National Newswatch

Better NAFTA must be fair, and not just to Americans

Jul 24 2017 — Dan Leger — No doubt David MacNaughton meant well when he said last week that a new NAFTA agreement will have to produce a “victory” for Donald Trump to dangle in front of his core supporters. I don’t disbelieve MacNaughton, Canada’s ambassador to Washington, when he says Trump successfully campaigned against NAFTA, so he therefore needs to produce. […]

NDP faces old choices as it picks new leader

Jul 17 2017 — Dan Leger — Somewhere on a dusty farm road, or at the gates of a dowdy workplace or in a supporter’s living room, a candidate for the New Democratic Party leadership is making a pitch. Choose me, they are saying, to take on Justin Trudeau. Choose me, they say, to promote social democratic causes and ideals. Or to […]

A look into America’s future — and it’s terrific

Jul 3 2017 — Dan Leger — OK, I admit that I doubted. I was one of those folks who at first didn’t appreciate America’s Greatest President™ and undefeated five-time election winner President Donald J. Trump. Tomorrow is the 4th of July, 2036, and the great man now is 90. But his hair hasn’t changed one iota. His blondeness still defies time. […]

At 150, this peaceable Canada still needs our constant effort

Jun 26 2017 — Dan Leger — “A British subject I was born, a British subject I will die,” was a truthful statement in 1891 by Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. An election that year was fought mainly over free trade with the United States, but also about how Canada defined itself. Today’s Canadians don’t feel like Sir John […]

Fumbling Trump best case against strongman politics

Jun 19 2017 — Dan Leger — You’ve got to hand it to Donald Trump. He’s doing more to restore common sense to politics than anyone these days. Bear with me here, I have not lost my mind. Yes, Trump has blurred the line between what is real and what is fake. He’s an obvious serial liar and conspiracy peddler. He is […]

Ambitious plans for the forces, but are they the right ones?

Jun 12 2017 — Dan Leger — Back in misty yesteryear, in the times before Trump, Ottawa realized that the navy needed new ships. Around that time, I spoke with Defence Minister Peter MacKay, who suggesteda new day in military procurement was dawning. MacKay said the Conservative government would lay down the law with shipbuilders. They would ban the time-tested practice of […]

Scheer is a leader who masks his personal beliefs to succeed

Jun 5 2017 — Dan Leger — The new federal Conservative Leader, Andrew Scheer, is entitled to a honeymoon, just like every other leadership newbie. Right? Some weeks of nice headlines and pictures of the family and usually an encouraging bump in the polls. Most new leaders feel some love, at least at the start. In Scheer’s case, it might be a […]

Nova Scotians show reluctant approval of McNeil

May 31 2017 — Dan Leger — That sound you hear is the sound of a slow, slow clap. It is the sound of cranky Nova Scotians endorsing more years of plodding, managerial government by Stephen McNeil and the Liberals. Re-electing McNeil is a muted celebration of the status quo by an electorate that seems to tolerate the lanky Liberal without warming […]

Trump is playing with fire, America is getting burned

May 15 2017 — Dan Leger — On July 1, Canada will turn 150 years old, cause for national celebration. The country isn’t perfect, but its vital signs are strong. Three days later on July 4, the United States will mark 241 years as a democracy, the world’s oldest. It is really showing its age. Given what’s been going on in Washington, […]

Lots of hypocrisy to go around in the Harjit Sajjan controversy

May 8 2017 — Dan Leger — For connoisseurs of political hypocrisy, the case of Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan is a gourmet meal, with heaping plates for everyone at the table. The beleaguered minister is being assailed for exaggerating his role planning a key Canadian battle in Afghanistan, an overstatement Sajjan admits and for which he has ruefully apologized. And well he […]

The dairy and softwood bluster is pure Trump posturing

May 1 2017 — Dan Leger — All that is old becomes new again and all that is new becomes old. Such is the rhythm of Canada’s economic relationship with a self-absorbed United States. As evidence, every few years, Canada and the U.S. fight over softwood lumber. They have since 1982, the year Canada got a Constitution, ET: the Extra-Terrestrial was the […]

Outsiders are making a mark on Conservative, NDP contests

Apr 24 2017 — Dan Leger — When they work right, national party leadership campaigns stimulate serious conversations on politics and the country. And they offer opportunities. The Conservative and New Democratic Party leadership races have the potential to do both. The campaigns have attracted intriguing outsiders who are having an impact. Whether they can win is another matter subject to party […]

‘Scold collectives’ like Fair Vote struggle for relevance

Apr 10 2017 — Dan Leger — Shall we pause for a moment to consider the plight of those little-respected citizens, the perennial scolds? How frustrating must be their outrage in a world unheeding of their sage advice. Seeking affirmation and perhaps company, scolds band together into collectives, hoping to influence government policies or at least “raise public awareness” of society’s wrong-headedness. […]