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US Politics

I appreciate the updates @JonnyCanuck ! Just have nothing to add. Words literally escape me in the face of all these revelations. What's even scarier is that if you had to place a bet at this moment on who will win the presidential election in 2024, you gotta put Trump at or near the top of the list. The GOP nomination seems to be his for the taking, and Biden's approval rating is tracking Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford right now. It's also tracking Reagan's approval as well, so there's plenty of time for it to go back up, but things aren't looking good at the moment.
Same for me. I too appreciate the updates from @JonnyCanuck , but don't necessarily have much to add. For me when it comes to Trump, it would take an all night long discussion to get out all of the talking points I have about him and the US lol. I haven't been following as much lately, and thus do appreciate the updates.

As for what's coming down the pipe in the U.S. That's another all night discussion. so many angle s and possibilities it seems. Sadly, Trump seems like the front runner of any possible candidates including Biden. Neither party seems to have anyone with a large following. That's terrifying.
 
In any other democratic country or in any other time in U.S. history, Trump's attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election would be interpreted as a coup attempt. Just because he was the sitting president at the time or that he 'really believes' there was voter fraud, is not an excuse. Had he been successful in halting the peaceful transition of power, this could have turned into, at minimum a constitutional crisis; and at worst, a civil war.
The guy is flat out dangerous and, living in a neighbouring country, that makes me nervous. Hopefully, the Department of Justice agrees and he is charged with crimes against democracy. That should put a dagger in any 2024 election bid.
 
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Would Trump's actions amount to sedition?
I don't see why not. As I stated previously, in any other country or in any other period in U.S. history, his actions would be interpreted as such. Unfortunately, the U.S. is living in a time where politics is all about winning at any cost ... lying, manipulating, retribution ...all seem to be tolerable by a large swath of the population. Yesterday's testimony at the Jan.. 6 hearing was more example (with greater clarity) of just how ruthless and maniacal Trump is. He cares about nothing other than himself and winning.
Can you imagine if Biden, Obama and Clinton decided in 2016 that they would not accept the results of Trump winning and pulled the same stunts as Trump and his crew tried to do? Would the Republican party have sat idly by as they are doing now in the face of what is quite obvious to most rational people? I think we all know the answer to that.
 
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The scary thing is the main news sources the crazy republicans follow are barely even mentioning this whole situation. They are foaming at the mouth about Colbert's "insurrection" but completely sticking their head in the sand about anything January 6. I'm scared for the US and slightly less for us. The divisions are only getting deeper it seems.
 
Yeah .. the very 'threatening' Colbert incident. That is so laughable that Fox and other conservative media would even draw attention to it. Colbert's crew were in D.C. for scheduled interviews between members of congress and ...... wait for it .... Triumph the Insult Dog.
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Yes the terrible thought that a puppet could be threatening democracy the way Trump did on January 6. The parallels are 'frightening'. And ... the Colbert people were not even in the Capitol building when they were detained !!!
Just another example of how far off the deep end, politics and civility have gone. Anything to draw negative attention away from Trump, I guess.
 
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An anecdote from a friend in the USA came to be of greater relevance to me around voter ID laws. It is around that even in Democrat states, the ability to get ID is via the DMV, and the DMVs are notoriously poorly run. Like wait 3, 4 hours poorly run to try to register a vehicle.

I thought the DMV was just a popular culture trope, but it is the reality. Most states cannot even run that most basic of government administration in a consumer focused way.

Now I see it as just another layer in the machine to try to keep people outside of the registered electorate.
The DMV as a mode of voter supression is a new conspiracy theory.

You probably aren't old enough to remember the time before Alberta privatized registry services, when renewing a driver's license at one of the government run offices required taking half a day off work. The DMV equivalents in most places are awful, becuase they are monopolies, run by the government and unionized.
 
The DMV as a mode of voter supression is a new conspiracy theory.

