National Newswatch

Bernier on Identity and Diversity vs. What a Real Libertarian Might Say

Sep 20 2018 — Don Lenihan — For someone who calls himself a libertarian, Maxime Bernier seems remarkably uninterested in individual freedom. As the most adventurous experiment in generations unfolds around him, he spends his time writing tweets about diversity that would make a real libertarian blanch. So, what might a real libertarian say about freedom and diversity in reply? Let’s start […]

The Supreme Court vs. Doug Ford: Two Visions of Democratic Leadership

Sep 12 2018 — Don Lenihan — What do construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline and reform of Toronto City Council have in common? Both challenge conventional ideas about democratic leadership, but in very different ways. While Doug Ford’s populism asks people to trust strong leaders, Canada’s courts are busy rethinking consultation. Who is on the right track? Let’s start with the […]

NAFTA Meets ‘America First’ – Welcome to the Future

Aug 30 2018 — Don Lenihan — Whatever we may think of Donald Trump, he’s playing his cards well. The talks appear to be landing, and he is, as they say, sitting pretty. Mexico has made big concessions on cars; and Canada looks ready to move on dairy. As for the process, it’s been classic Trump: divide and conquer. Still, if Canada’s […]

Why Maxime Bernier Will Try to Trumpify Canadian Politics

Aug 25 2018 — Don Lenihan — Maxime Bernier has launched a race to the bottom on diversity that Conservatives likely can’t escape. Liberals should pause before celebrating. This could be a decisive step toward the Trumpification of Canadian politics, the outcome of which is anything but clear. Bernier has a huge task ahead of him. Over the next 14 months, he […]

Can We Break the Telcos Oligopoly? Yes and here’s how

Aug 7 2018 — Don Lenihan — Navdeep Bains, the federal minister of innovation, is consulting Canadians on ways to step up our digital game. So, here’s my two cents: make broadband accessible and affordable to everyone. An extraordinary experiment in Alberta (circa 2000 – 2005) shows us how. Let’s start with some context. Two decades ago, Canada was a rising star […]

Can Trudeau tell a winning story in 2019?

Jul 25 2018 — Don Lenihan — Elections often turn on a few carefully crafted sentences – a “campaign narrative” that tells voters why they should say yes to a candidate. If Justin Trudeau nailed this in 2015, things will be a lot tougher in 2019. Last week he offered a clue as to what the new narrative might say. After shuffling […]

Sex-Ed in Ontario – Values-based or Evidence-based?

Jul 18 2018 — Don Lenihan — The Ontario sex-ed curriculum has been dogged by controversy since the start – thanks in part to a flawed consultation process. When Doug Ford repealed it last week, he also instructed his new education minister, Lisa Thompson, to fix the process. It’s a worthy task. As someone who does engagement for a living, I’d like […]

Are issues getting too complex for real debate?

Jun 20 2018 — Don Lenihan — Yesterday in this space, I called for an election on how Canada should respond to Trump. In a note, public affairs expert Andrew Beattie neatly laid out what I believe is a widely shared fear about such a debate: the issues are too complex, and it would quickly degenerate into bombast and sloganeering. I see […]