National Newswatch

Defectors damage democracy and their careers

Dec 2 2018 — Robin V. Sears — The sudden slide of MPP Amanda Simard into the purgatory of “independent” MPP was sad to see — whether self-imposed or shoved. There are few roles more barren of meaning or consequence in our heavily whipped caucus management politics. She avoided a worse choice, however — defecting. Those who cross the floor betraying their political […]

Hong Kong’s lessons for Canada

Nov 25 2018 — Robin V. Sears — Hong Kong is Canada’s 15th largest city. Nearly 400,000 Canadians live here — only slightly smaller than Halifax — more than any other city in the world. It is more importantly, Asia’s only world metropolis. But it is enduring wrenching change as its forced integration with China gathers pace.

China turns to Canada for help with Trump

Nov 18 2018 — Robin V. Sears — Once a decade or two Canada gets to play a much bigger role on the global stage than our scale would normally merit. At the creation of the UN, NATO, and peacekeeping, on Suez and killing apartheid, Canadians played essential bridge-building roles between the great powers. We may have arrived at a new such moment. […]

Character matters in political leadership

Nov 11 2018 — Robin V. Sears — Donald Trump’s electoral humiliation this week has many roots. But to leadership historians it was perhaps, most of all, a judgement of character by American women. A record number of women voted against him, and for a record number of new women in Congress and at the state level. Make no mistake, Trump did get […]

Liberals condemned to relive byelection humiliation

Nov 4 2018 — Robin V. Sears — Many Liberal partisans deeply detested Tommy Douglas. At the height of his powers as a national political leader, the NDP’s Douglas achieved an almost Ghandian status. First, as the father of medicare, and later as the courageous, lonely defender of civil rights when Pierre Trudeau’s imposed the Canadian military on Quebec. They profoundly resented this […]

Time to tackle dilemma of illegal opioids

Oct 28 2018 — Robin V. Sears — Congratulations to the Liberal government for its successful launch of its cannabis project this month. It was a high-risk and potentially disastrous policy commitment, if it had not been executed in a carefully phased effort, with sufficient time to build consensus and allow everyone involved to prepare.

How election fraud looks in the 21st century

Oct 21 2018 — Robin V. Sears — When I was very young, allowed to stay up at my grandfather’s campaign headquarters because it was election night, the most astonishing sight was two grizzled old loggers swaggering in some time after polls closed. They would brag to everyone’s nervous amusement about how many times they had voted that day. With British Columbia’s archaic […]

This is no way to choose judges

Oct 7 2018 — Robin V. Sears — If some Canadian conservatives had their way we would adopt some of the procedures Americans use to select their higher court judges. Imagine, the scene before a Commons committee chosen to vet Canadian appeal and Supreme Court judges. The opposition MPs would be using the forum to embarrass the government, as is their job. The […]

Too many men still don’t get it

Sep 30 2018 — Robin V. Sears — Come now, gentlemen, let’s get one thing straight. The “Me too” movement has a male corollary. Let’s call it the “You, too!” movement. Membership requires that you accept that it is not a sexual predator’s right to decide when he is behaving badly. Anti-Semites no longer get to make jokes about Jews and claim no […]

Early federal election rumours build

Sep 9 2018 — Robin V. Sears — Liberal hawks, like those of a generation earlier, are heatedly debating a snap election call. Not entirely surprising, since have not seen a decade since the ’50s when a government has not been forced by events, or decided to seize a strategic advantage, and called an early election. The Liberal hawks’ arguments are getting stronger. […]

Some promises deserve to be broken

Jun 24 2018 — Robin V. Sears — Though they are more often smacked as pusillanimous deceivers, politicians can be pigheaded. As a result, many — more often on the right, curiously — like to brag “promise made, promise kept!” Some promises, however, deserve to be broken. Bob Rae soon abandoned public auto insurance when he was Ontario’s premier in the 1990s. Despite […]