Friday, September 24, 2021

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: Headlines In September


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called as early

election hoping to win a majority of seats in his nation’s

parliament, but the strategy has failed as his Liberal Party

won almost the same number of seats they held in their

minority government. The main opposition Conservative 

Party gained only 3 seats, while the leftist New Democratic

Party won enough seats again to provide Trudeau with the

necessary majority to lead the country he has led since

2015. A sizable bloc of seats was also won by the Quebec

nationalist party in Canada’s second largest province.

Half of Trudeau’s party’s seats came from Ontario, the

largest province. Conservative Party strength was in

western Canada. Although the Trudeau’s Liberals won the

most seats, they were virtually tied with the Conservatives

in the national popular vote. Trudeau’s gamble clouds his 

political future, and he will once again have to satisfy his 

parliamentary partners, the New Democrats.


In a last-minute gambit, nine anti-Israel Democrats in the

U.S. House had $1 billion in aid to Israel’s vital “Iron  Dome”

system deleted from the infrastructure bill before Congress,

threatening not to vote for the bill if the aid were not removed.

Led by the radical “Squad” that includes Minnesota 5th

District Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, their victory was brief

as the U.S. House then immediately passed the aid in  a

separate bill with a bipartisan vote of 420 to 9 with 2 voting 

“present,” and one Republican joining the negatives.


In a week of foreign policy debacles and other bad news,

President Biden joined traditional allies Australia and the

United Kingdom in  a domestically popular new defense

pact known as “AUKUS.” The agreement calls for mutual

defense cooperation to meet the new aggressive challenge

from China, and includes the sale of U.S. nuclear submarines

to Australia. The latter led Australia to cancel an earlier

order for French nuclear subs, and  deeply upset French

President Macron, who recalled his ambassador to the

U.S., and other European allies (who were not consulted on

the move). The pact was initiated by British Prime Minister

Boris Johnson who, like Mr. Biden, had not received much

good foreign policy news recently.


With a Mexican border crisis clearly worsening despite

denials by the Biden administration and many privately

embarrassed Democratic leaders, record numbers of 

undocumented would-be immigrants from South and

Central  America and the Caribbean are at or crossing the

Mexican border. Some are unaccompanied children, and

none are required to be vaccinated to enter the U.S. The

images of crowded refugees at border points and bridges,

previously downplayed by many in the establishment 

media, is now a major story beyond the directly-affected

border states. Vice President Kamala Harris, charged by

President Biden to manage the crisis, is virtually invisible.

Local Democrats seeking re-election in 2022 are increasingly

worried by political fallout from the crisis.


Most recent polls show the Virginia race for governor,

scheduled to take place in five weeks, to be too close to call.

Pitting former Democratic governor Terry McAuliffe

against Republican busInessman Glenn Youngkin, the

race had not been expected to be close in a state which has

voted consistently Democratic in  recent years. The current

Democratic incumbent is term-limited. Virginia was carried

by Joe Biden by 10 points in 2020. Although rural Virginia

remains heavily Republican, the Washington, DC suburbs

in the state have been increasingly Democratic because so

many work for the federal government, and commute.


Copyright (c) 2021 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved. 

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