National Newswatch

In Andrew Scheer’s early days, it’s still Stephen Harper’s party

Jul 8 2017 — Adam Radwanski — When Andrew Scheer won the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada in the spring, the implicit promise was continuity. He might be younger, more affable, a better retail politician than Stephen Harper. But, unlike leadership rivals who had promised hard-core libertarianism or something closer to Red Toryism, he would essentially maintain Mr. Harper’s version […]

How Kathleen Wynne’s fundraising rules hit the Grits

Jul 4 2017 — Adam Radwanski — Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals are nearly broke. That they are not completely broke owes to a new annual per-vote subsidy, introduced last year alongside new provincial fundraising rules, that puts about $5-million into their coffers in 2017. Otherwise, those new rules – which include a ban on corporate and union donations, a lower limit for personal […]

Why the NDP leadership presents a daunting choice

Jun 24 2017 — Adam Radwanski — Under the radar of most Canadians, New Democrats are in the midst of a fascinating decision about the face they put forward. The leadership contest to replace Tom Mulcair won’t result in a dramatic ideological shift for the federal third party. There is no Jeremy Corbyn-like figure offering a lurch toward hard-core old-school socialism; nor […]

For Trudeau’s Liberals, universal daycare is a distant dream

Jun 17 2017 — Adam Radwanski — Hot off announcing the first deal with an individual province under a new national framework signed earlier in the week, Jean-Yves Duclos gamely tried to paint it as the start of a process that will lead to affordable child care for all. “Eventually, we’ll get to universality,” the federal Minister of Families, Children and Social […]

Why shifting left (again) gives Wynne her last best chance

Jun 3 2017 — Adam Radwanski — For nearly the first time since she won a majority government three years ago, Kathleen Wynne is in her comfort zone. The Ontario Premier’s re-embrace of her left-of-centre activist roots, culminating in this week’s announcement of new labour provisions highlighted by a $15 minimum wage, may not be enough to keep her in office past […]

Team Trudeau’s precarious friendship with Jared Kushner

May 20 2017 — Adam Radwanski — It was laugh-out-loud funny, Donald Trump’s apparent credulousness at the way NAFTA renegotiations unofficially began a few weeks ago. But the straight-out-of-Veep sequence of events – the U.S. President threatening to tear up the agreement altogether, his own administration helping orchestrate calls from his Canadian and Mexican counterparts to persuade him otherwise, the President then […]

Jagmeet Singh poses unique threat for the Trudeau Liberals

May 14 2017 — Adam Radwanski — In the hours following Ontario’s last election, as a Toronto news channel cut to commercial, there flashed some footage of what appeared to be the evening’s best victory party. It was not Kathleen Wynne’s festivities, or those of any other Liberals celebrating their party’s return to majority government. Instead, while most New Democrats around the […]

The many oddities of the Conservative leadership campaign

May 5 2017 — Adam Radwanski — With Conservatives across the country casting mail-in leadership ballots, and three weeks until results are announced, there is some consensus about the state of play – that Quebec MP Maxime Bernier leads the pack, that Saskatchewan’s Andrew Scheer is probably second, that Ontario’s Erin O’Toole likely has the best shot among the other 11 candidates […]

O’Leary taught us (seriously) to confront unpleasant truths about Canadian politics

Mar 25 2017 — Adam Radwanski — The reflex was to laugh off Kevin O’Leary’s recent complaint of “widespread vote rigging” in the Conservative leadership contest. When the President of the United States is vilifying minority groups with false claims of electoral fraud, there is healthy skepticism about any such allegation – not least one that, when it emerged, was itself directed […]

Why are Conservatives drawn to Kevin O’Leary?

Mar 13 2017 — Adam Radwanski — There are so many good reasons for Conservatives to laugh off the prospect of Kevin O’Leary as their leader. He does not appear to be terribly conservative, other than on some fiscal matters. His knowledge of how this country’s government works appears rudimentary at best. He has been the only candidate to duck debates in […]

In Donald Trump’s world, Canada has to embrace the chaos

Feb 25 2017 — Adam Radwanski — Speaking this week with The Globe and Mail, Mexico’s foreign affairs minister recalled the unpleasant surprise that led President Enrique Pena Nieto to cancel a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump shortly after the latter’s inauguration. “I was in Washington, and we had some very constructive meetings on different topics with the White House staff,” […]