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Why it's now 'American identity, stupid' in US politics – CNN



Whites who identify as Christians composed a vastly larger share of the population in the counties Donald Trump won last fall than those captured by President Joe Biden, according to previously unpublished data provided to CNN by the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute from a pathbreaking new study estimating religious affiliation at the county level.
While White Christians have fallen below a majority of the US population over the past decade, they still made up almost exactly two-thirds of the adults in the counties Trump carried — and an even higher percentage in the counties that provided him his largest margins, according to the new findings. By contrast, White Christians represent only about two-fifths of the population in the counties that voted for Biden — and an even smaller percentage in the counties that gave him his biggest margins.
These new county-level findings fill in the picture that exit polls and other surveys have painted over recent years. On one side they show a GOP coalition still dominated by the White Christians who constituted a majority of the nation itself for most of our history; on the other is a Democratic coalition that has been fundamentally reshaped by America’s growing religious and racial diversity and is now split almost in thirds among White Christians, non-White Christians, and those who adhere to non-Christian faiths or no faith at all, according to the latest PRRI findings. Those latter two groups represent an absolute majority of the population in the counties Biden carried, PRRI found.
The grounding of today’s partisan differences in such elemental components of social identity as religion — as well as race, education and age — helps explain why the balance of power has grown so difficult for either party to fundamentally shift, despite all the tumultuous events of recent years. It also explains why so many Americans consider the stakes in the political competition higher than ever. The PRRI results point toward a political competition that now revolves less around individual policy disputes than the larger question of whether America’s direction will be set by the predominantly White and Christian voters who have historically wielded the most power or by an emerging America defined by both religious and racial diversity.
“What we’re seeing unfolding over the last four years, and coming into full flower now, the [political] divides really are about American identity, much more than they are about a policy or even economics,” says Robert P. Jones, founder and CEO of PRRI. “Today we should probably replace ‘It’s the economy, stupid’ with ‘It’s American identity, stupid.’ “

Still a Christian nation?

Jones, like other analysts, believes a pervasive sense of loss and displacement in a diversifying country has solidified the strong affinity for Trump-style politics among many White Christians, especially White evangelical Protestants.
“It really is hard to overstate how central to White Christians’ worldview is this idea of America as a White Christian nation,” says Jones, author of the book “White Too Long,” a history of the relationship between Christian churches and racial inequality. A poll of Trump supporters earlier this year by the conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center underscores his point: Fully 87% of them agreed that “Christian faith is an essential part of American greatness.” That number rose to a near unanimous 97% among White evangelical Trump supporters.
Both the Ethics and Public Policy Center polling and the Public Religion Research Institute’s annual “American Values Survey” document deep concern among Trump’s White Christian supporters, especially evangelicals, that social change of all sorts is eroding Christianity’s central position in American life. In the EPPC poll, 89% of all Trump supporters (and 94% of his evangelical backers) said that “Christianity is under attack in America today.” In the latest PRRI polling, three-fourths of White evangelicals agreed that immigrants are “invading” America and replacing its culture; just over 7 in 10 agreed that Whites now face as much discrimination as Blacks and that the values of Islam are incompatible with American values. Nearly 6 in 10 of them, in a recoil from changing gender roles, said that “society is becoming too soft and feminine.”
This sense of siege, Jones said, has left many conservative Christian voters open to both Trump’s message of resisting social change and to wild conspiracy theories, such as his disproven claims about massive election fraud in 2020. In recent PRRI polling, roughly one-fourth of White evangelical Protestants expressed sympathy for the QAnon conspiracy theory and as many agreed that “true American patriots may have to resort to violence” to save the US.
“I think as this central tentpole that has been holding up their worldview — America as a White Christian nation, their own private promised land — has fallen, just under the sheer weight of the changing country all around them, it has left them vulnerable to grasping at straws and believing in delusions,” Jones says.

