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Stories by Les Whittington

Don’t count on parliamentary progress after this scattershot election outcome

Opinion|By Les Whittington
A smooth-working minority Parliament, while not impossible, seems highly unlikely.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
On health, climate, energy, the pandemic, childcare, and possibly pharmacare, Trudeau’s government will have to navigate pronounced regional divisions and try to win consensus with a mixed bag of premiers.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Let’s hope voters shelve their anger and zealousness and lend some clear direction for the next government as it tries to define Canada for the post-pandemic future.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Canada doesn’t need its national leaders contributing to untrue conspiracy theories at a time when disinformation and unhinged paranoia on social media have splintered the information universe.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
While Canada certainly needs to do more to help low-income earners, the CCB is given the lion’s share of credit for bringing about a marked decline in poverty in this country since the Trudeau Liberals took power.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
I was trying to think of a more abject, bold-faced repudiation by a political leader of his own party’s platform on an issue of significance. I couldn’t think of one.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Overall, Erin O’Toole’s proposals owe a great deal to Stephen Harper and the Reform-based movement he brought to power more than a decade ago.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
It’s unclear how anti-vaccine politics, a counterintuitive issue that owes much of its prominence to Donald Trump’s refusal to face up to the reality of COVID, will ultimately play out with Canadian voters.
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Opinion|By Les Whittington
Although Trudeau is as gutsy as anybody, he doesn’t talk like a tough guy, which probably works against him with a certain group of macho-aspiring males.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
A former corporate lawyer who portrays himself as an average Joe, the Conservative leader is running a campaign that is a study in ambiguity and vagueness, touching all the bases without committing to much of anything.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
The current outlook gives Trudeau only about a 50-50 chance of achieving the majority government that was, after all, the aim of this whole endeavour.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Polls show the public could be much more ready to support sweeping change along progressive, left-of-centre lines than at any time in recent decades.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
A larger percentage of the population in Canada has now received COVID shots, but the right-wing base continues to exert an outsized influence in the virus response in certain provinces.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
The next election has the potential to be like none other. The actual ballot question is impossible to envision. And who knows what most Canadians are looking for after 17 months of struggling with the pandemic?
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Donald Trump’s idolizing base continues to rage against the establishment, progressives, Democrats, and the minority groups who tend to support Democratic candidates.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
The reluctance to imbue the federal government with a full leadership role or embrace dynamic national cohesion is part of the reason Canadians have been stuck in COVID hell for 16 months.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Worrying about trees during a pandemic might seem a diversion for dilettantes. But these trees are an important element of our everyday environment and part of what helps make it an attractive urban space.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Crazy, paranoid theories have now erupted into mainstream political thinking in a way that would not have seemed possible only a few years ago.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
With interest rates not expected to go up soon, half-baked efforts by federal and provincial authorities to discourage risky home buying are not expected to significantly slow the runaway housing market.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
With the U.S. pounding on the doors and some Canadians becoming increasingly impatient, this longstanding national shortcoming has the potential to emerge as much more of a political risk factor.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
If, as expected, Trudeau manages to prompt a fall election, the Liberals are in a position to argue Canadians have gotten past COVID and are ready to take a leap into a more environmentally attuned and innovative future.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
As a seasoned performer, Johnson is welcoming his chance at the first post-Trump summit to reassert his country’s claim to go-it-alone international significance.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Democrats have not been much better at defying pressure from the 12,000-strong K Street lobbying army. And the single-interest tail may be still wagging the national-interest dog when it comes to Biden's administration.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Anger, distrust, and bitterness over change can take precedence over voters’ concerns about policies that influence their own lives and economic standing. To what extent this applies in Canada remains to be seen.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Of course, it’s possible that many Canadian political leaders may not be in office to play a role as these issues unwind in the wake of the current calamity.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
If current trends continue in the U.S., it is problematic for Canada, which has a great deal to lose from inward-looking, nationalist leaders in Washington with no regard for alliances or diplomacy.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Ford cannot get past the anti-worker mentality born of his years as a rich, entitled business owner with little use for notions of government-promoted good.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Now Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, having anted up $30-billion for childcare, is negotiating again with the provinces.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
The Liberals are clearly taking advantage of the way the virus emergency has undercut the neoliberal austerity fixation that has influenced federal government spending intentions in every budget for the past 30 years.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Whether Canadians are ready for this reimagined socio-economic vision will be a major political story going forward.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Regardless of COVID-19, the federal government needs to go beyond rhetoric and marshal a national consensus to get a lot tougher on hateful behaviour.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
In the near future, voters’ score sheets are likely to be mainly shaped by their reading of their leaders’ responses to the pandemic. It’s impossible to say how the Liberals will fare once the verdict arrives.
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