National Newswatch
neil-macdonald

Canada will legalize pot, after arresting a bunch of people for pot offences first

Apr 19 2017 — Neil Macdonald — “Too many Canadians,” declares the Liberal Party of Canada on its website, “end up with criminal records for possessing small amounts” of marijuana. Enforcement of cannabis law, it continues, “traps too many Canadians in the criminal justice system for minor, non-violent offenses.” Well said. Courageous, even. Huzzah. So. What’s the government’s solution? Well, it intends […]

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Trudeau says Assad needs to go. OK — then what?

Apr 12 2017 — Neil Macdonald — Perhaps Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was swept away by the glory of the French beach code-named “Juno,” a place where Canadian troops once courageously advanced into Nazi machine gun fire, sacrificing their very lives to remove the evil tyrant who’d slaughtered so many innocents in Europe. Standing there, suffused with liberation theology, Trudeau declared Syria’s […]

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Trump should listen to his instincts and stay out of the Middle East

Apr 8 2017 — Neil Macdonald — President Donald Trump’s decision to bomb a Syrian air base (after warning the Russians to get out of the way) was inevitable, and perfectly, utterly American. Trump invoked images of suffering babies, something that always stirs a goodhearted American desire to step in and do something. He also invoked God, the Christian God Americans believe […]

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Forget ‘values tests.’ One would-be Tory leader has other ideas that will horrify Liberals: Neil Macdonald

Mar 18 2017 — Neil Macdonald — Rick Peterson, the private-sector firecracker competing with 13 other candidates to lead the Conservative Party, wrote the other day, politely taking issue with my contention that the race is less exciting than televised darts and devoid of big, serious ideas. So I called him back. He wasn’t terribly keen on discussing the cruelly boring race […]

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Forget populism — where are the big ideas from Canadian leadership candidates?

Mar 14 2017 — Neil Macdonald — A populist blast, we are told, is building in the intestines of the Canadian polity. It’s like attitudinal fracking; economic despair and class resentment is cracking open dormant pockets of inflammable anger-gas, and the coming blowout threatens the very order of things. My old colleague-turned-academic Michael Valpy, an earnestly sober left-leaning intellectual, wrote recently in […]

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Trust in the media is sinking and it’s time to act

Feb 21 2017 — Neil Macdonald — If I were a public figure — a politician, a senior public servant, a judge, someone in the national security apparatus — I doubt I would speak to most reporters. Actually, if it were just me, going through some horrible personal episode that occasioned a local police reporter to call my home, I would likely […]

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With Donald Trump, the word ‘lie’ finally enters the mainstream media lexicon

Jan 28 2017 — Neil Macdonald — When Justin Trudeau, during the last election, dismissed the $15 billion worth of military materiel being manufactured in Canada for export to Saudi Arabia as “Jeeps,” he uttered a verifiable falsehood. It was simply untrue. The vehicles are armoured warfighting machines, equipped with medium and heavy machine guns and cannons capable of firing heavy shells […]

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America’s shining moment — a stump speech, tear gas and unsold Trump T-shirts

Jan 21 2017 — Neil Macdonald — Americans are peerless creators of national myths. It’s a gestalt psychology, a self-organizing collective mind, indifferent to actual events or circumstances. Friday, hours before Donald Trump laid his hand on the Lincoln Bible, an inauguration myth was taking form on the television airwaves. It went something like this: Americans of all persuasions had streamed from […]

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A failure to communicate: Anglos flounder in Tory French-language debate

Jan 18 2017 — Neil Macdonald — I have no idea what Deepak Obrhai was talking about during the Conservative French-language debate Tuesday night, and it’s hard to imagine anyone else who speaks French would, either. Plowing stolidly, syllable by syllable, jabbing his finger in the air, he demonstrated a near-total inability to communicate with a quarter of Canadians.

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Breakfast with the Tories: Chris Alexander learns to tread carefully

Jan 17 2017 — Neil Macdonald — I asked Chris Alexander this question over breakfast: once government is finished taxing a Canadian, should that Canadian be able to spend what’s left of his or her own money on private medical care? “I’d have to think about that,” he replied, his guard up. “I mean, the way you put it, I think I […]