Starting this week, the Wanderer Online Politics will bring you the weekly summary of the political news from Canada, the United States, and elsewhere in the world.
With exciting political action happening south of the border, it’s easy to forget that Canada has an interesting political scene as well. For a discussion on the recent general provincial election in Quebec, check out this thought-provoking piece here. The election results are interesting for a number of reasons. One, the election of Pauline Marois as Premier brings the total count of Canadian female premiers to five – almost half!
Second, will this result provide further kindling of nationalist and secessionist talks? Finally, I predict that the slim victory of the Parti Québécois (PQ) will not hold ground, seeing as they only won 54 of the 125 seats. Those tuition hikes everyone was up in arms about during the summer? Yeah, those are likely here to stay. On a less serious note, Quebec has also seen “millions of dollars worth of highly prized maple syrup” stolen from a storage facility, just north-east of Montreal.
Nationally, the Liberals are gearing up for the inevitable leadership contest, but much of their events are being overshadowed by the recent happenings in Quebec as well as U.S President Barack Obama’s campaign-kickoff speech to the Democratic party nomination convention on Thursday. The last federal election resulted in the worst showing of support for the Liberals. Suffice it to say, both the PQ and the federal Liberals have their work cut out for them!
In Canada, the PQ Rally shooting shocked the entire nation. Meanwhile, there is controversy over an alleged massacre of the indigenous people in Venezuela. According to the Yanomami tribe, an Amazonian indigenous group living in the southern part of the country, Brazilian gold miners equipped with a helicopter crossed the border and massacred over 80 tribesmen back in July. Many conflicts between indigenous groups and mining companies have taken place in the Amazonian region along with the expansion of the South American economy; this seems to be an extreme escalation of such a conflict. Chavez’s government denied that a massacre had taken place, claiming that there is “no evidence” about the killings.
Tension continues to rise in Middle East over Syria. Egypt and Turkey officially denounced the Syrian government and urged President Bashir to step down. Meanwhile, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, paid a visit to Tehran for the summit of Non-Aligned Movement, making him the first chief of UN to travel to Iran – one of the controversial supporters of the current Syrian regime – in six years. In the summit, Ban called on Iran to limit its nuclear program and criticized its support of the Syrian regime.
It’s the convention season throughout the US this week. The Republican National Convention finished up on August 30, and the Democratic National Convention ended just yesterday. Now, it’s official: Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are official presidential candidates for their parties.
The highlight of the Republican convention was most certainly actor Clint Eastwood who spent the first 3 minutes of his speech making some rather reasonable points about the perceived liberal bias of Hollywood, and then proceeded into a bizarre mime acting piece using an empty chair—which now came to be known as Eastwooding. Although Eastwood made some decent points about the economy and the initial fervor over Obama’s election in 2008, he quickly moved into some showboating and stopped making much in the way of substantive arguments.
If there was any parallel between the two conventions, it was the standout performances of the wives of the candidates. Ann Romney was perhaps even a better speaker than Mitt was and Michelle Obama was nothing short of presidential in her speech on Tuesday night. The latter especially captivated the nation with her “being President doesn’t change you—no, it reveals you” speech. Julian Castro, the Mexican-American Mayor of San Antonio was also a fantastic speaker for the Democrats and was outstanding at highlighting the favorable role of the Democrats in regards to immigration policy.
The Democratic National Convention wrapped up with big fanfare yesterday. Bill Clinton, as charming as always, showed up to urge Americans to “keep President Obama on the job.” This powerful and candid support from the popular former President was followed-up by the official nomination of Barack Obama as the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party.
What are your thoughts about the week in politics? Share your thoughts about the Quebec election, Republican and Democratic National Conventions and Yanomami massacres in Venezuela.