quickly. And the reason for that is plain old-fashioned voter procrastination.
To be successful, politicians need to be real. They can’t assume a role in the political play that doesn’t truly fit their personalities or match their skill sets.
For the past 40 years or so, the successful Canadian political parties were usually the ones that ladled out bland ideological porridge. Not any more.
If it ever comes to the point when electoral defeat seems inevitable taking some sort of risky, high-stakes gamble sure beats panicking.
This is a classic case of the heart versus the mind.
So the main thing you need to know about the election is that thanks to the Mike Duffy trial—which received more media coverage than a manned moon landing—Canadians learned a crucially-important fact, namely that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s chief of staff is named Ray Novak.
Party Under the Stars was held on Feb. 3 at Ottawa City Hall. Conservative MPs Erin O'Toole and Steven Blaney dancing with performer Jully Black.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, Party Under the Stars organizer Cheri Elliott, National Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, and Chief Government Whip Andrew Leslie.
Environics' Louis Charles Roy, Greg MacEachern, and their newest hire Chris McCluskey.
The crowd inside the Sir John A. Macdonald Building on Feb. 3.
Liberal MPs Joyce Murray, Sukh Dhaliwal, and Hedy Fry with B.C. Premier Christy Clark.
B.C. Liberal MP Joe Peschisolido and Premier Christy Clark.