I know what you’re saying. You’re saying, “There just hasn’t been enough about the election in Maclean’s. Where can I get some more?”


I feel your pain, Canada. Fortunately we’re here to help. Maclean’s and CPAC had a lunch event in Ottawa on Thursday to peer into the coffee grounds left behind by Campaign 2011. And CPAC, being the public-minded people they are, have archived the whole event on their website. It’s right here. Onstage at the Château Laurier were, in the first segment, Andrew Coyne, John Geddes, Aaron Wherry and me. After a break, Andrew and I chatted with IRPP president Graham Fox; Le Devoir reporter Hélène Buzzetti; and Elly Alboim, who’s had key roles at the CBC and in Paul Martin’s kitchen cabinet. Enjoy.


I know what you’re saying. You’re saying, “There just hasn’t been enough about the election in Maclean’s. Where can I get some more?”

  1. Thanks Paul, will tune in now. In the meantime this is fun. Who is this new guy wandering around town? :-))

    {He wore an ear-to-ear grin as he strolled through downtown Ottawa to Conservative party offices to thank staff for helping him win a majority. He was still clearly jubilant from Monday's victory, saying he and staffers are "still ecstatic."}

    • Who, John Baird?

    • He'll have a honeymoon until parliament opens. He'll then discover how much he misses the toothless Liberal opposition when the high-octane Dippers start gnawing at his ankles.

  2. Listening to and reading Mr. Alboim's measured, incisive, informed and often persuasive commentary throughout this campaign, I'm increasingly amazed that the alternately frantic and sclerotic Paul Martin government – with its singular mixture of wheezing grandiosity and desperate pettiness – actually included such a sage in its ranks. Presumably Mr. Alboim did not gain all of his wisdom overnight. Which leads me to wonder whether its failure manifest itself in the Martin government was more a result of Martin's general personal incompetence and inanity, or whether it's a sign of how deep that the Liberal party's problems must run and how even difficult – and perhaps impossible – they are for even the best of our political class to overcome. (No doubt the answer involves some combination of the two, but how much of each?)

    • *should read:

      "Which leads me to wonder whether its failure *TO* manifest itself in the Martin government…"

  3. I can't wait for the next session of Parliament. Me and a couple of coworkers are splitting box seats for the season.

  4. LOL @ "He is going to bestride this town for the next four years like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man."


    • I concur. That line had me chuckling for the better part of five minutes :)

  5. John Baird is a GOD!

    • Settle down, John. The house isn't sitting yet.

  6. You kinda spooked me in the first few seconds there, Paul, with that side-ways shifty glance. ;)

  7. Paul bought the wood of the this weeks mag, fantastic job all a round. Really great stuff. Just wondering if you can give a update on P.Muttart, b/c his dismissal pissed me off. I understand you might not be able to say much, but anything would be cool.

    Once again great job all a round by the Macleans team on this weeks issue…

  8. That's uncanny. Okay, do you know what I'm saying now? Right now I'm saying, "How the hell does Paul Wells always know what I'm saying?"

    • I knew that.

  9. Enjoyed that.

    I used the Aesop's Fable "Torise and the Hare" analogy here a couple of days ago and got thumbs down, lol!!!

    How exactly are the committees getting changed – Elly mentioned something near the end?

  10. Actually, Delacourt's "Juggernaut" is a more comprehensive read on the Martin beer-and-popcorn kids.

  11. The problem isn't a shortage of content; the problem is that the online content is nearly entirely all Wherry, all the time. Quantity isn't necessarily quality, and I miss the "Blogs" drop-down that listed the contributors to make it easy to find their recent contributions. I suppose I don't come here often enough to figure out which revisions to the site have made it easier to be one click away from Wells, Coyne, et al from the home page.

  12. Fascinating. No ldea Elly Alboim was such a wise dude. Honestly had no idea who he was before this. I sure do now. He nailed the journos on essentially being too close to the action, and liking to pick winners and losers; sometimes not seeing the forest for the trees sort of thing. Which is probably unavoidable in todays 24/7 news cycle. I hope that majority gives them a little more time to marinate a little.

  13. PW, at some point in the discussion, you eluded to the influence (or lack thereof) of social media – paraphrasing from memory – you had or were inundated with tweets up the yingyang.

    I hope you and other members of the PPG (and the new honorary ones HQ'd in T.O.) take a hard look back at how the "profession" has evolved over this past year – particularly on twitter. I have long argued here that it is a technological facilitator of groupthink.

    The starkest admission of this trend during this past campaign was when twitter obsesses K O'M, on The House marvelled at how in the past, it took a number of days after the debates for a concensus to emerge in the mainstream media about who won the debate(s) and its implications – but through twitter – a concensus had pretty much emerged before the debates were complete. Unreal.

    But, as an aside, if not for the dogged determination demonstrated by some economists "wanting to get in" – a main one with right leaning views headquartered in Laval- the NDP may have swept Quebec in its entirety. :)

    • Yeah, the logical outcome of all this is even more journos picking the winners and loser, with whatever knock on effects that may have on the public. Upside is i suppose. It isn't just journos making the consenus themselves, although it is in all likelihood just limited to them and influential politcal junkies.[ was it always thus though??]
      All a bit unknowable. But the potential for a worrying trend is there. At leat when it was just newspapers and the tv guys there was only so many bodies/opinions you could get in aroom or on a page at one time, and they could only engage in very limited group think.

  14. Not to be picky but this mistake particularly bothers me – even the press sometimes makes it. It is not eluded (as in evaded), it is alluded (as in hinted at)

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