National Newswatch

Why SNC-Lavalin deserves to avoid prosecution

Feb 17 2019 — Jaime Watt — This week has shown the Canadian public is resolved in its belief that politicians and public servants must, at first instance, be up to no good. Take the so-called scandal around the SNC-Lavalin matter, and the emerging consensus that the government has misbehaved from the get-go.

Don’t forget MP Paul Dewar’s message of inclusiveness

Feb 10 2019 — Jaime Watt — With Paul Dewar’s way-too-soon death, on Wednesday evening, Canadians lost a giant. A gentle, principled, passionate giant. A giant who dedicated his very life to the service of others. There will be no shortage of epithets for Paul, but he would likely choose to be remembered for his honest and authentic engagement with his constituents, […]

Parties have work to do as election hits home stretch

Feb 3 2019 — Jaime Watt — Earlier this week, members of Parliament must have felt somewhat disoriented as they returned for a final session in their familiar, yet entirely new, surroundings. The House of Commons chamber has been relocated, albeit temporarily, to a spectacular new space in the West Block Courtyard. But more than just adjusting to a different home, each […]

Rebuilding a middle ground is the only way to fix a broken America

Jan 27 2019 — Jaime Watt — So long shining city upon the hill. There are, of course, those who scoff that the idealistic notion of American exceptionalism never existed at all. Others might reasonably suggest that, in fact, it vanished years ago — not in one fell swoop, but incrementally with each passing hour of cable news, gerrymandered district, and bruising […]

Canada has limited foreign policy options

Jan 20 2019 — Jaime Watt — When the Liberal government came to power, it did away with the approach to foreign policy practiced by its Conservative predecessors and replaced it with something a bit more “idealistic.” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau embarked on an international media tour during which he repeatedly declared himself a feminist. The foreign service, all the way up […]

The increasing power of stirring imagery and moral virtuosity

Jan 13 2019 — Jaime Watt — Only days into 2019 and we have already been sharply reminded of just how much the optics and messages of politics have changed in the last 10 years. These developments, of course, don’t represent a total change from the past. Image and narrative have long been central to politics. Pictures have built or destroyed the […]

Presidential successors put Bush Sr. in a new light

Dec 9 2018 — Jaime Watt — Many believe that, in politics, your successor is your legacy. Consider the straight-as-an-arrow Sunday school teacher Jimmy Carter after the Machiavellian Nixon years. Or the steady, competent, experienced John Tory after the roller coaster term of Rob Ford. Or more recently, Doug Ford’s approach to smaller government focused resolutely on every day family affordability after […]

U.S. midterm elections put USMCA in jeopardy

Nov 11 2018 — Jaime Watt — Another day, another bump in the road for the Canada-U. S. relationship. Spare a moment for Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland. After years of arduous negotiations over a renewed North American trade agreement with a temperamental and fickle President Donald Trump, she had finally come to ground on what the government believed was an […]

How a Democratic victory Tuesday may help Trump’s re-election

Nov 4 2018 — Jaime Watt — On Tuesday, Americans will go to the polls to elect a third of the Senate and all the members of the House of Representatives in what’s known as the mid-term elections. It is an American political tradition that the sitting President’s party is punished during these elections, with most tending to lose seats in Congress.

Pot legalization a lesson in savvy political timing

Oct 21 2018 — Jaime Watt — In politics, there are two factors — over which you have no control — that determine your fate: timing and luck. In running for office, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seems to have taken his father’s advice that “the essential ingredient of politics is timing” to heart.

It is time to polish our humanitarian brand in Canada

Oct 15 2018 — Jaime Watt — In an age of social media and intense global competition, “brand” has become more important than ever. While it was once the exclusive domain of consumer-focused companies, now individuals, organizations and nations alike have become acutely aware of the image they project and the benefits that come with successfully building brand equity.