Federal Politics

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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Will Trump/Johnson right-wing populism triumph in Canada with a Scheer victory?

Something really important happened to President Trump this week - but it was not the Ukraine scandal that convinced the Democrats to begin formal impeachment hearings in the House. No, Donald Trump's big event this week was that his job approval ratings have returned to where they have been pretty much since the day he was elected - recovering from a slight August slump. They sit at 45.3 percent as of Tuesday afternoon. That's right!...

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What this federal election is really about: Will the politics of Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and Doug Ford rule in Ottawa?

With the 2019 federal election formally underway, Andrew Scheer's Conservatives appear to be in a dead heat  with Justin Trudeau's Liberals in terms of the popular vote. As of September 16, the CBC's Canada Poll Tracker, an aggregation of all publicly available polling data, has the Liberals and Conservatives virtually tied with the Conservatives at 34.3% and the Liberals at 33.6%. The Poll Tracker has the New Democrats trailing in the third place at only...

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Canada’s populist conservative parties: how they campaign is not how they govern.

  The electoral dynamics related to the right-wing populism that is reshaping the politics of Western democracies are becoming increasingly clear. Essentially, what is emerging are two voting blocks that differ profoundly from the left-right voting blocks of previous years. One voting block (a minority of the Canadian electorate) has a "traditionalist" worldview. These voters have concerns about the increasing number of visible minorities in Canada and are uncomfortable with a more diverse Canada more...

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Canada Revenue Agency study says corporations illegally avoiding taxes

Canadian corporations failed to pay between $9.4 billion and $11.4 billion in taxes in 2014, the difference between taxes legally owed and those collected - according to a study released Tuesday by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). That means 24 to 29 per cent of all the corporate income tax legally due in Canada didn't get paid that year. This most recent  CRA report examines the federal corporate income tax gap for the tax year...

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Federal watchdogs issue privacy guidelines for fall federal election

Political parties should respect Canadians’ privacy rights and obtain “meaningful consent” before they collect citizens’ personal information, Canada’s privacy watchdog and top elections official say. There are currently no rules governing how political parties can collect, store and analyze personal information about Canadian voters, and no oversight into how political parties currently do so. The advice came Monday from federal privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien and chief electoral officer  Stéphane Perrault ahead of October’s national election....

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The real story behind the NAFTA negotiations on autos and labour standards.

There is no question that Donald Trump rode a wave of anti-trade sentiment to victory in the 2016 presidential election. This included a threat to rip up NAFTA, which he called “the worst trade deal in the history” of the United States. Trump's was a populist message that tapped into long-simmering resentment over the loss of American manufacturing operations – including the loss of auto assembly and auto parts plants – to Mexico. And it...

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Can Canadian democracy withstand the era of the strongmen?

Canadians who value democratic institutions such as a free press, an independent judiciary, and fair elections, need to be vigilant in safeguarding these important democratic institutions. Ontario Premier Ford's justification in invoking the "notwithstanding" clause to overrule a judge who ruled that his legislation to cut Toronto City Council in half was unconstitutional, suggests a leader who seems to think his electoral mandate entitles him to do whatever he pleases and any opposition is illegitimate....

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Trump and Ford: The new politics of resentment in Canada and the United States

Introduction To understand Donald Trump's victory one has to understand resentment in white America. While visible minority Americans voted overwhelmingly for the Democrats, the fact is that whites still make up an overwhelming number of U. S. voters (Pew Research has whites at 74 percent of all voters in 2016 , and second, it has whites without a college degree, Trump’s key constituency, at 44 percent of all voters). This means that American politics is still defined primarily by...

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