Category: Canadian politics

  • Can Justin Trudeau be safe and sorry?

    Here is an op-ed that Bob Pickard and I wrote for the Globe & Mail on September 23, 2019 in the midst of a federal election about the nature of political apologies.

  • Was the Demise of Electoral Reform Inevitable?

    After answering, more than a few times, what I thought of the prime minister’s decision to abandon electoral reform, I decided to put my thoughts  to paper.  Some tentative reasons for the demise of electoral reform were published in the Ottawa Citizen on February 3.            

  • Does Kingston need an Integrity Commissioner?

    On September 20,  Kingston city council will make a decision on whether to amend a by-law to permit IN8 Developments to build a 15 storey building — seven storeys higher than the official plan. The vote will be important for downtown and the consequences significant. As our elected councillors grapple with their decision, it will […]

  • The pre-eminence of advertising in Canadian elections

    The three national parties have filed their election expenses and there are some surprises but the most important message from the filings with Elections Canada is the central role that advertising plays in modern election campaigns.   While no one would doubt its importance, the Liberals took it to a new level spending 64% of […]

  • My first AMA on Reddit, Wednesday, Nov. 11

    I have heard about Reddit’s AMA’s (ask me anything) for some time. I always thought that they were for famous people but for reasons not known, I am hosting an AMA for the subreddit /Canadapolitics on Wednesday, November 11, from 2- 3 PM. With the new Liberal government promising that the 2015 election would be […]

  • Talking Election Ads At University of Calgary and Mount Royal University

    I’m looking forward to giving two talks this week in Calgary on the role of election ads.  I’ll be  at University of Calgary on Wednesday, October 14 as part of the CMF Speaker Series and Mount Royal University on Thursday, October 16, as part of the SOMAR Speakers Series. If you are near by, stop by […]

  • Photographs as agenda setters: the case of Alan Kurdi

    Earlier this week, a remarkable photograph changed the nature of the Canadian election campaign. The death of a two year old boy, Alan Kurdi, whose body was washed up on a beach became a symbol of Canada’s inability or reluctance to deal with the Syrian refugee problem. Up to this point in the election, the […]

  • Recipient of Seymour Martin Lipset Award for Best Book on Canadian Politics

    I was thrilled to hear that a book I co-authored along with my colleagues, Patrick Fournier, Henk Vanderkolk, R. Kenneth Carty, and André Blais was the recipient of the Seymour Martin Lipset Award for the Best Book from the Canadian Politics section of the American Political Science Association. The book is called When Citizens Decide:  Lessons […]

  • Government advertising and accountability

    Recently, The Globe and Mail reported that Pierre Poilievre’s department paid civil servants overtime to produce feel-good ads about the Universal Child Care Benefit. The problem with this ad, like all the federal ads, is that they are beyond the scrutiny of parliament and therefore citizens. These youtube ads have rightly raised the ire of many […]

  • Visiting Professor at the Seaker Chan Center for Comparative Political Development

    I am pleased to be the Seaker Chan Visiting Professor at Fudan University in Shanghai for May 2015. While here I will be giving lectures on Canadian politics and deliberative democracy.  I will also be travelling to Chengdu to participate in a conference on local politics.