National Newswatch
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Freeland, Trump and the rage of the 99 per cent

Jan 18 2017 — Susan Delacourt — Chrystia Freeland has a great new job as Canada’s top diplomat, but in case anyone has forgotten, it’s not the job she was expected to do when she left journalism for politics a few years ago. On the heels of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s big cabinet shuffle last week, Oxfam has delivered a report that […]

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How Trump’s tantrums can be tamed

Jan 13 2017 — Susan Delacourt — Everyone who has had to deal with a temper tantrum, whether from a toddler or a boss, knows that how you react to the outburst is the important thing. On this score, the reporters attending Donald Trump’s tense press conference this week fell short. In fact, the only sight more painful than Trump’s angry outburst […]

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Trudeau retools his front bench for an alarming new world

Jan 10 2017 — Susan Delacourt — The best person to explain the big new-year changes to the federal cabinet’s makeup might well be someone who doesn’t even live here: outgoing U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden. During a visit to Canada a month ago, Biden told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that Canada needs to step up, internationally — comments that were widely interpreted […]

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Freeland’s the one to watch in Trudeau cabinet shuffle

Jan 9 2017 — Susan Delacourt — Chrystia Freeland is emerging as the minister to watch as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prepares to shuffle his cabinet Tuesday — a shuffle largely aimed at handling the unknowns in Canada’s relationship with the incoming Trump White House. Freeland, currently in the International Trade post, is seen as the minister most capable of dealing with […]

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New Twitter wars turning ridicule into a virtue — for now

Jan 6 2017 — Susan Delacourt — Here in Canada, the campaign manager for Conservative leadership contender Kellie Leitch admitted this week to posting false information on Twitter, to “make the left go nuts.” Nick Kouvalis, seemingly taking a page from Trump, was using the medium to generate some attention — which he received. “They are fun to play with,” Kouvalis posted […]

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It’s time for a hard look at party databases

Jan 3 2017 — Susan Delacourt — President-elect Donald Trump wants to make America write again — with old-fashioned pen and paper. Proclaiming “no computer is safe,” Trump told reporters on New Year’s Eve: “You know, if you have something really important, write it out and have it delivered by courier, the old-fashioned way.” If nothing else, the advice may tell us […]

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What Christmas trees tell us about the economy

Dec 23 2016 — Susan Delacourt — Christmas tree sales have apparently been brisk in Ottawa’s Byward Market this season, with an interesting twist on consumer demand. By last weekend, according to the tree salesman, two types of trees were in danger of selling out: the smallest ones, under a metre tall, and the largest ones, stretching over two metres high. The […]

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‘New Liberals’, old money: The contradictions of cash-for-access

Dec 13 2016 — Susan Delacourt — The cloud of controversy over Liberal fundraising practices has revealed a fundamental grammar divide across the House of Commons. It boils down to this: The opposition likes verbs, the Liberal government likes adjectives. Every day in question period, Conservatives and New Democrats stand up daily to ask about what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his […]

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What we’re missing in Ottawa coverage

Dec 9 2016 — Susan Delacourt — What if they held a press conference on Parliament Hill and no one showed up? Actually, that’s always been a possibility, but the chances of it happening are a bit greater these days, with the dwindling ranks of reporters on the Hill. This week, we learned some hard numbers. According to an iPolitics analysis of […]

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The prime minister who fell to earth

Dec 6 2016 — Susan Delacourt — Memories of Harper are fading — and now Trudeau confronts the gap between promise and reality. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is on a bit of a greatest-hits tour this week, playing at all the venues that put him over the top just a year ago. Sitting down with Syrian refugees on Monday, talking to indigenous […]

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Checking It Twice – Who has been naughty and who has been nice?

Dec 5 2016 — Susan Delacourt — Long before Big Data arrived in politics, Santa Claus had developed a pretty good system for sorting the population — the ‘naughty-nice’ list. It’s not a bad way to sort the year in Canadian politics either, though the versions of naughty and nice this country’s politics produced in 2016 were pale imitations of what we […]

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Tory long shots should note fate of Trudeau’s rivals

Dec 2 2016 — Susan Delacourt — The Conservative leadership race now has enough contenders to form a full soccer team, with some to spare — or, if they were all elected, their own party in the House of Commons. At least 14 people are expected to be on the stage in Moncton, N.B., on Monday when the Conservatives hold their second […]

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Subsidizing our way to a healthier democracy

Nov 29 2016 — Susan Delacourt — One of my favourite old jokes starts with an American, a Canadian and an Italian travelling together in a car. The car crashes unexpectedly and the three arrive at the gates of heaven. St. Peter tells them that there’s been a mistake — the car wasn’t supposed to crash, they weren’t supposed to die. All […]

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Don’t neglect the quiet voices in politics

Nov 25 2016 — Susan Delacourt — Notice that president-elect Donald Trump is now using his quiet voice to talk to Americans. In his Thanksgiving message on YouTube, filled with talk of healing and national unity, president-elect Trump seems a far cry from the bellicose, “braggadocious” politician on the campaign trail. The moderated tone gives credence to reports from earlier this year; […]