White Christians’ numbers declining

Behind this weakness for ungrounded political fantasy is an implacable demographic reality: White Christians have been relentlessly declining as a share of America’s population.
Whites who identify as Christians composed a majority of Americans through almost all of US history. Even as late as 1968, when President Richard Nixon was first elected, Gallup polling found that 85% of Americans identified as White and Christian. (At that point about 60% of Americans identified as White Protestants and another roughly 25% as White Catholics.)
That number has plummeted over the past half century as the nation has grown more diverse racially (reducing the White share of the population) and religiously (reducing the share of Christians). Different surveys plot the change at slightly varying speeds, but they all show the same trajectory, with the nation reaching a dramatic milestone sometime over the past decade. According to the annual General Social Survey by NORC at the University of Chicago, an independent research organization, White Christians fell below majority status in the country for the first time sometime between 2010 and 2012. Gallup, in figures it provided me, put the tipping point to minority status somewhere between 2016 and 2017. Though the Pew Research Center and PRRI did not conduct polls frequently enough to identify a precise tipping point, in surveys over the past decade both also found White Christians falling to well below half of the population.
In the PRRI studies, White Christians reached a low point of 42% of the population in 2018. PRRI says the group has rebounded slightly since, to 44% of the population in the latest Census of American Religion, which it released last week. Gallup, though it places the share of White Christians slightly higher, hasn’t found a rebound: It shows their level stable at 47% since 2018. (Neither the General Social Survey nor Pew has numbers more recent than that.)
The growth in PRRI’s data came primarily from an unexpected source: a slight increase in the share of Americans who identify as mainline Protestants, a faith that had seemed the most endangered over recent decades. White Catholics have also stabilized in the PRRI data, but the institute found the share of adults who identify as White evangelical Protestants, the bedrock group in the Republican coalition, continuing to slide; in PRRI’s data, evangelicals now comprise 14.5% of Americans, down from about 21% a decade ago. Jones says that while there is no conclusive proof in the data, there’s evidence to suggest that some White Protestants who once might have identified as evangelical have migrated toward more mainline Protestant denominations over unease with evangelical leaders’ unconditional identification with Trump.

2 snapshots in time

Notwithstanding their slight differences, all the major data sources agree on the broad trend of growing religious pluralism. The shrinking share of White Christians have been replaced partly by non-White Christians, who have grown from just under one-fourth of the population earlier in this century to slightly over one-fourth now. Even more important has been the rising number of Americans who don’t identify with any religious faith: They’ve increased from about 1 in 6 adults earlier in this century to nearly 1 in 4 now.
These powerful currents have washed over both parties, but they have carried Republicans and Democrats to very different places. White Christians still make up 68% of adults who identify as Republicans, PRRI found, with White evangelical Christians (at 29%), the largest religious group in the party (if down from their numbers even in the GOP earlier this century). By contrast, White Christians now compose just 39% of those who identify as Democrats. Non-White Christians contribute about 1 in 3 Democrats, PRRI found, compared with only about 1 in 7 Republicans. The remaining Democrats (nearly 3 in 10) ascribe either to non-Christian faiths or no religion at all; those two groups represent roughly one-sixth of the GOP, only a little over half as much.
In all, the two parties now present religious profiles that amount to snapshots through time. Today’s Republican coalition looks something like the religious profile in America overall about 25 years ago (the last time White Christians represented two-thirds of all Americans in the General Social Survey studies was around 1995); the Democratic coalition’s religious breakdown approximates what America itself might look like 10 or so years from now.
Jones makes the same point from a slightly different vantage point: He notes that the religious composition of the Republican coalition now closely resembles the profile of Americans 65 and older, while the Democratic composition closely overlaps with the overall profile of adults younger than 30.

