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Monday, September 27, 2004

Press Review

From today's edition of NORMAN'S SPECTATOR (where the articles are hotlinked).

In the US , Hurricane Jeanne vies with the presidential campaign, terrorism and more bad news from Iraq for front-page attention.

In the UK , the Labour Party conference begins today, amidst leadership jockeying between the Prime Minister and his finance minister. Sound familiar?

A new poll for the Times shows the British people have lost confidence in Tony Blair but still prefer him to the Conservatives’ Michael Howard. In France , the Conservatives lost their majority in the Senate.

The New York Times’ editorial board looks at reform of the intelligence agencies, investigation of the CIA leak and secret trade courts.

William Safire comments on the kidnap weapon. Adam Clymer tells us what to look for in Thursday’s Bush-Kerry debate.

The Washington Post’s editorial board reviews their respective environmental policies. Sebastian Mallaby reviews candidates for the top job at the World Bank.

Jackson Diehl wonders whether the US can take Fallujah the way the Israelis took Jenin—not the way the CBC reported it, mind you.

The Los Angeles Times’ editorial board weighs in on Indonesia . Peter Scoblic says countries sometimes spy on their allies; yes Virginia , Canada does it too. Sebastian Mallaby pops up in LA today too; he’ll miss Naomi Klein and her friends next weekend in Washington .

In The Wall Street Journal, Henry Sokolski asks whether Iran ’s drive for nukes can be stopped.

The editorial board looks at a Commonwealth country election: “ Australia is not Spain . It is a measure of just how different attitudes are Down Under that Mr. Latham understands that he's unlikely to win if he presents himself as Mr. Zapatero. In response to direct rebuttals from the Howard Administration -- whose foreign minister last week called the U.S. alliance "fundamental to our security" -- Mr. Latham has had to hedge his bets. In July he appointed as his defense spokesman Kim "Bomber" Beazley, a former defense minister who has a reputation as being solidly pro-American. The pledge to withdraw the troops from Iraq has also been modified.”

At home, the Toronto Star fronts Hurricane Jeanne and a Hamas official the Mossad killed in Damascus yesterday; I suspect that this one’s no conspiracy theory/urban legend. Inside, Ian Urquhart writes about a fight Ontario teachers have lost.

Chantal Hébert says the Martin government is tired and the internal wars in the Liberal Party have resumed. (In another column today, Hébert tells her Le Devoir readers that Mario Dumont’s proposed « autonomous state » is damaging Quebec’s bargaining power, because it illustrates the disintegration of Canada opponents say will result from « asymmetrical federalism. »)

The editorial board says the PQ internal report showing that youth are cynical about sovereignty is good news, but it’s too soon to break out the champagne. Ain’t that the truth—what most reports last week didn’t tell you is that a poll a couple of weeks ago in La Presse showed support for sovereignty in the 18-24 group stood at 58%.

The Globe and Mail fronts the US election, Canadian equalization, the US in Iraq, Israelis in Damascus and a sole-source contract handed out by the Gomery Commission. (Memo to Daniel Leblanc: Have you looked at the Copyright Board?)

In commentary, Lysiane Gagnon wants Jean Charest to be Jean Charest. Bill Thorsell says conservatism is about more than the National Post’s tax cutting agenda; I’ll drink to that.

Bruce Little finds an interesting number: “despite free trade, we bought only 61 per cent of our imports from the United States in 2003, down from a high of 70 per cent in 1983. The nine-percentage-point loss by the United States in its share of the Canadian import market has been mainly gobbled up by countries in Asia and Europe .”

CAW economist Jim Stanford is looking at other numbers: “The income we produce in Canada is being radically redistributed in favour of business, more dramatically than at any time since Canada began collecting these statistics. What's more, the economic effort of business — measured by its investment in new facilities and equipment — has flagged to the weakest point ever.”

Hugh Winsor pans Paul Martin’s performance at the UN: “All words and no muscle. That is the internal book on Prime Minister Paul Martin's rhetoric at the United Nations last week supporting international intervention to protect victims of civil war, oppressive dictatorships or natural disasters.”

Former diplomat David Malone says the UN itself is hurting: “UN staff, many highly dedicated and professional, most prepared to take personal risks in the service of their ideals, need to get a grip. We don't need the UN in Denmark or Canada . We need UN staff to deploy in notoriously difficult and often unsafe environments. …A moving ceremony was held in New York last month to commemorate one year later those killed and wounded in the Baghdad attack. The UN now needs to move on.”

The editorial board says, notwithstanding Nova Scotia’s decision to perform gay marriages, “it remains very important that the nation's highest court pronounce on this issue and assure the timid federal government, as the lower courts have ruled, that it is unjust to deny gay couples the social legitimacy that marriage confers.” The suspense is killing me.

The National Post fronts the first in its new womb to tomb series--this one on baby gender selection—along with the hit in Damascus and another in Pakistan . The premiers are promising to be back for more money for health.

Inside, Mario Dumont says he’ll do things that aren’t strictly legal. In commentary, it’s get the Globe and Mail day--and I'm not referring to buying it at the newsstand.

Colby Cosh goes after CAW economist Jim Stanford, and says Air Canada , not WestJet is getting its comeuppance.

George Jonas goes after “Mazen Chouaib…and by extension The Globe and Mail for stepp[ing] outside the boundaries of polemical journalism into the realm of forgery” by falsely attributing a quotation to him; he’s asked for a correction—“So far no response. The Globe seems to tolerate falsity just fine. Pity.”

The editorial board stands up for civil liberties; another editorialist says anti-missile defence is necessary and Canada should help out.

Elsewhere in CanWest land, the Vancouver Sun fronts a precedent-setting alimony order. The Montréal Gazette fronts Jeanne and a mom who may have helped her ailing son commit suicide.

Inside, Québec’s intergovernmental minister says asymmetrical federalism is good for Canada . The editorial board likes the Montréal film festival; another editorialist says Paul Martin’s Liberals are divided.

L. Ian MacDonald says Martin opted for the Pearson view of federalism over Trudeau’s and he must explain his vision to the country; I’d say that ascribes a coherence to the health deal that doesn’t exist, and I have. Speaking of PET, Ezra Levant pans Petrocan in today’s Calgary Sun.

The Ottawa Citizen fronts analysis paralysis in our defence policy. In commentary, Susan Riley says Paul Martin hasn’t stopped politicking and he should start governing; sounds about right to me.

Deputy editorial page editor Leonard Stern disagrees with anti-gay marriage Margaret Somerville but defends her right to comment; like the Globe’s editorial board today, he fails to address the voluntary polygamy argument. Here's my take.

The Citizen’s editorial board says that Québec doesn’t speak for Canada and that “Paul Martin needs to remind his ministers that when it comes to constitutional borders, everybody should know their place, lest the whole place fall apart.”

Posted by Norman Spector on September 27, 2004 | Permalink


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