American Politics

Anti-science governments helped spread the coronavirus

Politicians heading all governments - from the most authoritarian to the most democratic - like to paint a rosy picture of life under their governance. Whether the rosy picture is true or not, in their eyes, pretending all is good is how they stay in power. What the public often forgets, however, is that very few people who draw a government pay check are politicians. The vast majority of public sector workers are non-partisan, career...

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Why Donald Trump chose the most extreme option presented to him in dealing with Iran

On Wednesday, a Ukrainian jetliner crashed in Iran, killing everyone aboard. After maintaining for days that there was no evidence that one of its missiles had struck a Boeing 737-800 minutes after it took off from Tehran on Wednesday with 176 people on board, Iran admitted early on Saturday that its military had shot down the passenger jet by mistake. Here is the sequence of events leading up to the missile attack that killed 56...

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Revised NAFTA agreement imposes U.S. internet rules on Canada

On December 5, the Wall St. Journal reported that U.S. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was pushing to strip out sweeping legal protections for online platform giants such as Facebook and Google in the USMCA. USMCA is the name of the trade agreement replacing NAFTA. The Democrats control the House and the USMCA could not be ratified unless Democrats in the House passed it. The legal protections, codified in the U.S. in Section 230 of...

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Will Trump/Johnson right-wing populism triumph in Canada with a Scheer victory?

Something really important happened to President Trump this week - but it was not the Ukraine scandal that convinced the Democrats to begin formal impeachment hearings in the House. No, Donald Trump's big event this week was that his job approval ratings have returned to where they have been pretty much since the day he was elected - recovering from a slight August slump. They sit at 45.3 percent as of Tuesday afternoon. That's right!...

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Huge legislative setback for Uber in California

California legislators approved a landmark bill on Wednesday that requires companies like Uber and Lyft to treat contract workers as full employees, a move that could reshape the gig economy and that adds fuel to a years long debate over whether tens of millions of workers globally are being mis-classified as independent contractors, as opposed to employees. California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, endorsed the bill this month and is expected to sign it by mid October....

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Why Canada needs its own Elizabeth Warren to make corporate power the central issue in the coming federal election

At the Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday night, Democratic presidential candidate John Delaney argued that some of his more left-wing opponents’ proposals simply weren’t workable. One of those left-wing opponents, Senator Elizabeth Warren, wasn’t having it. Warren fired back at Delaney: “We can’t choose a candidate we don’t believe in just because we’re too scared to do anything else.” For Senator Warren, a Harvard law professor who has spent her entire career studying business law...

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Trudeau, Singh, Scheer denounce Trump attack on U.S. Congresswomen

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has denounced U.S. President Donald Trump’s call for four U.S. visible minority Congresswomen to “go back to where they came from". At a press conference he was asked whether he considered Mr. Trump’s statements, made via Twitter, racist. Trump said four visible minority U.S. Democratic congresswoman should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came” and “then come back and show us how...

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Global anti-monopoly regulators descend on big tech – Canada’s Competition Commissioner wants increased powers

Free services are good for consumers. And monopolies tend to be bad for them. However, the big tech platforms such as Facebook and Google have elements of both—a combination that is vexing policy makers around the world as they struggle to figure out how best to regulate the giant platforms and their unusual business models. In North America in particular, anti-trust policy is almost always used as a remedy only when consumers are paying more...

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The real story behind the NAFTA negotiations on autos and labour standards.

There is no question that Donald Trump rode a wave of anti-trade sentiment to victory in the 2016 presidential election. This included a threat to rip up NAFTA, which he called “the worst trade deal in the history” of the United States. Trump's was a populist message that tapped into long-simmering resentment over the loss of American manufacturing operations – including the loss of auto assembly and auto parts plants – to Mexico. And it...

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Can Canadian democracy withstand the era of the strongmen?

Canadians who value democratic institutions such as a free press, an independent judiciary, and fair elections, need to be vigilant in safeguarding these important democratic institutions. Ontario Premier Ford's justification in invoking the "notwithstanding" clause to overrule a judge who ruled that his legislation to cut Toronto City Council in half was unconstitutional, suggests a leader who seems to think his electoral mandate entitles him to do whatever he pleases and any opposition is illegitimate....

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