Strong regional differences

The new county-level data from PRRI shows just how powerfully and pervasively these contrasts now shape the competition between the parties. In its latest report, PRRI made an unprecedented attempt to document American religious affiliation by county, drawing on 459,822 survey interviews with Americans across all 50 states that it conducted from 2013 to 2019.
That report found sharp regional differences in religious affiliation, with all White Christians representing the largest share of the population across the Midwest and outer South, White evangelicals most plentiful in the deep South and unaffiliated, secular Americans most common in the Northeast and especially the West. At CNN’s request, PRRI research director Natalie Jackson crossed those findings with county-level results from the 2020 and 2016 presidential races. The results were striking.
In 2020, White Christians made up 66% of the adult population in the nearly 2,600 counties Trump carried, many of them smaller and rural. In the nearly 550 counties that Biden carried (including 91 of the 100 largest), White Christians represented only 41% of the adult population. The difference was especially stark among White evangelical Christians: They composed 34% of the population in the Trump counties, compared with just 15% in the Biden counties. By contrast, non-White Christians represented almost 1 in 4 adults in the Biden counties, compared with about 1 in 10 in the Trump counties. Other Christians — a diverse group that includes Asian, Native American, mixed-race and Orthodox Christians as well as Jehovah’s Witnesses — constituted a comparably small share in each man’s counties (about 1 in 16). But those who subscribe to non-Christian faiths or no faith at all were a much bigger presence in the Biden counties (roughly 3 in 10) than Trump’s (about 2 in 10).
This divergence was even greater in the counties that gave each side its biggest margins. In the nearly 1,100 counties Trump won by 50 percentage points or more, White Christians made up more than 70% of the population, PRRI found. Trump amassed his biggest margins, beating Biden by 80 percentage points or more, almost entirely in smaller rural counties — like Roberts, Borden, King and Armstrong counties in Texas or Hayes, McPherson and Grant in Nebraska — where White Christians represented about three-fourths or more of the population. By contrast, they made up fewer than one-third of all residents in the roughly 170 counties that Biden won by at least 30 percentage points; in Biden’s 20 best counties, most of them larger urban centers, White Christians constituted more than one-fourth of the population in just five.

Contraction and radicalization

These county-level results confirm the religious divide evident in exit polls and other studies that analyzed the 2020 election results. In the recently released Pew Research Center “Validated Voters” study, for instance, Trump crushed by Biden by almost 70 percentage points among White evangelical Christians and posted solid (if reduced from 2016) margins of about 15 percentage points among both White mainline Protestants and White Catholics. Strong liberal social movements have persisted in both denominations for decades (particularly around issues of racial justice), but the fact that Biden, a White Catholic who positioned himself as a centrist, couldn’t push his vote with those groups much past 40% underscored how many barriers Democrats face with the bulk of their believers.
Biden, in turn, dominated among secular voters and non-White Christians (though Trump apparently ran more competitively, as Republicans often do, among Hispanic Protestants, many of whom are evangelicals). Like polls in previous presidential elections, the Pew analysis also found that within each religious denomination Trump, as other Republican nominees before him, generally ran better with the voters who attended religious services most often, while Biden did better with those who attended less frequently, according to detailed results Pew provided me.
Jones says it’s too early to tell if the recent stabilization in the White Christian share of the population represents a new plateau or merely a pause in their long decline. One key factor argues for the latter assessment: White Christians make up only a little more than 1 in 4 adults under 30 in PRRI’s data, compared with nearly 6 in 10 of those over 65. As the former continue to replace the latter in American society, that disparity suggests White Christians are more likely than not to continue shrinking through the 2020s. When measuring America by race and religion White Christians will likely remain the nation’s largest single group for years, but without the preponderant numbers that made them the clear first among equals in US life for earlier generations.
How White Christians respond to that change in status will play a huge role in determining whether America’s political tensions continue to escalate. (The question is equally pertinent for Whites without college degrees, another core GOP group that also has, for the first time, fallen below a majority of the US population in this century.)
As the new PRRI county data for 2016 and 2020 shows, a strong majority of White Christians have flocked to Trump’s promise to “make America great again” and implicitly restore a social order that placed them at its center. If that large a share of White Christians responded to such arguments when they still constituted a little over 40% of the population, there’s little reason to think that if their numbers shrink further fewer will be drawn to Trump-style messaging — even as he grows more overtly hostile to democracy.
This process of contraction and radicalization is most apparent among White evangelicals, as evidenced by the conflict between relative moderates and militant conservatives in the Southern Baptist Convention.
“My fear is that what’s going to happen is as the group shrinks it’s going to become more extreme and what’ll end up happening is that the moderating voices in that group will leave and then it becomes even more extreme,” says Jones.
Such a “radicalization spiral” is very hard to break, he notes, and provides a huge pool of disaffected Whites willing to subvert democratic rules — or even resort to violence — if that’s what it takes to prevent a diverse and increasingly secular liberal coalition from, in their view, remaking American society.
“It’s a crisis,” Jones says flatly. “There’s no other way to say it.”

