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...
Published 03/26/20
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...
Published 03/19/20
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...
Published 03/12/20
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...
Published 03/05/20
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...
Published 02/27/20
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,...
Published 02/20/20
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...
Published 02/13/20
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?
Published 02/06/20
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.
Published 01/30/20
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.
Published 01/23/20
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...
Published 10/31/19
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.
Published 10/24/19
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?
Published 10/17/19
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?
Published 10/10/19
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.
Published 10/03/19
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?
Published 09/26/19
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.
Published 09/19/19
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.
Published 09/12/19
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?
Published 09/05/19
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.
Published 08/28/19