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Presidential debate live: watch Trump and Biden with our business and politics experts

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Edward Luce, US National Editor

Agree with Rana. Trump will almost certainly make a big deal out of Barrett by alleging that Biden has attacked her faith, which he hasn’t. Indeed very few elected Democrats, as opposed to Twitter liberals, have questioned her beliefs. This will be the moment where Biden will be tempted to contrast his own faith with Trump’s alleged Christianity. See this

Rana Foroohar, Global Business Correspondent

I think she is right in the middle of something very deep and politically important, which is that while it’s Ok to not agree with her politics, the “dogma lives loudly in you” type comments come across as very patronising and are exactly the kind of thing that turns off Midwesterners.

Peter Spiegel, US Managing Editor

Getting back to our conversation about Coney Barrett, I’m slightly surprised that neither candidate has made a big deal about this on the campaign trail leading up to tonight.

That makes me think neither know exactly how this plays. Obviously it rallies the Trump base, but her strong anti-abortion positions could really peel off moderate Republican women in suburban areas of important swing states like in Montgomery County, outside of Philly, in Pennsylvania.

Edward Luce, US National Editor

I’m taking performance-enhancing double espresso and a quietly nursed glass of Rioja.

Rana Foroohar, Global Business Correspondent

I don’t buy the low bar argument. Trump may have only paid $750 in taxes but he still has plenty of animal spirits. Biden needs to come out swinging. Just like live bloggers!

Peter Spiegel, US Managing Editor

That’s actually one of the Trump team’s tactical mistakes going into this. They set the bar so low (“he needs performance enhancers!”) that Biden may just succeed by not failing. I wonder if that’s the same for live bloggers?

Peter Spiegel, US Managing Editor

Ed raises the issue of Biden’s Catholicism. Isn’t it odd that Biden would only be the second Catholic US president if he wins? Kennedy was the first (and so far the only). Working-class Catholics remain a key swing vote in the big industrial states of the Midwest. Many of the “Reagan Democrats” continue to support Trump and the Republicans on cultural issues like abortion. But there’s a strong social justice strain in Catholicism that has kept them up for grabs for Democrats in places like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Rana Foroohar, Global Business Columnist

As my colleague James Politi mentioned in the introduction of his piece on Biden’s economic plans today, the Democratic candidate has said he, “doesn’t want to punish anybody, but instead of just rewarding wealth in this country, it’s about time we start to reward work.”

That’s a subtle but savvy phrasing of the problem, which avoids the typical progressive problem of supporting “workers” over “business,” but rather alludes to the fact that the free market system itself isn’t working properly, because the incentives are wrong.

We have a tax code that encourages debt – which is why the President has been able to live in luxury while paying only $750 in tax – rather than incentivising Main Street investment. We have an upside down market in which bad news (like the Great Depression style 2Q GDP figures) create “good” stock price news because they ensure lower interest rates which grows the corporate debt bubble and share prices, masking real world problems.

If the President trots out public debt as an issue (I doubt he’ll push forward much policy substance but you never know), Biden should counter with the record amount of private debt out there, of which the President himself is the leading indicator. He’s the biggest zombie of all.

Pretty much every economic study has found that Biden would create more job growth than Trump, and Moody’s has said that the economic outlook would be strongest if Democrats sweep Washington. But rather than focus on numbers, I think Biden is right to keep hammering the message of rewarding “work, not wealth.” As the Trump tax news has proven, outside of the White House, the President has neither.

Biden ran as a moderate during the Democratic primary, but he has since laid out a much more progressive economic platform that absorbs much of the spirit and some of the ideas put forward by rivals Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who challenged him for the nomination. Here’s a deep dive from James Politi, our World Trade Editor, on the people and policies shaping Bidenomics.

Edward Luce, US National Editor

Until now Biden has been largely reticent about Amy Coney Barrett. Since the Supreme Court is the second of Wallace’s topics, he will almost certainly have to talk about her tonight. You should watch out for two issues. The first is Biden’s Catholicism. Many Democrats have been openly hostile to Barrett’s faith – and especially her membership of the cult-sounding People of Praise.

Biden will certainly not want to question Barrett’s faith. But Trump has already questioned Biden’s religious credentials and even called him “anti-God’. It will be intriguing to see whether Biden responds to that. Viewers should not overlook the irony of the fact that the decidedly un-pious Trump has the backing organised Christian groups while the church-going Biden is depicted as leading the godless hordes. Biden will be sorely tempted to correct it.

