National Newswatch

Justin Trudeau, a Prime Minister of symbols, falls to Earth

Apr 11 2019 — Scott Reid — Justin Trudeau is a mortal now. That might seem like a ridiculous observation. What right-thinking person ever considered the Prime Minister to be something other than an actual flesh-and-blood, breathing mammal? But if you consider the unique political space he occupied until only recently – if you acknowledge the symbolism and implied promise that so […]

Monday morning quarterbacks don’t play on Sunday

Feb 25 2019 — Scott Reid — In the fall of 2004, smack dab in the middle of the Gomery Inquiry, I sat in my office in Paul Martin’s Prime Minister’s Office and stared at a bank of television screens. From one network to the next, and in both official languages, the message was unrelenting: Those morons in the PMO were making […]

Doug Ford, Donald Trump and the humility crisis in politics

Sep 11 2018 — Scott Reid — Ontario Premier Doug Ford reminds us that contemporary politics is in crisis. Not a constitutional crisis as some might fret. But a crisis of character. A humility crisis. It isn’t just that Mr. Ford made the snap decision to cut the number of Toronto city councillors in half mere weeks before the municipal election was […]

After the election of Doug Ford, do campaigns even matter?

Jun 12 2018 — Scott Reid — Maybe campaigns don’t matter after all. Such a conclusion would be greeted as heresy by the high-priests of modern politics, who have long sermonized that once the writ drops, anything and everything is possible. Campaigns don’t just matter, we’ve been long counseled – they matter more than anything. And until last Thursday, that’s what I […]

The swamp Donald Trump promised to drain will be his salvation

Jun 20 2017 — Scott Reid — In the late 1980s, I was working at one of my first jobs in politics when I was told to do something wrong. It wasn’t a particularly big thing. No one would have been harmed. No laws would have been broken or money moved around. But it was underhanded and borderline unethical, and although I […]

Crazy like a fox: How so-cons can get what they want from Scheer

May 31 2017 — Scott Reid — What’s next for ‘The Crazies’? That’s the hottest question circling the Conservative Party of Canada lately. The answer will likely determine the party’s viability in 2019. Who exactly are The Crazies? They’re that loose assembly of social conservative groups who organize themselves to wield political influence. Mostly (but not exclusively) evangelical in character, they include […]

Are the Conservatives about to elect their own Stéphane Dion?

May 24 2017 — Scott Reid — The Conservative Party is about to pull a Dion. In selecting Maxime Bernier as their next leader this weekend at the party’s leadership convention—an outcome that the pitiful withdrawal of carpetbagger Kevin O’Leary has made all but inevitable—the Conservatives risk repeating history. It just won’t be their own. In 2006, the federal Liberals gathered in […]

The appeal of wealthy politicians — we see them as ‘incorruptible’

Feb 24 2017 — Scott Reid — “You can trust me, I’m super-rich.” If this strikes you as an unlikely political slogan, take a look around. Plagued by deep cynicism and a profound mistrust of institutions, voters seem increasingly ready to place their confidence in the hands of a very specific sort of leader: the wealthy. In the U.S., billionaire President Donald […]

Let us hope for a Donald Trump disaster

Jan 23 2017 — Scott Reid — Let us pray that President Donald Trump fails. And that he fails spectacularly. That may sound spiteful and ill-mannered: the final, grasping howl of the embittered and vanquished elite. Surely, common courtesy dictates that even Trump’s critics should wish him well — if not for his benefit, then for the benefit of regular workaday Americans. […]

Please, please, please don’t take away Trump’s Twitter

Jan 16 2017 — Scott Reid — No matter how absurd things become, how market-moving or foaming mad — no matter how crazy, profane or dangerous it gets — please don’t let them take away Donald Trump’s Twitter. The future of democracy in the United States probably depends upon it. Not that it’s hard to understand why even Team Trump might be […]

A warning for Trump wannabes — you’re not qualified

Dec 13 2016 — Scott Reid — If you’re searching for some perspective on the torment that was 2016, take comfort in this longstanding rule of politics: Don’t let the rallies seduce you. Large cheering crowds — so often used by campaigns like Donald Trump’s as proof of momentum — are the political equivalent of the divorceés at the end of the […]