You probably aren't old enough to remember the time before Alberta privatized registry services, when renewing a driver's license at one of the government run offices required taking half a day off work. The DMV equivalents in most places are awful, becuase they are monopolies, run by the government and unionized.
I never had any problem getting something done at a ServiceOntario location, including renewing a license. I think the DMV is a special kind of incompetent (maybe by design). A lot of the US's problems stem from its divided government, particularly between the legislative and executive branches. And, as the last few days have demonstrated, the courts in that country take a much, much more heavy handed approach in changing and manipulating public policy. There's such a tug-of-war going on over public policy and programs, it's amazing the country runs at all. Give me our parliamentary system any day of the week where at least the buck stops with the PM/Premier.
 
There's such a tug-of-war going on over public policy and programs, it's amazing the country runs at all. Give me our parliamentary system any day of the week where at least the buck stops with the PM/Premier.
Yes. The executive (president), congress and the supreme court are supposed to be co-equal branches of government. Congress can't agree on anything so Biden can't get anything done unless it is by executive order (limited authority). This supreme court seems to want to turn more authority to the states (i.e abortion) unless it is related to guns which they don't want the state to have limiting laws(i.e. concealed carry in New York). Then you have state legislatures who own the federal election process. This is because congress won't pass federal laws that are consistent in each state. Their system of government is 🤬 up for sure.
 
Yes. The executive (president), congress and the supreme court are supposed to be co-equal branches of government. Congress can't agree on anything so Biden can't get anything done unless it is by executive order (limited authority).
They are not supposed to be equal, they are supposed to act within their constitutional authority and no more. The same goes with state legislatures and division of powers between the state and federal governments. The Supreme Court's role, when it comes to rights or federalism questions, is to determine what the Constitution allows or prohibits. That turns on very complicated questions of constitutional and statutory interpretation. When justices have varying philosophical approaches to interpretation, there can be deeply divided opinions on what the law allows and prohibits. This has become a major issue in the US but is less a problem in Canada as we have a relatively clear guidance from the SCC on statutory and constitutional interpretation.
This supreme court seems to want to turn more authority to the states (i.e abortion) unless it is related to guns which they don't want the state to have limiting laws(i.e. concealed carry in New York).
And, as the last few days have demonstrated, the courts in that country take a much, much more heavy handed approach in changing and manipulating public policy. There's such a tug-of-war going on over public policy and programs, it's amazing the country runs at all. Give me our parliamentary system any day of the week where at least the buck stops with the PM/Premier.
I would argue that Canadian court's are more heavy handed when it comes to wading into public policy and are unquestionably more liberal in their approach to constitutional interpretation than in the US. The general criticism against small-c conservative justices in the US is that they tend to interpret constitutionally protected rights narrowly, so it's more about being light handed on issues like a state's ability to prohibit or limit abortion, than being heavy handed. The overarching proposition being that unless something is clearly enshrined in a constitution, democratically elected legislatures should be free to pass laws regardless of whether they are controversial or illiberal.

Now, whether a court being more 'activist' or not is a good or bad thing is subject to never ending debate within legal scholarships. I would say that Canada's experience with the Charter and s.35 is an example of it being a good thing, although many would disagree.
 
I would say in the USA a lot of the litigation is about rights read into the constitution, besides guns. As a document of modern conception, our courts aren’t reading rights into existence, but interpreting rights.

Like, roe v wade was about an implied right to privacy, where morgentaler in Canada was a security of the person case (as was medical assistance in dieing, medicinal marijuana) and the section 35 rights are actually interpreted very narrowly (the crown needs to consult and know the damage it is doing before making decisions that effect treaty rights).

That we have rights that are more relevant to the 21at century seems more likely the reason for divergence than anything. If anything the Canadian system is set up to be more ‘conservative’ with section 1 and what became the Oakes Test, and the not withstanding clause.
 
