Lawrence Martin

Monarchy – yes or no?

The Duchess of Cornwall and the Prince of Wales have only just alighted for their 10-day Canadian tour, but might be having second thoughts about the visit.Already the naysayers are being heard. Polls show Canadians don’t care much about the Royals. Columnists are calling them anachronisms. Charles...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009, 11:13 AM

How the women ran 24 Sussex

Pierre Elliott Tru­deau used to complain, as most leaders do, about journalists trying to pry into his personal life. It’s none of our business, he’d say. And most of us agreed, shied away and gave him a break, as we did with John F. Kennedy.But when you read the new Trudeau bio, Just Watch Me: The...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009, 10:36 AM

Bob Rae waiting at the Grit gates

One of Michael Ignatieff’s close caucus supporters said to me the other day, “We’re still supporting Michael, but Bob Rae has gained our trust.”He went on to list some of the reasons he and others now have more faith in Rae than Iggy. At the Sudbury party meeting last month, Rae got it right. He...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009, 11:26 AM

Harper hits a high note

Canadian politics has seen many iconic moments, times when the prime minister shocked the flock. How about Jean Chrétien, in dark shades, looking like a mafia don, taking a protester by the scruff of the neck and heaving him aside?How about Pierre the bannister-slider Trudeau and the infamous...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009, 10:34 AM

Prime minister may want election

Stephen Harper keeps insisting he doesn’t want an election. He repeated it yesterday when delivering an economic update in New Brunswick.But down deep, is that what he is really thinking? The way the scales have tipped in his favour the last few weeks, he finds himself in position to make a good...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009, 11:22 AM

Prime minister’s socialist hook-up

Everything was going the Conservatives’ way. They were building a good lead in the polls. The recovering economy was working in Stephen Harper’s favour. Michael Ignatieff had nothing in his department store window. His pushing for an unwanted election appeared to be backfiring.But then, the big...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009, 10:56 AM

Attacks threaten to go off the charts

The debate on health care in the United States, hijacked by lame-brained, right-wing radio talk jocks, is comparable to the debate on coalition government here. Level of intelligence? Subterranean.In the U.S., Barack Obama’s enlightened effort to bring health care to 45 million Americans without it...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009, 10:31 AM

Defining Iggy’s image

The Liberal campaign slogan, as revealed in its new TV advertising, is “We can do better.” The one good thing about the mediocre ads is no one can argue with that premise. The country can always do better. That won’t strike many as justification for trying to force an election. But Canadians aren’t...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009, 11:18 AM

Lessons from Einstein

Albert Einstein detested rote learning. Students returning to school next week might be encouraged to know that the renowned physicist who unlocked mysteries of the universe was no genius in the classroom.At 15 he was ushered out of one school owing to undistinguished performance and impudence....

Tuesday, September 1, 2009, 10:48 AM

Iggy needs a makeover

It’s official. The Liberal party strategy is a dud. A new Ipsos Reid poll — Conservatives 39, Liberals 28 — is the latest signal. While no one should read too much into one opinion sampling, the downward trend has been apparent for months. Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals are backpedalling toward the...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009, 10:41 AM

NDP’s challenge was never the name

Whew! What a dull convention. The New Democrats came together on the weekend in Halifax for their biggest party gathering in three years. Some bold moves were forecast going in. Nothing had happened going out. Bottom line — the Dippers are standing pat. There was much talk of broadening the party's...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009, 10:39 AM

Tough times for Amigos

The Three Amigos are getting a bit testy, where the Mexican mini-summit revealed some friction. Mexican President Felipe Calderon made clear his opposition to Stephen Harper’s introduction of a visa requirement for Mexicans, saying it was bad for relations. U.S. President Barack Obama made it clear...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009, 11:06 AM

Politics of engagement

It was cool and rather instructive to see the way Barack Obama eased his way out of the overblown controversy about the Harvard professor being arrested for breaking into his house.Let’s all sit down, have a beer, talk it over, said the U.S. president.That kind of engagement, beer diplomacy, can be...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009, 10:58 AM

This party will rankle PM

Much to the aggravation of Stephen Harper, Brian Mulroney won’t go away.Mulroney and friends are planning a huge party in Montreal in September to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their historic electoral triumph of 1984. That was the year the Progressive Conservatives won a record 211 seats....

Tuesday, July 28, 2009, 11:25 AM

AFN turning away from extremist types

It was only a couple of years ago that the native peoples were threatening to shut down parts of the country’s railway system at their national day of protest. One of the protest leaders was Terry Nelson of Manitoba. He enthusiastically declared that “we can shave $200 billion off the GDP of Canada...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009, 10:44 AM

What’s bred in the bone

“Because our real history is not part of how we describe ourselves, we live in denial of our reality.” — John Ralston Saul, A Fair CountryAs Canadians we think of ourselves as Europeanized, then Americanized. More recently, with the waves of non-European immigrants, multiculturalized. Remarkably...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009, 10:43 AM

Order not without merit for Chrétien

The online comment boards lit up yesterday with news the Queen was bestowing the highly prestigious Order of Merit on Jean Chrétien.Many wondered how the monarch could do such a thing? You’re getting senile, Queenie, they said. The guy was a political Soprano. Got lucky because he had no opposition...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009, 10:53 AM

The corporate kingdom

John Manley has been named to replace Tom d’Aquino as the head of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, the ultra-powerful lobby group for corporate Canada.Manley is a great catch for the corporate kingdom. As former industry minister and finance minister, he comes to the job with credibility...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009, 10:32 AM

Something to celebrate

With all the problems on this continent, what a nice diversion it is on Canada Day and the Fourth of July to have Iran to kick around.Instead of the recession, the collapse of the auto sector, the wreckage in corporate America, we feast on the question of who won the Iranian election.This type of...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009, 10:39 AM

All hail the Sun King PM

Information commissioner Robert Marleau resigned yesterday, saying the reasons were personal and private.We’ll take him at his word. He wasn’t pushed out. He wasn’t overly frustrated at being information commissioner under one of the most secretive and domineering governments the country has ever...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009, 10:53 AM