Why no one is paying attention to the Conservative leadership campaign

The party that Stephen Harper built will choose a new leader in just 12 days’ time, and it has a big problem.

Normally, leadership campaigns serve to do two things – to excite the party faithful and to attract at least the interest of the electorate at large. There is no sign, however, that this Conservative campaign has done either.

Deciphering scandals: which ones are real and which are faux?

There are at least three varieties of political scandals – real scandals, maybe (or maybe not) scandals and faux scandals.

In the category of real scandals, I would put the Sponsorship scandal in which an estimated $100 million in taxpayer money disappeared to into the bank accounts of friends and supporters of Jean Chrétien’s Liberals. Another real scandal was the Airbus affair in which former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney secretly accepted $300,000 in cash from Karlheinz Schreiber, the Airbus lobbyist.

What will the Conservatives do without their “Mr. Wonderful?”

When “Mr. Wonderful” left the stage so abruptly last week, he sucked all the air out of the Conservative leadership drama.

Kevin O’Leary’s candidacy had thrilled and distressed Conservatives in roughly equal proportions. Every conversation about the party leadership turned inevitably to the star of Dragons’ Den and Shark Tank.

A Majority of Canadians Are Willing to Renegotiate NAFTA… Until You Mention Trump

After months of disparaging the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as a “disaster” for American workers while making Mexico the primary focus of his criticisms, U.S. President Donald Trump has recently trained his sights on Canada. Specific grievances have included Canada’s supply management system for dairy (though not part of NAFTA) and the long-running softwood lumber dispute. Throughout, Trump has reiterated his commitment to renegotiating NAFTA to better suit American interests, and failing that, walking away from the pact.

Trump gets something right

One of Donald Trump's most revealing quotes was to say, "Who knew health care was so complicated?" He has now made a similar acknowledgement about North Korea, stating that a 10-minute conversation with the Chinese leader has illuminated him upon that subject as well. What these comments really indicate, of course, was how poorly prepared he was to accept the mantle of the presidency in the first place. His naivete and arrogance were evident in thinking that making public policy was the same as negotiating New York City real estate deals.

Not quite the dawning of the Age of Aquarius

In times past when the government had a really big deal to announce, or an item of long-anticipated legislation, it would pull out all the stops. Parliament would be primed. The prime minister would beam proudly while the sponsoring minister(s) explained in lavish terms how the new measure would dramatically improve the lives of ordinary Canadians, enhance democracy and make the nation stronger, safer and more prosperous. Then cabinet members would fan out across the land to deliver the glad tidings.

Hype like that.

Trump and the perils of governing by impulse

“People will tie themselves in knots trying to discern a linear, rational decision-making (process) from Trump. It’s never been part of his character and it’s never going to be.” – Tim O’Brien, a biographer of Donald Trump.

That’s scary.

The world is dealing with an American president who is motivated by impulse rather than strategy, by whim rather than rational decision-making.

Indigenous Research and Academic Freedom: A View from Political Scientists

Should all political science research with Indigenous communities and on Indigenous topics involve formal research partnerships? The push from ethics boards, granting agencies, and the literature is for the answer to be yes.

President's competence comes into question

The question with President Donald Trump is competence. Just like the Trump travel ban's difficulties resulting from a poorly planned policy, that was publicly rushed to create the illusion of an administration "accomplishing things," there is much about the Republican health care proposal (American Health Care Act) that can be perceived the same way.

Opinion-Policy Nexus is a forum of opinion and commentary on topics related to public opinion and public policy. Views expressed in any blog entry are those of the author and do not reflect LISPOP's positions.

Authors
  • Ailsa Henderson
  • Andre Perrella
  • Anna Esselment
  • Anthony Piscitelli
  • Barry Kay
  • Ben Margulies
  • Christopher Alcantara
  • Christopher Cochrane
  • Geoffrey Stevens
  • Jason Roy
  • Jorg Broschek
  • Loren King
  • Manuel Riemer
  • Nikolaos Liodakis
  • Robert Williams
  • Simon Kiss
  • Timothy Gravelle
  • Zachary Spicer
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