Two kinds of campaign
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Two kinds of campaign

Movies make political campaigns look dramatic. There’s always some veteran campaigner with rolled up shirtsleeves and a loose necktie running a “war room,” yelling at junior staffers, throwing papers around and smoking cigarettes. There’s always a huge scandal, and the chief strategist has a brilliant idea that turns the whole election around. I’ve been on…

The choices before us
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The choices before us

As we Canadians prepare to go to the polls next week, we need to make ourselves aware of where the major political parties stand on the most significant issues of the day. The six parties we will see on our ballots are the currently governing Liberal Party, the Conservatives, the New Democrats, the Greens, the…

Trudeau’s gamble
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Trudeau’s gamble

Canadians are familiar with the procedures. The prime minister visits the governor general – the Queen’s representative at the federal level – and asks her to dissolve Parliament, leading to an election. This could come at the end of the statutory four-year limit to the life of a parliament. Or it might happen after the…

A hinge moment?
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A hinge moment?

Between the writing and the reading of this column, a federal election may be launched – or not. Timing is a critical factor in election planning, and sometimes it determines the outcome. Political leaders who choose an advantageous time to call an election are criticized for being opportunistic, but frankly, we do the same in…

How to ask the right political questions
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How to ask the right political questions

It’s election season again in Canada. You can tell, because the robocalls have started, the requests for donations are more urgent, and politicians across the country have bought some new shoes for door-knocking. This should be a happy time for Canadians. We are champions of “peace, order and good government,” which is why having a…

Post-COVID plans
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Post-COVID plans

I’m hearing a lot about learning from COVID-times and making some course corrections in our society. Expectations for change run high in some communities. There is a long tradition of crises and tragedies leading to significant social change. In fact, advocates talk about not letting a tragedy go to waste. Turning bad into good is…

Budget 2021 prioritizes ‘care economy’
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Budget 2021 prioritizes ‘care economy’

Part COVID response and part post-COVID recovery, the federal Canadian Budget 2021 resembles a long, expensive shopping list more than either a clear future vision or a blueprint out of a COVID-recession.  The budget is organized under three themes: 1) Finishing the job against COVID-19; 2) Creating Jobs and Growth; and 3) A Resilient and…

Disruptive Politics
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Disruptive Politics

We have lived as Canadian expats in the U.S. for nearly four years now. Shortly after arriving, we realized that bringing up politics in conversation was insensitive to the pain many of our American friends were experiencing. We needed the advice of Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady: stick to subjects like the weather and…