National Newswatch

Singh does not need a seat in Commons

Nov 19 2017 — Jaime Watt — New NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh does not need a seat in the House of Commons. There was a time when the Commons was both the symbolic and functional home of Canadian politics, but it matters less today than it ever has before. These days, proposed legislation is introduced at photo-ops that are both televised and […]

Patrick Brown’s clever strategy is withstanding Liberal attacks

Nov 12 2017 — Jaime Watt — The Ontario Liberals have now served in government for more than 14 years. It’s an incredible accomplishment: few governments in Canada have secured so many consecutive mandates, especially in today’s turbulent political environment. That longevity has not been a fluke. The Ontario Liberal Party has been led by leaders who have connected with Ontarians and […]

Russia inquiry may not be enough to bring down Trump

Nov 4 2017 — Jaime Watt — Yet another shoe has dropped in the investigation into Russia’s involvement in the last U.S. presidential election. Close associates of President Donald Trump have been indicted, including his former campaign manager, Paul Manafort. Many view the Russia inquiry, overseen by special counsel Robert Mueller, as the silver bullet to the Trump presidency. These opponents believe […]

How charismatic Singh is a threat to Trudeau

Oct 22 2017 — Jaime Watt — No doubt that the federal Liberals followed the results of the New Democratic Party’s leadership contest with great trepidation. Jagmeet Singh’s election is a monumental breakthrough for Canada’s community of visible minorities. But Singh represents a formidable new presence on Canada’s political stage for even more reasons.

Far too soon to waste time predicting the next PM

Oct 16 2017 — Jaime Watt — There are still two years to go until the next federal election, but last week media outlets and polling firms began releasing polls and prognosticating about who the next prime minister of Canada will be. Horse race journalism is once again the order of the day, even though the horse race is meaningless this far […]

The changing faces of Canadian politics

Oct 8 2017 — Jaime Watt — As the seasons have changed, so too has the Canadian political landscape. The October 2015 election of a Liberal government led by Justin Trudeau began a major shift from dominance by Baby Boomers to a younger generation. Voters chose Trudeau’s youth and optimism over the experience of the other party leaders.

Tory’s fall into Trudeau’s tax trap

Sep 24 2017 — Jaime Watt — As Parliamentarians made their return to the House of Commons this past week, there was a marked difference in the moods of Liberal and Conservative members. Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives were cheerfully optimistic about their future, while Liberal government members were considerably less upbeat. The reason: the federal government had just endured weeks of critical commentary […]

Walking Trump tightrope gets trickier for Trudeau

Jun 11 2017 — Jaime Watt — Last week, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announced the Liberal government’s commitment to increase defence spending by more than 70 per cent over the next 10 years, boosting annual spending from $18.9 to $37.2 billion. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has positioned the increase as Canada stepping up to play a leadership role on the world […]

Sunny ways for the Conservative Party

Jun 4 2017 — Jaime Watt — The Conservative leadership election has come to a close, but it has opened a new chapter for a party that needed renewal. Any party that has served in government faces challenges following an election defeat. Its brand has been buffeted by years of criticism from the opposition parties and from the media. Its players are […]

B.C. election fiasco shows need for online voting

May 28 2017 — Jaime Watt — What we witnessed this week in British Columbia was nothing short of an embarrassment. In 2017, how is it possible that it took 15 days — more than two weeks — to accurately understand who won the May 9 provincial election. Finally, on Wednesday, the ballot recount came to an anticlimactic end. The lengthy process […]

Fentanyl crisis echoes mistakes of HIV/AIDS response

May 21 2017 — Jaime Watt — Abuse of fentanyl, the highly addictive opioid pain medication, is taking a menacing toll across Canada. Opioid-related overdoses killed 1,400 Canadians last year. To label the situation a coast-to-coast crisis is a massive understatement. Fentanyl can be found in knock-off prescription painkillers, in party drugs and even in cocaine. The fact that other drugs are […]

Trump’s critics crying wolf for too long

May 14 2017 — Jaime Watt — This time, it’s different. I have argued in the past that many of U.S. President Donald Trump’s actions have not been as harmful or dramatic as some have made them out to be. Many Americans and media pundits overreacted to the election Trump, a man who, while considered offensive, ignorant and inflammatory by many, to […]

Constant campaigning leaves no time for governing

May 7 2017 — Jaime Watt — If you were flipping through the pages of your newspaper or the channels of your television last week and didn’t know any better, it might well have felt like the 2016 U.S. election was still underway, as the bickering between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump continued unabated. Last Tuesday, a full eight months after Donald […]

What politicians should learn from United Airlines

Apr 16 2017 — Jaime Watt — It seems counterintuitive, but in communications, attempting to side-step risk can prove to be the riskiest strategy of all. We have seen this again and again in politics and in business. In a world where a wrongly placed word can create a maelstrom of reaction on social media, it can be tempting to make only […]

Former presidents vs. former prime ministers

Apr 9 2017 — Jaime Watt — It’s an elite club that many long to join, and it never meets. With only a handful of living members at any given time, the President’s Club often looks more like a dysfunctional family than a collection of the most powerful men in history. In the United States, former presidents retain a certain prestige after […]