Happy Sunday!

Everyone knows about the Oscars, but only true film buffs will know about the Razzies, the annual awards show for the worst in film. Find out who won the best of the worst this year.

On a serious note, it was another busy week in politics, especially on Parliament Hill. First and foremost, Trudeau’s principal secretary and friend since university (McGill once, McGill twice!) resigned this week over the SNC-Lavalin controversy, while denying any wrongdoing. Read about their decades-long bromance to get a real sense of how hard this must hit the Prime Minister. The literal morning after, the Clerk of the Privy Council, Michael Wernick, delivered an explosive testimony that denied any undue pressure being placed on the former Attorney General. If there wasn’t pressure before, there certainly is now for Wilson-Raybould, set to give her own version of events early this week. Grab your popcorn to watch the shows, and while you’re at it, read our top stories this week.

What You Need to Know – Editor’s Picks

Venezuela Crisis Deepens – Patricia Sibal, Editor-in-Chief

Tensions are escalating in Venezuela as Nicolas Maduro sent troops to the block delivery of humanitarian aid from neighbours Colombia and Brazil, resulting in violent, deadly clashes at the border. In response, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that Maduro’s days as President are “numbered.” Since a picture’s worth 1000 words, let The Guardian’s photo album tell the story

Quebec Solidaire’s Racist Comments – Ryanne Lau, Managing Editor

Quebec Solidaire has been featured prominently in debates at the National Assembly this week, as key legislation surrounding immigration, education, and religious symbols have been extensively discussed. They have been vocal about their opposition of Bill 9’s provision of throwing out current immigration applications, but still ambivalent about their stance on religious neutrality. As a party that speaks of toleration and sovereignty, they face some tensions between their policy positions. This week, they faced controversy when their critic on agriculture Émilise Lessard-Therrien denounced Chinese investors as “predators,” invoking imagery of the Yellow Peril. They have since been called on by Chinese groups to issue an apology. However, co-spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois is adamant that Lessard-Therrien has nothing to apologize for because her words were “taken out of context.” Similarly, co-spokesperson Manon Massé has also stated that the statement was not meant to target Chinese investors, but rather all foreign investors. The President of the Quebec Farmers’ Association has spoken out to say that foreign investors are not an issue for them, as there are already laws in place to protect them. While it is unlikely that they will change their stance, this discrepancy in their platform may have ramifications for intra-party cohesion.

What’s the Latest?

Comparative Politics

In featured opinion, Rebecka Pieder discusses Senator Amy Klobuchar’s ugly history of staff mistreatment and why we can’t excuse it.

It matters, not only because the allegations undermine her public persona and the values that she has espoused, but because it represents a skewed form of feminism where all that matters is that women get ahead, regardless of the means.

In Thailand, a royal resurgence set off alarms about democratic backsliding. Julia Nguyen examines the Princess of Thailand’s attempt to rock the democratic boat and the divisive aftermath.

But for many Thais, politics is still a game dominated by divisive elites who are willing to make decisions without consulting the broader populace.

International Relations

All eyes are on Venezuela, but might be missing the actions of a key player amidst the chaos. Mika Weissenberger on Putin’s foreign policy in Venezuela and what it means for global power politics.

Putin is killing two birds with one stone: he is defending his South American ally and upholding his credibility in the eyes of his allies, and is antagonizing the United States at the same time.

What’s in a name? Omar Arafeh discusses how a change of name could change the game for Putin’s anti-NATO ambitions in Europe.

Putin has long claimed that NATO is a Cold War relic, and its expansion is a destabilizing factor to Europe and Russian security. An additional member to NATO would only increase its legitimacy as an international organization, and bolster itself against Russia.

Political Theory

Climate change seems to be the hot-button issue in Theory this week. Jane Warren on the conflict between the optimal and the possible in climate change policy.

Although the incremental approach is considered more practical, it also risks falling short of addressing climate issues completely. In other words, if projects do not adequately address the problem, the cost of national contribution could outweigh the benefits created.

Meanwhile, Zaheed Kara reminds us that climate change solutions have to be equitable to be ethical.

However, in considering the options for how to deal with the emissions problem, it becomes evident that, whatever the solution, it will require considerations of global justice and international equity.

Canadian Politics

In Ontario, Premier Doug Ford’s attacks on student unions have drawn fierce criticism, including from our very own Gabe Bleyer. Read about the cuts to student funding for programs and services and the response from student groups.

Students do not seem to have been meaningfully consulted, and Ford’s motivations have been called into question. The effect this change will have on campus life is yet to be seen, but student advocates are not optimistic.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau built his reputation on his feminist credentials, but Eyitayo Kunle-Oladosu analyzes whether Trudeau’s promises stand up to scrutiny in his foreign policy decision-making.

Ultimately, the Liberals’ approach sounds good when taken at face value. But if Trudeau wants to make a genuine impact on the lives of women around the world, it will require a shift towards a deeper understanding of and partnership with the societies FIAP intends to uplift.

October isn’t for another few months, but the competition is already red-hot – or should we say green-hot? Andie Habert on the unprecedented rise of The Green Party.

If the Green Party continues on this trajectory, its momentum will likely continue, defying past legacies of last-minute strategic vote diversion and ultimate single-seat representation. As it stands now, the Green Party is well on its way to making history.

What We’re Reading


Chaiwala to Nalayak: How Pakistan TV anchors are describing Narendra Modi, via The Print

Aimer Montréal, Haïr Montréal, via La Presse

Jody Wilson-Raybould has Trudeau in checkmate, via Maclean’s 

Montreal’s black pioneers: They paved the way for others, via Montreal Gazette


Charlotte, David Foenkinos

Bobby Kennedy, Larry Tye