12.19.2011 09:07 AM

Winners and losers of 2011

Like every other newspaper columnist in the Commonwealth, I am doing Winners and Losers of 2011 columns.  And I want you help!  Let me know what you think!

They don’t have to be political or national figures, but it helps if they are – ie., your local mayor may irritate you a great deal, but but your local mayor is unknown to anyone who lives outside your town.

So, suggestions are welcome.  You can post them in comments or send me a private note here.

Opinionize, punditocracy!


  1. Mike B says:

    Needless to say, Rob Ford! For being both ignorant and a liar.

  2. William says:


    Stephen Harper (pains me to write that)
    Jack Layton
    Alison Redford
    Kathy Dunderdale
    Dalton McGuinty


    Michael Ignatieff
    Tim Hudak

  3. HeadShake says:

    When you ask about Winners and Losers, Warren, I would give a big winner to Jim Watson, the mayor of Ottawa. He won an election (last year, of course), but so far, he has had little or no opposition from any of the councillors in Ottawa. You can take what you want from that, but he has pretty much had a free hand to implement his programme (whatever that is). He has been able to avoid any union confrontations that plagued the previous mayor, Larry O’Brien. And he (Watson) has managed to continue to push forward the Lansdowne Park renovation, despite third party opposition. When this gets done (and it will get done) it will look good on him.

    I don’t particulary like Jim Watson. I find him a little to glad-handy and smarmy for my likes. He seems to laugh at the drop of a hat and is a quintessential politician who can never pass up a photo-op. But, he is successful and deserves credit for that.

  4. smelter rat says:

    Winner – Greg Selinger

  5. MF says:

    Andre Marin…does anyone take this guy seriously anymore?

  6. sj says:

    As an Edmontonian, I hate to say it but Calgary is the big winner among cities: elected an articulate, thoughtful ethnic mayor; and is home to both the most interesting of the provincial Premiers and, of course, the PM. Also its economy is chugging along when other cities are still hurtin.

    Losers: Quebec – the Orange Crush and smack-down of the Bloc have meant considerably less clout in the Ottawa, which is why the long gun registry is now toast.

  7. frmr disgruntled Con now happy Lib says:

    Loser: Peter MacKay

    Any chance of Mr. MacKay succeeding Harper in future have been scuppered by Mr. Mackay’s perennial poor choices in transport, hotels, and fish(ing) holes…..

    Not that the former PC’er had a hope in hell of convincing the Refoorm cabal he was now “one of them”……

    • W the K - No, not Warren says:

      Why do I have the feeling Harper’s real hidden agenda the last few years has been to throw MacKay under the bus?

      • The Doctor says:

        McKay seems to be doing a good enough job of throwing HIMSELF under the bus. Harper can only watch in amazement.

      • frmr disgruntled Con now happy Lib says:

        It has always been Harper and his Refoorm cabal’s not so hidden agenda to throw all former PC’ers, but especially Red Tories, under the bus…….Nigel Wright, Harper’s current chief of staff

        (and of “do as I say, not as I do” Hudak candidate fundraiser fame) claimed the goal of the Refoorm party was to “drive a stake through the heart of the PC Party”…..in this they

        succeeded admirably…….http://pushedleft.blogspot.com/2010/09/canadas-tory-tradition-is-now.html

        But I would echo the good Doctors sentiments that Mr. MacKay is doing a fine job himself of sabotaging any chances for possible leadership of the Refoor….ahem, Conservative Party….

  8. TheSilentObserver says:


    The Late Jack Layton

    Stephen Harper (likewise, pains me to write this)

    Dalton McGuinty

    Alison Redford

    Greg Selinger


    Rob Ford (plummetting poll numbers I would like to attribute, as did Cathy Jones, to Torontonians “getting to know him”)

    Michael Ignatieff

    Gilles Duceppe

    “Tea Party” Tim Hudak

    Barack Obama (wishy-washy centrist only esteemed due to the revolting nature of his far-right, dominionist opponents)

  9. Amit Singh says:

    Winner: Naheed Nenshi
    Loser: Rob Ford

  10. The Doctor says:

    I think the Occupy movement belongs in both categories. They were winners in that they put a discussion of wealth inequality on the table and got us talking about it. They were losers in that they insisted on this fiction that you could have a “movement” with no actual leaders and no specific, measurable goals. They also grossly underestimated what a huge and unruly tent the “progressive” band of the political spectrum is — astonishingly, Paul Martin liberals and black block anarchists actually don’t agree on a lot of things.

    Coulda, shoulda, woulda: they should have focused on the Robin Hood tax, IMO.

  11. Curt says:

    losers Toronto maple leafs

  12. smelter rat says:

    Winner: Winnipeg Jets.

  13. Ted says:

    Winner: Women premiers, with Redford, Dunderdale, Clark for the first time 3 provinces have chosen to have women as their premiers (at least the governing party has done so). Now to get them elected by the full electorate to cement the historic changing of the old guard. And also one of the most underreported stories of the year. Almost makes up for the clearly negligible role that women have in Harper’s caucus (though to be fair to Harper, men in his caucus play almost just as negligible a role).

