Arts and Culture
More from Google
Add by RSS Feed
Get the Android app
Get the iOS app
A political primer for every kind of concerned citizen co-hosted by Rosemary Barton (The National) and Elamin Abdelmahmoud (BuzzFeed News). From CBC News and CBC Podcasts.
6 days ago
Pandemic anger and the federal budget
The pandemic isn't over but many people are over it. They're fed up with COVID-19, fed up with the lockdowns, and fed up with how governments have handled this whole pandemic. So today, Rosie and Elamin talk about the various ways people are expressing their anger, and whether there's anything governments can do to address the reasons for that anger. Plus, the two check in about the upcoming federal budget. It's the government's first in two years and — in the context of the pandemic and the economic crisis — it may be one of the most important budgets in decades. Will the government take on big, ambitious social issues at this juncture, or will they lay out a path to curb stimulus spending?
Apr 8, 2021
Returning to restrictions and what’s ‘left’ for the NDP
Ontario Premier Doug Ford confirmed on Wednesday that Canada’s most populous province would be heading into its second stay-at-home order and third state of emergency as COVID-19 variants of concern continue to spread. Catherine Cullen, senior reporter for CBC News, sits in for Rosie this week and joins Elamin in examining how efforts in several provinces still tend to be reactive versus proactive, and may not reach the “middle ground” that premiers like Alberta’s Jason Kenney often strive to find. The two also turn their attention to the NDP as the party prepares for its policy convention this weekend. After a year in which the Liberals served up some big policy responses to the pandemic, which would normally be considered the territory of the left — take the CERB, for example — where can the NDP stake their claim as an election looms on the horizon?
Apr 1, 2021
The massive generational divide in Canada’s housing market
Elamin has turned to a simultaneously fun and frustrating way to pass the time during the pandemic: scrolling through real estate listings. He’s just one of an endless number of millennials hoping to somehow grab onto the real estate ladder and buy their first home — but when? And how? The national average home price in February was up 25 per cent from the year before (jumping from just under $542,500 to just over $678,000, if you’re curious) and there’s research out there that suggests a young Canadian would have to log more than two decades of full-time work just to afford a decent down payment in certain markets. Rosie points out the grim reality that her cohort of first-time buyers who got in the door some 15 or 20 years ago simply had luck on their side; but it’s going to take a whole lot more than luck to cool Canada’s hot housing market in 2021. The two examine how the government could step in to help, as the federal budget is set to land in just a few weeks’ time; they also take a close look this week at the third wave of COVID-19 hitting several provinces where variants of concern are driving an increase in daily case counts.
Mar 29, 2021
Party in the U.S.A: State of the union
It’s our last episode! And what a wild ride it has been. Party in the U.S.A. was originally meant to cover the 2020 U.S. election, but then EVERYTHING happened. Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, Trump got COVID-19, Biden won, and a deadly riot on Capitol Hill led to Trump’s second impeachment. In this episode, we take stock of the last few months and what’s next for the U.S. But first, a deep dive into what’s happening in Bessemer, Alabama where a group of Amazon workers are trying to make history by becoming the company’s first U.S. union. Elamin is joined by Barry Eidlin, a professor at McGill University who looks at U.S. labour relations, as well as journalist and author Sarah Kendzior.
Mar 25, 2021
Is training enough to fix systemic racism in the RCMP?
This week, an independent report found the RCMP racially discriminated against the family of Colten Boushie, the young Indigenous man whose shooting death in Saskatchewan was investigated by the national police force in 2016. RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki accepted the report’s finding, the Saskatchewan RCMP is implementing the report’s recommendations, the Prime Minister has once again acknowledged the presence of systemic racism in the RCMP and other institutions — but what happens next? Rosie and Elamin take a close look at the independent report and what options could be on the table for a police force that continues to come under fire for its treatment of Indigenous people. Plus: as the Supreme Court is set to hand down a decision on whether Ottawa’s carbon tax is constitutional, and after Conservative Party members last weekend voted down a policy resolution to officially recognize climate change, the two look at where Opposition Leader Erin O’Toole may venture next when it comes to climate change policy.
Mar 22, 2021
Party in the U.S.A: To be Asian in America
The Atlanta shooting attack on March 16 marked a culmination of a year of increased racism, discrimination and violence directed against Asians and Asian Americans in the U.S. In this episode, we look at the long history of discrimination against Asians in America, the complications of "Asian-American" as a political term, and what this moment means for mainstream politics and grassroots organizing. Elamin is joined by Kim Tran, an anti-racist researcher and consultant based in Oakland, and Arissa Oh, a professor of history at Boston College.
Mar 18, 2021
Tackling COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy
Maybe Elamin’s situation hits home for you, too: he’s been getting WhatsApp messages from his mom with questions about COVID-19 vaccines, and some of those concerns appear to be based on misinformation floating around the internet. On a week that saw plenty of headlines about the AstraZeneca vaccine in particular, Rosie and Elamin lay out the need-to-know facts about the updated recommendation for seniors getting the shot here in Canada, and why some European countries have chosen to temporarily pause their rollout. The two also look ahead to this week's Conservative Party convention — happening virtually, of course — and break down why the pressure is on Conservative leader Erin O'Toole to prove he can lead the party to power.
Mar 15, 2021
Party in the U.S.A: COVID relief, plus the future of immigration
President Joe Biden has his biggest moment yet — the passage of his $1.9 trillion dollar COVID-19 relief bill. It’s one of the largest expansions of federal social support in the U.S. in decades, bringing aid to tens of millions of people. But another area where President Biden had promised to distinguish himself from his predecessor — the immigration file — is proving more difficult. He’s promised to usher in a new, more humane system and erase Trump’s controversial legacy on immigration policy. But with a burgeoning border crisis and no consensus even within the party, the reform he’s promised could be out of reach. Elamin is joined by Kadia Goba, a Congress reporter for Axios, and freelance journalist Tanvi Misra who covers immigration in Washington D.C.
Mar 11, 2021
Meghan, Harry and the racism in our institutions
There’s still plenty to unpack following Sunday’s bombshell Oprah interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, which shed light on their departure from the same royal family that is intrinsically tied to Canada’s system of government. Even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked about the revelations of racism this week, and how they square with his own desire to address systemic racism and the legacy of colonialism in this country. Elamin and Rosie examine whether it’s enough to spur change in the monarchy, and other institutions grappling with systemic discrimination. The two also take a deep breath and remember where they were a year ago, when COVID-19 was officially declared a global pandemic. Things changed in a matter of news-packed days, but as Rosie and Elamin point out, even more has changed over the course of the last 12 months. Tell us what changes or experiences you’ll remember most from the past year by tweeting @RosieBarton and @elamin88 using the hashtag #PartyLines — they’ll share some of your reflections on next week’s episode.
Mar 8, 2021
Party in the U.S.A: The fight for voting rights
South of the border, there’s a battle brewing for the most basic expression of democracy — voting. And there’s never been more at stake. Former President Donald Trump has repeated false allegations that the 2020 election results are fraudulent due to massive, widespread voter tampering. This has inspired a wave of voter restriction measures at the state level — 43 states in all — and if passed, could represent some of the most restrictive voting laws since the Jim Crow era. At the same time, the U.S. Senate is about to debate one of the most important civil rights bill in a generation, one that could bring substantial protections to voters and help stop the barrage of restrictions. But passing it will be extremely difficult. Elamin is joined by Michael Mark Cohen, a professor in American Studies at the University of California Berkeley, and Michael Barajas, a reporter for the Texas Observer.
Mar 4, 2021
What will it take to solve the military’s sexual misconduct problem?
