The 2020 presidential election could very well be messy, complex, and slow, defined by an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots, legal challenges, and possibly recounts reminiscent of the fiasco in Florida in 2000. And cable news, which millions of people will be watching throughout election night, is pathologically incapable of dealing with messy, complex, and slow stories. The networks are designed for easy answers that feed simple narratives, and they have shown a tendency to be short-circuited by Donald Trump’s chicanery. He will undoubtedly spend Tuesday evening desperately spinning a victory, and how cable networks respond may profoundly impact the result of the election.
On November 22, 2000, a phalanx of chino-clad Republican operatives descended on Florida’s Miami-Dade County polling headquarters, where local officials were scrambling to complete a manual recount of ballots cast in the presidential contest between George W. Bush and Al Gore. Swarming the lobby of the government high rise, the GOP protesters chanted and banged on the glass wall as local officials inside attempted to review ballots. Faced with an increasingly dangerous situation, the county canvassing board abandoned its recount, which had seemed poised to deliver a substantial number of votes for Gore.
On the evening of November 2, 2018, a Munk Debate took place at Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall arguing the proposition that the future of Western politics is populist, not liberal. As the beginning drew near, protests erupted in front of the venue because the organizers had chosen Steve Bannon—architect of the Trump campaign, former leader of the alt-right Breitbart empire, Svengali to apprenticing authoritarians, and the world’s foremost proponent of the slept-in blazer—to argue on behalf of populism. But commentators were also aghast at the person tasked with defending the values of classical liberalism: David Frum. Yes, that David Frum: the Axis of Evil neocon who served in the George W. Bush White House, boisterously supported the Iraq War, and authored a handful of books advocating hardline conservative policies.
Due to the numerous commemorative events surrounding its centenary, many are now familiar with the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike, the longest and most complete general strike in the history of the continent.
At commemorative events held in 2019, the predominant narrative of the strike was that its importance lies in the success that labour-affiliated political parties enjoyed in the decades following the strike. Workers in 1919 may have bristled at this interpretation.
Forecasting election results is hard. Predicting who will turn out to vote next week in the United States is not.
The rich are more likely to vote than the poor. The better educated are more likely to vote than the less educated. White people are more likely to vote than racialized Americans.
As a scholar who has studied trust and how it matters for years, I can say that generalized trust — an expectation of good will and benign intent of others — is also a powerful predictor of voter turnout.
Imagine funding the Green New Deal, a Nordic-style welfare state, public housing for all and every other program the left wants without ever raising taxes. This is an attractive idea, and one many proponents of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) present to the public as a possibility within the framework of their theory.
In the United States, polls are pointing to a Joe Biden, Kamala Harris win on Tuesday. Media pundits are unusually cautious about polls and projections about the election outcome, and women want so badly to see the end of the “pussy-grabber-in-chief” that they almost dare not give voice to their dire wish.
If Donald Trump loses the election, he will blame everyone but himself.
Best estimates show that COVID-19 has infected about 10 per cent of the global population to date and killed more than one million people. Records on excess mortalities in various nations suggest the true toll of the pandemic is likely half again greater than official tallies. The virus is clearly on a determined roll. And the vast majority of us are still being hunted.
Serious questions remain unanswered about the relative economic benefits of the federal government's future fighter capability project.
Winnipeg Free Press columnist Martin Cash writes:
In a March morning in 2019, I was preparing to attend the Montreal leg of Greta Thunberg’s first global march for the climate. I had just come from the dentist, and despite my frozen bottom lip — and the drool I suspected was dribbling down my chin — I felt the same electric sense of purpose and community that I have always felt in the lead-up to a demonstration.
Then I heard about the terrorist attack in New Zealand that targeted Muslims at Friday prayer, killing 51 and injuring 49. Two of the bleakest crises collided for me then — a planet careening towards climate catastrophe and an ever-growing sea of hate, Islamophobia, and intolerance.