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The Fever Swamps of Harper-Hate

Friday, 13 July 2012 09:07

It's a hot day in July. A politician is at a barbecue in his hometown. He gives a little speech.

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  • Source © Ottawa Citizen

On Wednesday, a minor and largely irrelevant minister was replaced by a minor and largely irrelevant minister, and with that the cabinet shuffle was complete. Thus, a prime minister who dominates the political landscape more than any before him, a prime minister with unprecedented control of Parliament and the machinery of government, a prime minister whose mastery of his party and caucus is absolute, confirmed once again that he likes things just the way they are.

The man who once denounced the excessive power of Louis XVI is now Napoleon I, Emperor of the Canadians. And the Emperor intends to remain the Emperor.

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  • Source © Ottawa Citizen

History Should Count For Something

Thursday, 05 July 2012 09:01

A few years ago, in a dusty little Ottawa Valley antique store, I found a portrait of the Queen dating from the coronation. The frame was handmade from roughhewed cedar planks. The portrait was newsprint - a page taken from the Toronto Star of June 2, 1953.

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  • Source © Ottawa Citizen

The Power of One MP

Wednesday, 13 June 2012 13:55

There are 308 members of Parliament. In the House of Commons, Elizabeth May occupies seat number 309.

The Polarizing Centre

Thursday, 31 May 2012 20:56

There's probably some incomprehensible new physics that explains how a thing can simultaneously cluster around a median point while polarizing rapidly. But in the realm of politics, it's a bizarre and seemingly impossible state of affairs.

And it's happening.

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  • Source © Ottawa Citizen

Obama, Gay Marriage, and Leadership

Friday, 18 May 2012 09:18

Last week, when Barack Obama declared his support for gay marriage, the president was lionized by many, who thought it was an act of courageous leadership, and mocked by others, who saw it as nothing more than a politician scrambling to keep his feet dry after the tide had turned.

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  • Source © Ottawa Citizen

Is He Lying Or Merely Incompetent?

Wednesday, 16 May 2012 09:02

Let's recap the Harper government's record on climate change, shall we?

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  • Source © Ottawa Citizen

The Strange Death of Liberal Canada

Friday, 20 April 2012 09:40

If history repeats, we are about a decade away from the publication of a book called "The Strange Death of Liberal Canada."

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  • Source © Ottawa Citizen

Ending the War on Drugs

Wednesday, 18 April 2012 09:24
On the weekend, at the Summit of the Americas, Prime Minister Stephen Harper expressed doubt about the war on drugs. "I think what everybody believes and agrees with, and to be frank myself, is that the current approach is not working, but it is not clear what we should do."

It's admirable for a politician to admit uncertainty. And rare. Especially for a politician who has never expressed anything less than unshakable conviction in the Reaganite nostrums of drug prohibition. But Harper had good reason to be a little shaken.

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  • Source © Ottawa Citizen

Putting Women on the Glass Cliff

Wednesday, 11 April 2012 09:18

In British Columbia, the premier is a woman. In Alberta, the premier is a woman. Both women inherited successful political dynasties. Both are likely to lead their parties to defeat.

Call it the "Kim Campbell Phenomenon." Successful political parties that make women leaders have an unfortunate tendency to lose.

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  • Source © Ottawa Citizen
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