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Roe v. Wade: How abortion came to divide US politics – CTV News




Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion nationwide in 1973, the issue has become one of the defining fault lines in U.S. politics, with Democratic politicians firmly supporting abortion rights and Republican lawmakers lining up in opposition.

In 1973 the lines were more blurred. Republican and Democratic voters were equally likely to say abortion should be legal, while it was easy to find Republican officials who supported abortion rights and Democrats who opposed the procedure.

So what changed?


Abortion on demand was legal in four states in the early 1970s, while 14 more allowed it under some circumstances.

While the Catholic Church opposed abortion, the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest evangelical denomination, was on record saying it should be allowed in many circumstances.

Neither party viewed abortion as a defining issue.

Republicans like first lady Betty Ford said the Roe decision was “a great, great decision,” while some Democrats, like a newly elected senator named Joe Biden, said the court’s ruling went “too far.”

Voters also did not see the issue along partisan lines. The General Social Survey opinion poll found in 1977 that 39% of Republicans said abortion should be allowed for any reason, compared to 35% of Democrats.


In the years that followed, conservative activists like Phyllis Schlafly seized on the issue as a threat to traditional values and enlisted evangelical churches, which had shown a new interest in politics following a series of court rulings that limited prayer in public settings.

These groups portrayed abortion as a threat to the family structure, along with broader social developments like gay rights, rising divorce rates, and women working outside of the home. For pastors and parishioners, abortion became a proxy issue for concerns about a liberalizing society, said Mary Ziegler, a legal historian at University of California-Davis.

“For many evangelicals, this was more about family and women and sex,” she said.

In 1980, the Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution opposing abortion, reversing its earlier position.

Republican Ronald Reagan’s presidential victory that same year gave abortion opponents a powerful ally in the White House. At the same time, women’s rights activists gained more influence within the Democratic Party and pushed leaders to support abortion rights.

But support for Roe still did not line up along party lines.

In a 1983 Senate vote, 34 Republicans and 15 Democrats voted for a proposed constitutional amendment that would have overturned the Roe decision, while 19 Republicans and 31 Democrats voted against it.

Biden was among those voting no, even though he had backed the legislation in committee the previous year.


In the years that followed, the dividing lines became more apparent as political candidates found it increasingly necessary to align with activists who were becoming more influential within their parties.

Republican George H.W. Bush, an abortion opponent who had earlier supported abortion rights, won the presidency in 1988. In 1992 he was defeated by Democrat Bill Clinton, an abortion rights supporter who had earlier opposed abortion.

Since 1989, abortion-rights groups have donated $32 million to Democrats and $3 million to Republican candidates who support keeping abortion legal, according to OpenSecrets, which tracks money in politics. Groups that opposed abortion have given $14 million to Republicans and only $372,000 to Democrats over that time period.

Voters were slower to sort themselves out. As late as 1991, 45% of Democrats and 41% of Republicans said they supported abortion for any reason, according to the General Social Survey.

Partisan differences widened in the following years, however, as the issue became a staple of TV attack ads fundraising appeals and mass rallies by interest groups.

By the turn of the century, only 31% of Republicans supported on-demand abortion, while Democratic support remained steady at 45%, according to the General Social Survey.


Other opinion polls have consistently shown that most Americans support some restrictions on abortion but oppose an outright ban.

At the same time, Democrats have grown more absolute in their support for abortion rights.

Biden, who supported a ban on federal funding for most abortions in the Medicaid program for the poor for most of his political career, reversed his position as he sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.

In the current Congress, only one House Democrat and one Senate Democrat voted against legislation that would make abortion legal nationwide under all circumstances. The bill failed in the Senate, but Democrats have said they plan to make it a central issue in the November 2022 elections.

Among Democratic voters, support for unrestricted abortion has jumped from 56% in 2016 to 71% last year, according to the General Social Survey, while Republican support continues to hover around 34%.

Reporting by Andy Sullivan; Editing by Ross Colvin and Lisa Shumaker


Have you tried accessing abortion services in Canada?

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, wants to hear from Canadians who have had an abortion.

