National Newswatch

That time ‘the devil you know’ became a net negative

Nov 13 2016 — L. Ian MacDonald — In campaign narratives, the only theme more powerful than “time for a change” is “throw the bums out”. In the U.S. election, Donald Trump played both themes quite effectively, while Hillary Clinton was the candidate not so much of continuity as of the same establishment Barack Obama ran against when he beat her in 2008. […]

President Trump? Everybody take a Valium

Nov 12 2016 — Lisa Van Dusen — The propulsion of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States has unleashed a sort of cognitive digestion process comparable to the five stages of grief that might be called the five stages of belief: astonishment, disorientation, stabilization, verification and panic. “Mixed feelings” doesn’t really begin to describe the cocktail of emotions that Mr. […]

America’s long national nightmare may not be over Tuesday

Nov 6 2016 — L. Ian MacDonald — Just because this US presidential campaign has been a relentless parade of worst-case scenarios and, if the narrative trajectory holds things will get worse before they get better, here’s a look at what would happen if there’s no outright winner Tuesday in the previously unthinkable race between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump. In […]

Canada: The New Rogue State in a Crazy World

Oct 31 2016 — Lisa Van Dusen — In the single 24-hour a day multinational feed that is now the global policy universe, Canada has posted something distinctive in the content stream with the signing of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). In a world where division, intractability, rejection, belligerence, xenophobia and protectionism have become the norm, Canada is the new rogue […]

Jim Prentice’s Great Rodeo

Oct 30 2016 — L. Ian MacDonald — Sitting in the memorial service for former premier Jim Prentice in Calgary Friday, it was hard not to think about the fact that, had he remained at CIBC two years ago, he might have been on a different plane than the last one he fatefully boarded in Kelowna on Oct. 13. He might have been […]

Clinton and Trump Through the 2008 Looking Glass

Oct 25 2016 — Lisa Van Dusen — In the same way that Hillary Clinton’s candidacy for president of the United States can’t be judged without comparing her to the alternative, it’s impossible to watch this campaign without comparing it to another one that happened eight years, volumes of belligerent tweets and so many baskets of deplorables ago. In an era when change […]

Trump Makes Clinton Look Presidential

Oct 23 2016 — L. Ian MacDonald — One of the deeply un-presidential things about Donald Trump is that he has no sense of occasion. This was apparent again Thursday at the Al Smith Dinner, an annual event hosted by the cardinal-archbishop of New York which raises millions every year for Catholic charities in the city. It’s a glittering white-tie dinner held in […]