National Newswatch

Vaccine arrival is a jab in the arm for political leaders

Dec 13 2020 — Jaime Watt — On Tuesday, 90-year-old Margaret Keenan became the first patient outside of clinical trials to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, a few short days after the U.K. became the first country to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Keenan’s jab brought with it a collective sigh of relief from every corner of the world as the moment we have […]

GOP election denialism is really about winning crucial Senate run-offs

Nov 16 2020 — Jaime Watt — While the sane world acknowledges — and in many corners, celebrates — president-elect Joe Biden’s victory, Donald Trump and much of the Republican Party hang onto their election denialism the way Linus hangs onto his blanket. From an anthropological perspective, it is a fascinating phenomenon: there is clear cognitive dissonance in accepting the surprisingly strong […]

Biden is the man to lead a divided government and country

Nov 8 2020 — Jaime Watt — On Friday afternoon, it looked increasingly likely that Joseph R. Biden Jr. would secure the 270 electoral votes needed to earn the title of president-elect. It also became clear he wouldn’t be given the tools to drive sweeping change anywhere other than at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. True, Biden has probably sent Trump packing from the […]

Toxic Trump is also a superspreader of hate

Oct 11 2020 — Jaime Watt — Stop the presses: on Thursday, the FBI charges 13 American citizens for conspiring in a domestic terrorist plot to kidnap and potentially murder Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. They then wanted to start a civil war fuelled by white supremacy and discontent with lockdown restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. They’d begin with an assault […]

Lurking behind a shameful debate, a strategy built on chaos

Oct 4 2020 — Jaime Watt — It’s widely agreed that Tuesday’s faceoff between incumbent Donald Trump and challenger Joseph R. Biden Jr. was the worst U.S. presidential debate in history. It also marked a low point in American political culture. So shambolic, so grating, so disappointing, so ridiculous it was not only almost impossible to watch, it left me feeling sick […]

From the throne, a campaign speech in search of a campaign

Sep 27 2020 — Jaime Watt — In Rideau Cottage, the 11-month itch. Or so it seemed for a brief period when politicos and journalists wondered out loud whether the prime minister’s request for time on major television networks was intended to host an election call. Instead, Justin Trudeau gave a, well, one is still not sure what speech he gave. As […]

In a gradual shift to the centre, an opening for O’Toole

Sep 20 2020 — Jaime Watt — Since Erin O’Toole won the leadership of the Conservative Party and became the Leader of the Official Opposition, the Air Force veteran and former cabinet minister has been busy waiting in line. On Wednesday, after an hours-long delay, he and his family were turned away from an Ottawa-area testing centre. O’Toole continues to self-isolate after […]

Evidence-based policy needed on gun control

Jun 28 2020 — Jaime Watt — As the Conservative Party of Canada lurches its way to choosing a new leader in August, many are asking what it means to be a conservative, especially an urban conservative. As party members consider that question, along with what it means to be all different kinds of conservatives, the candidates for leader are being asked […]

Protest is a powerful force for progress

Jun 7 2020 — Jaime Watt — In January 1909, a group of notable Americans signed their names to a statement that called for a national conference focused on the civil and political rights of Black Americans. The “Call” was signed by the likes of W.E.B. Dubois and Ida B. Wells, and it contended that the upcoming centenary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth […]

Dominic Barton is Canada’s bright light in the crisis with China

May 31 2020 — Jaime Watt — When it comes to China, the Trudeau government has acted with the deference a pageboy would show a queen. As they have muddled through a long series of skirmishes, from the arbitrary and unjust kidnapping of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor to the trade disputes over canola, soybeans and meat, the objections of the federal […]