International

LIFE AFTER BREXIT: WHEN NOTHING IS CLEAR, IS ANYTHING POSSIBLE By Jeremy Kinsman (Article)

 

  

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Jeremy Kinsman

 Britain’s narrow but decisive vote to disengage from the European Union may be digested by history as a bafflingly self-sabotaging act by a Western democracy, as the pinprick that deflated the European project and destabilized the global balance of power—or as something else altogether. Veteran diplomat Jeremy Kinsman, whose Brexit vote post-mortem piece for opencanada in July (https://www.opencanada.org/features/brexit-post-mortem-17-takeaways-fallen-david-cameron/) went viral in the UK, writes that the process may beget more possibilities than we can now foresee.

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TRUDEAU IN NATOLAND By Chris Westdal (Article)

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The NATO Summit in Warsaw this week is a major test of Canadian strategic security policy, our role in NATO, and our relations with Russia. In Warsaw, the Prime Minister will have to answer hard questions his government has so far, by and large, avoided.

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A BREXIT POST-MORTEM - OPEN MEMO TO DAVID CAMERON By Jeremy Kinsman (Article)

 

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 Jeremy Kinsman

Spoiler alert: Brexiteers who now permit themselves to read only positive articles about the project to leave the European Union, should cease reading immediately.

1. Referenda are the nuclear weapons of democracy. In parliamentary systems they are redundant. Seeking a simplistic binary yes/no answer to complex questions, they succumb to emotion and run amok. Their destructive aftermath lasts for generations.

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A EUROPEAN UNRAVELLING By Jeremy Kinsman (Article)

 

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Divorces after 43 years of marriage are rare, usually severing unions that had been fraught for years.

Earlier this year, British Prime Minister David Cameron called an unnecessary referendum for June 23 on whether the UK would remain in the EU or leave in order to settle for good an abrasive issue in his Conservative Party that has been fueled by a surge of identity-based nationalism in England. It risks backfiring badly.

With only one week before the vote, every indication is that the result is up for grabs.

My bones tell me that in closing days “remain” will rally, as often happens in separation referenda when most undecided voters opt for the less disruptive option.

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TWO SOUTH AMERICAN LEADERS IN A RACE TO THE BOTTOM By Paul Durand (article)

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Two South American presidents are in danger of going down. Which will be first?

For quite different reasons, Dilma Rousseff of Brazil and Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela are at the brink, teetering on the edge of either impeachment or unconstitutional overthrow.

This is significant and puzzling, because Brazil and Venezuela are, respectively, the most influential, and (potentially) the richest countries on the continent. How has it come to this?

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A WAY AHEAD WITH RUSSIA By Chris Westdal (Article)

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A WAY AHEAD WITH RUSSIA By Chris Westdal

(Originally appeared on the Canadian Global Affairs Institute website and can be accessed here)

Executive Summary

Canada and Russia are on speaking terms again. Our government has abandoned Stephen Harper’s policy of vocal disdain and the attempted isolation of Russia. We stand against Russian “interference” in Ukraine but, in the words of Global Affairs Minister, Stephane Dion, “the more we disagree, the more we have to discuss.”

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CRISIS AND THE EU: THE REFUGEES By Jeremy Kinsman (Article)

 

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The European Union was born as the dream of pragmatic visionaries as a response to and bulwark against the manifest horror of organized evil. Its strengths were evident for decades before two successive calamities— the 2008 financial meltdown and the 2015 refugee crisis—exposed its vulnerabilities. While both have tested the EU’s structural and philosophical soundness, Jeremy Kinsman warns never to bet against Brussels.  His full article is here.

REFLECTIONS ON CLIMATE CHANGE By Reiner Hollbach (Article)

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Reiner Hollbach

 The National Post recently published a letter from Kaslo, B.C. which reads in part as follows:<Nov 30 may be one of the most significant turning points in human history. It marks the opening to the Paris summit on climate change …….. Today we are close to the deadline proposed so many years ago. 2020, the year of no return, the year when stabilization targets must be met. The data show, if no action is taken, our trajectory will lead to a 6C increase in global temperatures by 2100 ……. But there is still time ….. to avert the potentially catastrophic tipping point…>’

A cris de ceur from the grassroots. This letter writer should, however, feel reassured to know that the campaign to head off climate change at the pass counts among its supporters none other than President Obama, the Commander-in-Chief of the world’s most powerful nation.

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