National Newswatch

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 […]

Patrick Brown’s leadership run a one-way ticket to political purgatory

Feb 25 2018 — Jaime Watt — Often the right decisions are the most difficult to make. The decision by the Ontario Progressive Conservative party to let Patrick Brown enter the leadership contest was the right one. The decision preserved the democratic legitimacy of the race. At the same time, however, it may have jeopardized the party’s future and its electoral viability. […]

Conservatives rally around carbon tax opposition

Feb 18 2018 — Jaime Watt — In October 2016, Prime Minister Trudeau’s announcement that Canadian provinces would be required to adopt carbon pricing was met with wide political agreement. Both the United States and China had recently agreed to the Paris climate accord, and provincial governments in Canada’s three largest provinces had already committed to some form of carbon pricing.

Toronto police culture still harms LGBTQ community

Feb 11 2018 — Jaime Watt — Last week, Toronto celebrated an inauspicious occasion: the 37th anniversary of Operation Soap. Better known as the Toronto bathhouse raids, Operation Soap saw dozens of Toronto police officers storm four bathhouses and arrest more than 250 gay and bisexual men on a variety of humiliating charges. Lives were changed forever — jobs lost, reputations destroyed, […]

Post-scandal PCs poised for a dramatic revival

Feb 4 2018 — Jaime Watt — “Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated,” Mark Twain once said after an overeager newspaper prematurely posted his obituary following an illness. The same might be said of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party. For months now, the fortunes of the Ontario Liberals have been in the doldrums. Despite thoughtful efforts by both her government and […]

This year a critical one for all federal parties

Jan 28 2018 — Jaime Watt — As hard as it is to believe, we’re not that far away from another federal election. As politicians arrive back in Ottawa and the House of Commons resumes sitting on Monday, the 2019 election will be on their minds. Last year was, comparatively speaking, a tough one for the governing Liberals. While they maintained a […]

Don’t be fooled by the foolishness, Trump is getting things done

Jan 21 2018 — Jaime Watt — The spectacle continues. It’s fair to say that the presidency of Donald Trump looks, from the outside, to be nothing short of a circus. The last week alone served up a heaping helping of the ridiculous. The president referred to a handful of nations as “s—hole” countries, which the media gleefully plastered as headlines all […]

President Winfrey has its allure, but another celebrity is not the solution

Jan 14 2018 — Jaime Watt — It seems that with politics, just like Hollywood, what’s old is new again. In Hollywood, the old ideas include Star Wars, Roseanne, Jurassic Park, Jumanji and many more. In politics, it’s Mitt Romney, Justin Trudeau, Caroline Mulroney and now Oprah. Winfrey first flirted with politics back in 2008 when she endorsed then-presidential candidate Barack Obama. […]

Trudeau’s heartfelt apology to LGBTQ2 community welcomed

Dec 3 2017 — Jaime Watt — Formal apologies issued by political leaders are as controversial as they are challenging to get right. To many, these apologies seem like political tools, cynically used to garner or retain votes in certain communities. Others see them as a way for the government, at no cost, to show it is acting on an issue. After […]

King St. transit plan a kingmaker for Tory

Nov 26 2017 — Jaime Watt — Something had to give. Until very recently, King St. looked more like a parking lot than the central artery of Canada’s financial district. Today, you can shoot a cannon down the street and be confident that you wouldn’t strike a car or truck. In July, Toronto’s city council approved a one-year pilot project focused on […]