National Newswatch

Trudeau’s in trouble on the pipeline battle

Apr 13 2018 — Andrew MacDougall — “The Trans Mountain expansion will be built.” With the nation mourning Humboldt’s loss, pecking out an obstinate tweet about an oil pipeline buried in political grief wasn’t at the top of Justin Trudeau’s to-do list, yet out the above twittered ahead of the prime minister joining members of the shattered prairie community for last Sunday’s […]

Justin Trudeau and the death of ‘positive politics’

Mar 30 2018 — Andrew MacDougall — “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?” Johnny Rotten’s sneering kiss-off at the last-ever Sex Pistols show sounded the death knell of the punk movement. The hysteria surrounding his band of noxious yobs had oversold their shambolic performances, and Rotten knew the gig was up. Justin Trudeau’s gig isn’t up until next year, but the […]

Trudeau is more Harper than Harper on message control

Nov 24 2017 — Andrew MacDougall — Remember “Canada’s New Government”? I do, mostly because I was responsible for stuffing the phrase into every “Message of the Day” promoted by the first minority Harper government. You remember the “Harper Government,” don’t you? That famous, factual two-word description that got up the nose of the fourth estate? If you do, it’s because political […]

The reasons I’ve come to hate the news

Nov 10 2017 — Andrew MacDougall — I hate the news. A weird thing for a columnist to cop to in a newspaper, to be sure, but since going back to work full-time after a year and a half of daddy day care and freelance writing, I’ve come to hate the news. It’s become ungovernable. Every time I peek into my Twitter […]

Ahead of Halloween, both Trudeau and Trump looking frightfully shameless

Oct 27 2017 — Andrew MacDougall — With Halloween around the corner, Liberals are frantically ditching their snazzy emperor’s new clothes in favour of more middle class costumes. How else to interpret Tuesday’s surprise budget update full of benefit top-ups and tax changes, cryptically titled: “Doubling Down on Progress for the Middle Class”? It turns out the answer to Finance Minister Bill […]

Memo to CPC brass — there’s more than one way to be a Tory

Aug 22 2017 — Andrew MacDougall — Nobody likes it when an outsider makes observations about the family dynamic, especially when the family is going through a rough patch. And so it is with the members of the Conservative family who, judging by the reaction to a recent Hill Times article detailing efforts by self-described progressive conservatives to pull the party back […]

What to do when the President backs neo-Nazis, but not you

Aug 17 2017 — Andrew MacDougall — Ah, remember the good old days, when the dreamers thought the immense responsibility of the presidency would smooth Donald Trump’s rough edges? “Now it’s time to bind the wounds of division,” said a visibly chastened president-elect on election night. “I say it is time to come together as one united people.” The mollifying words were […]

Caroline Mulroney, the anti-Trudeau, enters the political fray

Aug 2 2017 — Andrew MacDougall — Caroline Mulroney’s resume is so blinding, the biography section of her freshly launched campaign website can afford to ignore the very thing Ontarians are most likely to know about her: that she’s Ben Mulroney’s sister. All kidding aside, Mulroney’s campaign site—launched in support of her just-announced run for the Ontario PC nomination in York-Simcoe—also forgoes […]

The Tories have failed to turn the Khadr payout into a political win

Jul 27 2017 — Andrew MacDougall — How powerful are Justin Trudeau’s “sunny ways”? Not even the dark cloud of paying Omar Khadr a $10.5-million settlement, it seems, can obscure them. A clear majority of Canadians might oppose the payout to the former Guantanamo Bay inmate, but a second poll released in the wake of the government’s decision confirms they haven’t yet […]

Payette scramble highlights a serious Trudeau flaw

Jul 26 2017 — Andrew MacDougall — What will it take to beat Justin Trudeau? That’s the question bubbling through Conservative and NDP minds as the Liberals, despite the Omar Khadr mess, continue to rate 43 per cent in the polls. It must feel like, to paraphrase Donald Trump, Trudeau could shoot someone on Yonge St. and not lose voters. Despite his […]