Monday, Monday .. J Trudeau boxeur, K Olbermann, US health care, and two and a half cheers for Mark Carney ..Apr 2nd, 2012 | By Counterweights Editors | Category: In Brief
We at least think we understand what federal NDP MP Charlie Angus means when he says: “The Twitterati, I mean, I don’t even know who these people are. I don’t think it’s a positive move in the political realm that we’re dealing with because of the dumbed-down nature of the conversation.” But …
(1) We don’t think this also means we can’t begin this Monday/Monday meditation with a tip of the ranger hat to federal Liberal MP Justin Trudeau, for his boxing TKO over Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau this past Saturday night. For more detail see the March 31 UPDATE to our own March 5 opus: “The quiet evolution of ‘La femme de Justin Trudeau’ carries on .. almost as if it knows what it’s doing?” M. Trudeau boxeur has proved that, as he says, Liberals can take a punch. (And hit back too!)
(2) This past Saturday night as well our own Citizen X felt compelled to offer his take on the latest twist and turn in the long journey of the USA today’s greatest liberal journalist, Keith Olbermann. See : “It’s not Keith Olbermann’s fault that democracy in America today can’t seem to find a place for him.” For an update on just what the key issue between Olbermann and Al Gore’s Current TV is/was/may have been, see The Daily Beast’s report from yesterday, “Keith Olbermann’s Angry Email Trail Traces Breakup With Current TV … His bitter divorce from Al Gore’s network followed months of escalating complaints to Current TV executives. Howard Kurtz unearths the acrimonious correspondence.”
(3) What’s going to happen if, at some point this coming June, the world finally does discover that the US Supreme Court is going to strike down at least the insurance mandate ingredient of Obamacare? Ben Smith and Anna North at BuzzFeed have tidily laid out one of the more interesting prospects: “Democrats Look Past The Mandate, To The Left … Obama, faced with a rejection in the court, could … look to energize Democrats with the sort of broader government-backed plan, in the form of a Medicare expansion, that would rally his own supporters.” (Oh and btw, according to today’s latest Gallup Poll: “Obama 49%, Romney 45% Among Registered Voters Nationwide …”)
(4) The Maclean’s print edition of “How Ottawa runs on oil … Suddenly Western money and influence are driving everything that happens in the nation’s capital” includes a sidebar on seven key figures whom Stephen Harper has elevated in the current Canadian federal power structure. In our view by far and away the best is Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney. And we were happy to see “Mark Carney urges exporters to ‘refocus’ on emerging markets” in today’s Globe and Mail.
At the same time, we agree this is a promising theme to which federal finance minister Jim Falherty has also lately given voice. But Eric Reguly has cast doubt on just how seriously the Harper government is about its emerging markets rhetoric (“Trade took back seat on Harper’s Thailand trip”). And Thomas Walkom has argued that “Japan free trade pact marks victory for hewers-of-wood economy” (granted that Japan is hardly an emerging economy like Thailand).
Our final thought here for the moment: whatever else, you can’t expect that just jawboning the private sector is going to do much good in this country. We’ve never quite had that kind of private sector. If emerging market exports are ultimately supposed to be the key strategy for reviving the Central Canadian manufacturing sector — as Mark Carney’s recent comments so provocatively imply — what and where is the supporting federal government policy?
Manufacturing in Canada, that is to say, got its start with John A. Macdonald’s National Policy in the late 19th century (35% tariffs at their height on key manufactured good imports). Whatever the 21st century analogue may be, it’s not easy to believe it will come from the Harper government — the brilliant appointment of Mark Carney as Bank of Canada Governor notwithstanding.