Two of this country’s former top military leaders are facing accusations of sexual misconduct. Last week, recently appointed chief of defence staff Admiral Art McDonald stepped aside after it was discovered he was under investigation by the military's National Investigation Service; his predecessor, Gen. Jonathan Vance is also under investigation for inappropriate behaviour. All of this has had many people wondering: what did Canada’s minister of defence know, and when did he know it? Opposition parties hoped to find answers this week as former military ombudsman Gary Walbourne testified before a House of Commons committee — and that testimony did not look good for Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. Rosie and Elamin break down what came out of the committee, what it says about the state of Canada’s military and what kind of change might be necessary after years of efforts to root out sexual misconduct among their ranks. The two also check in on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, as th…
Mar 1, 2021
Party in the U.S.A: The nuances of Neera Tanden
DC is in the midst of confirmation hearings for President Joe Biden’s new cabinet — and some of his picks are generating controversy. Today, a deep dive into just one of the nominees, Neera Tanden. While she may not be a household name, Tanden is a useful lens through which to examine the layers of DC culture. With strikes against her on both the left and right, it’s worth examining why the Biden administration is going to bat for such a polarizing figure. But first, a quick debrief on the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which marked Donald Trump’s first public appearance since he left the presidency and clearly signalled that cult of personality continues. For insight, Elamin calls up Katelyn Burns, a freelance journalist and contributing writer to Vox and Medium, as well as Sabrina Siddiqui of the Wall Street Journal.
Feb 25, 2021
The growing push to decriminalize drugs in Canada
Last week, the federal government unveiled new legislation that would relax penalties for certain drug offences. It doesn’t go as far as decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of certain drugs — something many advocates, municipal leaders, public health officials, even chiefs of police have called for — but could it be a sign of shifting perspectives at the national level? As the opioid crisis continues to claim the lives of Canadians, Rosie and Elamin wonder whether more progressive drug policy could be around the corner. But first: the two turn their attention to Alberta, where Premier Jason Kenney’s government is delivering their 2021 budget. It comes at a time when Kenney finds himself in a pretty bad place: his popularity has plummeted through the pandemic and his average approval numbers are hovering around 40 per cent. Could a welcomed budget be enough of a boost to change how Albertans are feeling about their premier?
Feb 22, 2021
Party in the U.S.A: What's next for the Christian right?
American Christianity is a complex thing, and there’s plenty of diversity in terms of denomination, theology and belief. But over the last four years, white Christians who describe themselves as Evangelical or born again have consistently rated President Donald Trump highly. In fact, the tightly woven alliance between the religious right, Evangelicals and the Republican Party was fundamental to Trump's success. But as the former president moves on, where does that leave the Christian right? For insight, Elamin calls up Emma Green, a writer at The Atlantic who has extensively covered the intersection between U.S. politics, policy and religion. She explains why she called the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill a “Christian insurrection” and why so many believed that God meant for Trump to be inaugurated for a second term.
Feb 18, 2021
Genocide, China and calls for Canada to boycott the Olympics
This week saw more calls for Canada to boycott or move the 2022 Winter Olympics out of Beijing. Conservative leader Erin O’Toole said the government of China is engaged in a genocide of its Uighur population, and urged a relocation of the Games — or, failing that, a serious examination of whether Canadian athletes should compete. NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and Green Party leader Annamie Paul have also called for the Games to be moved elsewhere; a rare coming together of viewpoints among opposition parties, as Elamin points out. What actions should Canada be considering, when it comes to next year’s Olympics? How does this country’s attempts to secure the release of “the Michaels” factor into this? And have boycotts of the Olympics been effective in the past? Rosie and Elamin also take the temperature of the room — the “room” being the large chamber that is the House of Commons — to get a sense of how parties are feeling about the timing of a possible federal election…
Feb 16, 2021
Party in the U.S.A: Impeachment, the sequel
It was the most bipartisan impeachment trial in U.S. history but in the end, the Democrats could not sway enough Republicans to state that Donald Trump’s actions played a role in the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6. The U.S. is still coming to terms with the events of that day which left five dead and over 140 injured. While Trump’s acquittal — which allows him to still run for office — might seem like a win for the former president, it is only the beginning of what could be an unravelling of his legacy and the party that stuck so close to him during this violent event. In the eyes of Democrats, many Independents, and some Republicans, the former president was responsible. Elamin speaks with Tia Mitchell, the Washington correspondent with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, who was inside the Capitol on January 6, about the impeachment trial and what comes next.
Feb 11, 2021
Is now the time to loosen lockdowns?
If you’re feeling stir-crazy these days, you’re not alone — Elamin and Rosie are both feeling way overdue for some haircuts. But as provinces all across the country take steps to lift lockdown measures, or in some cases simply allow for more indoor activities, the two can’t help but wonder: is now the time to do it? Coronavirus variants have been detected in seven out of Canada’s 10 provinces, and Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam acknowledges these more contagious variants could spur a resurgence of cases as restrictions are rolled back. If governments have to turn around and quickly bring down the hammer again, will the political cost be too great? The two also check in on the Red Chamber, as Senator Mike Duffy is making another attempt to launch a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against the Senate itself. The Supreme Court is set to decide Thursday whether it will hear his case, after being dismissed in lower courts twice before. Rosie and Elamin unpack all you nee…
Feb 8, 2021
Party in the U.S.A.: How big is the GOP tent?
A battle is underway for the future of the Republican Party, just as former President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial is about to begin. This week, we take a closer look at two GOP congresswomen — the Trump-wary Liz Cheney and the conspiracy theory-spouting Marjorie Taylor Greene. The two politicians represent different directions for the Republican party in a post-Trump world, one where the internal divisions in the party seem increasingly difficult to reconcile within the GOP tent. Elamin speaks with Alayna Treene, a White House reporter for Axios, and Matt Berman, politics editor for BuzzFeed.
Feb 4, 2021
Canada declares Proud Boys a terrorist group
The Proud Boys, a group operating in Canada, who were players in the U.S. Capitol attack have been listed as a terrorist organization in this country. This makes Canada the first country to take this step. Rosie and Elamin lay out what a terrorist designation actually means, how many new tools it offers the government, and who else was added to the list. (Hint: several white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups.) This kind of designation makes for a strong statement, but what impact might it actually have on public safety? The other big news this week was Canada’s tight supply of COVID-19 vaccines, and reliance on other countries to manufacture what we need. Rosie and Elamin check the status of our supply and what plans are in the works to boost manufacturing here at home.
Feb 2, 2021
Party in the U.S.A.: D.C.’s changing climate
Since we last checked in President Joe Biden has signed even more executive orders, including directives to advance racial equity and expand health care. He’s also got that big COVID-19 relief bill to get through Congress, and the massive issue of climate change to move up the agenda. By contrast, former President Donald Trump — who faces his impeachment trial on February 8th — had his five lawyers quit this weekend. This week Elamin calls up Seung Min Kim, White House reporter for the Washington Post and CNN Political Analyst, to break down what these executive orders all mean. We also talk to Zahra Hirji, climate reporter at Buzzfeed News to assess Biden’s climate policies so far.
Jan 28, 2021
Variants and the vice-regal vacancy
Two significant news stories have taken over political headlines since Elamin and Rosie dropped their last episode. The first involves some heavy hints from the federal government that tighter travel restrictions are just around the corner. Rosie and Elamin wonder if new COVID-19 variants are behind the push for stricter rules — though as of right now, international travel accounts for less than two per cent of coronavirus cases in Canada. Why has travel become a priority when other methods of community transmission could use attention? The other big story involves former vice-regal office occupant Julie Payette, who resigned as governor general following a detailed review that looked into allegations of workplace harassment. What does the government need to focus on next, when picking a successor? And what does the months-long story say about the Prime Minister’s judgement?
