National Newswatch

Diplomatic challenges in an undiplomatic world — who do you trust?

Feb 3 2019 — Penny Collenette — If the art of traditional diplomacy hadn’t already faltered under the Trump administration, it was dealt a knockout blow when the president sarcastically called the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, “Little Rocket Man.” Megaphone diplomacy, where insults are hurled, has replaced serious negotiation and quiet discussion. Trump also thinks nothing of disagreeing with his […]

Dates of destiny for Theresa May and Nancy Pelosi

Dec 2 2018 — Penny Collenette — If you love politics, historic votes on Dec. 11 and early January are guaranteed headlines. The first will take place in the U.K. Parliament and will determine the trajectory of Britain as a global power, while the second will be held in Washington’s House of Representatives and could well determine the future of Donald Trump.

Scheer vs. Bernier: Unfinished business spills into 2019 election

Nov 18 2018 — Penny Collenette — Just how much political damage can Maxime Bernier cause to Andrew Scheer, Leader of the Conservative Party, in the run up to the next election? More importantly, will Bernier’s well known libertarian principles impact our national discourse, possibly shifting the debate, not only for Scheer, but for all leaders? Will “Mad Max” be a lightning […]

Are cabinet leaks really a new norm?

Oct 21 2018 — Penny Collenette — Cabinet leaks of confidential information have always led to explosive headlines. This week was no exception. The question is whether leaks have become an accepted practice and if so, what are the consequences? At issue is a criminal charge against the Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff, Mark Norman. His lawyer, Marie Henein, has reportedly made […]

Donald Trump is no laughing matter

Oct 1 2018 — Penny Collenette — Charles Dickens might have agreed that it was the worst of times for American culture and politics this week. Two American circuses were playing out simultaneously and it was difficult to gauge which was more offensive — the president’s sleazy ring master routine at the United Nations, or the senators of the Judiciary Committee who […]

Political views change, but respect the voters

Sep 23 2018 — Penny Collenette — Voters have a right to feel betrayed by floor crossers. It is time to reform. When Parliament reopened last Monday, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals were jolted by the unaccustomed sting of political betrayal. Leona Alleslev, the Liberal MP for Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill, elected in 2015, crossed the floor to the Conservative party, switching parties without any […]

With Donald Trump, silence is not an option

Jun 24 2018 — Penny Collenette — How do you fight a giant? The famous biblical battle between David and Goliath, brought to contemporary light in a brilliant book by Malcolm Gladwell, describes Goliath as a 6-foot-nine giant covered in armour. He carried three weapons — a javelin, a spear and a sword. His only physical weakness was an exposed forehead.

Ford fascinating years await Ontario

Jun 10 2018 — Penny Collenette — Here’s the thing about democracy. The principle that power resides in the people, must be respected at all times — not only when one side wins. While many had broken political hearts Thursday night as election results were revealed, it was apparent the people were speaking. And they spoke quite clearly.

Anger gives way to scrutiny as Ontario prepares to vote

May 27 2018 — Penny Collenette — Something shifted in the Ontario election this week. Voters have realized that change, for the sake of change, needs intense scrutiny. Anger toward Kathleen Wynne and the Liberal Party is not enough to ensure a smart electoral outcome. Many American voters felt anger in 2016 leading them to elect a spoiled, petulant bully of a […]

Why we should care what Stephen Harper says

May 20 2018 — Penny Collenette — It was a surprise to see Stephen Harper’s name streak through the news recently. Why would anyone write about him? His party was defeated in 2015 and he subsequently retired. So why were Conservative pundits defensive about his recent activities? And why did the Liberal Party pounce on the situation with a cheeky fundraising email […]

Why can’t prime ministers just stay home?

Apr 15 2018 — Penny Collenette — The PM is in Ottawa today. No surprise, right? Wrong. Still recovering from the infamous trip to India, reporters and opposition politicians appeared startled when the PM’s official itinerary revealed that he was travelling to Peru for the Summit of the Americas this past week, before departing for Paris and London. However, when the B.C./Alberta […]

Two key figures are missing in action in Ottawa

Apr 1 2018 — Penny Collenette — Political Ottawa is on a two week Easter break. MPs have scattered to their home ridings. However, even with the “empty nest” syndrome in Ottawa, two people are glaringly missing in action and their absence is worrying from the perspective of national security. A federal election is scheduled for next year, yet as Chantal Hebert […]