National Newswatch

Character trumps credentials when looking for Toronto’s next mayor

Jun 5 2023 — Robin V. Sears — If you have interviewed many candidates in recruitment or in politics you probably came anyway with this insight: character should always outweigh credentials. Character is usually strengthened over time and has meant showing great courage against long odds. In politics character is often revealed by supple coalition-building skills and the ability to maintain a sharp […]

Conservatives hatred of journalism is damaging their brand

Apr 25 2023 — Robin V. Sears — The first conservative to destroy his party through a hatred of journalists was, of course, Richard Nixon. The next was Donald Trump, who has delivered three defeats since his razor thin single victory, all the while ranting his denunciation of “fake news” media. Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre appears to be genuine in his contempt for […]

Canada’s unknown political power couple, Ruth and Terry Grier

Apr 1 2023 — Robin V. Sears — There are very few Canadian couples who have shared important leadership roles in a political party at the same time, all while raising a large family. Often children join the family political business, and occasionally, one partner will succeed another in a new political career. But for a married couple to each pursue important political […]

Pierre Poilievre’s media-bashing foreshadows his approach to governing

Feb 22 2023 — Robin V. Sears — A universal tool of demagogues is to demonize and threaten journalists. It’s an effective tactic, especially when aligned with a parallel campaign to create their own controlled media. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been revealed by Florida media and Harvard’s Neiman School as the latest threat to an independent media, seeking legislation to intimidate independent […]

The sad fall of John Tory

Feb 15 2023 — Robin V. Sears — Toronto’s expected-to-retire mayor is, by contemporary political standards, a relic. Mostly that’s a good thing. Promising to resign when you are not compelled to is a relic of the standards of another era. So is thinking that you can carry on affairs with those who report to you. Even as a very young political operative, […]

At Emergencies Act inquiry, Justin Trudeau’s testimony revealed a previously unknown side of the prime minister

Nov 28 2022 — Robin V. Sears — Trudeau is often content to speak in bland, fluffy pronouncements — but on Friday, the veil slipped. Why have we never seen this person before? Through hours of often intense grilling at the Emergencies Act inquiry on Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau revealed a side of himself few Canadians have ever seen. A politician who […]

Convoy inquiry reveals another Canadian intelligence fiasco

Oct 25 2022 — Robin V. Sears — The developed world grudgingly accepts that its intelligence agencies have a perennially poor performance record. Despite the tens of billions of dollars we spend on them, their list of failures is breathtaking: Iraq, 9/11, prediction that Afghanistans would survive and Ukraine wouldn’t. In Canada, we have our own humiliations: Air India and the rendition of […]

Political violence is the greatest danger to any democracy. It’s time to get tough on threats

Sep 11 2022 — Robin V. Sears — Veteran British politician Merlyn Rees was the target of several assassination attempts by the IRA in the ’70s. He had achieved considerable progress as minister responsible for Northern Ireland. The price he paid was enduring a protective detail of six armed police hovering over him every minute, including visits to public washrooms, for more than […]

Union leader Jerry Dias does not deserve public humiliation

Aug 3 2022 — Robin V. Sears — There are few trade union leaders in North America who resemble the giants on whose shoulders they stand. Many are often too concerned to hold on to their jobs, and their shrinking membership, than to launch big and risky battles. Only a few challenge the efforts of Amazon, the fast food monopolies, and massive employers […]

Canadian gun myths lead to bad government policy

Jun 26 2022 — Robin V. Sears — Guns are among the top-three favourite Liberal wedge issues, along with abortion and race. These concerns rally a progressive base against Conservatives; it usually works every time. But due to several gun myths, this strategy may fail here. First, Canada’s firearm-related death rate is higher than that of many peer nations, at just over two […]

There are several good reasons Pierre Poilievre will never be prime minister — and one reason he just might

Jun 19 2022 — Robin V. Sears — If Pierre Poilievre is crowned as leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, as seems increasingly likely, the conventional wisdom is the CPC will have consigned itself to another decade in the political wilderness. Poilievre will likely fall victim to the torment faced by the last two leaders. There’s managing a political base whose views […]

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