    • The Doctor says:

      Christy Clark is going to have an awfully hard time getting elected in BC. And either way, whether she wins or loses, the result will have nothing to do with her being a woman. Unfortunately, she’s in a very comparable situation to Kim Campbell’s in 1993, and you know how wonderfully that worked out . . .

      • Ted says:

        If Dalton McGuinty and Jean Charest are any example, Clark can’t be counted out yet.

        Either way, we’ve never had 3 women leading governments at any time in our history. At least two of them have a more than even shot at getting elected, making them possibly the first and second elected female heads of government in our country.

        And maybe that has nothing to do with their being women. And maybe it does.

        But it is still historic.

        It still will resonate for the next generation of women.

        And it is still underreported.

        • Jason Hickman says:

          Either way, we’ve never had 3 women leading governments at any time in our history. At least two of them have a more than even shot at getting elected, making them possibly the first and second elected female heads of government in our country.

          1. Dunderdale was already elected by the province at large. NL had its provincial election last October and she won 37 or so out of 48 seats.

          2. That made her the *second* “elected female [head] of government”, assuming you don’t count the Territories, as you forgot about Catherine Callbeck in PEI, who won the election there in ’93.

        • The Doctor says:

          I agree with everything you’ve said, except your first sentence. Ted, I would LOVE it if Christy Clark won the next BC election. But she’s got practically everything going against her. Think of the parallels to Kim Campbell in 1993: tremendously unpopular (male) leader steps down after pissing off virtually everyone except perhaps the business community. In particular, he brought in an unbelievably unpopular sales tax that became the single most hated thing out there. But worst of all, it gave rise to a right-wing populist party to the right of the governing party.

          Hey Ted, remember the BC Reform Party? Remember what they did to Gordon Campbell in 1996? He won the popular vote, but lost the election to Glen Clark. The reason? The BC Reform Party splitting the right-of-centre vote.

          This time out, we have the BC Conservative Party, headed by John Cummins. Same sh*t, different pile. Same thing is going to happen. And every single time in BC when the right of centre vote is split, the NDP wins.

          The BC Liberals also have the problem of a government that’s been around a long time — you just make a lot of enemies the longer you hang around. It’s like that scene near the end of Polanski’s version of Macbeth, where everyone he’s ever pissed off is now coming back to kick his ass. And the Liberals have got all the problems that big-tent parties have, i.e., instability, trying to please everyone and pleasing nobody. It’s like everyone is upset at them for some reason — run-of-river power projects, HST, BC Rail, Pine Beetle, you name it.

          Meanwhile, the BC NDP is invigorated, well funded and perceived as being on the right side of the HST fiasco.

          I would love to be wrong about this Ted, believe me. But I don’t think I am.

  14. TheSilentObserver says:

    I don’t know why I didn’t think of this during the afternoon, but put Hosni Mubarak, Moammar Gadhafi, Osama Bin Laden, and, oh so topically, Kim Jong-Il in the losers column. Not for dying at all, but for having deaths (excepting for the time being Mubarak) which led to the end of movements, though then again, no easy way to say what’s happening in N. Korea in the long term. I’d add the tunisian guy but his name has slipped my mind

  15. Chris P says:


    less democracy in Canada.


    More democracy everywhere else.

  16. Jason King says:

    Considering the columnist doesnt cite anything it makes it rather difficult to prove or disprove. Plus its an opinion piece which means its well opinion rather than a factual piece.

    Lefties? A bit of name calling from you Mr Tulk? Remember that the next time you try to claim the high road on insults and name calling.

    Okay I figure you have some goalpost changing to do….

  17. CQ says:

    I can’t think of any winners in 2011.
    European nations? Individual U.S. States? Overall U.S. (and Canada, with its pipeline delay as well)? Russia (with its recent election)? Mexico (with its drug crimes activity)? China and Brazil; each neither won nor loss it seems. People who hated on SUN NewsTV while happy with leaving everything media and technology to a cartel of Bell, Rogers (newly formed joint MLSE owners), and Shaw?

    Anyone who puts themselves up as an individual ‘winner’ – while their country /province loses… is definitely not a winner.

  18. The Doctor says:

    I dunno, Gord. I’m not nearly as left-leaning as most of the other posters here, and I thought that article was tripe, too. Or at least trite. The author basically set up a bunch of straw men (e.g., “Obama the rocket scientist”), and then attacked them.

  19. dstm says:

    Biggest loser in 2011, Democracy for the Canadian voter
    Recently we have had the revelations about Cotler’s riding and the dirty (reprehensible) tricks by the CPC’s polling company.
    Now we have revelations from the KW area about phone calls during the May 2011 election that “informed’ voters that their polling station had been moved. Similar stories were revealed in the Guelph riding. No one has any idea how many more ridings/voters were targeted/deceived in this manner . I hope that Election Canada is investigating.
    This story is huge. Voter suppression could be the MO of the future. It cannot be allowed to happen. Investigating and highlighting this issue can be the most important ways to protect Canada’s democracy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.