National Newswatch

Don’t look for entertainment value in U.S. impeachment hearings

Nov 17 2019 — Jaime Watt — On Wednesday, the first public hearings began in an impeachment process that seems to have been crafted for our era of reality television. Watching the testimonies of Bill Taylor, George Kent and Marie Yovanovitch, I was struck by the soap-opera nature of the hearings. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her House Democrats have, it seems, learned […]

In this election, small campaigns earned only small victories

Oct 27 2019 — Jaime Watt — So, just what happened on Monday night and how did we end up with the most divided and regionalized Parliament we have seen in recent memory? In my view, it was the utterly predictable outcome of the campaign our leaders chose to run. The result? For some Canadians, this was the “Seinfeld” campaign — a […]

Where is the big idea in this election?

Oct 6 2019 — Jaime Watt — Watching the first French-language leaders’ debate this past Wednesday, I was struck by the increasing banality of our current election campaign. Over the course of my career, I’ve seen — and been involved in — many elections. I have seen promising candidates brought down by the pressures of the campaign, I’ve seen parties unexpectedly soar, […]

The climate is a hot topic but will it motivate voters on Oct. 21

Sep 29 2019 — Jaime Watt — In a week with no shortage of international political theatre, from the launch of impeachment proceedings in Washington to the showdown between Parliament and the Supreme Court in London, I found myself returning again to watch a clip of 16-year-old Greta Thunberg in tears, excoriating delegates at a United Nations summit for their inaction on […]

For campaign clues, watch where the leaders go

Sep 15 2019 — Jaime Watt — With the prime minister’s visit to Rideau Hall on Wednesday morning, Parliament was formally dissolved and the summer’s so-called “fake” election campaign, mercifully, brought to an end. And with it, Canadians began to hear not just the noise of the campaign messaging but the noise of the parties’ campaign buses and planes as well. It […]

Advice to party leaders on summer stumping

Jun 23 2019 — Jaime Watt — As the warm weather finally sets in and the House rises for the summer, the leaders of our federal parties will begin to have visions of electoral success dance in their heads. Conventional wisdom tells us Canadians don’t want to hear from their politicians at this time of year — they would rather tune out […]

Ontario Liberals opt for good TV at leadership convention

Jun 16 2019 — Jaime Watt — Two weeks ago, the Ontario Liberals began the long and arduous process of rebuilding their shattered party. Now reduced to a caucus of five — or what some impolite wags refer to as “the minivan caucus” — the party membership gathered in Mississauga to determine just how they will go about selecting a new leader […]

A lesson in valour from Juno Beach

Jun 9 2019 — Jaime Watt — On the Normandy coast, the few remaining brave veterans gathered, their numbers depleted by the unrelenting ravages of time. They were joined by politicians from every nook and cranny of our country, military brass, and serving soldiers, sailors and airwoman and men.