Did you struggle to access abortion services or information in Canada? Was it difficult to secure an appointment?

Tell us your story by emailing, and include your name and location. Your comments may be used in a story.

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Politics Briefing: Ottawa police preparing for protests at Canada Day celebrations – The Globe and Mail




Ottawa police say they are preparing for protests at this week’s Canada Day celebrations, and planning to balance the rights of protestors and those celebrating the holiday.

“We will not, however, accept unlawful behaviour,” Steve Bell, the interim Ottawa police chief, told a news conference on Monday.

Mr. Bell said the police are rallying public-order units, traffic teams and tow trucks and will take “decisive and lawful action” to deal with threats, occupation attempts and other unlawful action.

The city has been the scene of several large demonstrations since supporters of the self-described freedom convoy occupied the downtown core for three weeks in January and February. Now there are concerns about new anti-government protests during Canada Day.

Celebrations in the national capital have been moved from the lawn of Parliament Hill due to reconstruction work on the House of Commons and will be held at LeBreton Flats, west of the downtown core.

“We expect there to be demonstrations. This is a right of all Canadians and it will be protected. We will not, however, accept unlawful behaviour and we will not allow vehicle-based demonstration in the motor vehicle control zone,” said Mr. Bell.

The zone refers to an area of downtown Ottawa being established over the Canada Day weekend to prevent the movement of vehicle protests in the area.

”Visitors and community members will see a significant police posture and presence throughout the city,” said the interim chief.

Mr. Bell said officers from the Ottawa police have met with affected community groups in the city affected by the “illegal occupation of our streets,” and take the harm and trauma residents suffered very seriously, and have considered it in planning for Canada Day.

Police liaison officers have also tried to reach out to protest organizers about expectations for appropriate, lawful protest, he said.

Mayor Jim Watson offered a warning to prospective protesters. “There are not going to be warnings and second chances. If the law is broken, regardless of who breaks it, there will be consequences,” he told the news conference.

In late April, the Ottawa Police Services Board approved a request from Mr. Bell to appoint up to 831 RCMP officers to help with the Rolling Thunder motorcycle events, and made those appointments valid until July 4.

Meanwhile, a community group called the Ottawa People’s Commission on the Convoy Occupation officially launched Monday with the appointment of three commissioners to hold public hearings on the convoy occupation of the city earlier this year.

The commission, according to a statement, has secured the support of the Centretown Community Health Centre as its anchor agency and fundraising portal and it will deliver a final report within a year. The OPC will be funded by donations from the public, foundations, businesses, unions and local agencies.

“We need this independent, non-partisan inquiry to hear from ordinary citizens, advocacy organizations and social agencies, business owners, workers and others whose lives were turned upside down during the occupation,” said commission spokesman Ken Rubin.

With a file from The Canadian Press.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Ian Bailey. It is available exclusively to our digital subscribers. If you’re reading this on the web, subscribers can sign up for the Politics newsletter and more than 20 others on our newsletter sign-up page. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.


GOOD GRADES FOR CANADA’S HANDLING OF COVID-19: NEW STUDY – Canada handled the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic and weathered the ensuing upheaval better than several other nations with comparable health-care and economic infrastructure, a new study suggests. Story here.

CONVICTED MURDERERS SEEK PAROLE AFTER COURT RULING – Several men convicted of multiple murders are pressing claims for early chances at parole, after the Supreme Court struck down Canada’s life-without-parole law, retroactive to the legislation’s 2011 enactment. Story here.

LABRETON CONCERNED ABOUT CPC DIRECTION – A former Conservative Senate leader is expressing concern about the direction Pierre Poilievre is taking the party, worrying the Tories might be reaching the point of “fracturing beyond repair.” Story here from Global News.

FREELAND TOUTS BALANCE IN INFLATION STRATEGY – Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland says she must strike a balance between helping Canadians suffering from the effects of inflation and pursuing a policy of fiscal restraint – or risk making the cost of living problem worse. Story here from CBC.

TASK FORCE STRUCK TO DEAL WITH IMMIGRATION/PASSPORT ISSUES -The federal government has created a special task force to help tackle the major delays with immigration applications and passport processing that have left Canadians frustrated. Story here from CTV.

