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Stories by Les Whittington

The U.S. heads into the abyss

Opinion|By Les Whittington
There's speculation over how the U.S. election will be handled in the age of the pandemic. The prevailing view is that the president would not be able legally to postpone the vote, although, with Trump, who knows?
Opinion|By Les Whittington
How all this will play out as this current crisis unfolds is, of course, unknowable. But what is clear is that one day some months from now, we will wake up to a world marked by huge changes.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
The economic and social repercussions of this historic struggle will likely be felt for years. But in Canada, as elsewhere, the legacy of leaders at all levels will be shaped by their ability to rise to this event.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
The contest is already shaping up as the ugliest, most surreal, and out-of-bounds campaign in modern times.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Barring a miraculous containment of COVID-19, it looks like it will take more than a round of rate cuts by central banks to significantly mitigate the onrushing economic crunch.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
While MacKay’s and O’Toole’s tough talk may rev up the Conservative base, it’s not likely to build the wider support the party needs among Canadians.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Any sense that Justin Trudeau was in a position to keep his minority government afloat this winter with a fairly low-key approach is now gone.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Bridging the gap between the general electorate and a Conservative base that has an aversion to actual society-wide incentives on climate change will be a test, no matter who winds up as leader.
Author
Opinion|By Les Whittington
U.K. citizens have cast themselves into an unknown future that could mean many years of economic decline, serious ongoing internal strains, and possibly the break-up of their own union as a result of Brexit.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
It’s a crucial defining moment for the Democrats. The sometimes bitter splits in the volatile nomination battle hold serious risks for the party and could, despite everything, help put Trump back in office.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
While U.S. President Donald Trump and his allies touted last week’s ‘Phase 1’ agreement with China as a victory, most analysts saw it as, at best, a saw-off.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
A year from now, Canadians may be looking at very different geopolitical landscape. Or 2020 could usher more years of turmoil, uncertainty, and risk.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
To say the flagrant attack on the Iranian military leader changed the channel for Trump is an understatement. By the weekend, there was little trace of the impeachment issue in the media.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Facing impressive obstacles on all sides, it’s not surprising the update sounded a lot like the rhetoric the Liberals penned to try to win over voters in the election campaign.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Banning specific guns is only a small part of the overall effort Canadians need to undertake if the country is going to confront the rise of violence and hate-mongering, particularly against women.
Mark Carney, who is leaving the Bank of England for a new role with the United Nations, has been pushing the financial community to wake up to the implications of global warming.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
If the complaints about Andrew Scheer continue, one has to think it might be wise for him to consider stepping aside before facing possible humiliation by his fellow Conservatives in a few months.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Analysts see demand for oil hitting a plateau in about a decade. And the global shift toward renewable energy could happen a lot faster if countries decide radical steps are needed to avoid climate catastrophe.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
It would make sense to have Freeland in position to ensure that the more than two years of work Canada has put in to preserve North American free trade in the face of threats from Trump is not wasted.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
The current minority, the first since 2011, is taking place against a backdrop of extreme partisanship, personal animosity, and the fuming public anger that feeds off social media.
Thanks to the climate-action-denier crowd, the country is actually in danger of moving in the wrong direction. But voters on Oct. 21 may have at least opened the way for some kind of progress.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
The election ushered in what is certain to be a period of uncertainty and discord unseen in Canada for years.
Growing economic anxiety powers populism, begets anger and cynicism and has people searching for answers on what are usually seen as the extremes of policy.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
It’s hard to know if Andrew Scheer is using this kind of personal demonization and misinformation because he sees it as vital to his populist-oriented appeal or if he’s just reading the script he’s been handed.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Despite the national outpouring of environmental angst last week, Canada could wind up on Oct. 21 with a climate policy not unlike the essentially empty approach fashioned by Harper more than a decade ago.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
The platform covered promises of support to nearly every segment of society except the wealthy, writes columnist Les Whittington.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Trudeau’s blackface debacle complicates the whole picture, but the crucial question remains whether young Canadians, particularly those alarmed by climate change, will make their positions felt on Oct. 21.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Many thought NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh won the debate, though it was mostly a matter of beating low expectations.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
By personalizing his attacks on Justin Trudeau, Andrew Scheer has tried to incite the anger that is the lifeblood of populism. It thrives on resentment and a feeling of being betrayed.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Any extension of drug buying here by Americans beyond what is currently allowed for limited personal use would quickly turn the current drug shortage problem in Canada into an emergency.
Opinion|By Les Whittington
Beyond the carbon tax, and not counting the obligatory bloviating about the budget deficit, it’s hard to know what, if anything, Scheer envisions for Canadians.
Politics goes through phases, but when will the willingness of voters to embrace the leadership of would-be autocrats fade as the negative impact becomes undeniable?

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