October 26, 2015

ELECTION 2015

ULTIMATE ISSUE PRIMER CHEAT SHEET

National

‘2:39 a.m. Blocked number. Uh-oh-Rob.’

National

THE MAN BEHIND ROB FORD

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ELECTION 2015

ULTIMATE ISSUE PRIMER CHEAT SHEET

In Canadian election campaigns, Indigenous people’s issues have a way of mattering more in theory than in fact, but Aboriginal votes could make the difference in a handful of strategic ridings on Oct. 19. Here’s a clue to how party strategists sometimes view child care issues:

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National

‘2:39 a.m. Blocked number. Uh-oh-Rob.’

To work in the mayor of Toronto’s office while Rob Ford careered toward self-destruction was humiliating, thankless, and—it later became clear—hazardous to one’s well-being. Days spent doing damage control blurred into frantic, late-night salvage missions, in which members of Ford’s 14-person staff hauled themselves from bed to rescue their reeling boss from public embarrassment, or to listen to his drug-fuelled rants over their cellphones.

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National

THE MAN BEHIND ROB FORD

How do you make sense of Rob Ford? For Mark Towhey, Ford’s former chief of staff, that was never the question. Toronto’s larger-than-life former mayor communed with supporters on an intuitive level, so why question success? But it took sound minds to get Ford elected, and to sustain him in office, before his mayoralty went up in a mushroom cloud of addiction, illness and human spectacle.

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International

So, they meet again

It’s an evening with the Great Disrupter and there is shouting from the stage. “The only thing Hillary will need is a new pantsuit!” the speaker is bellowing. “Which is orange! Which has big numbers on the back!” Hearing this raucous defamation of their least-favourite female Democrat, the right-minded burghers of Bettendorf, Iowa, holler and stomp.

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ELECTION 2015

Unfinished business

As the last week of what must surely be his final election campaign began, Stephen Harper was in Etobicoke, at the west end of Toronto, trying to hold down a seat the Conservatives risk losing. Etobicoke-Lakeshore has symbolic value: its member of Parliament between 2006-11 was Michael Ignatieff, before the former Liberal leader lost his seat, and everything else, in the last election.

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ELECTION 2015

Greater expectations

The party leader is expected to entertain questions from the news media nearly every day of a campaign, but these meetings of politicians and reporters are no longer staged in quiet siderooms after the leader has made his announcement of the day to a TV-friendly room full of enthusiastic partisans.

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MACLEAN'S BACK PAGES

Donnie Dumphy goes big, goes home

On a mid-September evening in St. John’s, tucked back in a corner of a bar, Donnie Dumphy is running a hand through his long, rust-coloured hair. “I could go now, take the wig off and sit down here, and not one person would recognize me all night.”

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National

TAINTED VERDICT?

Four years after they were sentenced to life in prison for a mass “honour killing” that shocked the country, the notorious Shafia family is asking for a new trial—in part, they claim, because the jury’s verdict may have been “tainted by cultural prejudice” and “pre-existing stereotypes of violent and primitive Muslims.”

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ELECTION 2015

Art of persuasion

A week and a half before election day, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau took his campaign to a place near and dear to Stephen Harper: Toronto’s Leaside neighbour-hood, where the Conservative leader spent his childhood. Supporters, staff and journalists crammed into the upstairs loft above an enormous grocery store built in an old CN railway locomotive shop, where the store sells pints of Ontario craft beer and glasses of wine.

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This Week

LETTERS

The articles by Nancy Macdonald (“A deafening silence”) and Scott Gilmore (“A real nation would not let this happen”) in the Election 2015 section of the Oct. 12 edition should be required reading for all Canadians. The current federal election campaign has not dealt with the big issues confronting our nation.
October 192015 November 22015