The Star: It has usually been an implicit rule of minority Parliaments that they tend to endure for as long as none of their protagonists has an obvious edge on the others. That accounts both for the relative longevity of Stephen Harper’s two minority regimes as well as the Prime Minister’s 2008 decision to take matters into his own hands in the hope of taking advantage of a weak Liberal adversary. Given that no party is on a roll in the polls, logic would dictate that one of the four leaders blink before the 40th Parliament is brought over the election brink at the time of the March budget.
NYTimes: The failed attempt by the U.S. to bribe Israel with a $3 billion security assistance package, diplomatic cover and advanced F-35 fighter aircraft — if Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu would simply agree to a 90-day settlements freeze to resume talks with the Palestinians — has been enormously clarifying. It demonstrates just how disconnected from reality both the Israeli and the Palestinian leaderships have become.
National Post: Jack Layton used to boast about being a socialist. "I'm proud to call myself a socialist. I prefer it by far to democratic socialist," he said in an interview seven years ago. Yet when I posed the same question yesterday, he was less strident. "I'm not into labels, but I prefer the description 'social democrat.' I am the leader of Canada's social democratic party and proud of it," he said. He sounded like former British Labour leader Tony Blair, who also preferred the "social democrat" tag. This is appropriate, since the NDP is making its own break with socialism. Mr.
The Star: In the two years since the 2008 parliamentary crisis, most Canadians have come to think of Gilles Duceppe as the disquieting but silent partner of the failed Liberal-NDP coalition bid. It seems he was a lot more than that. In a book released this week Duceppe casts himself as the driving force behind the Liberal-NDP coalition agreement. He credits the Bloc Québécois with providing the gist of the economic pact on which Stéphane Dion and Jack Layton agreed.
The Globe: Victory is not in the bag, but chances are still good that Canada will win a seat in the UN Security Council election to be held on Oct. 12. We have been elected every time we have run, roughly once each decade, since 1948; governments from Pearson and Trudeau to Mulroney and Chrétien have built a solid reputation at the UN for Canada over many years; and we have been campaigning for this election off and on since we last left the council in 2000. Our ambassador in New York has been burning the midnight oil for several years pursuing the 128 votes we need to get elected.
National Post: On Thursday, Stephen Harper visited the United Nations to make a plea for Canada having another turn on the UN Security Council. Why? After so many instances of the UN’s impotence, corruption and waste, why does the body still retain any residue of prestige. Is a seat on the Security Council worth the public begging? The UN is a study in moral relativism: It presents the same countenance to the most despotic regime as it does to a genuine democracy. Its so-called Human Rights Council is a byword for farce.
National Post: An Alberta government delegation came east this week to sell the embattled oilsands as a good news story for all of Canada. The Pembina Institute took a group of Athabasca aboriginals to Washington to claim that they were being poisoned. One of the frustrations of observing the oilsands “debate” is how one-sided it is.
National Post: The picture of beaming Conservative MPs sporting new Quebec Nordiques hockey jerseys on Wednesday was worth a thousand words of political insight. Canadian taxpayers, it seems obvious, are about to sink almost $200 million deeper into deficit to finance a giant hockey arena in Quebec’s “national” capital to help land a second NHL hockey team for the province, in exchange for more Conservative seats. The signs are not even subtle. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s lapdog MPs would never pose in such a giddy thumbs-up stance without first getting the go-ahead from above.
Macleans: If hard criminals do soft time in Canada, as the federal Conservative government insists, then John Virgil Punko seems a poster boy for all that’s wrong with the judicial system. In police jargon, Punko was “a low-level mope”—a full-patch member of the Vancouver East End Hells Angels with a healthy dose of greed and a bad addiction to Percocet. Such vulnerabilities made him a useful target in 2003 when the RCMP launched E-Pandora, a $10-million sting operation aiming at netting the big fish in the East End Angels.
Postmedia News: When was the last time you felt a sudden surge of satisfaction while watching news on TV? I mean, like really, really satisfied. In fact, "extremely satisfied." Almost elated, if you will. Not that often? Never, perhaps? Well, Sun TV News just might have your fix. Oh yeah, and by the way, reporters are just regular people, not self-interested "elites." Just wanted to make that clear. In its recent application for a licence from the CRTC for Sun TV News, Quebecor includes an interesting poll on English Canadians' views of TV news.