National Newswatch

Jean Charest decides that the Conservative Party doesn’t deserve him

Jan 22 2020 — Chris Selley — Certain pundits — well, one at least — had speculated in recent weeks that Jean Charest might be a plausible defender and leader of a Canadian conservative coalition that sometimes seems scared of its own shadow. If nothing else, it seemed reasonable to assume Charest appreciated the nature of that coalition. He lived its glory […]

Liberal throne speech stays the course, but Justin Trudeau can’t

Dec 5 2019 — Chris Selley — In advance of Thursday’s throne speech, strategists both professional and amateur had advised Canadians to listen for a certain humility — a new tone that we weren’t accustomed to during the four years Justin Trudeau led a majority government. There would be calls for collaboration, and cooperation, and partnership, all that crap. This is what […]

Judge boxes debates commission’s ears for excluding Rebel, True North

Nov 15 2019 — Chris Selley — It has been more than a month since Federal Court Justice Russell Zinn forced the Leaders’ Debates Commission to accredit Rebel Media and the True North Centre for Public Policy to cover the Oct. 7 English-language debate. The commission had already been under fire for inviting People’s Party leader Maxime Bernier to participate, based on […]

Conservatives, don’t ditch Scheer just yet

Oct 31 2019 — Chris Selley — There are many things for the Conservative Party of Canada to ponder in the wake of their election-night performance last week, and one of them is certainly Andrew Scheer’s leadership. It should by no means be beyond reproach. Quite apart from anything else he signed off on a dispiriting grab-bag of a platform that seemed […]

Scheer’s silence is either suspicious or baffling

Oct 20 2019 — Chris Selley — “Yes.” That’s all Andrew Scheer needed to say. The Globe and Mail reported this weekend that the Conservatives hired a consulting firm, Daisy group, to dig up dirt on Maxime Bernier and his People’s Party, with a goal of keeping him out of the leaders’ debates or, failing that, just generally discredit them as much […]

Trudeau’s debate no-show speaks volumes more than if he had shown up

Sep 13 2019 — Chris Selley — “Now with 25 per cent fewer leaders.” That was Maclean’s writer Paul Wells’ very apropos quip to introduce the first leaders’ debate of the 2019 federal election campaign. Despite what Liberal partisans might tell you, Justin Trudeau’s absence is neither justifiable nor a good look. On Aug. 6, 2015, Stephen Harper, Trudeau, Thomas Mulcair and […]

Barely centre-left vs. barely centre-right, for all the marbles

Sep 11 2019 — Chris Selley — As Canada’s federal politicians head to the campaign trail, climate scientists warn we are at the precipice of global disaster. The governing Liberals echo said warnings. Yet neither they nor the Conservatives have a plan to achieve our existing emissions targets, never mind the more ambitious ones the boffins insist are necessary. Green Party leader […]

Trudeau’s mea culpa over his electoral reform debacle is truly mind boggling

Aug 30 2019 — Chris Selley — Pre-campaign books about politicians are always interesting when the author gets significant access to the subject, because it gives the subject a chance to offer a well-thought-out and carefully considered case for his election or re-election to an impartial reporter. It’s not a press conference full of headline-hungry hacks marinating in Red Bull; it’s a […]

Climate change fracas exposes ridiculous third-party spending rules

Aug 21 2019 — Chris Selley — Many Canadians have been understandably flummoxed, with gusts to outraged, by news that Elections Canada has warned organizations advocating for more forceful action against climate change that they may have to register as “third parties” for the upcoming election, and be subject to limits on advertising expenditures during the campaign. “The climate crisis is objectively […]