National Newswatch
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Why are we talking about cupping and the Prime Minister?

Apr 25 2017 — Andrew MacDougall — A good politician goes into every interview with a message they’d like their audience to take away. It doesn’t matter if it’s a hard or soft news opportunity; politicians don’t open their traps unless it’s to get a point across they think will make them more electable the next time around. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau […]

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How a new Tory leader can beat Justin Trudeau

Apr 17 2017 — Andrew MacDougall — The memberships have been sold, the ballots are about to be mailed out, and the Conservative faithful are only weeks away from knowing their new leader. If polling is to be believed, it’s a two-man race between political neophyte Kevin O’Leary and Maxime Bernier, a former cabinet minister. Depending on how the preferred ballots fall, […]

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Yes, Trudeau’s Canada is ‘back’ — not for the better on the world stage

Apr 14 2017 — Andrew MacDougall — Justin Trudeau’s proposition to the world was the same as his pitch to Canadians: I’m not Stephen Harper. If Canadians choose me, Trudeau promised, the prickly, stubborn Canada you’ve come to loathe will be replaced with the kinder, more co-operative country you’ve traditionally known. Under a Trudeau government, there would be no more foot-dragging on […]

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Trudeau throws another promise under the (omni)bus

Apr 12 2017 — Andrew MacDougall — “We will not resort to legislative tricks to avoid scrutiny.” Those words – taken from the 2015 Liberal platform – are admirably direct. It’s what makes them an effective petard onto which to hoist Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose government is having a torrid time explaining away 2017’s legislative trickery. The latest sleight of hand? […]

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Kevin O’Leary is running for a party of one

Apr 4 2017 — Andrew MacDougall — If Kevin O’Leary goes on to win the Conservative leadership, Tories will have only themselves to blame when Team Trudeau sends Mr. Wonderful back to the U.S. cable airwaves — his preferred habitat. Conservatives have been warned about their candidate’s fatal flaw. Repeatedly. O’Leary’s snub of a Conservative leadership debate in Toronto on Sunday in […]

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Mud thrown during the Conservative spring cleaning

Mar 20 2017 — Andrew MacDougall — Nothing concentrates the mind like the prospect of a hanging, and right now Conservative Party leadership candidates are checking their necks for the presence of a noose following allegations of membership vote-rigging. These kinds of allegations, while extremely serious, are sadly nothing new; dodgy party membership sales are as old as leadership races. And it’s […]

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How Trudeau wants to ride the populism wave, in a ‘middle-class’ Canadian kind of way

Mar 3 2017 — Andrew MacDougall — What a difference a year makes. Last March, the going political concern was the “middle class,” as evidenced by the Trudeau government’s inaugural budget, titled Growing the Middle Class, which mentioned everybody’s favourite ill-defined group 111 times. But following a year of Brexit, Trump and a Conservative leadership race that’s fast becoming an exercise in […]

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When journalists join the ‘dark side’

Mar 1 2017 — Andrew MacDougall — How dark is the future of journalism? It’s so dark, journalists are joining the very place on which they are paid to throw shade: the government. The latest move to the “dark” side: Postmedia columnist Michael Den Tandt, who announced he was leaving his post on February 10, only to join Team Trudeau a couple […]

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The distraction machine You see journalism in decline. Your government sees opportunity.

Dec 16 2016 — Andrew MacDougall — Now that newsrooms more closely resemble abattoirs, a new temptation is taking root in the scramble for revenue: chasing and writing easily understood outrage, rather than deeper reporting on public policy. You know it as clickbait. Your government sees it as an opportunity. The first thing you learn in political communications is that when you’re […]

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Canada’s Conservatives don’t need Kellie Leitch to be relevant

Dec 9 2016 — Andrew MacDougall — After a year-long honeymoon so sweet it left Canada with diabetes, Justin Trudeau is at long last feeling the bitter shock of government. Castro. Cash-for-access. An electoral reform package so comprehensively bungled I had flashbacks to that wacky time we gutted the census. It should hardly need saying that Conservatives — especially the ensemble cast […]