MENDICINO “DEEPLY COMMITTED” TO RCMP OVERSIGHT – The federal Public Safety Minister says he is “deeply committed” to enhancing oversight of the RCMP by strengthening the role of the national police force’s management advisory board. Story here.

BECK TO LEAD SASKATCHEWAN NDP – Saskatchewan’s NDP has chosen Carla Beck to be its new leader, making her the first woman to lead the party in 90 years. Story here.

FORMER LEADER DONATED $300,000 TO NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR TORIES – Ches Crosbie, the former leader of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Progressive Conservative Party, donated $300,000 to the party last year – more than 40 per cent of its overall income – as it waged a drawn-out and controversial election campaign that was thrown into chaos by the COVID-19 pandemic. A political scientist, however, says the situation is further proof that Newfoundland and Labrador’s elections rules are in need of an overhaul. Story here from CBC.

TRUDEAU AND JOHNSON COMPARE PLANES – ‘Very, very modest’: U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson vs Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on whose private jet is smaller. Story here from The Guardian.


CAMPAIGN TRAIL – Scott Aitchison is in the Ontario community of Corbyville on Monday taking part in the Conservative Leadership Meet & Greet hosted by the Hastings-Lennox and Addington Conservative Electoral District Association. Patrick Brown is in also in Corbyville, Belleville and Richmond Hill on Monday. Jean Charest is also in Belleville on Monday. There was no campaign information available for Roman Baber, Leslyn Lewis and Pierre Poilievre.

MACKAY BACKS POILIEVRE – Pierre Poilievre says, in a tweet, that Elmer MacKay is backing him for the Conservative leadership. Mr. MacKay was a cabinet minister under former Progressive Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. He is the father of Peter MacKay, who was a cabinet minister under Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper, and who also sought the Conservative leadership in 2020. “Pierre’s message of affordability and freedom is resonating widely,” Elmer MacKay said in a statement attached to Mr. Poilievre’s tweet. “I know he has what it takes to be our next Prime Minister.”


The House of Commons is not sitting again until Sept. 19. The Senate is to resume sitting on Sept. 20

DUCLOS IN MONTREAL – Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos was in Montreal to make a funding announcement on long-term care in Quebec.

FORD MEETS TORY – In Toronto, Premier Doug Ford met with Toronto Mayor John Tory at Queen’s Park, with the pair scheduled to hold a joint news conference after their discussions.

GOULD IN WINNIPEG – Families Minister Karina Gould is to make an announcement, in Winnipeg, with Manitoba’s Education Minister Wayne Ewasko on increasing licensed child-care spaces and the implementation of a wage grid for the child-care work force.

ALGHABRA IN OSHAWA – Transport Minister Omar Alghabra was in Oshawa, Ont., to announce about $14 -million for an expansion project at the port of Oshawa.


On Monday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, Hannah Sung, co-founder of Media Girlfriends, host of the podcast At The End of the Day and BTS fan, explains what makes the superstar K-pop group BTS so popular and why they’re so influential. BTS announced recently that they are taking a temporary break as a group and pursuing individual projects. This moment was a big deal for their millions of fans worldwide, the company that brings in billions of dollars managing them and for South Korea, which considers its members cultural ambassadors for the country. The Decibel is here.


In Elmau, Germany, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, attending the Group of Seven summit, was scheduled to hold meetings with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz as well as Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida Fumio. The Prime Minister was also scheduled to participate in the G7 Working Session, entitled The World in Conflict: Exchange on Ukraine as well as a working luncheon with G7 Leaders and international partner countries and organizations, and to participate in the official family photo with G7 Leaders and international partner countries and organizations. The Prime Minister was also scheduled to meet with Senegal President Macky Sall, and to participate in a working session with G7 Leaders and international partner countries and organizations, entitled Stronger Together: Addressing Food Security and Advancing Gender Equality. Beyond that, the Prime Minister was scheduled to meet with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, then meet with Joko Widodo, the president of Indonesia. And the Prime Minister’s summit day was expected to end with a dinner with G7 Leaders and international partner countries and organizations hosted by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.


No schedules released for party leaders.


