Other Politics

Speaking truth to power, but not in Donald Trump’s Washington

“The press is the enemy” – Richard Nixon to Henry Kissinger, 1972

“[The media] is the enemy of the American people” – Donald Trump, on Twitter, Feb. 17, 2017

The highest purpose of a free press is to speak truth to power.

From time to time that purpose is challenged by demagogues and embattled political leaders, as it is now in Donald Trump’s America, and it was in the early 1970s.

The perils of keeping (or not) election promises

Election promises are fraught with danger for politicians.

Both Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau are learning about the perils of promises, although their enlightenment is coming from opposite directions. Trudeau is being savaged in Parliament, on the internet and in some quarters of the mainstream media for breaking a promise – to wit, that a Liberal government would replace Canada’s first-past-the-post electoral system and to do it before the next election in 2019.

The new bully on the block: petulant, delusional and perhaps unstable

The House of Commons returns to work today after its refreshing, one trusts, 46-day Christmas recess.

MPs will be anxious to tear into the great issues of the day in the Ottawa bubble, starting with the Prime Minister’s vacation in the Bahamas and continuing, no doubt, to the irksome question of how much, or little, the government is actually prepared to do about cash-for-access political fundraising.

But these matters, which loomed so large a couple of weeks ago, now seem trivial. The big stuff, the serious stuff, is happening south of the border, in Washington.

Trump and O’Leary: two rich men toying with the middle class?

Arlene Dickinson, star of CBC’s Dragons’ Den, wasted little time putting her former co-star in his place when she was asked what she thought of Kevin O’Leary’s entry into the Conservative leadership race last week.

“For seven years, I sat shoulder to shoulder with Kevin,” she said. “We'd spend long hours together, listening to hardworking Canadian entrepreneurs pitch their businesses, which, all too often, led to real-life stories of enormous struggle.

Controversy and confrontation will prevail

For all the wailing, gnashing of teeth, and hand-wringing displayed by Democrats since the upheaval of Nov. 8, and the surprising election of Donald Trump, one should note that their political situation isn't quite as disastrous as first reported.

It is certainly true that Republicans now organize the White House and both branches of Congress, and will be able to repeal Barack Obama's "executive orders," but Democrats have sufficient strength in the Senate to use the filibuster just as promiscuously as did the Republicans in blocking Obama's agenda over the past six years.