National Newswatch

Trudeau should brace for the coming Conservative wave

Apr 12 2019 — Andrew Cohen — Long before the eruptions of Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott, long before Justin Trudeau misplaced his halo, the re-election of the federal Liberals was no sure thing. For the last three years or so, the provinces – and the rest of the world – have been going conservative. This electoral trend may – or may […]

Philpott and Wilson-Raybould have put the achievements of the Trudeau government at real risk

Mar 6 2019 — Andrew Cohen — What was Jody Wilson-Raybould thinking when she left cabinet? If the answer is clear, the cost is not. Wilson-Raybould had to leave a government that had put “inappropriate” pressure on her as minister of justice. In her j’accuse, she airily invoked Watergate and the Saturday Night Massacre. “I am a truth-teller,” she declares, claiming a […]

Stephen Harper will never change – even in Washington

Jul 3 2018 — Andrew Cohen — The only man named Harper who counts in Washington these days plays right field for the Nationals, hit 29 home runs last year and is soon to become a ridiculously rich free agent. On this Fourth of July – Donald Trump’s travelling carnival of atrocities notwithstanding – the big existential questions in the capital of […]

Do we really think Justin Trudeau wanted a free vacation that bad?

Dec 21 2017 — Andrew Cohen — Is the Aga Khan a friend of Justin Trudeau? Does a family relationship of a generation make His Highness “a friend” of the Prime Minister, which makes Mr. Trudeau’s private visits to his tropical island legitimate under conflict-of-interest rules? If not, should we infer that Mr. Trudeau is a patsy, naïve and pliable, and the […]

Trudeau offered a brilliant defence of Canada in Washington

Feb 14 2017 — Andrew Cohen — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came to Washington on the 25thday of the maiden voyage of Donald J. Trump. He found a presidency in disarray. The Senate was considering the nomination of Wilbur Ross as Secretary of Commerce. He could not meet Trudeau because, like other contentious nominees, he is unconfirmed. Trump has the fewest number […]

Cohen’s thoughts on Clinton – Bill Clinton, that is

Jul 27 2016 — Andrew Cohen — Since the 1980s, Bill Clinton has been addressing quadrennial national conventions of the Democratic Party as governor, presidential nominee, sitting president and former president. He has made the case for himself, or for the party’s nominee, and he has done it with intelligence, verve and humour. His address is one of the highlights of the […]

Yes, Mr. Trudeau, you CAN fix the Senate

May 17 2016 — Andrew Cohen — Practice makes perfect. Money doesn’t grow on trees. All that matters is results. Life is unfair. These are aphorisms we learn as children. We do not dispute them; indeed, as we grow up, we appreciate their meaning. If they crystallize into cliché, it’s because, fundamentally, they are true. Here is another timeless truth: The Senate […]

On hostage-taking, is Justin Trudeau his father’s son?

May 3 2016 — Andrew Cohen — Who is Justin Trudeau? Is he his father’s son? Is he his own man? It will take years to know. But the prime minister’s reaction to the kidnapping and killing of a Canadian in the Philippines offers an early glimpse as he addresses a question as much practical as moral. Trudeau was in Alberta when […]

How Harper’s legacy is slowly being dismantled

Apr 26 2016 — Andrew Cohen — Who has seen Stephen Harper? Wasn’t that him, wearing a baseball cap, at the Shake Shack in Las Vegas? Wasn’t that him, in the same headwear, at the airport in Fort Myers? Having had too much of the poor man for almost 10 years, his critics no longer have enough. Now that Harper has all […]

Mulroney warns Tories they must regain Canadians’ trust

Dec 29 2015 — Andrew Cohen — Something strange and wondrous happened in Canada recently. A politician – actually, a former politician – gave a good speech. Actually, a terrific speech. It was about the future of his party, but it was not overly partisan. It was about the need for civilized debate, not “personal destruction.” It was about the honour of […]

This is a moment to savour for the Liberals, and for Canada

Nov 4 2015 — Andrew Cohen — Before the cabinet is introduced, the agenda is announced and Parliament is recalled — before the novelty fades, the sniping starts and the cheering stops — let us savour this moment. At 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Justin Trudeau and his new ministry arrive at Rideau Hall. They swear allegiance, they stand before the cameras, they […]

Justin Trudeau’s win-win election

Oct 6 2015 — Andrew Cohen — A few days after Justin Trudeau won the leadership of the Liberal party in 2013, a senior government minister offered a private, withering assessment. The worst critic he’d ever seen in Parliament, he sniffed. A dilettante. A poseur. A leader so inept he would drive disaffected Liberals to the dreaded New Democrats. If Trudeau was […]

The loss of Evan Solomon leaves a gap in Canadian journalism

Jun 16 2015 — Andrew Cohen — “Tough but fair.” Remember that statement, heard in a commercial re-played on CBC television, about one of its shows? It didn’t refer to the government’s anti-crime bill. Or the character of a woman of iron will and light complexion. No, “tough but fair” was how Evan Solomon described Power and Politics, his daily show on […]

John Baird made a mess of foreign policy

Feb 15 2015 — Andrew Cohen — So now it falls to Robert Douglas Nicholson — the plodding journeyman — to inherit the world of John Baird. The office will elevate Nicholson, but will Nicholson elevate the office? Will he bring to it less certainty and more humility? After Baird, the mogul of the megaphone, it won’t be that hard. To his […]

The selective Conservative memory

Jan 28 2015 — Andrew Cohen — On February 15, 1965, 10,000 people gathered on Parliament Hill. They were there, in the shadow of the Peace Tower, to watch the raising of Canada’s new flag. At noon, amidst a muffled 21-gun salute, a gust of wind gave the flag “the first flutter of life,” Peter C. Newman observed. “If our nation by […]