Opinion-Policy Nexus

Head winds and storm squalls will test Good Ship Trudeau

The Justin Trudeau government has enjoyed remarkably clear sailing for its first 11 months. 

The Prime Minister’s personal popularity is the envy of rock stars and hockey heroes. The polls continue to show that in an election today the Liberals would command a larger share of the popular vote and win more seats than they did when they elected a majority government last October.

But there are clouds on the horizon. The easy sailing is over as the Good Ship Trudeau confronts its first stiff head winds, along with some smaller but dangerous squalls.

Trump will stoop to any depth to destroy Clinton

Every now and again, the question of RCMP protection for the prime minister and his family becomes a minor issue in this country. It’s always a cost issue.

It happened with Stephen Harper in 2014 and it happened again last week with Justin Trudeau. New figures come out that document the cost of overtime, travel, etc., for officers assigned to protect the PM and his dependents. A predictable little ritual ensues. Opposition critics profess to be scandalized. They wring their hands in faux sympathy for the poor taxpayer.

Trump tactics are big boost for Clinton campaign

Pundits have suggested for months that the outcome of the U.S. presidential election would likely be determined by which candidate became the focus of the campaign. Given the unprecedented unpopularity of both major party candidates, the astute strategy is to make one's opponent the election story. If the electoral focus is upon Hillary Clinton, it would help Donald Trump, and if it is about Trump, that should assist Clinton.

Book Review: Petty and Profound

What do municipalities and First Nation reserves have in common? Both are used to being told what to do. It’s natural, then, that any review of Indigenous self-government would examine how these two get along at the most elemental level. A Quiet Evolution is the first research of its kind, and prompts the reader to wonder why nobody thought of this before.

There’s a disconnect between pundits and pollsters

There are times when pundits and pollsters just can’t get their acts together, times when the advice tendered by columnists and commentators seems to fly in the face of public opinion as reported by polling companies.

This is one of those times, both in Canada and the United States.

Dealing with those who fail Kellie Leitch’s Canadian values test

Think what you will about Dr. Kellie Leitch, the Conservative MP from rural Ontario who is running for Stephen Harper’s old job. At least she is not afraid to be different.

A pediatric orthopedic surgeon from Western University in London, Ont., Leitch was parachuted into Simcoe-Grey constituency in 2011 after Harper threw the previous MP, Helena Guergis, under the bus for causing him public embarrassment. Two years later, Leitch was promoted to the cabinet as Minister of Labour and the Status of Women.

Releasing diplomatic secrets: better late than never?

Distance lends enchantment in matters of the heart, or so they say, while in matters political, distance is said to lend perspective.

Ambassadors and other foreign service emissaries are valued for their ability to provide their government at home with an informed, detached perspective of the policies, problems and personalities of the country where they are posted.

Because it’s 2016? Bardish Chagger becomes government house leader

The appointment of Bardish Chagger, the MP for Waterloo, as “Government Leader in the House of Commons” (to give the post its formal name), comes as a surprise.

There has never been a woman in that job since Mackenzie King created it during the Second World War – not that there is any reason for it not to be a woman. Just as there is no reason for not having a female Minister of Finance, but there has never been one of those either.

U.S. presidential cake is likely baked

This U.S. presidential election year was eminently winnable for the Republicans.

Indeed, if one follows the longer-than-six-decade pattern since the Eisenhower administration, with only one exception the Republican and Democratic parties have effectively alternated eight-year terms in power, making this the Republicans' turn.

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.

Questions? Email us at: blog@lispop.ca

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