This week marked the end of the penny in Canada – a piece that actually cost more to produce than its monetary value: a welcome, and reasonable end. It also marked the end of the trial and sentencing of Canadian spy Jeffrey Delisle, who will finally be serving twenty years behind bars – certainly a more difficult decision, given the lack of clarity about the information provided to Russian intelligence, and the lack of legal precedent in Canadian law. Yesterday, Egypt joined the ranks of Pakistan and Sudan when it temporarily blocked access to youtube in the country. Officially, like Pakistan and Sudan, this is over the controversial ‘Innocence of Muslims’ film, but more likely has to do with quelling uprising activism – an unfortunate decision in a series of repressive ones made by the Egyptian government since the revolution. Like every week in world politics, this week has been a series of stops and starts, smart decisions, difficult decisions and decisions that are likely to do more harm than good.
For the most part, our week at the Bouillon started close to home, with two decisions – one legal, and one political, with potentially major consequences for Quebec. Staffer Chloe Gianpaolo looked at the ruling of the landmark Eric V. Lola case in Quebec, meant to decide the fate of common law couples who call it quits in Eric vs. Lola: The Case that Failed to Redefine Marriage. Also on the homefront – NDP leader Mulcair challenges the Clarity Act – true concern or wedge politics to gain separatist support? Staffer Toufic Adlouni thinks the latter – A Severe case of Orwellian Newspeak: Mulcair’s Attempt to Dupe Quebeckers.
South of the border, Valerie Weber discussed the scary state of drone regulation (or lack thereof) in the United States, and its implications for the Middle East – read more: Drones and the War on Terror. Contributor Maxson Gallo discussed the changing face of demography in the States, and why it might be time for the Republicans to take those stats into account, policy-wise in Obamerica and the Changing Face of the United States.
Further south, Ralph Muzquiz discusses the implications of the former “de facto” president of Guatemala, and his Chief of Intelligence, standing trial for genocide and crimes against humanity. What does this mean for other indigenous communities in Latin America seeking justice? Decide for yourself and read Long Legal Battle Ahead for Ex-Dictator of Guatemala. Also in Latin America, Molly Korab discusses the horror and violence of Latin American prisons in Grand Escapes and Crumbling Walls Inside Latin American Prisons.
Across oceans, staffers Emile Bouffard discusses the ethics of ill-planning in environmental terms for the Chinese government (and their people) in The Cost of Development: The Three Gorges Dam. European politics took a backseat for us this week, but European Student Think Tank contributor, Qunit Hoekstra, discussed the highlights (and the low points) of David Cameron’s long-awaited EU speech – Cameron’s Bold Move.
See you next week!
(Featured photo: mcfcrandall, Creative Commons, Flickr)