National Newswatch

Never mind the grassroots — who holds the political pen? Robyn Urback

May 10 2018 — Robyn Urback — Long, long ago, there was a young political staffer named Stephen who helped to cultivate the populist vision for Preston Manning’s Reform Party. The relationship that this Stephen H. — or perhaps that’s too obvious: let’s go with S. Harper — would have with Reformers would eventually become strained, but much of his subsequent popularity […]

Doug Ford can’t coast on not being Kathleen Wynne

Apr 5 2018 — Robyn Urback — The campaign strategy for Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford has now become clear: say little, avoid specifics, remind voters that you are not Premier Kathleen Wynne. This is a good strategy for, say, a houseplant running to be Ontario’s next premier. In fact, I am confident a houseplant really could win the provincial election if […]

Wynne’s ploy to buy Ontarians’ votes is admirably shameless

Mar 29 2018 — Robyn Urback — The Ontario Liberals’ re-election strategy, as delivered through Wednesday’s budget, appears to consist of one central promise: We’ll give you literally everything. Pharmacare for seniors. New funding for hospitals. A couple billion for mental health care. Expanded drug and dental coverage. Funding for a high-speed rail line. Hundreds of millions in new funding for children […]

Ontario PCs choose the path of most resistance with Doug Ford

Mar 12 2018 — Robyn Urback — There’s an episode in the sixth season of The Simpsons where Marge tries out for the local police force. During the physical fitness test, she lumbers across a field carrying heavy anchors, shimmies herself under a wire fence and hurls herself at a brick wall that she struggles to climb over. Watching Marge attempt to […]

Congratulations on Patrick Brown’s candidacy, Kathleen Wynne

Feb 22 2018 — Robyn Urback — Patrick Brown is doing this for you, Ontario. This is not about clearing his name — though he has said he’s on a mission to clear his name. This is not about exacting revenge on his enemies — but don’t forget that a small group of insiders is trying to derail him and his campaign. […]

There’s a pattern to credible #MeToo allegations. The one against Steve Paikin doesn’t fit

Feb 9 2018 — Robyn Urback — There is a pattern, of sorts, to almost every legitimate high-profile #MeToo allegation. A credible media outlet publishes a claim against a particular man, usually after months — sometimes years — of investigation. The accuser or accusers are typically named, but occasionally their identities are withheld for fear of public retaliation. In the days following […]

Trudeau’s town halls offer a master class in changing the narrative

Jan 12 2018 — Robyn Urback — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to kick off 2018 with a series of town hall discussions with everyday Canadians is a master class in manipulating the narrative. Honestly, well done. Politicians always earn extra cred by submitting themselves to the lion’s den, and the PMO’s decision to not screen the questions — as evidenced by […]