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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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‘Thou shalt be there,’ government whip tells MPs as high-stakes minority Parliament kicks off Thursday

News|By Palak Mangat 11:22 AM ET
In a minority Parliament, co-operation between parties is now an 'imperative, as opposed to something that we would try to do,' says Chief Government Whip Mark Holland.

‘A servant of the House’: MPs to elect Commons Speaker in early-morning ceremony

News|By Beatrice Paez
Incumbent House Speaker Geoff Regan says he expects MPs will be largely influenced by their peers' assessments of the candidates in casting their ballots for the new Speaker.

Political ties, not diplomatic bona fides needed for next Canadian envoy in D.C., says former ambassador

News|By Neil Moss
‘From a U.S. perspective, the relationship between the ambassador and the prime minister has to be extremely close,’ says Michael Kergin.

‘Let’s get on with the contest now’: chorus of prominent Conservatives calling for Scheer’s ouster continues to grow

News|By Mike Lapointe
But a Conservative source is decrying public criticism of Andrew Scheer's leadership, saying it will only create the kind of schisms that will set the party back and that former leader Stephen Harper worked to avoid.

Parliament security labour standoff nearing end of the road

Long-awaited collective agreements are finally being settled with the unions representing Parliament’s security officers, just in time for a new round of talks.

French envoy defends Macron’s NATO comments as ‘brave’

French ambassador Kareen Rispal says the 29-member alliance is in the midst of a political crisis and her president was recognizing that fact.

‘Small but mighty’: New Democrats say they’re up to the task as MPs pile on critic jobs

The 24-member team is Jagmeet Singh’s ‘first caucus,’ says MP Don Davies, and the group is ‘starting with a clean slate.’

Diversity, inclusion minister should act as ‘catalyst’ with cross-ministerial power, say advocates

'It is a weird irony that integration is being isolated this way,' says Anita Singh, while others say there’s an opportunity for the diversity, inclusion, and youth file to play a larger role in government.

PMO finalizes the chiefs of staff of 22 cabinet ministers; senior PMO staffer Bouchard moves to Heritage

News|By Abbas Rana
The Liberal Research Bureau is seeking applications from interested staffers to fill posts in the Prime Minister's Office and the offices of MPs and ministers.
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