Jan 25, 2021
Party in the U.S.A.: All in a week’s work
It's been just under a week since Joe Biden took office as the 46th president of the United States, and already so much has changed. Biden is quickly reversing Trump's policies, working to get major legislation passed to curb the coronavirus and fix the economy. We’re also hearing from people like Anthony Fauci who were muzzled by the Trump administration and are now speaking freely and looking much happier. Trump, meanwhile, has been kicked off social media and he's facing an impeachment trial. So, he's been pretty quiet. What is he up to? This week Elamin calls up Ella Nilsen, who covers domestic policy for Vox, as well as Alayna Treene, White House reporter for Axios.
Jan 21, 2021
Keystone goes kaputt
There’s a new president in the White House — and one of Joe Biden’s very first executive actions has a big impact on Canada. Revoking the presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline was reported as a likely priority early in the week, ruffling feathers in Ottawa and Alberta alike. But how much of a surprise was the incoming president’s move, really? And where can Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney go from here? Rosie and Elamin also have another question to ask: how are you holding up? They’ve talked about the pandemic a lot, but haven’t yet had the opportunity to dive into one of the big issues looming in the background: the toll it’s taking on everyone’s mental health, including their own. (As the two mention on this episode, there are several places you can turn to for help: find the Wellness Together Canada portal at http://ca.portal.gs; access Kids Help Phone's Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 686868; reach The Canada Suicide…
Jan 18, 2021
Party in the U.S.A.: Bracing for Inauguration Day
It’s almost Inauguration Day, and Joe Biden's formal admission to office is going to look very different from any before it. Not only is it taking place during a pandemic, but also as Capitol Hill and state buildings across the country maximize security following the Jan. 6 riots. Today, Elamin calls up Sabrina Siddiqui, national politics reporter for The Wall Street Journal, to review some of the disturbing new details we’ve learned in recent days. Plus, is Trump’s power really diminishing following his second impeachment, wide scale deplatforming and souring relations with more members of his party? Or is it just taking a new form? And where does all of this leave the Republican Party?
Jan 14, 2021
Are politicians running out of tools?
Quebec: under curfew. Ontario: under a stay-at-home order. Manitoba: under lockdown for an extra two weeks. Many Canadians have seen their public health restrictions grow progressively tighter in recent days, but all this has Rosie and Elamin wondering: how many more tools do politicians have at their disposal? As cases continue to rise and we await more vaccinations — which are still weeks and months away, for most of the population — is trust in people and trust in leadership at risk of eroding? Plus, in light of last week’s attacks on the U.S. Capitol, the two examine the presence of far-right extremism in Canada and how politicians are acting in response to it. Are we hearing an echo of American politics reverberate north of the border?
Jan 11, 2021
Party in the U.S.A.: After the storm
On Wednesday, as we recorded last week’s episode, a mob of pro-Trump extremists shocked the country and the world by breaking into the Capitol building. It’s been a few long days since that violent insurrection and we’ve had some time to assess the political fallout. Elamin calls up Paul MacLeod, BuzzFeed’s Capitol Hill reporter, who was on the scene as the chaos unfolded. Plus, he chats with author and scholar Sarah Kendzior who has been predicting something like this for years. (Fingers crossed, nothing earth shattering happens between our recording time and the time by which you listen to this.)
Jan 7, 2021
Vaccines and vexing vacations
By the time you hit play on this episode, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will likely be preparing for his first call of the new year with premiers, where vaccine rollout is expected to top the agenda. Thousands of doses are still waiting in freezers to be administered, which has Rosie and Elamin wondering: what’s the hold up? And is there more the federal government can do, to speed up getting shots in arms? The two also take a close look at the outrage that continues to simmer over certain public officials choosing to travel abroad during the holidays. What kind of damage has it done to public trust and political parties?
Jan 6, 2021
Party in the U.S.A: Game changer in Georgia
It’s a historic day in American politics. Much like the general election, the Georgia Senate runoffs have been high stakes nail biters, with Senate control and a lot of Joe Biden’s agenda hanging in the balance. But now, as Democrats celebrate historic wins in both races, Elamin calls up Josh Wingrove, White House reporter for Bloomberg News, to discuss the importance of this moment. Also today, Congress will meet to confirm the presidential election results. Normally, this is a pretty straightforward ceremony. But if the leadup to it has been any indication, the proceedings — led by outgoing Vice-president Mike Pence — could be fraught with drama. Note: this episode was recorded before news broke that Trump supporters breached the U.S. Capitol building and forced a lockdown.
Dec 17, 2020
Our last episode of 2020, directed by you
Rosie and Elamin answer your burning questions as 2020 comes to a close, including: How is this vaccine rollout gonna go? Are we more or less divided than last year? What might the new year hold for federal parties? And: what are you gonna order when the pubs all open up again? The two take a moment to look back at the year that was, before taking some much-needed time off over the holidays — but know that Party Lines will return the first week of January.
Dec 14, 2020
Party in the U.S.A.: Georgia on my mind
Party in the U.S.A. is about to take a short break for the holidays — but before we go, we’ve got to talk about Georgia. On January 5th, Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler will face off against Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in two really important races that will basically decide who gets to control the U.S. Senate. And by extension, of course, Senate control will shape how much Joe Biden will actually be able to get done once he’s in office next month. With the stakes so high and the date so close — not to mention Donald Trump's ongoing refusal to concede — the political climate in Georgia has been getting really tense, to say the least. To help set the stage, Elamin calls up Georgia Democratic State Senator Jen Jordan and Republican former state representative Buzz Brockway. He also calls up Ella Nilsen from Vox for some added perspective.
Dec 10, 2020
A political booster shot
They did it — just like that, Health Canada approved the Pfizer vaccine before even the U.S. did, becoming the third country to give it the green light. But this is hardly the end of the road. Now comes the transportation, the distribution, the getting needles into arms… and while the feds got to announce the good news this week, it’s the provinces who’ll be taking on a lot of the work from here. Elamin and Rosie dive into what this week’s vaccine approval means for the Liberal government, the premiers, and the opposition Conservatives, who’ve been pushing back hard on the government’s vaccine rollout plan. And speaking of premiers: the two also look at Thursday’s big meeting between the Prime Minister and the provinces. Premiers are lining up a pretty big ask, in demanding an increase to federal health transfers — will Ottawa pony up?
Dec 8, 2020
Party in the U.S.A.: Hardship for the holidays
The holidays, like everything else, are going to be different this year. Many will be coping with the loss of a loved one. Others who've lost their jobs will be struggling to put food on the table. And in just a few weeks, about two dozen federal aid programs are set to expire. Experts are predicting widespread hardship in the U.S., unless something is done. This is the context in which the Democrats and Republicans are negotiating a brand new stimulus package. Today Elamin calls up Marissa Evans, who covers social issues for the Star Tribune, as well as Nikita Stewart, assistant editor for The New York Times, who has covered food insecurity extensively.
Dec 3, 2020
So, what does this economic update actually tell us?
Larger deficit? Check. Some stimulus funding, down the line? You bet. A fully fleshed-out plan to support more women through the “she-cession”? Not exactly. Rosie and Elamin map out where expectations didn’t quite match up with reality in this week’s federal economic update, billed as a glimpse into the government’s plans to shape a post-pandemic recovery. Perhaps what’s most apparent following the update is where political parties stand, as the Conservatives used the opportunity to press the Liberals on a vaccine rollout plan and the Prime Minister knocked the previous government’s handling of the 2008 recession. As Elamin and Rosie point out, there’s plenty here to fight the next election over.
