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Columnists

Justin Trudeau may be the last neoliberal standing

Photo: Adam Scotti/PMO

Let's be clear on why Trump won. (Won the Electoral College, not the election. A strong enough majority of Americans voted against him.) It wasn't because of racism, fear of immigrants or misogyny. White supremacists and Confederate flag buffs didn't do it -- though they backed him.

He won because he carried four states in the rust belt, where factories once guaranteed people decent lives and which Democrats had always taken for granted. Hillary didn't even campaign there. Without them, Trump loses. In those states, the issue was hatred of free trade, largely in the form of NAFTA. It's now so despised that the term, free, is absent. People refer disgustedly merely to "trade deals."

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Columnists

Instead of following Trump's money, Canada can choose a better path

PMO Photo by Adam Scotti

Asked about Donald Trump, former prime minister Brian Mulroney responded, "he is a real gentleman." For Mulroney, a lifelong friend of everything American, Trump will be good for Canada. He thinks the U.S. president and Justin Trudeau will develop a productive friendship.

Mulroney is merely the opening act in what will be a major Canadian media campaign to "normalize" the president-elect and showcase his program. Canadians will be expected to discount what Trump has said about women, Mexicans, Muslims or immigrants, as has Brian Mulroney, and another Trump Florida neighbour, Conrad Black. Big business voices will want citizens to focus on what President Trump and Canada can accomplish together.

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Columnists

Trudeau government woefully miscalculates support for Kinder Morgan pipeline

Photo: Kent Lins/flickr

Justin Trudeau should not expect to see a lot of $99 Liberal Party of Canada toques or $199 scarves being worn in metro Vancouver this winter.

Last week, the Trudeau government approved doubling the Kinder Morgan pipeline from Alberta. The Trans Mountain expansion proposes a 700 per cent increase in ocean tanker traffic through the port of Vancouver and an expanded diluted bitumen (dilbit) storage facility (tank farm) in the city of Burnaby, both in Tsleil-Waututh territory at Burrard Inlet.

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Columnists

Cash for access to Justin Trudeau and Liberal cabinet ministers

PMO Photo by Adam Scotti

Looking for a job? The Liberal Party of Canada is hiring. You could be "co-ordinator riding fundraising support and victory fund" or "funding co-ordinator Laurier Club events."

The Laurier Club was set up in 1986. John Turner was Liberal leader. The party had been in power from 1963 until 1984. In that election the Mulroney Conservatives had reduced them to 43 seats.

Finding a way back to power included bringing together business and community leaders with senior MPs, providing lapel pins, and giving members access to "an established network of Laurier Club contacts," as the donation form puts it.

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Columnists

Welcome to CETA and the Liberals' faith-based reality

PMO Photo by Adam Scotti

"Sweep away the community of honest brokers in America [and] we'll be left with a culture and public dialogue based on assertion rather than authenticity, on claim rather than fact."

-- U.S. journalist Ron Suskind, 2004

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Columnists

Trudeau's Trumpishness bulldozes Indigenous rights

PMO Photo by Adam Scotti

Considering the sick political calculus that rules Ottawa's backrooms, it is not inconceivable that the bubbly was pouring in Liberal circles with the stateside election of Donald Trump. Indeed, after having enjoyed a year-long honeymoon as the anti-Harper, Trudeau and his aides likely saw this new development as a gift that extends the honeymoon under the guise of being the anti-Donald.

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Flickr/oatsy40
| November 22, 2016
Flickr/Mack Male
| November 21, 2016
Columnists

U.S. presidential debacle rekindles electoral reform debate

Photo: Sony200boy/flickr

Electoral reform never seems to quite fall off the agenda. The presidential debacle in the U.S. -- Clinton won the popular vote but Trump will be president, just like Gore and Bush in 2000 -- has rekindled the debate down there.

Since we're supposed to already have democracy, it always comes as a surprise to realize we aren't there yet.

You'd think we were stuck in the Britain of the mid-1800s, the heyday of Chartism. It was a mighty mass movement of working people whose lives and communities had been shattered by, among other things, free trade! Their solution wasn't a Marxist overthrow of "the ruling class" but extending the vote to all (meaning, at the time, all men) rather than only the rich.

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Columnists

Trudeau Liberals offer Shangri-La to private finance

PMO Photo by Adam Scotti

Most Canadians have never heard of Larry Fink. An American, he is the biggest money manager in the world. His firm, BlackRock, has over $4 trillion it directs on behalf of clients.

Fink is famous in the financial world. For one thing, he was a key figure in the development of mortgage-backed securities, sometimes called CDOs or collateralized debt obligations.

These were the instruments that in 2007 all of a sudden no one wanted to buy, so no one could sell. Portfolios full of worthless CDOs led to a break down in the world financial system, creating the crash of 2007-08, which was followed by the great recession.

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