National Newswatch

On Pride and politics

Jun 24 2018 — Jaime Watt — Don’t let anyone ever tell you that this month’s Pride celebration doesn’t still matter. For the young lesbian woman living in Northern Ontario who travels to Toronto for the first time and finds a community of over a million supporters. For the closeted refugee who sneaks off to Pride because his family does not accept […]

Why voters were attracted to Doug Ford

Jun 17 2018 — Jaime Watt — The fact Doug Ford won a majority government is now old news, so let’s turn to why he won. In the days after the polls closed, my firm, Navigator, undertook a research study to determine why voters made the choices they did. The research was based on a simple premise: If we could figure why […]

Why Ontarians relate to Ford and not his media critics

Jun 10 2018 — Jaime Watt — A deeply revealing moment occurred just minutes after having led the PC party to a large majority government after years in the political wilderness, Doug Ford was declared the next Premier of Ontario. Traditionally, the political party leaders speak in order of their placement. With Premier Wynne and the Liberals placing a distant third, it […]

Fickle millennial vote key to victory Thursday

Jun 3 2018 — Jaime Watt — Here we go again. Yet another article penned on the generation that’s most fascinated with itself: millennials. A source of endless interest for a media transfixed by this new generation that has vastly different interests and expectations than the generations before them.

Toronto Mayor John Tory ‘remains a political juggernaut’

May 27 2018 — Jaime Watt — As the Ontario provincial election race careens into its final weeks, there is already one clear winner: Toronto Mayor John Tory. After decades in and around political arenas at the national and provincial level, Tory has hit his stride as the leader of the fourth-largest city in North America. After decades as a partisan politician, […]

For Ontario voters, Andrea Horwath may be ‘just right’

May 20 2018 — Jaime Watt — The fairy tale that best fits this Ontario election: Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The voters, playing the role of Goldilocks, find the Liberal porridge has grown cold and, for many, Doug Ford’s Conservative bowl a trifle hot. That leaves Andrea Horwath and the NDP an opportunity: to serve porridge that is exactly right temperature […]

Dumping Granic Allen shows Ford’s evolution as a leader

May 13 2018 — Jaime Watt — Anyone who believes the adage that “you dance with the one who brung ya,” must be taken aback by the latest developments from Doug Ford’s campaign. Justifying his decision to bounce Tanya Granic Allen as candidate, Ford declared that “her characterization of certain issues and people has been irresponsible.” Those “certain issues” include public-voiced anti-Muslim […]

Toxic Trump a long-term threat to the presidency

May 6 2018 — Jaime Watt — The daily outrages have grown tiresome. What was once shocking has become less and less interesting. U.S. President Donald Trump’s behaviour, the craziness surrounding his office — porn stars, law enforcement raids on his personal lawyer’s office, the bald-face lies — has become the “new normal.” But even as we all grow numb to the […]

Best ad strategies for winning the Ontario election

Apr 29 2018 — Jaime Watt — While most Ontarians are enjoying the first beautiful days of spring after what seems like an especially long and dark winter, the campaign teams of Ontario’s political parties are squirrelled away in dark editing suites putting their advertising campaigns together. The pressure is on. And for good reason. It is generally conceded in modern elections […]

How Ford turns conventional election wisdom on its head

Apr 15 2018 — Jaime Watt — Handicapping political campaigns is not easy at the best of times. That said, a polling perspective is forming on the upcoming Ontario provincial election. If the June 7 election were held today, polls consistently tell us (48 of the last 50, in fact) that Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives would handily win a majority government.

In Ontario, get ready for a grudge match

Apr 8 2018 — Jaime Watt — And so it starts. Even before the “official” beginning of the provincial election campaign, the deluge of polls has begun. And the news isn’t good for the governing Liberals. The CBC’s Eric Grenier, who compiles an aggregation of publicly available polls and has historically been quite accurate in his predictions, says that if an election […]

Veering left is right for Kathleen Wynne

Apr 1 2018 — Jaime Watt — This week, Ontario’s Liberals tabled their re-election road map (a.k.a. their budget) in the provincial legislature. Expansive. Ambitious. Aspirational. Generous. Promises of billions in new spending on a broad sweep of priorities that the Liberals see as essential to maintaining and expanding a fair, inclusive and just society, which might also be essential to their […]

Andrea Horwath must be the people’s champion

Mar 25 2018 — Jaime Watt — Heading into her third election as leader, Andrea Horwath can’t seem to catch a break. After winning her party’s leadership in 2009, she led the NDP from the doldrums where it had lived since its crushing defeat in 1995. Her steady and reasonable management approach combined with her charisma and down-to-Earth, approachable style can be […]

Bad news comes in bunches for Trudeau

Mar 11 2018 — Jaime Watt — If there is one lesson I learned during my time in politics, it’s that when it rains, it pours. Rarely did I receive one piece of bad news without a few more unpleasant surprises by the end of the day. A crisis in the health portfolio would soon be followed by a meltdown by a […]

When politicians fail to make the right choices

Mar 4 2018 — Jaime Watt — In my day job, I work as a high-stakes public affairs practitioner, which involves helping clients to manage challenging situations; ones they never imagined they would face. These challenges come fraught with both media scrutiny and internal pressure, and are highly complex. As a result, people are left facing some of the biggest challenges of […]