Andrew MacDougall

Andrew MacDougall is a London (UK) based columnist, commentator and consultant. He was formerly Director of Communications to Stephen Harper.
Members of the federal cabinet applaud as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a news conference in Ottawa, on Oct. 26, 2021 (Justin Tang/CP)

With his cabinet shuffle, Trudeau floods the zone

Andrew MacDougall: In a big shuffle that featured some curious moves, at least one thing was clear: the PM’s focus on keeping open his path to victory
Erin O’Toole at press conference in downtown St. John's, N.L. on Jul. 26, 2021. (Paul Daly/CP)

Conservatives have a vaccine problem

Andrew MacDougall: If Erin O’Toole can’t get his caucus to the right place on vaccines he doesn’t deserve to lead the country
Harper leading Erin O'Toole into the House of Commons in 2012. Thoughout the 2021 campaign, O'Toole seemed happy to leave his former boss on the sidelines. (Fred Chartrand/CP)

Can Erin O’Toole get by without a little help from his friends?

Andrew MacDougall: Trotting out certain premiers would’ve been risky for the Conservative leader, but so is pretending they don’t exist
Paul, Singh and Trudeau during Wednesday's federal election French-language debate in Gatineau, Que. The leaders square off again on Thursday in English. (Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

English-language debate: What each leader must do

Andrew MacDougall: From Erin O’Toole deflecting attacks on gun safety to Annamie Paul saving the furniture, each leader has a list of must-dos in Thursday’s showdown
Trudeau greets MP candidates as he makes a campaign stop in an airplane hanger in Mississauga, Ont., on Sept. 3, 2021 (Nathan Denette/CP)

The Liberal campaign’s comeback strategy? Buy American.

Andrew MacDougall: It’s the ‘most important election since 1945’ and we’ve been reduced to the two main parties shouting about a problem Canada doesn’t have
Trudeau acknowledges members of the public as he makes his way to a news conference after the swearing-in ceremony at Rideau Hall, on Nov. 4, 2015 (Fred Chartrand/CP)

The Liberals’ diminished leader

Andrew MacDougall: The Trudeau of today isn’t the same weapon as the Trudeau of 2015. Why, then, are the Liberals still so Trudeau-centric in 2021?
Trudeau announces a fresh water action plan during the federal election in Granby, Que., on Aug. 30, 2021 (Nathan Denette/CP)

Federal election 2021: Beware the ‘deplorables’ strategy

Andrew MacDougall: The Liberals may try to make the ugly protests against Trudeau look like Erin O’Toole’s fault—and there’s a good chance it will backfire
Trudeau and Harper trade words during the Munk Debate on foreign affairs, in Toronto, on Sept. 28, 2015 (Andrew Vaughan/CP)

Sunny Ways O’Toole?

Andrew MacDougall: The Liberals’ 2015 majority-winning campaign was a masterclass in tone against the snippy Tories. In this campaign, it’s all turned around.
Trudeau and Freeland make a campaign stop in Markham, Ont., on Aug. 17, 2021 (Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

The kinds of mistakes winning campaigns don’t make

Andrew MacDougall: Misdirected or misfiring Liberal attacks are quickly becoming a thing in this unnecessary election, and it does not suit the party or the PM
Trudeau speaks to media following a meeting with Governor General Mary Simon at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, on Aug. 15, 2021 (Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

Trudeau is off to a slow start

Andrew MacDougall: The PM calls it the most important election since 1945. So it seems odd to bunt instead of swing for the fences on Day One or Two of the campaign.