The second is Biden’s record as a former Senate judiciary chair. Judicial hearings is a field in which Biden has as much experience as anybody in US politics. When he dropped out of his first presidential bid in 1987, he claimed it was to oversee the confirmation hearings of Robert Bork (in reality his campaign had imploded). Bork’s nomination was defeated for many reasons, not least his publicly-stated ambition to undo the civil rights rulings of the Warren court.

The fall of Bork at Biden’s hands was a watershed moment in US politics. Some would even date the start of the judicial right’s counter-revolution to then. Will Biden be able to hold his tongue? I have no doubt he will be advised to stick to the script that the Barrett hearings should only take place after the American people have spoken. But Biden has so much more he could say.

Rana Foroohar, Global Business Columnist

You’re right, Ed, that Biden should focus on healthcare. It’s looking likely that the Supreme Court will strike down the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), given that conservative justice Amy Coney Barrett – Trump’s new Supreme Court nominee — may well be confirmed by the Senate. Biden isn’t particularly progressive on healthcare (he’s not for Medicare for All, for example). But simply supporting the Affordable Care Act, which he does, opens him up to the usual Trumpian attacks about being a “socialist.”

I’ll save my thoughts on ACB and the Republican Senate for later, but a good way for Biden to shift the terms of the healthcare debate – aside from reminding everyone that if the ACA is invalidated the number of uninsured people in America would rise by about 20m in the midst of a pandemic – is to talk about how terrible the current system is not just for individuals but for business.

Employer-funded healthcare in the US is an accidental system. It came into being during the second world war, when wage freezes and 1.9 per cent unemployment forced the government to allow companies to offer fringe benefits like healthcare in an attempt to attract workers. In 1943, the Internal Revenue Service ruled that employer-based healthcare should be tax free — and we were off to the races. The percentage of the population in the US covered by employer-led plans rose from 9 per cent in the 1940s, to around two-thirds today. Yet tax advantages do not offset the fact that healthcare benefits are now the second or third-highest compensation costs for American employers.

That hurts workers — basic economics tells us that as healthcare prices go up, wages will go down — but it also hurts American companies compared to overseas competitors that don’t have to be in the healthcare business, and the US economy as a whole.

“Socialised” medicine may still be an ideological leap too far for Americans. But perhaps if Biden can start talking about it as a way to take the pressure off businesses struggling to survive in a pandemic, it might become a less divisive issue.

Scenes from the trail

— Ready to roll —
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrived at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport this afternoon ahead of the first presidential debate.

— Your friendly neighbourhood Biden-Man —
Democratic presidential nominee and former vice-president Joe Biden gives a thumbs-up to a neighbour (right) from the private house he is staying at while in Cleveland in the lead-up to the first presidential debate.

Edward Luce, US National Editor

Most people think this election is now Biden’s to lose, which means these debates are the last thing he wants. Frontrunners have an incentive to avoid any kind of encounter that would help the underdog, especially one-to-one debates.
As I wrote last week, Biden’s goal must be to ensure he does not become the story. That means he has to speak clearly and concisely – not a high bar. Right now the election is a referendum on Trump. Biden will want to keep it that way.

Biden’s focus should therefore be on coronavirus and healthcare, which are pretty much the same thing right now. The more Biden can keep the discussion on Trump’s pandemic record the better for him. He should also talk about how Americans can vote in a pandemic whether it be by mail or in person.

If there is one issue that I expect to get the headlines it is Trump’s refusal to agree in advance to a peaceful transfer of power. Among the six topics that the moderator, Chris Wallace has listed, are “integrity and elections”. If Trump once again chooses to keep us guessing, nothing else will matter. It goes without saying that Biden should unflinchingly pledge to abide by the result of “a free and fair election”.

Peter Spiegel, US Managing Editor

Ed notes that the Trump campaign is telegraphing the fact the president intends to go after Biden’s son, Hunter, for his work on the board of a Ukrainian energy company while his father was vice-president. But do they really think this attack line is going to work? It’s not like it’s new; Trump attacked Biden repeatedly over Hunter’s business ties months ago…and then dropped it when it became clear it wasn’t helping him in the polls.

