Political Dynasties and Their Discontents

Members of the Bush family watch a sports game at the White House in Washington DC, June 3, 2001
Members of the Bush family watch a sports game at the White House in Washington DC, June 3, 2001 (George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum)

Political dynasties have always been a big part of human civilization and today is no exception.

In the United States, of course, the rise of Donald Trump (and Bernie Sanders) was at least partially a reaction to the dynastic, Clinton-versus-Bush election that only last year most Americans were expecting to get.

Among other things, Jeb Bush’s candidacy split the non-evangelical portion of the Republican establishment in two, preventing it from coalescing around Marco Rubio early on and thus leaving an opening for Trump to force his way into. Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, meanwhile, may even leave the door open for Trump to become president, however unlikely and unappealing that may be. Read more “Political Dynasties and Their Discontents”

Canada’s New Liberal Leader Boosts Party’s Popularity

Canada’s new Liberal Party leader, Justin Trudeau, might lead the centrists to return to power in 2015 when the Conservatives will have governed almost a decade. A Forum Research poll released on Tuesday suggested that Trudeau could win 43 percent of the votes in a national election compared to 30 percent for the ruling party, enough to give him a parliamentary majority.

The son of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, who was prime minister for fifteen years, was announced the winner in a party leadership vote on Sunday. He got almost 80 percent support.

Other polls have been less encouraging for the Liberals. An Ekos survey published on Sunday had them virtually tied with Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. But they lagged 26 to 34 percent if only likely voters were included. A Nanos poll released on Friday gave the Liberals 35 percent of the votes. Read more “Canada’s New Liberal Leader Boosts Party’s Popularity”