National Newswatch

Conservative Party a ‘rudderless mess’ and there’s bad blood between its fund and national council, say some Conservatives

Jan 27 2020 — Abbas Rana — Some senior Conservatives are describing the party’s internal political climate as “chaotic” and a “rudderless mess,” and predict the return of Parliament this week will be a major challenge for the Tories. The divisive leadership contest is on, there’s “bad blood” between the all-powerful Conservative Fund and the party’s national council over the firing of […]

‘There’s a risk of excessive polarization of the party’: Harper’s interference in Conservative leadership dividing Conservatives

Jan 20 2020 — Abbas Rana — Former prime minister Stephen Harper’s decision to recently step down from the Conservative Fund in order to reportedly block the potential Conservative leadership candidacy of Jean Charest is causing fissures in the party, with some saying, “he’s a former defeated Conservative leader” and should stay out of the leadership contest. “There’s a risk of excessive […]

Liberals still haven’t had a national caucus discussion about federal election outcome and they want one, say Grit MPs

Jan 13 2020 — Abbas Rana — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose Liberals were reduced from a majority to a minority Parliament three months ago, still hasn’t held a full-blown national caucus meeting to discuss the last federal election’s outcome, and some Grit MPs say they wonder if the leadership is trying to avoid it. The Liberals, who won 157 seats on […]

‘Like a surprise military operation’: Potential Tory leadership bids being prepped with big names on the radar

Jan 8 2020 — Abbas Rana — With the Conservative Party still in the process of finalizing the rules for the summer’s crucial leadership contest, potential contestants are jockeying behind the scenes to put together their campaign teams, making fundraising phone calls, and seeking support from movers and shakers in the party. But most are also keeping an eye on whether high-profile […]

Some Conservative MPs ‘upset,’ ‘disappointed’ in wake of reports raising questions about Scheer’s family, office expenses

Dec 20 2019 — Abbas Rana — Some Conservative caucus members are upset by the stories about Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s family and his leadership office’s expenses, warning that if more negative information comes out, it would be unrealistic for him to stay on until a new leader is elected at the party’s convention. “This is not good for the party,” said […]

Former PMO senior adviser Marques to head Morneau’s staff, as office finalizes slate of chief ministerial aides

Dec 16 2019 — Abbas Rana — Senior PMO staffer George Young moves to Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan’s office as his chief of staff. The Prime Minister’s Office has completed the process of hiring the most senior aides in all 36 ministerial offices. Former PMO senior adviser Elder Marques is moving to finance, filling the role as chief aide to Finance Minister […]

Some defeated Conservatives want to back Scheer for their own ‘survival’ as future candidates

Dec 9 2019 — Abbas Rana — Some Conservative candidates who were defeated in October’s election say they want to support Party Leader Andrew Scheer in the April leadership review, to protect their own nominations in the next election. Voting for Andrew Scheer (Regina-Qu’Appelle, Sask.) would give them a better relationship with the leadership, and better odds of being party candidates in […]

Humbled Trudeau changes leadership style, but unclear if it’s ‘just a different role he’s playing for now,’ say politicos

Dec 2 2019 — Abbas Rana — After dealing with numerous high-profile controversies in his first mandate, being reduced to a minority government in last month’s election, losing 27 seats, and shedding 6.37 percentage points in the national vote, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s transformation from a celebrity politician to a “humbled” leader is the right approach, say political insiders who say it […]

Liberals hope beefed-up Quebec presence in cabinet will help capture more seats in Trudeau’s home province, win them next election, say pollsters

Nov 25 2019 — Abbas Rana — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lost five seats in Quebec in the October election, but still handed 11 cabinet posts and control of six federal economic development agencies to Liberal MPs from the province last week, and Liberals are betting on the prime minister’s home province as the path to a third term in power, say […]

Wexit ‘absolutely a real thing’ and reaching ‘boiling point’; Parliamentarians need to ‘look for bold and innovative solutions,’ say Conservative MPs

Nov 18 2019 — Abbas Rana — With Prime Minister Justin Trudeau set to unveil his new cabinet this week and Parliament returning next month, Conservatives are warning that Wexit is a serious issue which is reaching a boiling point, and say all Parliamentarians need to work together to come up with bold and creative ideas to address this important issue affecting […]

Knives out to dump Conservative leader, but Scheer’s team should reach out to supporters urgently to survive April leadership review, say Conservatives

Nov 4 2019 — Abbas Rana — With the knives out for Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer for failing to win the federal election, it’s unclear whether he will survive another election amid the onslaught of calls last week for his resignation. To head off a potential ouster, some say Mr. Scheer needs to urgently reach out to his supporters to ensure they […]

Election 2019 campaign one of the most ‘uninspiring, disheartening, and dirtiest’ in 40 years, says Savoie

Oct 21 2019 — Abbas Rana — The 40-day contentious election campaign that ended on Oct. 20 was one of the most “uninspiring,” “disheartening,” and the “dirtiest” in four decades, as there was little or no discussion about some of the big issues facing Canadians and the focus instead was only on personalities, says an award-winning researcher and a well respected expert […]

‘It’s definitely in the top quadrant’: election campaign one of dirtiest in recent history, say political insiders

Oct 14 2019 — Abbas Rana — With the 2019 election in the home stretch and both parties still running neck and neck in national polls, some political insiders are describing the current campaign as one of the dirtiest in recent history, which was also predicted months in advance by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer. “It’s probably in […]

More political hits like blackface controversy might be unsustainable for Grits, say Liberals

Sep 30 2019 — Abbas Rana — With both leading national parties expected to unleash their best “bombshell” research on each other in the coming days, some Liberals are worried they cannot afford to take any more major hits, saying self-inflicted wounds have already damaged the Liberal brand and “crushed” the enthusiasm and morale of the rank-and-file-party members, riding executives and candidates. […]