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From the archives

Paper Rout

Postmedia in the gutter

Past Trauma

Richard Wagamese and an Indigenous literary resurgence

Family Pride

Profiles in gay life

Paul Wells

Paul Wells is a senior writer for Maclean’s magazine. He wrote two books about Stephen Harper.

Articles by
Paul Wells

The PM as dictator

The ultimate Harper insider on a theory of concentrated power May 2018
In 2007, about a year after he became prime minister, Stephen Harper shared some thoughts on his progress in office with Rex Murphy, then the host of CBC Radio’s Cross Country Checkup. “Probably the most difficult job—you know, [a] practical, difficult thing you have to learn as a prime minister—and ministers, our ministers as well—is dealing with the federal bureaucracy,” Harper…

Disappearing Act

The enigmatic life and quietly legendary work of Claude Ranger July–August 2017
When I was in high school in Sarnia, Ontario, in the early 1980s, trying to play jazz on my trumpet, there were maybe six guys in the city trying to play jazz on the drums. Easily the best was a beautiful blond boy named Mark with sad blue eyes, the son of a music teacher. It’s crazy how seriously we took this…

Paul Wells on What Harper Did

Does it make a difference that Stephen Harper was ever prime minister? November 2016
After Stephen Harper’s Conservatives finally won a majority government in 2011, I used to enjoy terrifying readers by reminding them that by the time his term ended in 2015, Harper would still be three years younger than Jean Chrétien was when Chrétien became prime minister for the first time. Since Chrétien had lasted a…

I’m Right, You’re Wrong

The insidious pleasure of conspiracy theory September 2011
Michael Lewis’s wonderful 2003 Book, Moneyball, is not about conspiracy theories at all. It is about a faction of baseball fans and team managers who changed the game in the late 1990s by rigorously applying statistical analysis to players’ performance. One of the heroes of the book is a guy from Kansas named Bill…

We’re Still Watching

Will our obsession with Pierre Trudeau ever end? November 2009
I don’t know about you, but I’d sure like to read more about Sir Robert Borden. Now there was a prime minister. He served for nearly nine years—longer than Pearson or Diefenbaker and almost as long as Mulroney. To last that long, right through World War One, he built Canada’s only formal coalition government on a policy of conscription that provoked a national unity crisis on a scale few of us today can…