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News stories tagged with "robert-thacker"

Dr. Robert Thacker. Source: St. Lawrence University
Dr. Robert Thacker. Source: St. Lawrence University

Sorting through Canada's political turmoil

Canada's Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, won a stay of political execution yesterday, but the opposition parties vow that they will be waiting when the House of Commons reconvenes next month. The Governor General agreed to suspend Parliament until late January. At that time, Harper's Conservatives will present a budget, and are expected to face a fresh confidence vote. Rallies have been held in several cities as Canadians voiced their feelings about the political standoff in Ottawa; more are expected this weekend.

Harper said an extended Christmas break will give all political parties a chance to work together and focus on the economy. But Liberal Leader Stephane Dion says only a "monumental change" by Harper would persuade the opposition parties from toppling his government. New Democrat Leader Jack Layton says he can't have confidence in a prime minister who would shutdown Parliament knowing he's about to lose a confidence vote.

Dr. Robert Thacker is director of the Canadian Studies program at St. Lawrence University. He joined Martha Foley in the studio this morning to help sort out the context, and the possible consequences.  Go to full article

Religious school funding dominates Ontario campaigns

Ontario voters go to the polls in a province-wide election tomorrow. Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty faces challenges from Conservative John Tory, and New Democrat Howard Hampton. One issue has dominated the campaign: public funding for faith-based schools. Support of religious schools is included in the British North America Act of 1867, which created modern Canada. Funds were guaranteed for Protestant and Catholic schools, and that evolved into a system of public schools, and Catholic schools. In Canada, education is a provincial matter, not federal, and every province is a little different. Dr. Robert Thacker teaches Canadian studies at St. Lawrence University. He told Martha Foley religious school funding wasn't expected to be the focus, and it's diverted attention from other issues.  Go to full article

Quebec voters turn politics turvy

Politics in Quebec has long been dominated by the question of sovereignty - whether the French-speaking province should split off from Canada to become its own country. The leading parties reflected the divide: Federalism under the Liberals, or nationhood with the Parti Québécois. This week, voters delivered a stinging rebuke to both parties - the Liberals barely held on to power and must now lead Quebec's first minority government since 1878. The Parti Quebecois fell to third in the voting. The big winner was the L'Action Democratique party. The ADQ went from 5 seats to 41 and now replaces the PQ as the official opposition. Martha Foley talked about the implications with Dr. Robert Thacker, who teaches Canadian Studies at St. lawrence University.  Go to full article
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Afghanistan (Photos:  Canadian DND)
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Afghanistan (Photos: Canadian DND)

Canadian Casualties In Afghanistan Spark Debate

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in Kabul yesterday meeting with Afghanistan's president Hamid Karzai. Canadian soldiers are serving near American troops deployed from Fort Drum. They've taken up position around Kandahar, one of the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan. Two Canadians have died so far this month. More than a dozen have been seriously injured. During his three-day trip, Harper promised that Canadian soldiers would stay in Afghanistan saying, "We won't cut and run." But a debate has erupted in Canada over the country's role in the war on terror. Brian Mann spoke with two political observers. Bob Thacker is director of the Canadian Studies Program at St. Lawrence University. Peter Black is a correspondent for the CBC in Quebec City and a columnist for the Plattsburgh Press-Republican.  Go to full article

Canadians Vote For Change

Stephen Harper says Canada "has voted for change." Canadians have chosen to end 12 years of Liberal rule, and give a minority Conservative government led by Harper a chance. The prime minister in waiting said he'll govern for all Canadians, not just for those who voted Tory. Harper says his top priority is to clean up government by making it more accountable to taxpayers. Although Canadians have given power to the Conservatives, voters are keeping them on a short leash. Harper will lead a minority government with 124 seats. Liberals will have 103. The Bloc Quebecois got 51 seats, and the NDP won 29 -- 10 more than the last election. Martha Foley spoke with Dr. Robert Thacker, chairman of the Canadian Studies Department at St. Lawrence University, about the vote, and its likely consequences.  Go to full article

Campaign Points to Change in Canada

A new poll suggests the Conservatives held a 10-point lead over the Liberals entering the final week of Canada's federal election campaign. But Ontarians were still giving the Liberals a slight edge. Canadians can vote early, and if the advance polls are any indication, people want to vote in this federal election. The number of people showing up to vote early this time around jumped in every province, compared to the last election. It's not surprising; this has turned into a very interesting election. The Liberal Party called for the election, and at the outset it looked as if they might be returned to power after it was all over. But not anymore. Robert Thacker is chairman of the Candian Studies Dept. at SLU. He talked with Martha Foley.  Go to full article

Conservatives Gain Ground in Canadian Polls

With three weeks to go before election day, new polls suggest a turnaround in Canadian voter opinion. A poll comminissioned by the Toronto Star shows Stephen Harper and the Conservatives have the backing of 36 percent of decided voters, with Prime Minister Paul Martin's Liberal Party at 30 percent. The six percent lead is outside the margin of error. Another poll shows the Conservative Tories with 36 percent, the Liberals at 33. It's the second set of polls since the holiday break to show Tory gains. Robert Thacker is chairman of the Canadian Studies Department at St. Lawrence University. He told Martha Foley this is a trend that may last.  Go to full article

Canada's Liberals Fall

For the first time in history, a Canadian government has fallen on a straight non-confidence motion. The Conservatives, New Democrats and Bloc Quebecois joined forces to easily topple the minority Liberal government yesterday. An election is expected January 23. The party leaders will hit the road today for the wintertime campaign. Robert Thacker is chair of the Canadian Studies department at St. Lawrence University, and a close observer of Canadian politics. He spoke with Martha Foley about the politics, and the players.  Go to full article

Balancing Private & Public in Canada

Unlike in the United States, the Canadian constitution, drafted in 1982, puts the rights of the group over the rights of the individual. Robert Thacker is a professor of Canadian Studies at St. Lawrence University. He told David Sommerstein in Canada, there's been an assumption that people cede some of their personal rights for the good of the community.  Go to full article

Canada's Liberals Capture 135 Seats in Election

Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin has a new mandate under a minority government. The Liberals captured 135 seats in the federal election, with about 37 % of the popular vote. The Conservatives won 99 seats, the Bloc took 54 seats in Quebec and the New Democrats won in 19 ridings. Martha Foley talks with Dr. Robert Thacker, a longtime observer of Canadian politics, about the election and what it means.  Go to full article

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