Pundits' Guide to Canadian Elections

Earlier Blog Posts

Summer By-elections to Challenge Party Organizations

May 12th, 2014

[Welcome, National Newswatch readers!] What if they called a by-election and nobody came … out to vote, that is. That's the challenge now facing candidates and campaigners in the four federal by-elections called Sunday for Monday, June 30. The day before Canada Day. On what probably half the country will try to take off work […]


The Rules Menu: Party Nomination Processes, Three Ways

May 1st, 2014

Canada's three major political parties are conducting candidate nominations in often very different ways from one another in the current election cycle, but those differences are getting lost in all the hand-waving from some pundits about how "they all do it, and they're all the same". As we start into the process of tracking nominations […]


RE-UPDATED: Fifteen MP Retirements and Their Impact in 2015

April 22nd, 2014

[Welcome, National Newswatch readers!] Thirty new ridings, plus now fourteen fifteen retiring MPs and counting, adds up to a lot of open seats in the next election. And without the incumbency advantage, open seats always come with a higher risk of turnover. That means a lot of competitive races to watch in 2015. [UPDATE: Mike Allen also […]


UPDATED: Conservative 2015 Majority At Risk As Incumbents Flee to Safer Ground

April 14th, 2014

The Conservatives risk conceding the majority supposed to have been their due when 30 new seats were added to the House of Commons. In many of the 30 new ridings, sitting MPs have taken their incumbency advantage with them and fled to safer ground, leaving the remaining open seats more — and sometimes far more […]


Re-UPDATED: Once again, nomination races take early by-election focus

March 18th, 2014

[Welcome, National Newswatch readers!] A progressive Conservative in Macleod and a strong Libertarian [UPDATE: and New Democrat] in Fort McMurray-Athabasca are the only two three by-election candidates finalized so far, but the coming weeks will see a number of interesting nomination contests unfold. UPDATED: See below for Conservative nomination key dates in Fort McMurray-Athabasca. While […]


Open Nominations Pledge Now an Open Question

March 17th, 2014

[First published at NationalNewswatch.com, March 14, 2014] I was a believer on this pledge of Justin Trudeau’s, I really was. He made a persuasive argument during the Liberal leadership race to party members and new supporters that to rebuild the Liberal Party, every nomination had to be open, and no MP could expect to be […]


Spring forward to by-election season (it will come eventually)

March 13th, 2014

Wednesday's resignation from the House of Commons by Trinity-Spadina, ON NDP M.P. Olivia Chow to launch her mayoralty bid in Toronto filled in one of the last unknowns in the spring electoral calendar. The first wheel was set into motion last November with the resignation of Macleod, AB Conservative M.P. Ted Menzies, followed by the […]


Math-challenged Transposition of Population not up to usual Elections Canada standards

February 4th, 2014

[Welcome, National Newswatch readers!] It's probably the last thing Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand needs to hear right now, but the Transposition of Population his office released last Friday as part of the 2013 Redistribution does not add up. Election data geeks – officially known as "psephologists" – have been exchanging emails, comparing notes on […]


Chong Bill Needs Some Sober First Thought

December 5th, 2013

[First appeared as a column for National Newswatch, on December 3, 2013] Whoa. At this rate, the Michael Chong #ReformAct bill could be adopted unanimously before it’s even tabled in the House! A commentariat gravely worried about party group-think has shown itself all-too-ironically-susceptible to the very same affliction, as one columnist after another trips over […]


Justin Trudeau, Jack Layton and the Future of Cooperation

November 27th, 2013

[Welcome, National Newswatch readers!] While Justin Trudeau's Liberals are trying to shape an economic policy that "builds from the middle out", the political challenge they face is to rebuild their party's vote-share from the centre out. During the last general election, as John Ivision and others reported at the time, the Liberals' objective was to […]