Ian Mulgrew: The Picture of Dorian Gray Waddell

Ian Waddell must have a grey-haired, wrinkled portrait hidden in an attic — no one at 75 can appear as spry and boyish as the lawyer-turned-activist-turned-politician-turned-cultural warrior, writer, filmmaker and bon vivant. No one. A veritable miniature Oscar Wilde, Waddell has barely arrived from the Island and already is going a mile a minute about his former legislative assistant who was running for city council in Nanaimo. He hopes his autobiography inspires more of that — Take the Torch: A Political Memoir. “You’ve got the third copy,” he noted before continuing without a breath. “I’m Scots and going on the ferry is free, but it takes four hours.” He laughs,… Read More

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B.C. Liberals to rebrand at weekend party convention

VICTORIA — The B.C. Liberal party, once the province’s dominant political force, will get a new coat of paint this weekend as it slowly readjusts to life in opposition. The party will unveil a “renewed brand identity” at its first convention since losing power following the 2017 election. The rebrand won’t involve a new party name — an idea the Liberals debated and rejected in 2014 — but will replace the party slogan of “Today’s B.C. Liberals” and logo with a “new look and new style and content,” said leader Andrew Wilkinson. “Every organization has to refresh itself both in terms of the look and in terms of the content,”… Read More

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The Latest Target of Trump’s Immigration Attacks

In an address from the Roosevelt Room Thursday, President Donald Trump criticized the nation’s immigration laws, decried the Central American migrant caravan moving through Mexico, and announced that he’s “finalizing a plan” that would limit who could claim asylum. “Migrants will have to present themselves lawfully at a port of entry,” Trump said. “Those who choose to break our laws and enter illegally will no longer be able to use meritless claims to gain entry into our country.” The plan—which Trump suggested could come via an executive order next week—would likely face immediate legal challenges: U.S. and international law state that migrants have the right to apply for asylum once… Read More

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The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: You Get a Vote! And You Get a Vote!

Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey), Madeleine Carlisle (@maddiecarlisle2), and Olivia Paschal (@oliviacpaschal) Today in 5 Lines In a speech from the White House, President Trump announced that he will issue an executive order next week on immigration, and accused asylum seekers of making a “mockery” of immigration laws. In a last-minute effort to turn out his base ahead of the midterms, Trump released a race-baiting ad about immigrants and crime. Robert Bowers, the suspect in Saturday’s mass shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue, pleaded not guilty to all 44 counts against him and requested a jury trial. Billionaire Oprah Winfrey campaigned in support of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams… Read More

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David Bieber: Odds of B.C. Liberals winning Nanaimo byelection are low — but not impossible

What happens in Nanaimo does not always stay in Nanaimo. Is there any corner of the province where, for example, people are not delighted by the outrageously tasty coconut-custard chocolate square named for this pleasant Vancouver Island city? No, of course not. And now, fixation upon the results of Nanaimo’s recent municipal race has spread across B.C. — and for good reason. The 16-month-old NDP minority government may collapse as a result. Leonard Krog will be sworn in as mayor of Nanaimo on Friday. He is also NDP MLA for Nanaimo. He can’t be both, and when he resigns as MLA he will be leaving the B.C. NDP with one… Read More

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The Midterms Could Spell the End for America’s Lonely Moderates

Even Oscar Wilde, socialist and anarchist that he was, would likely bristle at the radical dysfunction of American politics today. Wilde famously preferred “everything in moderation, including moderation.” But 2018 may be the year that lawmakers and voters alike crystallize their preference for a slight spin on the playwright’s words: a Congress in which nothing is in moderation, except for moderation. This shift has been some time coming. In the last midterm elections, in 2014, only about 4 percent of congressional candidates were ideologically moderate, according to data compiled by Danielle Thomsen, a political-science professor at UC Irvine, who categorized candidates by their campaign donors. The proportion of moderates on… Read More

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Fighting for the Right To Vote in a Tiny Texas County

In Waller County, Texas, a 40,000-strong exurb to the northwest of Houston, early voting is simple. Texas law mandates that the county maintain a main voting site, located in the county seat of Hempstead, would be open for at least five hours every day from Monday, October 22 to Friday, November 2. During those two weeks, satellite centers have provided voting hours farther out in the county. Residents in the towns of Brookshire and Waller, two of the larger places in Waller County, have multiple days spread across both the first and second week of elections. As guided by state law, the early-voting plans in Waller County are intended to… Read More

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Ottawa offers funding to help subsidize rural B.C. bus service

VICTORIA — Taxpayers could end up subsidizing passenger bus service in rural British Columbia as the federal and provincial governments struggle to fill gaps left by Greyhound’s departure. Federal Transportation Minister Marc Garneau said Wednesday that Ottawa may have money — he did not specify an amount — available to help private companies operate bus routes to remote communities after Greyhound Canada ended service. “Where we have concerns about not abandoning vulnerable citizens, we have said to the provinces we will be there with you to finance the running of bus services on those non-viable routes, if you come to us and say that we’re going to have to provide… Read More

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How Will Pittsburgh’s Jews Translate Tragedy Into Action?

PITTSBURGH—On Tuesday afternoon, two groups staged marches against President Donald Trump, moving towards each other from opposite sides of Forbes Avenue. If Not Now opposes the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, and Bend the Arc “[fights] for justice for all” through a Jewish, progressive frame. Eventually they merged, and together made their way towards Tree of Life synagogue, singing Jewish songs and solemnly carrying signs condemning hate. These marches were an expression of the anger in the Pittsburgh Jewish community: anger about the attack on their fellow Jews. Anger about bigotry and anti-Semitism in the U.S. Anger about America’s toxic, xenophobic political environment—which, they argued, is facilitated by Trump.… Read More

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How West Virginia Broke Its Supreme Court

Courts, it is often remarked, control neither armies nor treasuries. Their power comes from their legitimacy—by the collective respect won by their credibility and independence. After the bitter, partisan confirmation fight of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, many Americans see that legitimacy as under threat. Battles for the credibility and independence of the courts have also been taking place at the state level with equal portent and significance, especially in West Virginia, where the Republican legislature has impeached the justices of the state’s supreme court—and in the process has changed control of the high court from Democratic to Republican. A decade ago, the Mountain State foreshadowed the influence that money… Read More

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