Also, raising questionable family business dealings is not necessarily something that plays in Trump’s favour right now, particularly after the New York Times exposé Ed refers to. That investigation shows that Trump’s daughter Ivanka was paid “consulting fees” by the Trump Organization that the NYT says appear to be something of a tax dodge.

Tonight’s debate is taking place in Cleveland, Ohio, a state that Trump won by 8 points in 2020. Pundits subsequently concluded that the state had turned solidly Republican, but polls show Biden with a small lead this time round. Here’s a story from Demetri Sevastopulo, our Washington Bureau Chief, on how Trump is trying to retain his edge with white working class voters in Ohio and other battleground states in the rust-belt and Midwest.

Rana Foroohar, Global Business Columnist

I spent much of last week on a 13-hour road trip from NYC to Chicago in order to drop my daughter at college and much of that time was spent driving through Pennsylvania, which has arguably become the single most important swing state in the nation.

Pennsylvania is, as Southern liberal politico James Carville once put it, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with Alabama in between. In between those two places, there are hundreds of miles of farmland and plenty of people who voted for Trump last time around. He’s done nothing for them, of course. The broadband is still spotty, the highway potholes rife and the debt mounting.

Unfortunately, state politics during the pandemic reflect the national divide. As one source in state government put it to me, “when anyone tries to slow down and plan out a thoughtful re-opening, they get lambasted as being too liberal. When anyone makes the point that we need to avoid total economic collapse, they are labeled crazy conservatives. It’s just all finger pointing. And if we don’t get federal help after November, it will be all-out war.”

Which brings me to the key point that Biden must hammer home in tonight’s debate: it’s all about the president’s mishandling of the pandemic, which has claimed 200,000 American lives. In some ways, little else right now matters. But in other ways the Trump Covid debacle is just illustrative of the fact that he’s not a leader, he’s a paranoid narcissist. He isn’t capable of respecting or caring for others — that’s the DSM definition of narcissistic personality disorder.

Biden, on the other hand, is nothing if not empathetic and respectful. My one worry about the debates is that Biden’s inherent dignity will make it difficult for him to handle Trump, who is like the guy in oncoming traffic who wins a war over who will swerve by pulling off his steering wheel. I think the way forward is to treat Trump like the toddler he is, speak slowly and make him sputter (Elizabeth Warren’s quip, “Donald, it’s time to put on your big boy pants” comes to mind), and double down on empathy when addressing the audience. My fingers are crossed that the people in Pennsylvania and the other swing states won’t fall for a con man twice.

Edward Luce, US National Editor

The thing to remember about tonight’s debate is that Donald Trump’s back is to the wall. I don’t mean the polls, which are nevertheless looking ominous. I mean his taxes. The New York Times tax scoop may not sway many swing voters — to the extent that endangered species of American is even paying attention. But it does increase the likelihood that Cyrus Vance, the New York District Attorney, will bring a criminal prosecution for tax fraud.

As we learned from last year’s Special Counsel investigation, being president gives Mr Trump personal immunity and shields him from his lenders, to whom he owes roughly $300m in the next four years, according to the New York Times report. So his incentive to stay in office is pretty much existential. I don’t believe this has been true of any other president in US history. All of which means he’s likely to play even dirtier than normal in tonight’s debate, which is saying something.

To be sure, the NYT tax story has given Joe Biden some easy attack lines (how many essential workers are paying more in federal taxes than the president’s $750 tax bill in his first year as president?). But it will also boost Trump’s instinct to go for the jugular, the shins, and other tender spots within reach. Expect Trump to call on Hunter Biden to release his returns. Expect him also to echo Fox News’ reference to “the Biden crime family”.

Peter Spiegel, US Managing Editor

This is how I’ve been preparing for tonight’s event: re-watching old Saturday Night Live parodies of previous presidential debates. Here are my top five:

— Chevy Chase as Jerry Ford —

He did nothing to try to look like the president, but Chase’s depiction of Ford did as much to solidify the incumbent’s image as a slightly dim jock (Ford played football at the University of Michigan) than Ford’s own miscues (see above). My favourite is when Chase-as-Ford is asked a complicated question about unemployment from Jane Curtain, to which he responds: “It was my understanding that there would be no math.”

— Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz reprise Bush-Dukakis —

Much has been written about Carvey’s depiction of George HW Bush, an impression that Bush himself eventually warmed to. What I had forgotten was how funny Lovitz was as Dukakis. The whole debate (featuring Tom Hanks as the late ABC News presenter Peter Jennings) is hysterical, but my favourite moment is when Lovitz-as-Dukakis is asked to respond to a fumbling Carvey-as-Bush word salad: “I can’t believe I’m losing to this guy.”

— Darrell Hammond as Al Gore —

Much like Carvey’s take on Bush, this parody is mostly remembered as one of Will Ferrell’s first outings as Bush the Younger (remember “strategery”? This is where it was coined). But Hammond’s eye-rolling, deep-sighing Gore is brutal, particularly for his repeated and overly-earnest invocation of “lockbox”, one of Gore’s central deficit-reduction policies. It helped doom Gore.

— Dana Carvey as Ross Perot —

The amazing thing here is that Carvey plays both Perot and Bush père thanks to a bit of pre-taping, with the late Phil Hartman as Bill Clinton. For me, the most memorable moment is at the very end when Carvey-as-Bush and Hartman-as-Clinton look over at Perot, and you see what’s on their minds: one of the Munchkins from The Wizard of Oz.

— Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump —

The only reason I don’t rank this one higher is that Baldwin was funnier as Trump in other, later bits. Still, this debate sketch with Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton is Baldwin’s debut. There’s no single moment that stands out in Baldwin’s bravura performance here, though given recent revelations about Trump’s taxes, the exchange where McKinnon-as-Clinton accuses Baldwin-as-Trump of “never paying taxes in his life” reverberates four years later. Baldwin’s response? McKinnon is getting “warmer”.

We’ll have to save Tina Fey’s depiction of Sarah Palin for next week’s vice-presidential debate. Enjoy!

Peter Spiegel, US Managing Editor

Welcome to the FT’s first ever US presidential debate “watch-along” with our two Swamp Notes columnists, Ed Luce in Washington and Rana Foroohar in New York, and me, your virtual innkeeper.

We’ll be providing real-time commentary and analysis of the Trump-Biden fireworks in Cleveland, Ohio, from the safety of our socially-distant laptops in the hopes of giving FT readers a bit of added insight gleaned from years of reporting and writing about US politics.

There are, of course, limits to real-time commentary. The history of presidential debates are rife with examples of showdowns where the meaning was not clear until days or weeks later. Famously, Richard Nixon was deemed the “winner” of the first televised debate in 1960, only to learn much later that John Kennedy’s image of youth and vigour was more important with voters who watched the exchange.

Similarly, in 1976 — the first time general election debates were reintroduced after those Nixon-Kennedy duels — incumbent Gerald Ford ended up in hot water after claiming there was “no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe”. But that gaffe was largely overlooked on the night. As Rick Perlstein notes in his new history of the era, early polls had Ford beating Jimmy Carter by a wide margin, and Dick Cheney, who was managing Ford’s re-election campaign, had scored the president the big winner. But the flub eventually helped solidify the image of Ford not quite being up to the job.

Which is all to say that we may miss something. We may over-interpret. We may declare a turning point where there is none. But that is all part of creating what the late Washington Post publisher Phil Graham called “the first rough draft of history”. In this deadly serious political season, we are also hoping to inject a bit of fun back into election-watching. For good or for ill, modern politics includes a bit of show business — Hollywood for ugly people, in the famous expression — and perhaps no set piece on the US electoral calendar encapsulates that more than presidential debates.

Source:- Financial Times

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78 seconds that will actually make you feel good about politics – CNN