Dec 1, 2020
Party in the U.S.A.: Meet the team
Things have been moving quickly since Joe Biden’s transition team got the long-awaited access they need to reboot the U.S. Government. The President-Elect has already formally announced some of his cabinet picks. And now we have a pretty good idea of what his foreign policy and national security team is going to look like. There are also some names trickling out on the domestic front. John Kerry. Jake Sullivan. Janet Yellen — and those are just the Js. These are the people now tasked with getting a grip on the surging coronavirus in the U.S., fixing the economy and restoring the U.S.'s global reputation. So, what do we need to know about the team starting on this daunting to do list? Elamin calls up Josh Wingrove, White House reporter for Bloomberg News, and Jen Kirby, foreign and national security reporter for Vox, for a bird-eye view of the incoming flock.
Nov 26, 2020
Here we go again
If you’re feeling a little déjà vu, you’re not alone. Rosie and Elamin feel it, too. The Prime Minister has returned to the front steps of his home to deliver regular addresses to Canadians… just like he did, back in March. Has his message changed? Are people listening? The two take stock of Trudeau’s move as more provinces enact stronger public health measures. They also look ahead to next week’s big numbers — the ones that have been growing since March: the ballooning federal deficit. Next Monday, the government will deliver their economic update, which Elamin and Rosie point out is less likely to include sweeping recovery plans and more likely to spell out how the feds hope to manage the next stage of the pandemic.
Nov 24, 2020
Party in the U.S.A.: A bumpy transition
President-Elect Joe Biden can now formally begin the transition process, but that doesn’t mean Trump is giving up the fight. Trump’s legal team is forging ahead with a string of court battles, despite a growing number of both legal losses and high-profile Republicans coming out in support of the handover. This is far from the end of the story. Biden-Harris and their transition team face the difficult task of tackling a pandemic that is raging on and preparing for a complicated vaccine rollout. They’re also working to install new cabinet picks that will shape how the incoming government handles the remaining bumps in the road. To make sense of this moment, Elamin calls up two friends of the show: Sabrina Siddiqui of The Wall Street Journal, and Hayes Brown of MSNBC Daily.
Nov 19, 2020
Where do you get your COVID advice?
It’s a question at the top of Elamin’s mind, and it’s even the Last Call question for the week: who do you look to for public health advice, as you figure out how to go about your day during the pandemic? Do you tune into local guidance? Or are you more often paying attention to what your province or territory has to say — whether it’s coming from a premier, or a top doctor? And what if their messaging sometimes differs? Elamin and Rosie explore how some premiers have recently responded to criticism over divergent recommendations, and examine what it takes to delicately balance public health advice and government directives. Plus, the two pick up where they left off last week, on vaccines: now that two of Canada’s procurement orders are promising candidates, how is the federal government preparing to distribute a future vaccine all across the country? (Turns out… it involves buying a lot of freezers.)
Nov 16, 2020
Party in the U.S.A.: Your move, GOP
It has now been a week since U.S. media networks called the election for Joe Biden. At this point, Biden’s powering ahead with the transition as much as he can. But Donald Trump still has not conceded. And he's still saying, without evidence, that the election was stolen from him. And not only is he talking (and tweeting) about it, he's also fighting the outcome in court and purging top officials. Although several Republicans believe a formal transition process should begin, few are actually challenging Trump’s narrative. It all raises the question: where does their party go from here, knowing that more than 73 million Americans voted for Trump? Elamin calls up two major figures associated with the Republican Party to discuss: Rick Wilson, strategist and co-founder of the Lincoln Project, and Michael Steele, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Nov 12, 2020
A glimmer of good news
“We see the light at the end of the tunnel,” the Prime Minister said with cautious optimism this week. As news broke of Pfizer’s promising preliminary results with its COVID-19 vaccine — of which Canada has already secured millions of doses — even Elamin and Rosie have been feeling a little relief, these last few days. But what plans might the federal government have for the eventual rollout of a vaccine? And how is procurement going with other potential vaccine candidates? The two lay out what we know so far, as daily case counts continue to break new records across several provinces. Rosie and Elamin also take a look at Canada’s airline industry, facing plummeting revenues and thousands of complaints from passengers demanding refunds for cancelled flights. What is the federal government considering, when it comes to a possible bailout?
Nov 10, 2020
Party in the U.S.A.: The meaning of this moment
It’s the first episode in which we can say it: Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States. Yes, there will be challenges to come — including legal challenges from a defiant incumbent — but for now we’d like to focus on the significance of this historic moment. Today Elamin calls up Baratunde Thurston, the Emmy award-winning host of ‘How to Citizen with Baratunde’ and ‘We’re Having A Moment’ who believes “we've taken a step toward resolution, toward peace, toward democracy, toward voting integrity, toward decency and humanity and away from bullying.” They discuss what a Biden-Harris win means for America, and how to unite a fractured left in the wake of Biden’s win.
Nov 5, 2020
Why we can’t look away from the States
Rosie and Elamin are running on little sleep after a late Tuesday night watching ballots trickle in south of the border — so they’ve recruited Bloomberg White House reporter Josh Wingrove to help make sense of what’s (still) unfolding in the U.S. election. When will we know who wins the presidency? What can initial results tell us about how our next-door neighbour is really feeling? And is Canada ready for either Donald Trump or Joe Biden to win? The three take stock of what’s on the table and what’s still to come in a presidential election unlike any other.
Nov 5, 2020
Party in the U.S.A: A nation divided
At time of recording, we still don't know who will be the next president of the United States. But honestly, there's enough to discuss while we wait for the numbers — from Trump's premature declaration of victory, to his preemptive legal strikes, to duelling demonstrations happening all across the country. Elamin calls up CBC’s Steven D'Souza, reporting from the lightning-rod state of Pennsylvania, where a deep divide tells the story of the whole country. Yes, even in Biden’s hometown. Plus, Hayes Brown of MSNBC takes us on a tour of other key battlegrounds and what might happen if Trump tries to take the fight to the Supreme Court.
Nov 3, 2020
Party in the U.S.A: Voting Day
The odds of a clear result on voting day are slim to none, and that's going to prove a great challenge for news organizations, especially cable news networks who are so used to building a narrative out of the numbers as they come in and then presenting a conclusive result. All signs—not the least of which is that Trump has said he won't concede, even if he appears to be losing—point to a long drawn out election, or worse. So how are we going to collectively process this one? Elamin calls up Ben Smith, media columnist for The New York Times, to talk about why it’s critical that the media get election night right.
Oct 30, 2020
Party in the U.S.A: What could possibly go wrong?
Sure, the U.S. election is on November 3 — but that doesn’t mean that we’ll know who won the presidency by November 4. Between the lag time for mail-in ballots to Trump’s constant foreboding about voter fraud, there’s a great deal of tension building up to voting day. Add to that concerns over armed rightwing militias, voter suppression tactics, the threat of foreign interference and the ongoing global pandemic. In today’s special episode, Elamin zooms out to understand this moment in history and what it could mean in the long run. He calls up authors and journalists Sarah Kendzior and Stephen Marche to work through silver linings and worst case scenarios. There are, unfortunately, more of the latter. The key question looms large: is there hope for a free and fair election in 2020?
Oct 29, 2020
What can pandemic elections tell us?