My understanding is that the separation of powers designed into the US constitution was based on balancing regional and class interests. The House elected by popular majorities to represent the masses. The Senate appointed by state leadership "to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority" (to quote James Madison). Different branches would naturally represent different types of constituencies. But what the US has today is competition between two parties, which only loosely overlap with regional and class differences, who attempt to dominate all the branches. The legislature doesn't really legislate. It's primary purpose is either to protect or undermine the president (depending on his party). The President, meanwhile, focuses on stacking the courts with loyal judges. And the judges then manipulate the laws in favour of their own party and its agenda. Every branch is focused on manipulating the others instead of doing the job it was designed to do.

In terms of the SCOTUS conservative majority, Ezra Klein made a very good and chilling point. Sometimes the SCOTUS advocates state rights (abortion), other times they're happy to overrule states (gun rights). Sometimes they defer to the authority of the legislature, as when they claimed ignorance to avoid restricting gerrymandering. Other times they assert deeper insights over and above the legislature, like when they struck down parts of the voting rights act because they decided unilaterally that racism was no longer an issue. Sometimes they try to read the constitution from the perspective of the 18th century. Other times they invent completely novel legal doctrines. The only consistent through line in their rulings is that they tow the GOP line.
 
I would say in the USA a lot of the litigation is about rights read into the constitution, besides guns. As a document of modern conception, our courts aren’t reading rights into existence, but interpreting rights.

Like, roe v wade was about an implied right to privacy, where morgentaler in Canada was a security of the person case (as was medical assistance in dieing, medicinal marijuana) and the section 35 rights are actually interpreted very narrowly (the crown needs to consult and know the damage it is doing before making decisions that effect treaty rights).

That we have rights that are more relevant to the 21at century seems more likely the reason for divergence than anything. If anything the Canadian system is set up to be more ‘conservative’ with section 1 and what became the Oakes Test, and the not withstanding clause.
It’s really no different though. Both involve texts that outline vague propositions that need to be interpreted in order to determine what specific rights and procedural obligations are contained within the Charter and s.35. It has been SCC decisions that have expanded the meaning and substance of this text to modern contexts and sensibilities, and has done so expansively without being tied down to the originalist, textualist theories that exist in the US.

Morgentaler is not a good example of how the Charter clearly outlines rights. It was a deeply divided decision with the dissent going out of their way to say that finding a right to an abortion was not capable of being read into s. 7. The other opinions were all over the place and turned primarily on the procedural side of s.7 where the Criminal Code provision, which allowed for an exemption for women who faced a health risk of carrying to term, was “illusory” and therefore contrary to the principles of fundamental justice. La Forest and McIntyer’s dissent is an example of rights construction that is narrow. The majority/ concurring opinions were very liberal by any standard of construction.

The duty to consult is procedural and is part of the Court’s interpretation of what s.35 demands. It is an obligation that needs to be met if 1. The Crown is trying to justify infringing a right protected under s.35 or 2. The Crown is comprehending an action which might impact on a yet to be established right.

Neither the duty to consult, honour of the Crown, Aboriginal Title, nor reconciliation is mentioned in s.35 but forms a central part of modern SCC s.35 jurisprudence. That is hardly conservative interpretation.

S1 itself could be seen as conservative, but the SCC has not approached it as such and Oakes framework remains a very high bar for the government to meet, especially when it impacts vulnerable groups.
 
Yeah .. the very 'threatening' Colbert incident. That is so laughable that Fox and other conservative media would even draw attention to it. Colbert's crew were in D.C. for scheduled interviews between members of congress and ...... wait for it .... Triumph the Insult Dog.
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Yes the terrible thought that a puppet could be threatening democracy the way Trump did on January 6. The parallels are 'frightening'. And ... the Colbert people were not even in the Capitol building when they were detained !!!
Just another example of how far off the deep end, politics and civility have gone. Anything to draw negative attention away from Trump, I guess.
Didn't a bunch of people get arrested in the "incident"?
 

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