Federal Politics

Why the public has lost confidence in government: Too many government programs and policies just don’t work

Populism is on the rise and voters seem disenchanted with politicians and cynical about politics more generally. "Elites" who supposedly "look down on the common folk" have become punching bags for the populist right (think Doug Ford) and a general feeling of distrust of many institutions (media, government, the courts, financial institutions, etc.) seems to be pervasive. This article is the first in a series of Canada Fact Check posts that argue that many of...

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Revised NAFTA agreement imposes U.S. internet rules on Canada

On December 5, the Wall St. Journal reported that U.S. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was pushing to strip out sweeping legal protections for online platform giants such as Facebook and Google in the USMCA. USMCA is the name of the trade agreement replacing NAFTA. The Democrats control the House and the USMCA could not be ratified unless Democrats in the House passed it. The legal protections, codified in the U.S. in Section 230 of...

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The 2019 election: Canada resists right wing populism but fragmentation remains a real threat

On October 21, Canada had an election and our rather mild version of right wing populism lost. Andrew Scheer's Conservatives received 34.4 % of the vote and Maxime Bernier's People's Party 1.6%. That's only 36% of the vote for Canada's right wing, populist parties. Centre-left parties received over 63% of the vote with the Liberals receiving 33.1%, the NDP 15.7%, the Bloc 7.7%, and the Greens 6.6%. In contrast, U.S. President Donald Trump's "favourables" continue...

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Will NDP-Liberal co-operation produce a real pharmacare program for Canadians?

A consensus is developing that the new Liberal minority government needs to put the implementation of a national pharmacare program at the top of its to-do list. “We need to stop studying this issue,” says Carleton University political economist Marc-Andre Gagnon. “This issue has been studied way more than it should have been. And it is very clear in terms of which model is the most efficient and this is universal pharmacare. The NDP and...

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Trudeau rejects all options for negotiating a governing arrangement with opposition parties.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government will swear in a new cabinet on Nov. 20 and move ahead with a promised cut to personal income taxes as its first order of business. Monday’s election returned the Liberals to power, but with a minority government. In his first public comments since his Monday night "victory" speech, Mr. Trudeau indicated he will govern on an issue-by-issue basis rather than negotiate a formal arrangement with...

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Canada elects a Liberal minority government

Canada has elected a Liberal minority government. As of this writing on Tuesday morning, the Liberals have 157 seats, the Conservatives 121, the Bloc 32, the NDP 24 and the Greens 3. 170 seats are needed for a majority so the Liberals are 13 short. This is a good outcome for Canada. Minority governments, in fact, have become common-place in this country. They’re certainly nothing to fear and have often been highly productive. It will...

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Liberals and Conservatives end up deadlocked in popular vote but Canada has a Liberal minority government

Canada has elected a Liberal minority government and it looks like all Prime Minister Trudeau needs is the co-operation of the NDP to govern. What form that co-operation will take remains to be seen but as of this writing, the Liberals have 160 seats with 170 needed for a majority. The NDP has 25 seats. How did this happen? Pollster Frank Graves and commentator Michael Valpy sees the emergence of two distinct blocks of voters...

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Is Canada headed towards a Liberal minority government supported by the NDP?

With just a week to go until election day, Andrew Scheer's Conservatives appear to be in a dead heat with Justin Trudeau's Liberals. As of Oct. 14, The CBC's Canada Poll Tracker, an aggregation of all publicly available polling data, has the Conservatives slightly ahead with 32.4% of the vote to the Liberal's 31.7%. The Poll Tracker has the New Democrats trailing in third place at 16.5 per cent support. They are pulling away from...

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Affordability and climate change emerge as top issues in federal election

The two hour election debate Monday night marked the first time all six leaders shared a stage and admittedly, at times it devolved into a confusing free-for-all. However,  it also had moments of clarity where the key themes of the election were illuminated. Beneath the battle of the scripted one-liners, the debate revealed that the federal election campaign has come down to two broad themes: making life more affordable and tackling the threat of climate...

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The dangers of an Andrew Scheer Conservative federal government

The central argument of this post is this: the Conservative Party of Canada and (to varying degrees) conservative provincial parties, are not like the Liberals, NDP or Greens. The Conservative Party is different not because it is more market oriented or because it supports the traditional conservative, small government, low tax policy agenda. Whether one agrees with them or not, such policies constitute an entirely legitimate program for a right-of-centre party. Rather, what separates the...

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