Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014
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A Canadian political Christmas tale

The moral of the story is it’s tough to write about the nasty world of politics at a time when we should be celebrating peace, love and joy.

The uncoolness of Canadian conservatism

Among politicians at least, conservatism in Canada today is about as fashionable as Lawrence Welk music at a high school prom.

NDP losing the narrative wars

The good news for New Democrats is that media perceptions can change quickly.

Harper’s career longevity won’t impress his critics

Stephen Harper has now logged in more than 3,200 days as leader of this country, making him the sixth longest-serving prime minister in Canadian history.

Why The New York Times should like Harper

That’s the point The New York Times is missing. If, like Harper, the Republicans ever deem it to be in their political self-interest to limit the ability of ‘big money’ to influence elections, they’ll do it.

Get ready for the politics of resentment

What this means is the next federal election promises to pit right-wing populism against left-wing populism against regional-populism.

Democracy is messy but wonderful

A day after the tragic and horrendous Ottawa shooting, our federal political parties put aside their partisan cudgels and gathered in the House of Commons to express their unanimous support for the values that bring us together as a nation.

Upcoming tax debate good for Tories

In the next Canadian election, taxes will be discussed to death. In fact, the political script for this inevitable tax debate is easy to predict.

Team Trudeau pretty darn close to a personality cult

Team Trudeau has decided to take a different route; rather than emphasizing its brand, it’s stressing the personality of its leader: Justin Trudeau.

Get ready for some fiscal propaganda: Nicholls

However, the Conservatives want Canadians to feel good about the economy, but not too good.

Harper and the politics of green

The reason Stephen Harper gives the environmental movement the cold shoulder has less to do with him hating Mother Earth and more do with him wanting to win elections.

Let’s keep voting voluntary: Gerry Nicholls

Mandatory voting, which the Liberal Party of Canada is apparently thinking about making part of its election agenda, is the wrong remedy to the wrong problem.

Last two weeks of an election campaign matter

It’s during those two weeks, when voters are finally focused, when they are finally paying attention and when they are finally open to influence, you need to make the strongest case possible for your candidate or party.

Mulcair’s policy gambit risky, but right

While Justin Trudeau is strong when it comes to personality, he’s weak when it comes to policy. And this weakness explains why Tom Mulcair is releasing his policy planks now.

Harper faces frustratingly fuzzy future

What’s frustrating Stephen Harper isn’t the Conservative Party’s consistently poor showing in public polls, or the scandals which have plagued his government or his increasingly toxic relationship with the media. What would irk him is the fuzzy nature of Canada’s political future.

Has Trudeau become boring?

Social media provides forum for partisan loopiness, but don’t ban it

Trudeau: Photo op superstar

Photo ops matter because we are a visual species; strong images move us.

Union leader should temper his rhetoric

During the next federal election Sid Ryan and his union allies won’t be able to play the same political role as they did in Ontario; certainly they won’t be able to spend the same sort of money on media ads to defeat Harper as they did to defeat Hudak.

How to embrace a problem: Conservatives can use bad polls to fundraise

If a problem can’t be avoided, sometimes it should be embraced. To see what I mean just consider the Conservative Party of Canada and its ‘poll problem,’ which can be defined thusly: ‘Almost every public domain poll that’s come out over the past year or so, has the Conservatives trailing the Justin Trudeau-led Liberals.’


Parliamentary Calendar
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Maher, Den Tandt's Barrack Hill Balladeers perform at Tunes for Ottawa Food Bank shindig at D'Arcy's, Dec. 17 Dec. 18, 2014

Photograph courtesy of Dylan Robertson
D'Arcy McGees was packed on Wednesday night as Hill journalists, staffers. GR and PR folks came out to raise money for the Ottawa Food Bank.
Photograph courtesy of Mark Bourrie
Stephen Maher and Michael Den Tant performing alongside fellow Barrack Hill Balladeers at D'Arcy's Wednesday night.
Photograph courtesy of Stephen Maher
Mark Fraser and Bobby Watt start off the evening with Irish folk song Carrickfergus.
Embassy News Photograph courtesy of Laura Beaulne-Stuebing
Mark Fraser, Stephen Maher, Michael Den Tant and Celeste Côté.
The Hill Times photograph by Rachel Aiello
The Barrack Hill Balladeers had been practising for a while before their performance, said Stephen Maher. The crowd enjoyed them.