Four elections in under four days — whew. Voters in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and two federal Toronto ridings all headed to the polls this past week, and incumbents were largely rewarded across the board. B.C. Premier John Horgan and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe were handed majorities, while the federal Liberals held onto those two Toronto seats. But is there more to glean from these somewhat expected results? Rosie and Elamin dig deeper into the numbers to look for the kind of signs federal politicians might be keeping an eye on… as they prepare to watch a whole other election south of the border. How is the federal government preparing for what could unfold next Tuesday in the U.S.? Plus, the two dissect the latest Conservative motion to stir up the House of Commons this week. It wasn’t a confidence matter, but it still had lots to do with government transparency — specifically, how the Liberals have been handling the COVID-19 pandemic. What does this latest scuffle s…
Oct 26, 2020
Party in the U.S.A.: One week out
Here we are in the final stretch. In just seven days, millions of Americans will head to the polls and elect the next president of the United States. Elamin calls up Sabrina Siddiqui, national politics reporter for the Wall Street Journal and Toluse Olorunnipa, who covers the White House for the Washington Post. They go through the biggest stories of the past week, including Thursday night’s presidential debate, and Trump’s sudden obsession with Joe Biden’s son Hunter. They also check in on what’s happening in key swing states, and what the strategy is for the Biden and Trump campaigns in the final days of the race.
Oct 22, 2020
Showdown in Parliament
Yesterday marked exactly one year since the last federal election… and yesterday, Canadians were nearly sent to the polls once again. After the Conservatives put forward a motion in the House calling for a special committee to examine the WE Charity controversy, Liberals said they would make the vote on that motion a matter of confidence, meaning the minority government could have fallen. Okay, yes, that’s a lot to wrap your head around — but Rosie and Elamin are here to answer the big questions, like: What are opposition parties doing to pursue the WE affair? Why did the Liberals put their minority government on the line for this? And how did we get so close to the brink of a snap election? Plus, the two also shine a light on the federal government’s role in the Nova Scotia fishery dispute. MPs stayed up late on Monday for an emergency debate focused on the newly launched Mi'kmaw lobster fishery in Saulnierville, N.S. and the increasingly violent opposition to it from non-Ind…
Oct 19, 2020
Party in the U.S.A.: Brace yourself, world
If it feels like the U.S. election has been going on for two to twenty years, take this in: we're now just two weeks out. This week Elamin calls up Hayes Brown, host of BuzzFeed’s Daily News podcast News O'Clock, and Wall Street Journal reporter Sabrina Siddiqui. They talk through the top stories in the last week, from the push to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the competing town halls that replaced a second presidential debate. Elamin thinks this is also a great time to zoom out and get a global citizen’s perspective. Because anyone who's paying attention will tell you that the stakes are incredibly high, not just for Americans, but for those of us watching all around the world. So, what does this election mean for world order? And why has foreign policy been so absent from the conversation?
Oct 15, 2020
Canada-China relations frayed at 50
“This is something which we shall never forget.” Those were just some of the strong words Canada’s new ambassador to the UN, Bob Rae, shared last week in reference to China’s treatment of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. The two Canadians have been detained in Chinese prison for well over 600 days, and just last weekend received their first consular visit since January. On a week that also marks 50 years since Trudeau Sr. established diplomatic ties with the country, Rosie and Elamin wonder: what might Canada-China relations look like from here on in? Continuing with their break from pandemic politics, the two also examine the federal government’s recent announcement regarding single-use plastics. The feds plan to finalize a ban before the end of 2021 — but is it a top-of-mind priority for people right now?
Oct 12, 2020
Party in the U.S.A.: The long wait for relief
It's been a quiet week in the U.S. presidential race, relatively speaking, considering the dizzying drama of the last few. But even still, there have been plenty of news stories that under normal circumstances would dominate headlines for weeks — the Senate confirmation hearings of Amy Coney Barrett for a seat on the Supreme Court, the cancellation of a second debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, and Trump's first public appearance since his COVID-19 diagnosis are just a few. This gives us a chance to dig into something that had been simmering in the background and exploded into view again last week — the negotiations over a new stimulus bill to help people and businesses impacted by COVID-19. What is the holdup? And what are the consequences of this political impasse for the average American? Elamin calls up BuzzFeed News reporter Paul McLeod for the politics, and the Star Tribune's Marissa Evans for a view from the ground.
Oct 10, 2020
Introducing: Pop Chat
Elamin Abdelmahmoud and the Pop Chat round-table invite you in to the group chat to help make sense of the cultural drama blowing up the internet. Bringing their hottest takes to the table, join them every week as they debate, discuss and work through the pop culture discourse. The Pop Chat panel consists of: Shireen Ahmed, Angelina Chapin, Kevin Fallon, Sarah Hagi, Hussein Kesvani, Stacy Lee Kong, Kathleen Newman-Bremang, Amil Niazi and Andrea Warner. More episodes are available at http://smarturl.it/popchat
Oct 8, 2020
A prescription for transparency
The Prime Minister revealed this week that he tested negative for COVID-19 last month. Should the public have known that he was concerned? As U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent COVID-19 diagnosis and hospitalization continues to dominate the news cycle, Rosie and Elamin wonder when a politician's health becomes a matter of public concern. Plus: a look at the Green Party’s brand new leader, Annamie Paul. The successor to Elizabeth May is hoping to win a Toronto by-election at the end of the month, which would increase the party’s seat count in the House of Commons to four. Where might she take the party next?
Oct 5, 2020
Party in the U.S.A.: A positive spin
We are less than 30 days away from the election and the President of the United States would have you believe that he’s got it all under control. His positive COVID-19 diagnosis? He feels “better than I did 20 years ago!” A growing threat from white supremacist militia groups? “Not a right-wing problem.” America itself? “MAKING IT GREATER THAN EVER BEFORE!” Following a whirlwind few days in the headlines, Elamin calls up two journalists with critical insight. First, Bloomberg News’ White House reporter Josh Wingrove is back to give us the latest update on the President’s health. And Julio Ricardo Varela, host of political podcast “In The Thick,” rewinds to Trump’s refusal to condemn white supremacists at the debate. He worries that key issues — like systemic racism and the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on people of colour — are getting buried by the constant barrage of breaking stories.
Oct 3, 2020
Party in the U.S.A.: October surprise
Breaking at the tail end of one of the strangest and most unpredictable election years in recent memory, news that Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19 — after months of downplaying the seriousness of the pandemic — has turned out to be the ultimate October surprise. As questions swirl around Trump’s condition, and he remains in hospital, an already fragile election’s been thrown into even more chaos, with little clarity around if and when he’ll be able to resume campaigning. On this special episode of Party in the U.S.A., Elamin calls up Josh Wingrove, who covers the White House for Bloomberg News, to make sense of this rapidly evolving story.
Oct 1, 2020
The politics of lockdowns
The second wave of the pandemic has begun, according to the prime minister and the premier of Ontario. That doesn’t cover the whole country, of course — hat tip to the Atlantic bubble — but it does turn up feelings of apprehension in Canada’s hardest-hit areas. Are tighter restrictions around the corner? And if so: is there enough political will to lock things down again, or will it be too tough a sell? Elamin and Rosie also sift through the new CERB-replacing economic aid measures that were fast-tracked through the House of Commons in the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday. The NDP have made it clear they played a big part in making it all happen — what does it say about their role in this minority parliament, going forward?
Sep 29, 2020
Party in the U.S.A: The stage is set
The Trump campaign has spent months setting expectations low for Joe Biden, from nicknaming him “Sleepy Joe” to outright questioning his mental capacity. Now, on the eve of the first Presidential debate, the pressure is on for the challenger to show up sharp and steady — and do much more than position himself as the “not Trump” of the election. Also top of mind: Trump’s refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power. If he loses in November, the incumbent says “we'll have to see what happens.” But if he refuses to accept the results, the U.S. will have to confront a historic first in extremely divided times. To make sense of this and more, Elamin calls up Kadia Goba, politics reporter for Buzzfeed News who has been covering the Trump campaign for the last few months.
