National Newswatch

Conservatives should learn from Trudeau response on Iran

Jan 16 2020 — Andrew MacDougall — If the candidates for the Conservative leadership are up for a little homework assignment, they could study Justin Trudeau and his response to the atrocity that claimed 57 Canadian lives in Iran. It would be well worth the time, and boy, do they need the lesson. If the prospective leaders study well, they will observe […]

‘Skippy’ for Conservative leader?

Jan 8 2020 — Andrew MacDougall — In the end, the first shot in the Conservative leadership contest wasn’t fired by Rona Ambrose, Peter MacKay, Jean Charest, or any of the other media darlings. It was fired by wee Pierre Poilievre. Yes, the man they call “Skippy” on Parliament Hill has scored first, in the form of a well-informed exclusive in the […]

Scheer’s critics ease him out on a technicality

Dec 13 2019 — Andrew MacDougall — Andrew Scheer, meet Al Capone. No, the mild-mannered (and soon-to-be-former) leader of the Official Opposition isn’t a gangster. Not even close. But like Capone, Scheer is ultimately going down for reasons that have nothing to do with the crimes for which he is commonly associated in the public’s imagination. Or if not the public’s imagination, […]

Saving Andrew Scheer

Nov 27 2019 — Andrew MacDougall — It’s a poor workman who blames his tools but Andrew Scheer doesn’t exactly have much in the way of money these days, does he? And so it was happy trails to Chief of Staff Marc-André Leclerc and Director of Communications Brock Harrison this week as Scheer 2.0 boots up to take on Justin Trudeau in […]

The question that haunts Andrew Scheer

Nov 7 2019 — Andrew MacDougall — When Scheer was asked if he believes being gay is a sin, he couldn’t say ‘no’. It’s a major political problem in Canada in 2019. “No.” It was the answer Andrew Scheer had to give to make the question go away. And if Scheer was feeling particularly aggrieved for having to answer that particular question […]

Andrew Scheer’s curse was Justin Trudeau’s weakness

Nov 7 2019 — Andrew MacDougall — In politics, second place sometimes feels like a win. Just ask the NDP, who stormed to a surprise second place finish in the 2011 election as Stephen Harper went on to claim his coveted majority. Despite falling (way) short of the ultimate prize, Jack Layton’s famous “orange crush” relegated Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals to third place […]

The seeds of Scheer’s defeat were planted in 2017

Oct 24 2019 — Andrew MacDougall — If everything old is new again, Andrew Scheer is guilty only of impatience in resuscitating Stephen Harper’s policy agenda. Four years after voters said “no” to the raft of tightly targeted micro-tax credits (and sharp politics) that typified the last Conservative government, they said “no” to a quick return under Scheer’s banner. It turns out […]

This election, Andrew Scheer is betting that bland works

Oct 4 2019 — Andrew MacDougall — “He’s … beige.” That’s how someone here in London described Conservative leader Andrew Scheer to me after watching his announcement on reprioritizing Canada’s foreign aid away from wealthier nations. Beige. As in bland. The comment was meant as a slight, but dollars to doughnuts it’s the Conservative strategy. After years of Justin Trudeau’s celebrity flash, […]

If I’m listening to Justin Trudeau it means others are too

Aug 27 2019 — Andrew MacDougall — The Liberal Party is speaking to me. Or rather, they’re trying to speak to me. About abortion. About gay marriage. About the fact that Andrew Scheer might not be someone a socially liberal, fiscally conservative, foreign policy hawk like me might want to vote for come the October election. And I’m listening. Not because I’ll […]

The pre-election script Trudeau could be reading, but isn’t

Aug 15 2019 — Andrew MacDougall — Rejoice, Canada! Say so long, first-past-the-post, and hello to the brave new world of proportional representation. Final campaign preparations under the new voting regime are now being made by all parties. Entire armies of political strategists weaned on the vicious norms of two-party battles are taking one final look at their draft battle plans under […]

The Prince of Lightness returns

Jul 22 2019 — Andrew MacDougall — Well, well. It turns out you can come home again. And so welcome back Gerry Butts, Canada’s top Trudeau whisperer, who this weekend returned to the Liberal fold following his spell in the doghouse of political radioactivity. Twitter climaxed with the news, with experience varying depending on side of the political divide. For Conservatives it […]

Trudeau should try killing the Conservatives with kindness

Jul 18 2019 — Andrew MacDougall — Going negative works. The Conservative Party proved it for years with successive attacks on Liberal leaders Stéphane Dion and Michael Ignatieff. Both men had much to offer, but the respective Tory counters of “not a leader” and “didn’t come back for you” had too much truth to be ignored by voters. Indeed, Ignatieff was so […]