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And because we are dealing with Donald Trump, all of that normal end-of-campaign stuff has been made much, much worse. Trump is at the say-anything-and-do-anything stage of the campaign — particularly as polling suggests he is a clear underdog in Tuesday’s election.
Amid all of the darkness and terrible-ness (not a word, but you get the point) I’m here to offer you a reminder that not everything is, in fact, totally awful. And that politics can sometimes be a noble pursuit taken on by people committed to public service.
Which brings me to an ad that Minnesota Democratic Gov. Tim Walz who posted on his Twitter feed on Thursday. It features Walz as well as his three most recent predecessors in the job, Mark Dayton, Jesse Ventura and Tim Pawlenty — urging Minnesotans to vote.
That’s four governors from three different parties(!) making a call for call for calm and civility in this wildest of moments.
The four governors assured Minnesotans that a delay in announcing a winner is a) expected and b) proof the system is working. (Contrast that with President Trump’s repeated insistence that the election “should END on November 3rd,” like he tweeted on Friday).
“Our state is proud to have one of the safest and most secure election systems in the country,” says former Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
“You can have faith that your vote will be counted,” says former Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton.
“With so many of us voting by mail, it may take a little longer to verify a winner,” says Walz.
“And that’s OK. It’s by design,” says Pawlenty.
“A delay just means that our system is working and that we’re counting every single ballot,” says former Reform Party governor Jesse Ventura.
Imagine that. Political leaders — both current and former — acting like, well, leaders. Educating the public rather than trying to skew reality for their own political benefit. (Worth noting: All four governors are shown walking in with their masks on, and putting them back on ant the end of the video.)
That a message like this feels so stunning and so different serves as a reminder of just how far Trump — and his decidedly unpresidential approach to the presidency — has changed our expectations from our leaders over these past four years. It was once common ground for politicians of all stripes to urge citizens to a) vote and b) know that their vote was fairly counted. Trump has chosen, for political reasons, to make war on that most basic of democratic assumptions as well as virtually every other “norm” including the guidelines set to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
“25,000, people want to be there, and they say you can only have 250 people, so they thought I’d cancel,” Trump carped on Friday about a campaign rally in, you guess it, Minnesota. “But I’m not canceling.”
Politics doesn’t have to be utterly awful and soul-crushing. It can be unified and, dare I say it, uplifting. Watch the Minnesota governors’ ad. And remember how things once were — and could be again.

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U.S. election: How COVID-19 misinformation is being weaponized in politics – Global News

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Social media platforms are being used to downplay the threat of the coronavirus and push back on COVID-19 restrictions in the leadup to the 2020 U.S. election.

In a global pandemic, inaccurate information not only misleads but could also be a matter of life and death if people start taking unproven drugs, ignoring public health advice or refusing a coronavirus vaccine when one becomes available.

Read more:
Health misinformation gets billions of views on Facebook amid coronavirus, report says

A very dangerous element of all of this misinformation is distrust in institutions, in media and in democracy,” said Luca Nicotra, a disinformation researcher with non-profit research and activism foundation Avaaz.

“And this has very clear effects, for instance on vaccination rates. We have already seen how Facebook and other social media have promoted the rise of the anti-vaccination movement all around the world.”

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A study by his organization found that content from the top 10 websites spreading health misinformation had almost four times as many views on Facebook than websites providing evidence-based information, like public health institutions such as the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Read more:
Nearly half of Canadians can’t tell coronavirus fact from conspiracy theory, survey finds

Nicotra says this has a lot to do with Facebook’s business model.

“Facebook is not a neutral platform. So basically, every time a user logs in, its algorithm decides what you see from the thousands of posts of all the pages you like or the friends you have. It selects the one that it believes will keep you in the platform the most,” he said.

“And what Facebook knows, (CEO Mark) Zuckerberg himself has said that they know that its algorithm, if left unchecked, will promote in a user’s timeline, divisive, sensationalist content and disinformation.”

Read more:
Coronavirus conspiracies pushed by Russia, amplified by Chinese officials, experts say

Despite all evidence, strong rhetoric downplaying the risks associated with COVID-19 has been endorsed at the highest levels of the U.S government.

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According to a study by Cornell University, President Donald Trump has been the world’s biggest driver of COVID-19 misinformation during the pandemic.

A team from the Cornell Alliance for Science looked at 38 million articles published by English-language, traditional media worldwide between Jan. 1 and May 26 of this year.


Click to play video 'Coronavirus: COVID-19 and the fear fueling conspiracy theories'



15:36
Coronavirus: COVID-19 and the fear fueling conspiracy theories


Coronavirus: COVID-19 and the fear fueling conspiracy theories

And misinformation is increasingly moving offline and spilling over into the streets in the form of protests or sometimes aggressive refusals to follow social distancing restrictions.

In April, thousands of people gathered at Michigan’s state capitol to protest executive orders issued by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer that shut down most of the state.

Trump openly encouraged such protests, tweeting, “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!”