Sep 24, 2020
‘We are at a crossroads’
So, that was a lot yesterday: a lengthy throne speech, that resets the Liberal government’s priorities six months into this pandemic; some fiery responses from opposition parties, one of which the government will need to survive a confidence vote; and a whole separate address-to-the-nation from the Prime Minister himself, stressing the urgency of this pandemic. But will that urgency translate into action, when it comes to flattening the curve once again? What further action can we expect from the government, based on the plans they unveiled in their throne speech? And will opposition parties ultimately support the Liberals, or could the government fall? Rosie and Elamin take a look at what’s on the table while we stand at what the Prime Minister is calling a “crossroads.”
Sep 22, 2020
Party in the U.S.A: A Supreme loss
November’s election was already set to go down as the most litigated in U.S. history — but then Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, opening up a whole new layer of complications. To understand the stakes of filling the feminist icon’s now-vacant seat, Elamin calls on Zoe Tillman, who covers the intersection of law and politics for Buzzfeed News. Tillman explains how the next few weeks could change the highest court for generations. Meanwhile, the West coast is still burning. Elamin rings up California-based journalist and podcast host Amy Westervelt, who explains what this election could mean for climate policy. One thing is for sure: if the U.S. decides to deny the science, the consequences will reach far beyond its borders. Westervelt notes, “unfortunately, because of the size and the influence of the U.S., it kind of makes that decision for the world.”
Sep 17, 2020
Are we still in this together?
You’ve probably seen the headlines this week: COVID-19 cases are on the rise in several provinces across the country. “The time to act is now,” according to Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam — but is that message actually getting through to anyone? Rosie and Elamin point out we haven’t seen a substantial shift in messaging from governments recently, and the power of that “flatten the curve” motto from the spring has dwindled. On top of that, the spike in cases is now truly hitting home for federal politicians: both Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet are self-isolating after staffers (and in the case of Blanchet, his wife) tested positive for COVID-19. How might this impact next week’s big Parliamentary event — the throne speech? Elamin and Rosie also take a look at whether that big speech from the government could lay some groundwork for a universal basic income, which has emerged as a big priority for memb…
Sep 15, 2020
Party in the U.S.A: What suburbs want
It's become gospel in America: win the suburbs, win the election. These vast, rapidly changing communities have become the focus of both campaigns. Trump claims that a Biden administration would spread big city looting, chaos and crime. Biden is betting on a progressive shift in suburban values, including support for racial justice. Nowhere are these competing narratives more live than in Wisconsin, which has become an unexpected crossroads following the shooting of Jacob Blake. Washington Post reporter Robert Klemko joins Elamin from Kenosha to talk about what he’s hearing from voters on the ground and whether it’s even possible to predict which way the suburbs will swing. Also, we review last week’s bombshell revelations from Bob Woodward’s new book: Rage.
Sep 10, 2020
So… a lot happened this summer.
Okay, let’s catch you up: in the span of about a week last month, the finance minister resigned, the prime minister prorogued Parliament, and the Conservatives elected a new leader. Where does that leave things, heading into the fall? Rosie and Elamin break down some of August’s biggest political headlines, and build up what’s quickly becoming a highly anticipated fall session of Parliament — complete with a new Opposition Leader, Erin O’Toole. All eyes will be on the opposition parties as they decide whether to support the government in a confidence vote set to follow the Speech from the Throne, which the Liberals will unveil in less than two weeks’ time. It’ll be their first chance to lay out a whole new set of priorities, since the onset of the pandemic — priorities that could expand the multi-billion dollar federal deficit.
Sep 7, 2020
Introducing: Party in the U.S.A.
Let’s face it: whether or not you’ve been officially following the U.S. presidential race, you’ve been hearing about it. And the Trump vs. Biden talk is only going to ramp up this fall, as the whole world tunes in to the 2020 election. Enter Elamin: a curious global citizen who wants to be in the loop but not in the weeds. Starting next Tuesday, he’ll be hosting a Party Lines spin-off — Party in the U.S.A. — in addition to the Thursday show. What will that sound like? Here’s a chat with two of several savvy journalists Elamin will be calling on in coming months: Marissa Evans of the Star Tribune and Vox’s Sigal Samuel.
Jul 23, 2020
We’re proroguing Party Lines
Call it a prorogation, call it a vacation — Party Lines is taking a summer break! Elamin runs through the political stories he and Rosie will be keeping an eye on, from the WE Charity controversy to the Conservative leadership race, and Party Lines producer Emma Godmere swings by to read through some of your responses to last week’s Last Call question. Rosie and Elamin will return at the end of the summer with brand new weekly episodes to bring you up to speed on the biggest headlines in Canadian politics before Parliament returns in the fall.
Jul 16, 2020
Trudeau faces his third ethics probe
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau admitted this week he should have recused himself from discussions about WE Charity; specifically, whether they should have been contracted to run a multi-million dollar student service program. Last week, we learned that both Trudeau’s mother and brother had been previously paid to speak at WE events. Conservatives want the RCMP to investigate, the Bloc is asking Trudeau to step aside, and the federal ethics commissioner has launched an investigation — Trudeau’s third such investigation since becoming Prime Minister. Rosie and Elamin want to know: is there a pattern here? Plus, they’ll take a close look at the armed Canadian Forces member who drove his truck into the grounds of Rideau Hall. Corey Hurren is facing 22 charges, which include uttering a threat against the Prime Minister. Why isn’t this story garnering more attention?
Jul 9, 2020
Yeah, that’s a big deficit
Rosie and Elamin were pretty sure the federal government’s fiscal “snapshot” was going to present a rather bleak picture this week. Lo and behold, they were right on the money: Finance Minister Bill Morneau unveiled a projected deficit of $343 billion for the 2020–21 fiscal year, along with the expectation that Canada’s GDP will shrink by an amount not seen since the Great Depression. It all sounds pretty serious, but how worried should we be? Elamin and Rosie break down what you need to know about the Liberal government’s long-awaited economic update — and check in on how the opposition parties are feeling about it, too.
Jul 2, 2020
Will you download a contact tracing app?
Get ready to make space on your home screen soon: July 2nd was supposed to be the day Canada’s “COVID Alert” app rolled out for testing across Ontario, with a wider cross-country release expected down the line. When the Prime Minister unveiled these plans a couple weeks back, he emphasized the app’s privacy measures and low-maintenance nature — but will that equate to an uptake significant enough to reap the public health benefits? Plus, Rosie and Elamin look south of the border as COVID-19 case numbers continue to spike in the U.S. What lessons can we learn from our southern neighbours, as the risks of reopening become clear?
Jun 25, 2020
Is it time to pause the PM’s pressers?
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hit a milestone, if you will, on Monday: he completed his eightieth press conference since the pandemic was declared in mid-March. The majority of them have been held just off his front porch at Rideau Cottage, though a few recent briefings have become almost campaign-style visits to Ottawa-area businesses. And those big-impact announcements of border closures and emergency economic supports that dominated spring headlines? They’re now few and far between. With that in mind, Rosie and Elamin wonder: have these regular prime ministerial briefings run their course? Plus: the death of a third temporary foreign worker employed at an Ontario farm is raising serious concerns about working and living conditions of seasonal workers during this pandemic — though advocates have been flagging many of these concerns for years. Elamin and Rosie take a look at what steps can be taken, now and in the long-term.
