National Newswatch

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.

Give our democracy the TLC it deserves

Jun 2 2019 — Jaime Watt — As spring gives way to summer, so too will the predictable rhythm of governing in Ottawa and the ever-so-predictable antics of question period give way to the high-energy, much less predictable, winner-takes-all stakes of a federal campaign. And, as the parties’ planes and buses start their engines, commentators like me will surely lament that the […]

Trudeau trying to navigate uncharted digital waters

May 26 2019 — Jaime Watt — This week, as more than 25,000 tech execs and entrepreneurs from around the globe descended on Toronto for the Collision Conference, the parallels between Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party of Canada and the companies that define Silicon Valley, and (increasingly) Toronto and Montreal were striking. Both are largely founder-driven. Both are searching for organic growth, and […]

The gift of social media helped Trudeau, but it can also take away

May 19 2019 — Jaime Watt — When Justin Trudeau took the stage in October 2015 to celebrate the Liberals’ majority victory, he spoke of his party’s “positive vision,” for Canada. Their campaign, he said, had “defeated the idea that Canadians should be satisfied with less, that good enough is good enough and that better just isn’t possible … this is Canada, […]

Norman case another blow to Canada’s justice system

May 12 2019 — Jaime Watt — Another year, yet another unsuccessful highly public prosecution. On Wednesday, federal prosecutors announced a stay of charges against Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, ending a four-year circus that took an untold toll on the reputation, finances and family of a career public servant with an otherwise unblemished reputation.

Lt.-Gov. Dowdeswell using her bully pulpit to better society

May 5 2019 — Jaime Watt — In the cut and thrust of the increasingly divisive and polarizing way politics are being practiced today, one of the most worrisome developments is the loss of the bully pulpit. In some ways an old-fashioned notion, today’s practitioners seem to have forgotten its power of moral suasion, to forge consensus, to truly lead.

Blue conservative wave keeps rolling across Canada

Apr 28 2019 — Jaime Watt — Each new provincial election brings more evidence that the wave of conservative victories across the country is turning into a tsunami. And with that, the inescapable conclusion that the Liberal brand is, if not in crisis, certainly not what it was on Election Day in October, 2015. Last Tuesday, Prince Edward Islanders not only elected […]

The fragile façade of Confederation

Apr 21 2019 — Jaime Watt — Just as it is for most people who do what I do for a living, our office is littered with television monitors tuned to a variety of news channels from around the world. And like it is for most of us, we become inured to the onslaught of images that come our way. Some real. […]

Will Trump ever face a tipping point?

Apr 14 2019 — Jaime Watt — Among watchers of the Trump White House, it has become this season’s party game to speculate whether the latest reason for outrage will be the final straw in this quixotic presidency — something akin in significance to Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre, or the Supreme Court decision compelling Nixon to turn over Oval Office tapes. History […]

The true cost of SNC-Lavalin: 53 lost days

Mar 31 2019 — Jaime Watt — Although it may feel like ancient history, and remembered about as clearly, it was just last week that Finance Minister Bill Morneau introduced the Liberal’s final, pre-election budget, a 460-page basket of goodies titled “Investing in the Middle Class.” A government’s last budget before an election is usually its most strategic, and effective, opportunity to […]