National Newswatch

Memo to CPC brass — there’s more than one way to be a Tory

Aug 22 2017 — Andrew MacDougall — Nobody likes it when an outsider makes observations about the family dynamic, especially when the family is going through a rough patch. And so it is with the members of the Conservative family who, judging by the reaction to a recent Hill Times article detailing efforts by self-described progressive conservatives to pull the party back […]

What to do when the President backs neo-Nazis, but not you

Aug 17 2017 — Andrew MacDougall — Ah, remember the good old days, when the dreamers thought the immense responsibility of the presidency would smooth Donald Trump’s rough edges? “Now it’s time to bind the wounds of division,” said a visibly chastened president-elect on election night. “I say it is time to come together as one united people.” The mollifying words were […]

Caroline Mulroney, the anti-Trudeau, enters the political fray

Aug 2 2017 — Andrew MacDougall — Caroline Mulroney’s resume is so blinding, the biography section of her freshly launched campaign website can afford to ignore the very thing Ontarians are most likely to know about her: that she’s Ben Mulroney’s sister. All kidding aside, Mulroney’s campaign site—launched in support of her just-announced run for the Ontario PC nomination in York-Simcoe—also forgoes […]

The Tories have failed to turn the Khadr payout into a political win

Jul 27 2017 — Andrew MacDougall — How powerful are Justin Trudeau’s “sunny ways”? Not even the dark cloud of paying Omar Khadr a $10.5-million settlement, it seems, can obscure them. A clear majority of Canadians might oppose the payout to the former Guantanamo Bay inmate, but a second poll released in the wake of the government’s decision confirms they haven’t yet […]

Payette scramble highlights a serious Trudeau flaw

Jul 26 2017 — Andrew MacDougall — What will it take to beat Justin Trudeau? That’s the question bubbling through Conservative and NDP minds as the Liberals, despite the Omar Khadr mess, continue to rate 43 per cent in the polls. It must feel like, to paraphrase Donald Trump, Trudeau could shoot someone on Yonge St. and not lose voters. Despite his […]

In praise of Justin Trudeau’s approach to Donald Trump

Jul 13 2017 — Andrew MacDougall — Politicians like to pretend they make their own luck but in reality they don’t hold all of the cards. Sometimes in politics you’re dealt a losing hand. Last November Justin Trudeau certainly didn’t come up aces with the election of Donald J. Trump. A right-wing, nether regions-grabbing, protectionist, polluting president? Despite the frantic efforts of […]

Justin Trudeau places his trust in Omar Khadr

Jul 12 2017 — Andrew MacDougall — The long-term political impact of the Omar Khadr settlement depends principally on one man: Omar Khadr. If Mr. Khadr keeps his nose clean, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is likely to survive his decision to apologize and compensate the former child soldier and prisoner at Guantanamo Bay. If he does not, there could be hell to […]

What is Justin Trudeau going to do with his global goodwill?

Jul 10 2017 — Andrew MacDougall — What are the “deliverables”? This was always the question we in Stephen Harper’s PMO had to answer before scheduling an international visit for him. “Deliverable” is Ottawa-speak for an announcement: a trade deal or at least the start of negotiations; a new intelligence-sharing arrangement; a new consulate in an up-and-coming country; or, if you were […]

Don’t count on Trudeau to keep his many promises

Jun 26 2017 — Andrew MacDougall — Save for the odd journalist, it’s unlikely anyone cast their ballot for the Liberals over their plan to apply the Access to Information (ATI) regime to the Prime Minister and ministers’ offices. This was undoubtedly the political calculation behind the government’s recent announcement to bin the proposed reform. Justin Trudeau’s government, like all governments, has […]

Tories can’t trump Justin Trudeau’s heart, but they can attack his competence

Jun 23 2017 — Andrew MacDougall — For a government spending big bucks on something called “deliverology,” the Liberals are doing an awfully poor job deliverologing. This week, another campaign pledge — reform of the access-to-information regime — was added to the broken-promise bonfire, where it joins modest deficits and electoral reform, among others. Not that these setbacks slow the Liberal cheer; […]

Liberals waste no time playing the anti-Christian card

May 29 2017 — Andrew MacDougall — Well, it didn’t take long for the clouds to roll in. Conservative leader Andrew Scheer barely had time to try on his new title before the “sunny ways” Liberals deployed two attack dogs to criticize the 38-year old Catholic father of five. “Make no mistake about it,” warned Toronto Liberal MP Adam Vaughan, “[Scheer] is […]

As it’s laid out, Bernier’s health-care plan may be electoral poison

May 25 2017 — Andrew MacDougall — How many Conservative Party members cast their ballots for Maxime Bernier ahead of this weekend’s leadership convention without knowing his central health care policy would render the cherished Canada Health Act unenforceable? I don’t know, but I imagine it’s more than nought, and the headline “Could Maxime Bernier kill universal health care?”—which appeared last week […]

Who in his cabinet can Justin Trudeau actually trust?

May 12 2017 — Andrew MacDougall — “Government by cabinet is back.” Those words of wisdom from Justin Trudeau, dispensed two Novembers ago, are as forgotten as his “because it’s 2015” gender quip is famous, which is a shame because it is every bit the broken promise as the others on the Liberals’ ever-growing pile. The soundbite — as deliberate as its […]