National Newswatch

Will Conservatives resist siren call of Trumpism?

Jan 20 2020 — Dan Leger — The campaign for the Conservative Party leadership officially is on, with more on the line than a job for one person yearning to become prime minister. In many ways, Canada’s idea of democracy is at stake. Unlike ever before, Conservatives face choices about what their party stands for and where it is headed. Will Conservatives […]

Australian bushfires hold lessons for the whole world

Jan 6 2020 — Dan Leger — Australia is so vast that even Canadians struggle to comprehend the scale of the disaster unfolding there now. Think Fort McMurray in 2016, only monstrously larger and with no end in sight. The Fort McMurray fires burned 589,000 hectares and caused $11 billion in damage with an epic firefighting battle that transfixed the country. Australia’s […]

Will federal cash fix national discord? Premiers think so

Dec 9 2019 — Dan Leger — Lately, I’ve found myself asking whether 2019 will some day be seen as the year disunity returned in force to Canada. Harmony is distinctly at a premium. Alberta’s government says national unity is threatened by the province’s economic swoon, which Canada didn’t do enough to prevent. Saskatchewan’s government says that province, too, is being crippled […]

Chrystia Freeland is Trudeau’s minister of everything

Nov 27 2019 — Dan Leger — In politics, the reward for strong performance in a difficult job is often an even harder job with tougher challenges. So it is for Chrystia Freeland, Justin Trudeau’s new deputy prime minister and envoy to the Liberal government’s two hottest trouble spots: Washington and the West. As deputy prime minister and minister for intergovernmental affairs, […]

Wexit firebrands suffer from a certain wacko factor

Nov 11 2019 — Dan Leger — Westerners, we’re forcefully told, are sick and tired of people speaking for them, whom they don’t like and didn’t vote for. That especially means Justin Trudeau and his Liberals, but really also anyone east of Winnipeg or near any coastline. Some Westerners are so fed up, they want to separate Alberta and Saskatchewan from Canada, […]

Kenney’s anti-Ottawa rhetoric is pure partisan politics

Oct 28 2019 — Dan Leger — Because politics always ends up being personal, losing at it hurts. For candidates, it’s direct rejection by an electorate of peers. For party supporters, their values and beliefs are being dismissed and that’s hard to take, too. Most defeated candidates swear off further adventures in elected politics, even if remaining active on the sidelines. Others […]

Partisan war rooms are swinging election, sickening electorate

Oct 14 2019 — Dan Leger — It’s no secret that campaign war rooms, a.k.a. quick response teams or opposition research bureaus, have played key roles in elections for decades. This time, they might be deciding it. The disreputable behaviour of leaders, candidates and party workers have been exposed in the 2019 campaign as in no other, often due to the hard-eyed […]

Trudeau train wreck shows how thin we are on leaders

Sep 30 2019 — Dan Leger — Justin Trudeau’s blackface scandal always would have been a train wreck, even if he had enjoyed an unassailable reputation going into it or if he had been known for his statesmanlike demeanour. It would have been bad but it could have become a teachable moment about racial sensitivity for the whole country. But Trudeau doesn’t […]

Tame hysteria on immigration

Sep 1 2019 — Dan Leger — This country is overdue for a clear-eyed conversation about so-called “mass immigration” and the “threat” it poses to dear old Canada. And I mean sensible talk, not screaming matches egged on by the toxic politics and deliberate mischief that is distorting this debate. First, let’s remember that Canada has experienced many periods of robust immigration […]

Let Bernier debate so Canadians can see what he’s really all about

Aug 19 2019 — Dan Leger — There’s more to politics than elections, and more to campaigns than televised debates. Yet we treat the debates like monumental happenings, often to our disappointment, since they rarely change anything or do much to illuminate the issues. We media folks still seem to think that debates are potential game changers and also good TV. I’m […]

People’s Party attracting offbeat candidates in Nova Scotia

Jul 22 2019 — Dan Leger — The federal election isn’t tomorrow, but it’s soon enough to start paying attention to opinion polls, which are predictably contradictory. Depending on the survey, the Conservatives have been leading for months but might be slipping. A different poll has the Liberals, formerly sinking by the day, resurfacing and perhaps even leading.

Partisan hyperbole strips words of their meaning

Jun 10 2019 — Dan Leger — There’s no respect for language in these uncivil times of ours, least of all in politics, where words and ideas are subjected to violence every day of the week. Think “alternative facts,” “fake news” and “truth isn’t truth.” In the blind partisanship of 2019, formerly reliable terms like conservative, socialist, liberal and populist get bruised […]

Trumpism isn’t winning here, and that shoe doesn’t fit Scheer

May 13 2019 — Dan Leger — Trumpism isn’t taking over in Canada, thankfully, and for good reasons, even if its vile effects have taken root among the gullible. Side-effects are not a movement, especially given revulsion here at the mess Donald Trump is making of the once-great U.S. Fewer than one in four Canadians approve of Trump’s American madness: the lawlessness […]

If Kenney wants real change, he needs friends, not enemies

Apr 29 2019 — Dan Leger — Huzzah for Alberta, which has elected Jason Kenney and soon will resume its status as an energy superpower. To restore Albertan glory, Kenney plans to take on unions and cut regulation, lower business taxes to laughable levels, battle environmental groups, all the while intimidating other provinces and Ottawa into compliance with his goals. Good luck […]