National Newswatch

Character as Leadership: 70 Years of Elizabeth II

Feb 6 2022 — Lisa Van Dusen — We live in a moment defined by “moments”. This moment in time, this hinge of history as the crisis stage of the post-connectivity revolution is so made up of instantly shared, viral moments that the overinflated value of “moments” as narrative catalysts has created a parallel reality populated by propaganda actors seemingly bent on revenge […]

A Mulroney Lesson for Post-O’Toole Tories: Amazing what Electability Can do for Party Unity

Feb 2 2022 — Lisa Van Dusen — Among the most pertinent lessons today’s federal Conservative Party can absorb from the tenure of Brian Mulroney as Progressive Conservative leader and prime minister is this: You’d be amazed at what electability can do for party unity. This lesson is far simpler in theory than it is in practice, especially for the Conservatives. Electability for […]

‘Chasing History’: Bernstein Before Woodward

Jan 23 2022 — Lisa Van Dusen — Because he played such a key role in one of the biggest stories of the 20thcentury, our absorption of Carl Bernstein as a figure of history and pop-culture character has always been truncated, as though he was hatched, fully-formed, from a pod on the day after the Watergate break-in. For years, the collision of historic […]

Letter to a Young Political Junkie

Jan 19 2022 — Lisa Van Dusen — Dear X, By the mere fact that you self-identify as a young political junkie in the year 2022, three things can be discerned about you: One, that you are blessed with superhuman intestinal fortitude; two, that you possess an unhealthy fondness for the chimerical that your parents and possibly your shrink or Adderall supplier warned […]

Countdown to the Irony Olympics

Jan 10 2022 — Lisa Van Dusen — “I am convinced that the American people do not want their athletes cast as pawns in that tawdry propaganda charade.” Vice President Walter Mondale addressing the United States Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs, April 12, 1980, hours before the USOC voted to support a full boycott of the Moscow Olympic Games in response to the […]

The Enduring Meaning of Treason

Dec 20 2021 — Lisa Van Dusen — The definition of treason, per Merriam Webster, is “The crime of trying to overthrow your country’s government or of helping your country’s enemies during war.” The definition of treason per the United States Criminal Code, Chapter 115, Section 2381 is as follows: “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres […]

‘No, I’M a Democracy’: Xi Jinping Just Won Joe Biden’s Democracy Argument for Him

Dec 8 2021 — Lisa Van Dusen — When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in October that his surveillance, social engineering, data harvesting, political propaganda and genocide lubrication platform would henceforth be calling itself “Meta”, a billion eyes rolled. The level of Orwellian infantilization inherent in slapping the lipstick of a new name on the pig Zuckerberg helped unleash on humanity seemed particularly […]

The Big Sulk? China’s ‘Inward Turn’ Takes a Holiday

Nov 11 2021 — Lisa Van Dusen — The announcement in Glasgow Wednesday that the United States and China have agreed to work together on cutting greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade was a surprise. The China-US Joint Glasgow Declaration on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s was a shock (except, obviously, to the signatories) not just because the absence of President […]

Lebanon’s Chaos: Not Quite Déjà Vu

Oct 18 2021 — Lisa Van Dusen — One of the most vivid descriptions of the personal afflictions of war that I’ve ever heard came from a Montreal cab driver recalling what it was like to grow up in the remote hills of Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley during the civil war of the 1980s. “I was just hitting puberty when the explosions started,” the […]

The Conundrum of Erin O’Toole

Sep 28 2021 — Lisa Van Dusen — In the post-election speculation about Erin O’Toole’s prospects as leader of the Conservative Party, the question has been asked, “Should O’Toole shift the party back toward the right?” The premise of the question — that Erin O’Toole is a guy who can take the Conservative Party of Canada in any direction he likes and that […]

Scrambling for the Quebec sweet spot in the first campaign debate

Sep 3 2021 — Lisa Van Dusen — The recalibrating of expectations around campaign debates born of the Mulroney-versus-Turner bout in 1984 — that a political debate could include an Ali-versus-Liston knockout punch — has its own mythology in Quebec. It was the next day, when then-opposition leader Brian Mulroney arrived in Quebec City to crowds that had suddenly exploded in both volume […]

Policy Q&A: Former Afghan Ambassador to Canada Omar Samad

Aug 17 2021 — Lisa Van Dusen — Less than a month before the 20th anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001 that led to the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, the Taliban have retaken the country amid the stunning collapse of both the Afghan Army and the country’s government. Omar Samad was a senior advisor to former Afghan presidents Hamid Karzai and […]

Campaign 2021: The Political Narrative vs. the Pandemic Narrative

Aug 12 2021 — Lisa Van Dusen — It’s always nice to start your election coverage with a cliché; it reassures readers that you’re not some parvenue amateur unfamiliar with all the hoary political truisms that are readily available to them by clicking on other election punditry URLs. It’s like saying hello to an old friend before embarking on an adventure that could […]