A group of men known as the Wolverine Watchmen, said to have been motivated by Whitmer’s actions to limit the spread of COVID-19, have been arrested on conspiracy charges, accused of plotting to kidnap the Michigan governor.

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Read more:
FBI foils plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Trump has admitted to downplaying the pandemic, continuing to do so even after he was diagnosed with COVID-19 — fuelling the growing coronavirus-denial movement.

“His success in responding or reacting personally to COVID that is now being fed into those conspiracies as well, that it proves that it’s a hoax, that it’s not nearly as serious as we went on it was,” said Barbara Perry, the director of Ontario Tech University’s Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism.

And with Facebook’s algorithm trying to keep people on its platform for as long as possible, it’s no surprise that what keeps people engaged are sensational posts often full of false information.

“So Facebook’s responsibility then comes from the inaction on not constraining the algorithm (from going into) these black holes,” Nicotra said. “That, really, in the best case, radicalizes people. In the worst case, during a global pandemic like the one we are in the middle of, really, it puts people’s lives in danger.”

Read more:
Is Facebook ready for the U.S. presidential election?

Facebook has not responded to Global News’ request for comment but it has made an effort to label posts with warning notices about coronavirus misinformation — including posts by politicians.

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But advocates say it’s not enough.

One idea set forth by Nicotra’s foundation is that when Facebook deems a post false or dangerous, it should not only add a warning on the initial post but also when someone shares it, sending them notifications that what they have shared is untrue.

There’s also a push to downgrade the algorithm, says Nicotra, so that when a post is verified false, its reach is automatically decreased.

And as we get closer and closer to the U.S. election and important COVID-19 regulations are debated, access to fact- and science-based information is more important now than ever.


emanuela.campanella@globalnews.ca

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After 30 years in politics, Carole James retires with a new pair of boxing gloves and no regrets – CBC.ca

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Carole James is leaving the political ring with a few victories under her belt.

As leader of the B.C. NDP in the early 2000s, she helped it grow from only two seats in Victoria to more than 30 before John Horgan took on the role. Now, as outgoing finance minister, she is retiring in the wake of an orange wave after the party won a projected historic majority this fall.

James announced in March she had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and planned to focus on her family and her health.

She told CBC she has spent her last week on the job tripping down memory lane — both reflecting on her own experiences and the success of the party.

“It’s been really extraordinary,” she said.

Watch Carole James talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly in politics:

The longtime B.C. politician says try to block the bad, but don’t forget to feel the good. 1:17

The long-serving MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill is leaving the legislature with a unique parting gift from her colleagues — a pair of purple boxing gloves.

Boxing, says James, is a great exercise for people with Parkinson’s and she plans to step out of her comfort zone and give it a go. 

“Much to the surprise of my kids who I’m not sure really believe that I’m going to follow through with it,” she said.

Carole James poses with a parting gift from her colleagues, a pair of boxing gloves. (Darren Stone/Times Colonist)

But not following through doesn’t really come off as a trait of James, who led a party when she didn’t even have her own seat in the house and later, as finance minister, had the unprecedented responsibility of controlling B.C.’s budget during an economically-crippling global pandemic.

“I don’t tend to take on the easy things. I tend to take on the challenging pieces,” said James, adding it was drilled into her early in life to take responsibility and get involved.

Raised by a single mom in the very community she served as MLA, James said she spent much of her childhood at protests and at her grandparents’ home where, as foster parents, there were always kids that needed caring for.

“The expectation in my family was that you have to contribute, that it’s not a choice,” she said.

Watch the retiring MLA reflect on the things that matter most to her:

Hang on to your loved ones, says James, because they will be there when the job is not. 1:01

But now, James is choosing to spend more time on her health and with her two children and grandchildren and her husband, Albert Gerow, the former elected chief of the Burns Lake First Nation.

“I couldn’t do this job if it wasn’t for family and friends and that’s why I remind MLAs when the come in, politics will come and go, but your family and friends — you’ve got to make sure you hang on to those relationships,” said James.

She said she plans on working somewhat during her retirement and while she didn’t specify what she would be doing, she did say it would involve what she loves — problem solving and “bringing folks together across party lines.”

And when she does think back on her time working for British Columbians, it will be with fondness for her colleagues and her constituents. 

“I don’t regret a minute.”

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