National Newswatch

Opposition is a caricature, and Scheer is a humid performer

Mar 14 2019 — Neil Macdonald — Back in December, NDP MP Charlie Angus approvingly retweeted a Christmas wish on Twitter calling for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to fire then-Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould. “The Justice file has been completely bungled” quoted Angus, who accused Wilson-Raybould of all sorts of malevolence. But of course that was then. To hear Angus tell it now, […]

Trudeau’s verbal porridge and serene smile have carried him along. Until now

Mar 6 2019 — Neil Macdonald — If you’re looking for some instructive reading, go look up an aggregation of utterances by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Some are already famous for their loopiness: budgets balance themselves, the government shouldn’t call honour killings barbaric, we need to rethink the definitions of space and time, we should say “peoplekind” instead of “mankind” (he may […]

Gerald Butts was done in, at least partially, by the ethos of identity politics

Feb 19 2019 — Neil Macdonald — A good headline, like Varsol, cuts through the grease and varnish applied to any story by political or corporate message-crafters. So, my suggestion for the big political headline of the day: “Nothing Happened, So I’m Quitting” — Gerald Butts Now, Gerry Butts — until Monday Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s principal secretary — is a smart […]

I bribed the Libyans. It’s how things work in hopelessly corrupt countries

Feb 12 2019 — Neil Macdonald — At the risk of drawing the pitiless attention of Canada’s public prosecutor, I’m going to go ahead and admit that I have bribed foreign officials. Lots of foreign officials. In fact, I should probably stand in the same courtroom dock as SNC-Lavalin. The Quebec engineering firm is accused of having bribed Libyan officials in order […]

Donald Trump is the best president the left has ever had

Jan 24 2019 — Neil Macdonald — I shouldn’t, but I delight in discussing Donald Trump’s presidency with friends on the left. Not to commiserate over what a pig the man is (calling someone a pig is presidential language now, so that’s fair ball, right?). That’s just easy. What’s fascinating is the reaction when you advance the argument that Trump, judged solely […]

With its new trade deal, Canada surrenders sovereignty to a bully

Oct 1 2018 — Neil Macdonald — So first, Clause 32. It’s long-winded and uses code language, but basically, it says that if Canada wants a trade deal with China, it has to notify the Americans about any negotiations, and tell them the substance of those negotiations, and submit the text of any deal, “including any annexes and side instruments” in advance, […]

Luck is nearly impossible to beat, and Justin Trudeau’s has no end

Sep 25 2018 — Neil Macdonald — Because we need a horse race, (and because we are so deeply in love with clichés), news organizations have been pushing the idea that the bloom is off the Trudeau rose, which of course is doubly clever, given that flower’s famous place on the lapel of our prime minister’s father. The corollary is obvious: that […]

Trump lies. That makes negotiating NAFTA impossible

Sep 5 2018 — Neil Macdonald — It’s almost sad watching good journalists trying to report on this sewage backup of a negotiation in Washington. Because we are trained to think inside the box, to respect (even genuflect to) authority and processes, most mainstream media reporting has treated the NAFTA talks as a serious endeavour in a rules-based world: a give-and-take among […]

The Saudi temper tantrum could land one devastating blow — to Canadian health care

Aug 15 2018 — Neil Macdonald — Here’s a proposed Canadian reply to the escalating Saudi temper tantrum. Call in the kingdom’s ambassador and tell him: Sorry, Mr. Ambassador, but Canadian universities will never again accept Saudi medical residents. The government could explain that cancelling orders for relatively piddling amounts of wheat and maple syrup is the kingdom’s perfect right, subject of […]

Why wasn’t Jaspal Atwal on Canada’s no-fly list?

Mar 6 2018 — Neil Macdonald — Never mind the matter of why the failed assassin Jaspal Atwal would be invited to any sort of diplomatic reception, let alone one starring Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife. Political parties can be venal and willfully blind to ugly realities in pursuit of votes, and that should be no surprise.

When it comes to harassment in politics, powerful people are writing rules for themselves

Nov 29 2017 — Neil Macdonald — As required, I’ve read and consented to updates of CBC’s regulations covering sexual harassment and other venality. The rules are exceedingly clear, and similar to those governing employees at other Crown corporations or public servants in government departments. Basically, it spells out unacceptable behaviour: bullying, unwanted sexual advances, uninvited physical contact, sexual innuendo, demeaning language, […]

In Canada, the concept of ‘tax fairness’ is meaningless

Oct 31 2017 — Neil Macdonald — If I had Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s money, I’d buy a first-class ticket to Paris, then find the nearest Porsche dealership, acquire a loaded Carrera, drive straight to that villa in Provence he owns through a shell company, and send a note back to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Canadian public tendering my resignation […]

Donald Trump is operating straight from the white supremacist playbook

Aug 29 2017 — Neil Macdonald — The New York Times Daily podcast featured an interview last week with a fellow named Derek Black, who was suckled from childhood on white supremacy and even helped create a children’s page on Stormfront — his father’s website — which is variously described as “white nationalist,” “white supremacist” and “neo-Nazi.” His godfather was David Duke, […]