Happy Sunday! Riddle us this: What do Michael Scott and top Democratic politicians have in common? More than you’d think. From promises of free college tuition to revealing Native-American heritage, Washington Free Beacon’s viral video proves that we do all know a Michael Scott- or in this case 15 of them and they’re all running for President.
What You Need to Know – Editor’s Picks
Trump Turns the Tables on Israel (Again) – Sophia Dilworth, Political Theory Editor
On Friday, Trump tweeted that it is time for the “for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” overturning decades of American foreign policy. Most countries, as well as the United Nations, classify this region as an Israeli occupied territory. Should the Trump administration officially recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel, this would thus signal a considerable break with the international community. The timing of this announcement is particularly auspicious, considering that it hands a significant gift to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is not only standing for re-election on April 9th but is also currently fighting indictment charges. This move also follows Trump’s December 2017 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and his controversial decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv. Previously, Trump had also expressed his interest in “solving the toughest deal of all” before the end of his first term, as well as his support for a two-state solution, which would see the creation of an independent state of Palestine living peacefully alongside Israel.
We’ve Won the Battle, but the War on ISIS Isn’t Over – Sophia Kamps, Comparative Politics Editor
On Saturday, the final village held by the Islamic State was freed by the American backed coalition. The village in Baghuz, Syria was the last remaining ISIS-held territory. Driving ISIS completely out of its territory in Iraq and Syria is a dramatic change from ISIS at the height of its power four years ago, when it controlled large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria and the lives of nearly 12 million people. However, freeing the Islamic State’s territory is not the same as defeating ISIS itself, despite President Trump’s claims otherwise. The Islamic State’s goal was not just a territorial state, but a global movement and despite the end of its territorial claims, ISIS attacks and ideological fervor continue around the world. As Charlie Winter from the International Center for the Study of Radicalization at King’s College London, describes “It may be weaker in the immediate term, but there is not a chance in hell that it has been defeated.”
What’s The Latest?
The US midterms may not have resulted in the prophesied “Blue Wave,” in our Southern neighbour, but it seems like we’ve experienced our very own. Across the country, conservative governments have been elected to provincial legislatures, indicating a national shift to the right. Lewie Harr examines the phenomenon and its implications.
So when did this rightward shift begin, and what do these newly-elected conservative provincial governments stand for? Furthermore, how might this provincial shift affect the upcoming federal election?
Speaking of federal elections, may we remind you that it’s only 7 months until the next one? Nikita Tafazoli recaps the biggest stories in our monthly election outlook.
Although most of the world’s attention is on Theresa May, the rest of the Conservative Party is also in turmoil. Sam Johnston discusses the ongoing intra-party fragmentation that’s causing such chaos.
The ERG and Hard Brexiteers believe that the Prime Minister and moderate Tories have betrayed the promise of Brexit by negotiating a withdrawal agreement that retains aspects of EU purview after leaving. This sets the stage for an intense battle for the soul of the Conservative Party.
Climate change is an issue with obvious environmental, social, and political impact – but how might a shift in temperature affect international security? Jillian Giberson demonstrates how climate change and security are inextricably linked.
No country, no matter how wealthy, is immune to the consequences of a changing climate. Long-term policy concerns of economic growth, healthcare, and border security are inconsequential without the dangers of global warming neutralized.
Formal agreements are an essential first step in securing lasting peace for countries embroiled in conflict. But Chris Cadogan reminds us that agreements are merely the first step, and true, lasting peace requires much more.
So with such peace, why is there an issue at hand? The normalization of relations between Eritrea and Ethiopia creates an implicit acceptance of Eritrean domestic actions.
This month, voters in the world’s largest democracy will head to the polls. Will contentious Prime Minister Narendra Modi be re-elected to office? Naomi Shi analyzes the obstacles standing in his way.
Despite the fact that there will be candidates from over forty parties vying for seats in the Lok Sabha, the upcoming election is ultimately a referendum on Modi’s leadership. It is a litmus test that will delineate whether or not Modi is the best suited to lead the country amidst the many challenges that it faces.
As the debate over secularism bills in Quebec rage on, Jeanne Mayrand-Thibert questions the utility of reasonable accommodation for religion as a framework for achieving goals of liberal justice.
Insofar as the framework of accommodation entrenches unequal power relations and distorts the requirements of justice, we should abandon it. Instead, we should adopt a theoretical approach that will allow us to frame the debate more productively for the achievement of the goals of liberal justice.
What We’re Reading
La différence quebecoise, La Presse
Alberta still the Wild West when it comes to election predictions, The Toronto Star
The 2020 Presidential Hopefuls and the Politics of Consensus, The New Yorker
Jacinda Ardern is Leading by Following No One, New York Times
Why white nationalist terrorism is a global threat, The Economist
Qui veut la peau du Parti québécois, Jean-François Lisée
Too Dumb for Democracy, David Moscrop
The Complete Stories, Flannery O’Connor