Its been a busy weekend in the North American news cycle. Its not every day a government shuts down and for the USA its the first time since the 21-day stall in the mid 90s under Clinton. That was a longer shutdown than usual, with most since 1976 never lasting more than a few days. There is an exception though, and it’s worth noting. During the Carter years tensions were running high due to, unsurprisingly, health care funding. This was four years after the landmark Roe v. Wade case and the question on the docket was abortion funding, as is the case now with the Affordable Care Act, disagreements are both bitter and stubborn. Between ‘77 and ‘79 the government shut down five times totaling 57 days – an unfavourable precedent.
As it stands, a lot of people think we’re in it for the long haul with much of media supposing that this shutdown might outlast Clinton’s due to the incredibly bitter nature of the tension between the two sides of the house. Never mind Clinton, lets hope we don’t outlast Carter. Canadians have little to worry about yet with regards to our neighbours to the south, but the longer it goes on the more we have to fear in terms of economic impact. Jim Flaherty has been oft quoted of late – “This is a reminder that while Canada’s economy remains strong, we are still vulnerable to uncertainties outside of our borders, especially in the U.S. and Europe,”. When America’s economy falters, Canadians brace for impact. For now however, it just looks like you might have to reschedule that Thanksgiving trip to the Lincoln memorial. For more on this issue check out new writer Kathryn Rockwell’s piece Government Shutdown: A bitter political divide stalls US government.
For other American news: read Maxson Gallo’s look at the recent democratic mayoral primary in NYC – The Life and Death of Identity Politics In the Big Apple? Also of interest: ? After 34 Years, Hope for Diplomacy Emerges by Michael Swistara- American relations with Iran have been rocky at best but is there change on the horizon? Not exactly foreign policy, but definitely a look at American impact abroad – read The First Female Maasai Warrior is not Maasai by Khaldah Salih.
Whatever happened to Greece after it dropped off the media radar? An overview on the situation as is by Constantine Valettas: Is There a Light at the End of the Tunnel? Continued Struggles in Greece. And the Golden Dawn? Sundown for the Golden Dawn: Criminal Organization or Political Party? by Concordia writer David Hughes.
On an unrelated note, if you vote (you should really vote) you should read Digitalizing Democracy: E-Voting in Switzerland by Matthew Bienz.
that’s it for now readers,