Federal Politics

It’s a nasty campaign with the leaders afraid to say what they really think

A few impressions as the federal election campaign heads into its second official week.

It is shaping up to be a nasty, brutish campaign with negatives drowning out positives, the kind of campaign that misleads more than it informs and will turn off more voters than it inspires.

It’s election time – time to put credit cards and cellphones away

A veteran political strategist/organizer of my acquaintance has a blunt caution for candidates who come to him for advice.

Bundle up all your credit cards, he tells them. Bury them in your home freezer. Bury them deep, beneath the frozen peas and broccoli and that mince pie left from Christmas. Do not thaw them out until the campaign is safely over.

This is good advice for politicians in the Oct. 21 election campaign, which will begin for real within a week, whenever Prime Minister Trudeau drops the writ.

He’s back! Stephen Harper comes to the aid of Andrew Scheer

In this era of fixed-date federal elections (on the third Monday in October), political strategists work on premise that most voters snooze through the summer pre-campaigns and only shake themselves awake and pay attention after Labour Day.

Now with Labour Day in the rear-view mirror and the prime minister poised to drop the writ in 10 to 12 days, the electorate is presumably becoming focussed. So, here is a small political quiz. What are these three sets of numbers? What do they mean?

162-143; 153-146; 158-135

An alarming exercise in poor judgment, but will it hurt Trudeau?

Americans are starting to worry about a recession. So what does Donald Trump do? The maestro of diversion, he changes the channel. The United States, he proposes, should buy Greenland.

What? Buy Greenland? Absurd!

Of course, it’s ridiculous, but the distraction works. Historians, economists, climatologists and political scientists rush to join the Buy-Greenland debate as the inane idea floods the airwaves and social media.

Bianca Andreescu’s empathy and poise would be a fine model for politicians

Bianca Andreescu is the real deal. Not only is she a great tennis player – perhaps the greatest this country has produced – she possesses qualities of poise and empathy rarely found in one so young.

Bianca is just 19 years old. Yet there she was on Sunday afternoon, on her knees, consoling her weeping idol, 37-year-old Serena Williams, who had just been forced by recurring upper back spasms to withdraw from the Rogers Cup final.