In the Meantime…

…There is OTHER news in the world that does not involve U.S. Presidential campaign politics.  Important news.

This coming Sunday Stephen Harper (he’s the Canadian Prime Minister) will announce new elections on October 14th, the soonest he can call by Canadian law.  His opponents – and there are many:  he’s not the most popular Prime Minister Canada ever had – are making several interesting claims about him, starting with Harper’s attempt to hold these elections quickly to avoid the possibility of investigators uncovering more unscrupulous campaign activities than they’ve already uncovered.  Harper’s Conservative party calls the claims bunk.  The Conservative party has a plurality but not a majority, and may have to form yet another minority coalition government if they wish to stay in power and for Harper keep his position as PM.  This would be the second minority government in a row, something that has happened only once before in Canadian history.  With the Canadian economy in a funk, moving from a surplus to a deficit in Harper’s two years as PM, he is not at all a shoe-in for the job after October.

This is important especially to us border states.  Much of Homeland Security’s border philosophy, for example, comes about from current Canadian immigration policies and, some claim, Harper’s fear-mongering tactics.  In that regard he is often called Canada’s Bush.  Canada is also our largest trading partner.  We get more oil from them than any other country.  Harper and Bush consider each other very strong allies.

It is very unclear if any of the potential candidates from the other three Canadian political parties would be any better with regard to Canadian/US border policy (and by that I mean:  “Would they stand up to the U.S.’s demands to restrict movement across the border?”), but because the Canadian election process will last all of 37 days the election itself will be much less painful to watch and research than our two-plus-year election process.

…Meanwhile, Zimbabwe‘s inflation rate is now estimated at around 50 million percent, the equivalent of a economic half-life every 14 days.  They are now down to bartering gas coupons for anything else tangible, as the currency has essentially no holding power whatsoever.  President Mugabe doesn’t seem overly concerned.  Probably not enough deaths from starvation yet.  Besides:  He controls all the guns.

Lately, I get my news from the BBC and the Toronto Star.  Their reporting does not seem to be nearly so one-dimensional.


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