National Newswatch

The frustration of being Andrew Scheer

Aug 9 2019 — Rick Salutin — It must be frustrating for Andrew Scheer. I think about this. Doug Ford too. Less for Jason Kenney, since he’s in Alberta, though even there, Edmonton has always irritated the right and Calgary isn’t what it was either. Elsewhere in the world, rightwing populism is having a moment. Leaders stigmatize outsiders and tell them to […]

Trump is a liar but that’s not the whole truth

Mar 22 2017 — Rick Salutin — Video transcript: Donald Trump has a right to whine when the media call him a liar — not because it’s false but because it’s incomplete. This week the FBI head chimed in. Former national intelligence chief James Clapper already effectively said Trump lied about being wiretapped. But four years ago Clapper was asked if the […]

Motion M103 is political correctness writ small

Mar 3 2017 — Rick Salutin — A short history of political correctness: 1. It began on the Marxist left. If you think you own the key to history — what makes it work and where it’s going based on “class analysis” — it’s only logical to grade your actions based on whether they’re correct responses. Figures such as Lenin and Mao […]

Brian Mulroney, the man with no shame

Feb 22 2017 — Rick Salutin — It’s kind of Brian Mulroney to re-embarrass himself every generation or so. It lends a sense of continuity to our history. In 1946, when he was seven, he set the pattern, asking the Chicago businessman who more or less owned his Quebec hometown what song he’d like and getting paid to sing it. Forty years […]

Lisa Raitt or Kevin O’Leary? That’s easy

Jan 13 2017 — Rick Salutin — The Conservatives elect a new leader in May. There are 13 declared candidates, plus Kevin O’Leary, who’s inspired by Trump and says he’s in no rush since “Everyone knows who I am.” It would come as a surprise to him that not everyone does. Personally, I’d lean to former Harper cabinet minister Lisa Raitt, for […]

Will Justin Trudeau be the last neo-liberal standing?

Jan 6 2017 — Rick Salutin — Let’s be clear on why Trump won. (Won the electoral college, not the election. A strong enough majority of Americans voted against him.) It wasn’t because of racism, fear of immigrants or misogyny. White supremacists and Confederate flag buffs didn’t do it — though they backed him. He won because he carried four states in […]

Slowly she turned: the strange trajectory of Kathleen Wynne

Dec 10 2016 — Rick Salutin — I still think she’s salvageable, said someone normally NDP but who’s given up on provincial NDP leader Andrea Horwath. She meant Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. It’s hard to recall the hopes Wynne once inspired and how fresh she seemed. Let’s refresh our memories. When she ran for Liberal leadership in 2013, she’d be asked, portentously, […]

A government suddenly gone tone deaf

Oct 28 2016 — Rick Salutin — How does a government suddenly go tone deaf? It’s as if the Liberal cabinet was frolicking along among its doting public when an explosion went off at close range, rattling their hearing. Before, they had perfect pitch — in opposition, during the election, even after it — for instance, in how they handled the Syrian […]

I see no value in values

Oct 21 2016 — Rick Salutin — I’ve decided I’m basically anti-values. There’s nowhere else to go. At first I thought I was just against the kind of race-based, Trump-echoing version of “Canadian values” that Kellie Leitch is building her run for the Conservative leadership on, and which she advocated while backing the “barbaric cultural practices tip line” last election. Our variation […]

The squirrel in the kitchen and climate change

Aug 26 2016 — Rick Salutin — When I got home from the cottage Monday, there were signs of struggle in the kitchen, like scratched, torn packaging on rice cakes. Mice? But why didn’t the cat disperse them as he always does? Rats? Later I heard scuffling and went back in: a squirrel!

Maybe it’s time for the NDP to return to socialism

Aug 16 2016 — Rick Salutin — There’s been a strange summer-long silence from the NDP. Last week, after the near terror event in Strathroy, they should have been vocal on Bill C-51, the terror bill. The Liberals looked paralyzed and the Tories had their hard line. The NDP should own this, it was their only winner last election. But they went […]

Great debates: the theory of relativity vs. climate change

Aug 12 2016 — Rick Salutin — I’ve been reading about the great public debate on the theory of relativity. It happened 100 years ago, mostly in Europe, but it’s refreshing to look back at it in view of how today’s major science issue, climate change, has been treated — when it’s been treated — during the U.S. election. For instance, by […]

Clinton finds joy in being persecuted

Jul 30 2016 — Rick Salutin — So why do they all hate Hillary? I’d like to opine on this week’s pervasive puzzler, raised here and elsewhere. To begin, I don’t think it’s because she’s a woman. There are too many strong-minded women in public life to make that plausible. If you say, “Yes, but not in the U.S.,” I’d reply that […]

Are we living in a non-leadership moment?

Jul 22 2016 — Rick Salutin — It’s tempting to say Donald Trump is all leader and no ship: no party inclinations in any recognizable forms, nor typical policies, organization, strategy or scripts. It centres on him alone. Except for a literal ship, labelled Trump, that he flies in on and speaks in front of. He likes it so much, he flies […]