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Election 2019

Canada’s in a mess up to its ears, and all we’re talking about is blackface and a reusable cup

By Michael Harris      

Today's politics is all about swift-boating—the PR pistol-whipping of your political opponent. And the transformation of political campaigns into tacky reality shows is not limited to how voters can be manipulated in the digital age. It has also affected what stories get big play, and which get short shrift. Click-bait is everywhere, including the media, which takes me to the sorry episode of Justin Trudeau’s blackface.  

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, pictured on Sept. 20, 2019, campaigning in Toronto with Liberal MPs Nate Erskine-Smith and Julie Dabrusin. Much more consequential questions surround this blackface story. Given that Justin Trudeau has governed for a full term as PM, how can it be that his biggest electoral challenge, if the pollsters have it right, is to successfully apologize for events that took place in high school and early adulthood?How can this be a bigger challenge to his electability than the SNC-Lavalin affair, his foreign policy, and his broken promises? My guess? Blackface instantly inflames the emotions, while weighty policy matters are a drug on the market in the click-bait era. Photograph courtesy of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Twitter

HALIFAX—As Donald Trump dangles by the thread of his latest impeachable offence, what one historian has called his “historical merit” is on full display in Canada’s federal election.

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For whom will the bell toll in Peterborough-Kawartha?

In a riding where voters are deeply engaged in the political process, candidates avoid the low-hanging fruit and stay out of the mud as they grapple with who to send to the House of Commons.

Singh’s strong campaign an internal win, whatever the outcome, New Democrats say

Jagmeet Singh’s impressive campaign has ‘rescued’ and ‘refocused’ the NDP after the failed 2015 effort, Ed Broadbent says.

The astrophysicist whose polling aggregator is projecting the election

News|By Neil Moss
The mastermind behind 338Canada, poll aggregator Philippe Fournier, is aiming to correctly call 90 per cent of the seats in the Oct. 21 race.

Transition teams must be prepared for ‘unpredictable outcomes’ in minority situation, say former senior bureaucrats

News|By Mike Lapointe
The 'essence of clerkness' is continuity of government, says former PCO clerk Mel Cappe, who says he's 'strongly advised' current PCO clerk Ian Shugart to reach out to Andrew Scheer's team.

What’s your issue? Taxes, climate change, health care top leaders’ campaign pitches this election

The Liberals, Conservatives, NDP, and Greens collectively spotlighted tax offers on 17 of 31 days of the campaign, climate change on 15 days, and health care on 11.

Preliminary data shows nearly 3 million tuned in to French debate, more than double 2015’s ratings

The viewership for the Leaders' Debates Commission's French debate was more than double the viewership for the TVA debate, preliminary data shows, and higher than the 2015 French consortium event.

‘It’s definitely in the top quadrant’: election campaign one of dirtiest in recent history, say political insiders

News|By Abbas Rana
This campaign is not defined by any overarching issue, and has become ‘personal’ and ‘ugly’ between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, says pollster and Ipsos president Darrell Bricker.

‘They’re really riled up here’: Conservatives circling Goodale’s lone Liberal seat in Saskatchewan

‘The numbers are holding very closely to what they were last time. It all depends on turnout,’ says the 31-year MP Ralph Goodale. 

Candidates scramble to outperform their competitors in the critical ground game ahead of next week’s election

News|By Abbas Rana
Liberal MP Ken Hardie says his team has set up get-out-the-vote ground operations in the riding to get all his supporters to the polling booths on election day.
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