Jun 18, 2020
Systemic racism and the RCMP
You’ve probably heard a lot of discussion around systemic racism this past week — particularly when it comes to the RCMP. Commissioner Brenda Lucki acknowledged last Friday that it exists within the force she leads, after dodging questions days earlier and explaining she’d heard up to “15 or 20 definitions” of the term. Elamin sifts through several examples of systemic racism specifically involving Indigenous people, from the creation of the RCMP itself to current statistics illustrating how Indigenous people are treated in Canada’s justice system today. Plus, Rosie takes a close look at the government’s recent promise to deliver a “fiscal snapshot” early next month. Why did it take so long to commit to an economic update, when other countries — even other provinces here in Canada — have already laid theirs out?
Jun 11, 2020
Does taking a knee mean taking a stand?
People all around the world saw the photo of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau taking a knee at an anti-Black racism protest in Ottawa last week. Some felt it was a striking image, but others wondered if that moment would translate into action. Elamin and Rosie take a look at some of the federal government's possible next steps, including Trudeau's recent move to support outfitting RCMP officers with body cameras. Plus, as the feds pledge $14 billion in support for re-opening provinces, Rosie and Elamin wonder if that kind of interdependence might spell trouble down the line. Municipalities, especially, are struggling to make ends meet. But could floating them have a lasting impact on the federation?
Jun 4, 2020
Who feels served and protected?
Elamin was ready to talk about something else this week — anything else, but recent events have forced another heavy conversation about structural, anti-Black racism. The protests unfolding in cities across the continent are responding to issues that are not strictly American. The concern around police brutality and the relationships between police forces and Black communities is a live issue in Canada, too. Some are calling to defund, redefine or divest from the police — but what might that look like? Rosie and Elamin explore what some are proposing, while also examining how police forces are funded across the country.
May 28, 2020
The crisis in our care homes
It’s some of the most wrenching news to come out of this pandemic: horrific allegations of elder abuse and neglect at five Ontario long-term care homes, outlined in detail by the Canadian military, whose members have been providing assistance to seniors since late April. But they're not the first to blow the whistle. Now that COVID-19 has exacerbated the situation, Rosie wonders: could this finally be the spark that overhauls the system? Plus, Elamin takes a closer look at some of Ontario’s recent daily case numbers, which remain in the hundreds as the province holds off on loosening more restrictions. What needs to happen to get Ontario in a better spot?
May 21, 2020
Is it safe out there?
Elamin and Rosie have spent weeks wondering how and when Canada might start rebooting parts of the economy. But now that virtually every part of the country is starting to re-open, Elamin has a new question: how safe is it out there? Has the risk changed at all, since the onset of the pandemic? Plus, Rosie shines a light on another challenge that has emerged over the last ten weeks: getting food on the table. Do Canadians need to worry about food security, here at home?
May 14, 2020
What lies beyond the border
Rosie and Elamin check in on two borders this week: the one Canada shares with the U.S., and the one Quebec shares with Ontario. In both cases, one side’s dealing with a much more serious COVID-19 case load than the other. When it comes to Quebec, and especially Montreal, Rosie wants to know: how did it get this bad? How did one region get hit so much harder than virtually everywhere else in Canada? Looking south, Elamin wonders if our American neighbours could be eager to ease the travel restrictions that are set to expire next week. Might Canada feel pressured to reopen our border with the U.S.?
May 7, 2020
Let’s check in on the Conservatives
While it’s been about five months since Andrew Scheer announced he’s stepping down as Conservative leader, he pledged to stick around until a replacement was picked — meaning he remains Canada’s leader of the Official Opposition, through this unprecedented pandemic. This week, he warned that the government’s COVID-19 support programs could discourage Canadians from returning to work, risking labour shortages as some provinces begin to reopen parts of the economy. But how do you begin to dial back economic support if some people still don’t feel safe returning to work? Rosie and Elamin also take a look at who’s still in the race to succeed Scheer — and what challenges lie ahead for the Conservative Party, as they continue their search for a leader in this new era.
Apr 30, 2020
If you’re listening to this in New Brunswick right now, congratulations! You’re allowed to go to the beach today. Rosie and Elamin are not. But as Rosie points out, provincial reopening plans vary greatly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction simply because the COVID-19 case load in each province is so different. Still, Elamin wants to know: as Manitobans hit up patios next week while their neighbours to the east remain indoors, will the Prime Minister have to alter his cross-country messaging? Plus: Rosie and Elamin take a closer look at some of the hardest-hit Canadians in this pandemic — residents of long-term care homes.
Apr 23, 2020
Policy in the wake of tragedy
It’s been a tough week, in a tough month, in a tough year. In the wake of last weekend’s devastating tragedy in Nova Scotia, questions have inevitably been raised about federal gun control. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters on several occasions this week that his government was on the verge of introducing new legislation that would ban assault weapons — a pledge they made in the 2019 election, since shelved by the pandemic. But could this recent tragedy expedite those plans? And speaking of legislation: the House of Commons returned on Monday to sort out once and for all how MPs will continue Parliamentary business over the coming weeks. It’s got Elamin wondering: what do we need most from Parliament right now?
Apr 16, 2020
How do you turn the economy back on?
So, we’re a month into this whole thing: the physical distancing, the not being able to hang out, the favourite restaurants being closed, and the kids staying home from school. That’s also four weeks of the economy being at a virtual standstill. How can the federal government get people back to work, and how soon? As Rosie puts it, kick-starting the economy is not so much flipping a switch as it is slowly turning a dial, like a dimmer. And as Elamin points out, the government faces some massive risks if they turn that dial too fast, too soon. Plus: is it possible the pandemic has improved relations between Ottawa and the provinces?
Apr 9, 2020
To project, or not to project?
Projections. Models. Curves. Political coverage is getting a whole lot more mathematical these days, as provinces release their pandemic predictions to the public. But when we hear these best- and worst-case scenarios, Rosie wonders: do they have the potential to help — or harm? Plus, Elamin takes a look at the current state of Canada-U.S. relations, after last week’s scuffle over shipments of N95 masks. Could COVID-19 have a lasting impact on the relationship between our two countries, long after the virus retreats?
Apr 2, 2020
Fighting a war on two fronts
The start of a new month means rent is due for millions of Canadians all across the country. But people can only apply for these new federal government assistance programs starting next week. As Elamin points out — that leaves a lot of people in the lurch. With job losses and EI claims also mounting, could this pandemic widen an already worrisome wealth gap? And how prepared is the federal government to take on all of this additional spending? As Rosie puts it, they’re now fighting a war on two fronts: there’s the pandemic itself, and its massive economic impact.
Mar 26, 2020
Will the government drop the hammer?
Did you notice the Prime Minister sounding more stern this week? Elamin says it’s like the scene in a family minivan: if you don’t stop acting up back there, dad’s gonna turn this car around and no one’s gonna get any ice cream. In this case, the ice cream is civil liberties — the freedom to still leave your house, at a safe distance from others, during this COVID-19 pandemic. As government officials warn of possible “stringent measures” to clamp down on those not following public health directives, Elamin asks: is that what we need, for people to take this seriously? And Rosie takes a close look at Tuesday’s unprecedented reopening of the House of Commons, where about 30 MPs gathered to pass the government’s economic support package — a sitting that came with some unexpected challenges.
Mar 19, 2020
Extraordinary times. Extraordinary measures.
Elamin gets the most important question out of the way first: how are you? As the entire country faces an unprecedented public health emergency, it’s easy to get lost among the nonstop COVID-19 updates — and Rosie and Elamin get it. It’s a lot. It’s unusual to see the prime minister announcing major updates every day, let alone in front of his house while he continues to self-isolate. But are Canadians hearing what they need to hear from the government right now? And with Parliament suspended, is it harder for journalists and opposition parties to scrutinize the government’s latest crisis measures?