Fifty-two per cent of Canadians are pessimistic about the future of Canada, a considerably higher finding than responses in recent years, according to new research by the Angus Reid Institute. Meanwhile, in the Conservative leadership race, MP Pierre Poilievre continues is the most appealing option to 26 per cent of Canadians, followed closely by former Quebec premier Jean Charest (21 per cent). Details here.


The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on how francophones outside Quebec became the minority English Canada forgot about: The Quebec government of Premier François Legault has been criticized, and with good reason, for invoking the notwithstanding clause to curtail the rights of the province’s English-speakers in his flagship language reform, Bill 96. It’s no excuse – as Mr. Legault sometimes falsely suggests – but francophones outside of Quebec often face an even less hospitable reality. Without succumbing to issue-dodging whataboutism, or pretending that two minority communities wronged somehow makes it all right, it’s worth reflecting on the perennial battle for survival waged mostly under the radar in Shediac and Sudbury and St. Boniface. Too often, a basic level of respect eludes French-speaking communities in the Rest of Canada.”

John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on how it’s time for Canada to get serious about defence: “The Liberal government’s $4.9-billion commitment to modernizing NORAD represents an important step in preparing Canada for this increasingly dangerous world. But it’s only a start. With threats to the left of us in the Indo-Pacific, to the right in Europe, and with Russia to our north, this country must get serious about defence.”

Richard French (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how the PMO wields too much power in Ottawa: “Similar criticisms have been heard in Ottawa since the arrival of the current government. But perhaps there is a novelty here. I would argue that, while the centralization of power in Westminster prime ministerships always reflects the personal character and desire of the person in the office, in our case today, the person in the office does not want to dominate his government. He wants the Prime Minister’s Office to dominate it for him and is quite content to be its creature. What we have in Ottawa is the Justin Trudeau Regency.”

Fahad Razak, Arthur Slutsky and David Naylor (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how we need new strategies to tackle COVID-19 this fall: But governments also need a new storyline – one that celebrates the effects of vaccines in preventing serious disease and death, while acknowledging the declining marginal yields of repeated administration of current vaccines when it comes to preventing infection with later variants. That shift explains evolving vaccine mandates and underpins the case for vaccines currently in development and regulatory review. It’s also counterproductive to talk about two doses as “full vaccination” – the number of vaccine doses needed for protection against serious COVID-19 varies by age, health status and circulating variant. Public-health restrictions must also evolve. Not because of the lies being told about their past ineffectiveness, but because every effort should be made to avoid broad-brush restrictions on public gatherings, as well as school and business shutdowns.”

Vaughn Palmer (The Vancouver Sun) on why B.C. Premier John Horgan may defy speculation and lead the B.C. NDP into the next provincial election: One can readily imagine why Horgan might have decided to go. He’s been through a lot on the health front. He’d be leaving the NDP in a strong position in the opinion polls and with two years to regroup under a new leader. But it is easy to come up with a rationale for a decision to stay. He loves the job, leastways he has done so up to this point. There’s no one waiting in the wings with his communication skills and populist touch. The government faces huge challenges with inflation, the crisis in health care, and public sector bargaining. His rivalry with B.C. Liberal leader Kevin Falcon is personal. Horgan would like to beat him, not have people think that he walked away from a fight. The latter scenario is the preferred one for most New Democrats.”

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Politics Podcast: What The Politics Of Abortion Look Like Now – FiveThirtyEight





In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, the crew discusses the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn constitutional abortion rights. Which states now have abortion bans in place, how have Americans across the political spectrum responded with protests and celebrations, and how could this decision impact the midterm elections? 

The podcast also analyzed two more notable opinions released by the Supreme Court in the last few days: the ruling on gun restrictions that has significant implications for gun control in five other states and a ruling on prayer at public schools.

Finally, the team does a quick tour of the biggest primary elections in Illinois, New York, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Utah on Tuesday.

You can listen to the episode by clicking the “play” button in the audio player above or by downloading it in iTunes, the ESPN App or your favorite podcast platform. If you are new to podcasts, learn how to listen.

The FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast is recorded Mondays and Thursdays. Help new listeners discover the show by leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. Have a comment, question or suggestion for “good polling vs. bad polling”? Get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments.

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