National Newswatch

Fiscal Anchors for Canada’s Post-COVID Economy

Nov 18 2020 — Mostafa Askari and Kevin Page — Former US president Ronald Reagan once said, “I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough to take care of itself.” Should this be the basis of our federal government’s fiscal strategy in the face of the unprecedented COVID-19-related increase in the deficit? In our view, such a strategy would lead to an unsustainable […]

Biden’s Decency Wins the White House

Nov 8 2020 — L. Ian MacDonald — Joe Biden finally found his voice with a week left in the presidential campaign. And he owed it to Donald Trump, for his unspeakable attack on the character and competence of Dr. Tony Fauci, the most beloved figure in pandemic America. Responding to Fauci’s interview with the CBS program 60 Minutes, Trump called him “a […]

Biden Beats Trump. Now, the Challenges

Nov 7 2020 — Robin V. Sears — Few elections live up to their billing as “the most important of our lifetime.” This one did, erupting in several directions, in ways never before seen. More than one hundred million Americans voted before election day, by far the greatest number ever. The most expensive election by far. Some estimates putting the total at $14 […]

Trump Takes the Low Road, Again

Nov 4 2020 — Don Newman — There was a moment Tuesday night, as the votes were piling up and being counted, that it was possible to forget. It was possible to get caught up in the moment and believe that what was unfolding was a traditional, exciting, close American presidential election where the outcome would not be known until sometime the […]

America’s Choice Between Joe Biden and Autocracy

Oct 31 2020 — Lisa Van Dusen — Two years ago, a source whose intelligence on matters pertaining to the turbid tessellations of aspiring new world order power games is usually pretty solid confidently told me that “Donald Trump will be the last democratically elected president of the United States.” As it happens, in the closing months ahead of Tuesday’s American election, Trump […]

How the GOP Sold Out America

Oct 18 2020 — Don Newman — While it may be weeks after the polls close on November 3 before all the absentee and mail-in ballots have been counted, the court challenges exhausted and the winner of the US presidential election declared, one thing is already clear: We know who has lost. Whatever the final outcome of the vote, the Republican Party […]

Trump Has Made ‘The Question’ so Much Easier to Answer

Oct 14 2020 — Lisa Van Dusen — It hasn’t come up yet in this presidential election cycle, possibly because the answer seems so overwhelmingly self-evident, but it’s status as a quadrennial ritual is so baked into US political culture that, in the West Wing episode in which it figures prominently, it enters the action as simply, “The Question”. The Question is, “Why […]

John Turner’s Bequest to the Nation

Oct 9 2020 — L. Ian MacDonald — Watching John Turner’s funeral service the other day, there was a striking Canadian quality to it. In a sense, it was his bequest to the nation. It was also impossible not to compare it, for dignity and decency, with the chaotic presidential campaign in the United States, where those qualities are conspicuously missing in action. […]

Donald Trump’s Dead Fish Debate

Sep 30 2020 — Lisa Van Dusen — In classic narrative warfare fashion, Donald Trump treated Tuesday night’s presidential debate in Cleveland not as a debate, but as an odious psychological warfare assault on his own country. By refusing to engage in anything other than lies, insults and bullying, Trump was expressing his contempt for not only the forum in which he was […]

The PBO Economic and Fiscal Outlook and the Post-COVID Economy

Sep 29 2020 — Kevin Page — Ten years ago, a business book was published titled Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most. It was a New York Times business best seller. One of the authors, Douglas Stone, said “difficult conversations are almost never about getting the facts right. They are about conflicting perceptions, interpretations, and values.” In reading the latest […]

A Throne Speech, and Furthermore

Sep 24 2020 — L. Ian MacDonald — A Speech from the Throne and a Prime Minister’s Address to the Nation are two completely different animals of the rhetorical species. An SFT sets a government’s political agenda for a coming session of Parliament. But it is not a partisan event, rather it is state occasion in the sense that all actors on the […]

The Throne Speech by the Numbers

Sep 24 2020 — Kevin Page — The ancient Greek philosopher Pythagoras said “Numbers rule the universe.” Typically, you do not see a lot of numbers in a Speech from the Throne (SFT). Who would want to listen to a Governor General talk numbers (besides me)? Still, it is possible to deconstruct what was in the speech — and not in the […]