Mar 12, 2020
How do you budget for a pandemic?
With new updates coming every day on the spread of coronavirus, Elamin wonders: what are people looking for, from their government? And do Canadians need to hear a more complete picture from authorities, on what could lie ahead? As the prime minister announces this week a billion-dollar support package for Canadians in the face of COVID-19, Rosie points out — there’s a federal budget coming down the pipe this month, too. How will they balance a financial roadmap for the year ahead against more support needed in a time of crisis?
Mar 5, 2020
Eight Conservatives enter the Thunderdome
After weeks of wondering who's in and who's out, the stage is finally set for the federal Conservative leadership race. Eight contenders will fight it out to become party leader, and by extension, Leader of the Official Opposition -— a plum job, in a minority parliament. Catherine Cullen, senior reporter for CBC News, sits in for Rosie this week and joins Elamin in running through the list of hopefuls. And as several candidates say they intend to bring down the Liberal government at the first opportunity this fall, Elamin asks — are the Conservatives more focused on defeating Justin Trudeau than establishing a party vision?
Feb 27, 2020
Can Canada reconcile oil and the environment?
This week, Justin Trudeau’s cabinet had a tough decision on the docket: approve the Teck Frontier oilsands mine in Alberta, or turn it down? Turns out, they never had to make the call, as the company announced on Sunday they were pulling the project. Teck’s CEO hoped the withdrawal might “allow Canadians to shift to a larger and more positive discussion about the path forward,” which has Rosie wondering — can we move forward on reconciling resource extraction and climate change? And how can policymakers have that conversation, without getting bogged down in partisan politics? Plus, with “reconcile” on the mind, Elamin looks into how the latest round of land rights protests — and the political response to them — might affect reconciliation.
Feb 20, 2020
What's at stake with Wet’suwet’en?
In the week since Rosie and Elamin last spoke, the rail blockades and protests in support of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation have evolved into a "full-blown national crisis," as Elamin puts it. It's the third major issue the federal government has faced in less than two months. Elamin wants to know: what should the government be doing to resolve things? And where does this “rule of law” fit into it all? And Rosie takes a closer look at the political stakes: thirty years after the Oka Crisis, and twenty five years after Ipperwash, how will this government manage a crisis with historic implications?
Feb 13, 2020
We need to talk about Wet'suwet'en
Demonstrations have rolled out across the country this week in support of the Wet’suwet’en Nation, where members have been fighting the construction of a natural gas pipeline on their traditional territory. And it’s got Elamin thinking about a big question: when it comes to reconciliation, how far is Canada really willing to go? Plus, Rosie takes a look at what’s otherwise occupying the Prime Minister this week — a campaign to get Canada a spot on the UN Security Council. But after two decades away from the table, does Canada even need a seat?
Feb 6, 2020
Could the Red Chamber oust Lynn Beyak?
You can count on one hand — exactly — how many times in Canadian history senators have suspended one of their own, but no senator has ever been permanently expelled from the Red Chamber. As Senator Lynn Beyak faces a second possible suspension in less than a year, Rosie and Elamin wonder: might her peers set a new precedent? Plus, Elamin examines the state of Justin Trudeau’s relationship with the provinces. Is enough attention being paid to the places where the Liberal Party won zero seats?
Jan 30, 2020
Parliament’s back — and so is Party Lines
When Rosie and Elamin last spoke, the question of what might happen to Conservative leader Andrew Scheer loomed large. Now that he's stepping down, the race to choose a new party leader is heating up. Elamin runs through the long list of names you won't see on the ballot. Plus, Rosie takes a look at what's topping the government's agenda as MPs returned to the House of Commons, and explains why things might be moving a bit slower than you’d expect.
Jan 23, 2020
Re-introducing Party Lines (S2 Trailer)
By popular demand, our hit election primer podcast — co-hosted by Rosemary Barton (Chief Political Correspondent, CBC News) and Elamin Abdelmahmoud (BuzzFeed News) — is relaunching as a political weekly. Its broader goal in divided times: to help Canadians understand our politics, and each other, better.
Oct 31, 2019
The shelf life of Andrew Scheer
Though the Conservatives lost urban votes in Ontario and Quebec, Andrew Scheer says it’s possible for him to hold socially conservative views and be the next prime minister. The results say differently, and Elamin breaks them down. Plus, Rosie speculates why Trudeau is taking so long to build a new cabinet that checks a lot of different boxes: [ ] gender balanced, [ ] regional representation, [ ] experience. This is our last episode before we take a break! Now that the federal election is over, what would you like to hear in a political podcast going forward? Let us know through our survey on cbc.ca/podcasts
Oct 24, 2019
Where does Canada go from here?
So, that just happened. The Liberals have been re-elected with the smallest vote share of any government in history. Rosie and Elamin reflect on what Trudeau can (and can’t) do with his party’s new minority status and a growing regional divide.
Oct 17, 2019
Words to define on the eve of an election
It’s the final stretch before voting day and opinion polls suggest it will be a very close race. Elamin wants to define some key terms (coalition, anyone?) and walk through a brief history of minority governments. Plus, Rosie wants to check in with strategic voters. What’s the difference between voting for your favourite party and voting against your least favourite? What’s smart? What’s cynical? Could strategic voting be both?
Oct 10, 2019
How to serve up your politics this Thanksgiving
We’re told to avoid politics at the dinner table, but with advanced polls open on Thanksgiving weekend, it may be harder to avoid the subject this year. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing, says Rosie — but she’s got some advice. And Elamin wants to talk about younger voters. More Millennials are now eligible to vote in Canada than Baby Boomers. How will they, and their younger Gen Z siblings, wield their collective power? And what does Rihanna have to do with it?
Oct 3, 2019
Why debates still matter in 2019
You could be forgiven for thinking only diehard political junkies watch election debates. Rosie thinks we should change that. She makes the case for spending some of your precious time watching the leaders duke it out for your vote. Plus, we’re just a little over halfway through the campaign and Elamin is feeling uninspired. The polls suggest he’s not alone. He wants to talk about the barely budging numbers and why a lack of bold ideas may be to blame.
Sep 26, 2019
Who really (truly) cares about climate change?
The polls suggest that a majority of Canadians (9 out of 10) see addressing climate change as “important or urgent.” But do they behave and vote accordingly? Rosie wants to talk about political posturing and the state of the planet. And Elamin tries to predict this year’s “ballot box question.” His current front runner is an affordable cost of living — but should it really be simple as voting for the party that will save you the most money?
Sep 19, 2019
Justin Trudeau's bombshell "brownface" photo
The Liberal campaign is in damage control mode after Time surfaced a yearbook photo of Justin Trudeau wearing “brownface” in 2001. Elamin and Rosie got on an overnight call to talk about his swift apology — and the likely lengthier fallout.
Sep 12, 2019
Will women decide the election — again?
The federal election campaign has officially started, and Rosie wants to talk about what women want. They aren’t a monolith — but how they vote could determine the outcome of this election (as it did in 2015). And Elamin wants to talk about immigration policy. He say it's both an economic issue and a way for parties to do a bit of virtue signalling.
Sep 5, 2019
Elephants in the war room
Rosie takes stock of each party’s position out of the gate. What’s at stake for each leader — and what would success look like? And Elamin wants to talk about the elephants in the room. How does each leader talk about the things they’d rather not talk about?
Aug 28, 2019
Introducing Party Lines (Trailer)
Rosemary Barton and Elamin Abdelmahmoud introduce Party Lines, a new political podcast from CBC News and CBC Podcasts, dropping Sept. 5, 2019. Talking politics is for everyone.