Happy Sunday!

Classes may have taken a brief break this week in the face of a winter storm, but the political storm certainly hasn’t abated. We hope you are having a better week than Justin Trudeau, who has been caught in a PR nightmare since Tuesday, when Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet. Other people who are not having great weeks include Mike Pence, who was met with dead silence when he suggested that Europe should pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, or Ted Cruz, who continues to think it’s a great idea for El Chapo to pay for Trump’s border wall. On the bright side, Maxime Bernier, who cannot stop tweeting, has announced he is getting married! The love continues, as now there are three federal party leaders on their way to their happily-ever-afters, including NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and Green Party leader Elizabeth May. Love is in the air, so breathe it in and good luck on those midterms!

What You Need to Know – Editor’s Picks

Patricia Sibal – Editor-in-Chief

President Trump decided to force the matter of his promised border wall by declaring a “national emergency” to secure funding for the wall, averting another government shutdown. Trump justified his actions by stating, “The current situation at the southern border presents a border security and humanitarian crisis that threatens core national security interests and constitutes a national emergency.” Declaring a “national emergency” allows the President to bypass Congress. The move has drawn criticism and legal challenges from numerous parties, including the State of California and the American Civil Liberties Union, who allege that the current state of the border does not qualify as a “national emergency.”

Ryanne Lau – Managing Editor

Last month, Jody Wilson-Raybould was demoted from Justice Minister to the Minister for Veterans’ affairs. Two weeks ago, the Globe and Mail reported that the PMO had pressed her to intervene in the prosecution against SNC Lavalin. On Tuesday, in a surprise turn, Wilson-Raybould announces her resignation from cabinet. Since then, Justin Trudeau and the Liberals have been trying to get a handle on the situation, without much success. In attempts to explain and justify the events surrounding Wilson-Raybould’s resignation, Trudeau has blamed her, deflected responsibility, but mostly stayed tight-lipped about the situation. Since then, the Liberal caucus has been divided, with some MPs ostensibly coming out in support of Wilson Raybould, while others tried to defend Trudeau’s position. Indigenous leaders have denounced Trudeau’s efforts at reconciliation. Meanwhile, Wilson-Raybould has lawyered up with a former Supreme Court Justice, Trudeau faces an ethics probe, and Quebec is up-in-arms about SNC Lavalin. With the federal election only a few months away, and three by-elections in the next month, Justin Trudeau and the Liberals will have to muster up all their strength to fight an impending disaster.

What’s the Latest?

International Relations

Globalization brings us closer together, but also makes differences between communities more politically salient. Isabelle Shi examines the paradox of globalization, with special attention paid to globalization’s impacts on indigenous communities.

Some people feel this more keenly than others—those whose daily struggles are particularly touched by the emergence of new international principles. And among these, indigenous peoples in particular are likely to undergo a re-articulation of their identities in the face of an evolving landscape of ideas.

The World Bank is one of the world’s most influential international institutions, and President Trump has just tightened America’s grip on the reins. Erin McDonald assesses Trump’s pick for the new President of the World Bank and the impact he will have on international relations.

The resulting policies of Malpass’ presidency will also go to show that the Bank is an easily biased institution when it comes to the influence of great powers.

Comparative Politics

Harris. Klobuchar. Booker. In just a few short months, the race for US 2020 has drawn fierce competitors. MJPS has all you need to know on the candidates and will keep updating you as the race intensifies.

With the 2020 Presidential Election fast approaching, candidates have been announcing their runs left, right, and centre (literally and figuratively). MJPS’ Candidate Tracker has the most up-to-date information on the presidential hopefuls.

In our featured opinion, Zuleyma Capraro criticizes the US’ involvement in Venezuela, tracing America’s long history of self-interested foreign policy in the region.

Supporting repressive dictatorships in order to benefit from the region’s natural resources have been the common thread in U.S–Latin American relations. Venezuela needs an urgent change in leadership, but American intervention may potentially  exacerbate the crisis.

Canadian Politics

With the federal election just months away, it’s more important than ever to guard our democratic process against foreign interference. Chanel MacDiarmid analyzes Canada’s measures to safeguard our electoral system.

The steps being taken by the Canadian government reflect the heightened awareness of foreign and digital threats facing our democracy, and a growing resolve to address them in order to guarantee the citizens’ right to a free and fair election.

Political Theory

In honour of Black History Month, Sophie Lamotte reflects on the legacy of the Sir George Williams Affair.

“The student protests represented only a microcosm of the larger institutional racism of Canadian society at the time. The protest also resonated with the treatment of Caribbean people abroad, sparking numerous protests and revolutionary movements across the Caribbean islands.”

As the CAQ government pushes forward with their controversial policies on immigration and religious symbols, Jeanne Mayrand-Thibert analyzes the theory of white privilege in the Quebec context.

Legault’s reluctance to recognize Islamophobia in the province embodies the arguments of whiteness theorists: white privilege functions as an epistemic hurdle, that allows white people to ignore the oppression of others and their own privilege.

What We’re Reading


Comparing Brexit and Quebec, via L’actualite

John Stuart Mill’s love affair, via The Economist

3 lives shaped by war, via The New York Times

Galentines and political power, via The Washington Post

Quebec and SNC Lavalin, via The Ottawa Citizen


The Neapolitan Quartet, Elena Ferrante

War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence, Ronan Farrow

Fall of Giants, Ken Follett

Have a great week.