National Newswatch

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 […]

Liberals, smelling power, keep their heads down

Aug 20 2014 — Andrew Cohen — When the Liberal Party emerged from the worst defeat in its history three years ago, it was the time to do things differently. After all, when you’re on your back, what do you have to lose? And so the Liberals picked a new leader with a magical name and a thin résumé named Justin Trudeau. […]

An end to Ignatieff’s Canadian adventure

Jun 26 2014 — Andrew Cohen — The day after Michael Ignatieff lost his seat in the federal election in 2011, two friends made a bet. One said that Ignatieff would return to Harvard within six months; the other said he would wait three or four years. Now, after a sojourn at the University of Toronto, Ignatieff is returning this fall to […]

Much is at stake in Trinity-Spadina

May 7 2014 — Andrew Cohen — For more than a year now, the party standings in Canada have remained consistent. Month after month, with little variation, the polls show the Liberals first, the Conservatives second, the New Democrats third. According to analyst Éric Grenier, the Liberals have led or tied in all but two of 48 polls taken since Justin Trudeau […]

Constitutional defeatism

Apr 30 2014 — Andrew Cohen — So it is done, then. The Supreme Court has spoken. It says the Senate of Canada cannot be changed, and now the politicians and commentators say so, too. That’s not really what the Supreme Court said. It said that the Senate cannot be changed without the agreement of seven provinces with half the population. It […]