US midterms, selling your birthright for a mess of potash, and a streetcar named Rob Ford …

Oct 31st, 2010 | By | Category: In Brief

The big North American political news this coming week is of course the US mid-term elections on Tuesday, November 2 — which may or may not put Barack Obama and his beleaguered Democrats in some kind of dog house (and almost certainly will: the only real question is just how dirty it  will be?).

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, November 3, the Canadian federal government is supposed to be making some form of decision about the future of the Australian firm BHP’s bid for the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (largely headquartered in Chicago, some like to stress). There are many agreeable ironies in all this, as  Canada’s own free-market ideologues in Ottawa and Regina, and other provincial capitals too, struggle with an issue that used to preoccupy what some denigrated as Canadian nationalists, who at least wondered about just how much sense it made to let foreign investors buy almost everything in your country, even if you do believe in what earlier generations called the liberal economy.

There have been many fascinating news reports on all this. See, eg:  “Manitoba joins opposition to Potash takeover by BHP” ; “Why Harper will deny the Potash takeover bid” ; “Hands Off Our Potash! Canadians Wary Of Merger Bid” ; “BHP’s bid in Federal Government’s Hands ” ; “Sask. First Nations to bid for Potash Corp” ; and “Premier Brad Wall warns against BHP turning Saskatchewan into ‘branch office’ .”

Meanwhile again, various hands here have contributed to the first installment of what we hope will be an extended monitoring of the new municipal regime in Canada’s largest  big city (and most despised as well — justly enough, no doubt, etc, etc). It could be yet another sign of changes blowing in the wind in northern North America, as elsewhere in the western hemisphere and beyond. You can dig into the issue in all too much depth by clicking here on STREETCAR NAMED ROB FORD.

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