National Newswatch

Canada’s real plastics problem is the politicians

Dec 20 2019 — Don Martin — Watching the age of personality be eclipsed by the plastic politician has been the most distressing phenomenon to observe as I leave after 40 years in the daily news business. We are in an era where the proliferation of media relations staffing is only exceeded by the decimation of journalism ranks. Ironically, many of those […]

Scheer will enter history books as a one-term mistake

Dec 13 2019 — Don Martin — In the weeks following the election, Andrew Scheer became increasingly isolated in his personal bunker, trying to ignore the pounding of enemy artillery getting ever closer to taking down his leadership of the Conservative party. What should’ve been a thunder of return fire from MPs defending him was replaced by crickets. Even those loyal to […]

Freeland wins a waiver from PMO contro

Nov 21 2019 — Don Martin — If the new crop of cabinet ministers appear a little lost for words, beyond gushing thanks for their $85,000 pay raise, it’s because they don’t yet know what to think. Their marching orders haven’t arrived. The Mandate Letters, still being penned by the Prime Minister’s Office, will soon come down from on high as commandments […]

The Bloc leader stokes a Prairie fire

Nov 14 2019 — Don Martin — The jury’s out on whether the charismatic new Bloc Quebecois leader is naïve, blindly principled or dangerous. Yves-Francois Blanchet waded into his first scrum on Parliament Hill to shrug off any interest in helping create a happy united Canada. Fair enough. Even though he gets a paycheque from Canadian taxpayers, his party’s defining goal is […]

The canary that choked in the Prairie coal mine

Oct 24 2019 — Don Martin — Driving through Liberal candidate Ralph Goodale’s riding in Regina on Monday, I noticed his re-election signs were nowhere which meant the signs of what was coming were everywhere. Hours later came a surprisingly epic defeat as a senior cabinet minister with 26 years of uninterrupted service saw a 10,000-vote victory cushion in 2015 collapse into […]

The frontrunners who threw dirt lost ground

Oct 18 2019 — Don Martin — After 40 days filled with promise demonizations, character assassinations and plenty of dashed expectations, the federal election campaign rests on Sunday. If there’s common agreement across a polarized electorate, it’s that the noisy vitriol spewing into the electoral wind was irritatingly amplified in the void of substantive campaign content. It wasn’t a total Seinfeldian campaign […]

The disrupters in this election could doom the front-runners’ majority dreams

Oct 11 2019 — Don Martin — The two disrupters in this election share one thing in common. NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-Francois Blanchet are injecting force of personality into a campaign dominated by frontrunners sleepwalking through their scripts. Barely six months ago, Singh’s leadership was doomed with his party in a polling freefall into the political wilderness.