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Stories by Les Whittington

Election 2019: Revving up the base in the divisive post-truth era

Opinion|By Les Whittington
It’s hard to know if Andrew Scheer is using this kind of personal demonization and misinformation because he sees it as vital to his populist-oriented appeal or if he’s just reading the script he’s been handed.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Despite the national outpouring of environmental angst last week, Canada could wind up on Oct. 21 with a climate policy not unlike the essentially empty approach fashioned by Harper more than a decade ago.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
The platform covered promises of support to nearly every segment of society except the wealthy, writes columnist Les Whittington.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Trudeau’s blackface debacle complicates the whole picture, but the crucial question remains whether young Canadians, particularly those alarmed by climate change, will make their positions felt on Oct. 21.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Many thought NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh won the debate, though it was mostly a matter of beating low expectations.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
By personalizing his attacks on Justin Trudeau, Andrew Scheer has tried to incite the anger that is the lifeblood of populism. It thrives on resentment and a feeling of being betrayed.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Any extension of drug buying here by Americans beyond what is currently allowed for limited personal use would quickly turn the current drug shortage problem in Canada into an emergency.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Beyond the carbon tax, and not counting the obligatory bloviating about the budget deficit, it’s hard to know what, if anything, Scheer envisions for Canadians.
Author
Politics goes through phases, but when will the willingness of voters to embrace the leadership of would-be autocrats fade as the negative impact becomes undeniable?
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals promised in 2015 to take handguns and assault weapons ‘off our streets,’ but have made only limited progress in the face of strong opposition.
U.S. demographics are changing, and one has to think that the obsession with guns is part of the waning fantasy of past greatness at the heart of what President Donald Trump is selling.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
In the U.S., the white supremacy movement hasn’t bothered to hide the sense of licence created by Trump.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s free-form approach can be seen as far back as the mid-1980s when he switched his stance from conservative to social democrat to win the presidency of the prestigious Oxford Union.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Unfortunately, Donald Trump may only be getting rolling as he bets his anger-based, divisive election blitz can overcome his historically low popularity ratings come November 2020.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
It may have been unintentional, but the premiers helped define some issues that Canadians need to sort out before the Oct. 21 election.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
The development of Lindenlea, a neighbourhood of about 160 lots on the highest point in the city, was unlike any other in Canada.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
The G20 of today has been thrown into chaos, with the consensus-building imperative at the heart of these summits pushed aside by Donald Trump’s one-man show.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
It’s hard to see how Andrew Scheer keeps a straight face, since in any other context he would, as a conservative, presumably be ridiculing the idea of trying to accomplish a society-wide goal by government intervention.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Assuming NAFTA 2.0 is not at a dead end, Justin Trudeau will at least be able to tell voters this fall that he managed in the face of Donald Trump’s irrational protectionism to preserve free trade with the U.S.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Treat the public like a bunch of dazzled rubes, avoid annoying demands for consultation and advance information, personal grudges are as good a basis for public policy as anything else, and other lessons from year one.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Regardless of how the latest U.S.-Mexico tension unfolds, the takeaway for Canada is that the outcome of the NAFTA redo forced by Trump is as unpredictable as ever.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
The risk of Britain careening into a ‘disorderly’ no-deal Brexit is ‘alarmingly high,’ Bank of England Governor Mark Carney warned last month.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
John Bolton's extreme anti-globalist American-supremacy rhetoric might even be funny if he were just your ordinary crackpot and not the president’s national security adviser.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
While the U.S. debates aid cuts, Canada should talk about the need to do more—not less—to improve the conditions that are forcing Central Americans to flee north.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
It’s obvious that the fate of the planet, of human life itself, is at stake. Yet, conservative leaders are using their influence to deride efforts to address the looming catastrophe.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
It’s always the same with right-wing populism. It’s based on the notion that average people won’t notice when they lose out in the fine print.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Robert Mueller has mostly provided fresh evidence that the U.S. president is able in large measure to operate outside the intended system of checks and balances central to U.S. governance.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
After three years of political convulsion at home, the process of extraditing the U.K. from nearly half a century of membership in the EU is becoming a full-scale nightmare for Europeans too.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Vox party leader Santiago Abascal, a Trumpish anti-immigration nationalist, could be the possible kingmaker in a national election in a few weeks.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Canadians need to be much more vigilant about anti-immigrant and racist dog-whistling in the public sphere.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Many of Canada’s hemispheric neighbours, from Mexico to Brazil, are coping with disillusioned citizens, entrenched economic uncertainty, and radical populists.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
With seniors being reliable voters with a pronounced Conservative lean, a failure to mobilize young people this time will put the Liberals at a distinct disadvantage.

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