Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Posts Tagged ‘Toronto

Canadians think Justin Trudeau represents the real change from Stephen Harper

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The Liberal Party of Canada is back in power after a 9-year absence during the reign of the Harper Government. For the first time in 11 years, the Liberals have a majority government.

Canadians had the longest campaign — 78 days — in modern political history. The country wanted change, but had to decide between Tom Mulcair of the NDP or the Liberals’ Justin Trudeau. Though Mulcair and the NDP had the early edge, perhaps they got a little cocky. Trudeau took awhile to find his voice, but once he did, the Liberals rose in the polls.

Stephen Harper wanted nothing to do with the English language broadcast consortium debate. Tom Mulcair took the Conservative bait and said he wouldn’t be there if Harper wasn’t showing up. Mulcair made that decision when the NDP was doing well. By the time of the scheduled debate (which wasn’t cancelled), the NDP was in 3rd place. A chance to debate with all the non-Conservatives would have been valuable.

There were more debates than usual: 4 instead of 2. But that 5th debate would have helped the NDP.

Here are links to our 2015 Canadian election coverage courtesy of our sister blog,

2015 Canadian election: Some final thoughts

Section 331 of the Canada Elections Act gets attention south of the border

Justin Trudeau begins new era as Canada’s newest prime minister

Our 2015 Canadian election coverage comprehensive guide

Canadian Canadian politics coverage


Rob Ford retrospective pre-crack and post-crack

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Rob Ford, the crack-smoking mayor of Toronto, has received a lot of publicity for, well, smoking crack. From the time he danced around whether he had smoked crack, Ford became more apparent outside Toronto and Canada. And of course, when the police discovered the video, suddenly Ford was a lot more open.

But the folks at have had their eyes on Ford for some time. We thought you should read about Rob Ford pre-crack as well as post-crack. So enjoy these columns courtesy of our friends at


Toronto Mayor Rob Ford wins Keith Olbermann’s ‘Worst Person in the World’ (11/1/2011)

Toronto has more than usual number of gun deaths, but still safer than U.S. (7/25/2012)

How Rob Ford spent (part of) my summer vacation (8/21/2012)

Battle of intense mayors: Toronto’s Rob Ford visits Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel (9/19/2012)

Toronto highs and lows: Argos way up, Rob Ford down and out (11/28/2012)


Canadian politics notebook: Rob Ford’s alleged crack use (5/19/2013)

Daily Show pokes fun at Rob Ford’s (alleged) crack (5/22/2013)

Rob Ford (finally) admits smoking crack cocaine, but lies continue (11/6/2013)

Rob Ford: Liability to Toronto Argonauts (11/15/2013)

Rob Ford makes negative impact on Toronto’s Grey Cup quest (11/18/2013)

Rob Ford looks better in the eyes of the U.S. media (11/20/2013)

Ted Cruz, Dan Senor: GOP with Canadian ties

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Jennifer Granholm was a prominent politician with a Canadian connection: being born in Canada and serving as Michigan governor for two terms. But the political stream from Canada is heading in one direction: Republican.

The logic is pretty obvious. Even if Stephen Harper is in charge in Canada, the Great White North is a more liberal country than the United States. So as much as liberals would want to go to Canada, conservatives would want to come to the United States.

David Frum. Dan Senor. And now Ted Cruz.

Frum and Senor served under George W. Bush. And Senor is a significant part of the Mitt Romney campaign.

Ted Cruz is the wild card, since he was born in Canada, yet he is a teabagger/Republican running for the U.S. Senate seat held by the outgoing Kay Bailey Hutchison.

For more on this connection, check out this column from our sister blog,

Toronto gun deaths are up, but still safer than U.S.

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This column was going to be written, even before the horribly tragic Aurora movie theater shooting. Excessive heat increases gun violence, and thanks to a mild winter and very hot summer, gun deaths are on the rise, even in Canada’s largest city.

As bad as things are by Toronto standards, they don’t even compare to a typical day in the United States, even if you don’t count mass shootings such as the Aurora shooting.

The difference, though, is that shootings are still a big deal for Canadians, where the victims of mass shootings in the United States disappear from the public eye. Ask yourself if you remember Christina Taylor Green without Googling her name.

For more of a look into gun violence on both sides of the border, check out our perspective from our sister blog,

G8/NATO preview: Hiding at Camp David before coming to Chicago

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The G8/NATO summit was supposed to be all inclusive in Barack Obama’s hometown … in an election year. Well, we can’t seem to handle that so the awkwardness of breaking the summit into two locations appeared to be the “better” of the two options.

Protesters have a hard time getting their message out to the people who need to hear how they feel. In Chicago, as we’ve seen in Toronto and Pittsburgh, the goal is to keep the protesters and their messages as far away from people in power as humanly possible.

Of course, the violence estimates are high. Perhaps if people knew that those in power were listening to them, the reaction wouldn’t be as extreme. Some bad eggs will always come around to destroy things, but that can be true just about anywhere.

How much of a perspective we’ll get at Democracy Soup depends on how close I can get to the action. Even in the hometown of the NATO summit, getting close to the story may not be that easy. We’ll report back on what we see.

As for a look at what’s coming, and some Canadian perspective, check out this update from our sister blog,

Dick Cheney wasn’t afraid of waterboarding, is afraid of Canadians

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We interrupt the scintillating 2012 GOP presidential race to give you an update from a blast of the past. Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz cancelled a speaking engagement in Toronto over what happened in Vancouver last fall. Just like blaming a reception in Los Angeles for not going to New York City.

Cheney should know that Canada is a diverse country, but it sounds more like sour grapes for being branded a war criminal by protesters. Waterboarding, torture, and an unjustified war will do that. After all, Cheney and George W. Bush lived in bubbles from 2001-2009, so they didn’t get much of a differing opinion against their own views.

If Cheney really had that bad a time in Vancouver last fall, and blames a whole country for those actions, then why did Cheney schedule a speaking engagement in Toronto?

For more coverage, check out this column from our sister blog,

Latest GOP conservative/gay hypocrisy takes Canadian turn

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Greg Davis is a conservative, married “family-oriented” politician from Mississippi. Davis tried really hard to be a conservative, married “family-oriented” Congressman from Mississippi. So you know what is coming next.

Davis has been outed. That isn’t the fun surprise. The surprise comes not even from an audit of $170,000 of allegedly illegal spending of taxpayer dollars, but a $67 charge at a Toronto gay sex shop.

They don’t write them like that anymore.

For his part, Davis now admits that he is gay, even though he has a wife and children. Davis doesn’t remember what the $67 charge was at Priape, but since it may ruin his political career, chances are he really does know.

We don’t care that Davis is gay; the hypocrisy is what gets us, especially when you are conservative, married “family-oriented” politician. Self-hate is always a bad time.

For more, read our account at our sister blog,