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This Week in World Politics 2018–12–16


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/12/16

“WHEN THE Cold War ended a quarter century ago, many realists expected the United States to retrench and demobilize. Instead, while drawing down some of its military forces, the country did the opposite. The United States waged war to expel Iraq from Kuwait, intervened in the Yugoslav civil war and promoted the expansion of NATO to include Eastern Europe and — many hoped, until Russia violently intervened — Georgia and Ukraine. Following the Al Qaeda attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States not only went to war against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, but also engaged in “wars of choice” to topple Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Muammar el-Qaddafi in Libya and Bashar al-Assad in Syria, while adding U.S. participation in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. The United States is now engaged in more simultaneous small wars on more fronts than at any point in its history.”


Last week’s electoral losses in five states for India’s ruling party has led to speculation that its agenda of promoting hardline Hindu politics has backfired. The BBC’s Priyanka Pathak reports.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lost to the main opposition Congress party in the Hindi-speaking heartland states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, all of which they previously governed. Local parties swept up the other two states — Telangana and Mizoram — putting the BJP in a tough place ahead of general elections next year.

It appears that after winning no less than 13 state elections since coming to power in 2014, the BJP’s seemingly invincible electoral juggernaut is losing steam.”


“Former alderman, MPP and Ontario cabinet minister John Smith had a chance to reflect on his overflowing life in a talk with his one-time council colleague Terry Cooke last month.

The pair got talking at a Remembrance Day service at St. George’s Reformed Episcopal Church in west Hamilton.

Cooke had no way of knowing it would be the last time they would speak together.”


“Our politics and our parliament is in deadlock over Brexit. But if we choose to learn from other countries in how we resolve our differences, this could be a moment when Britain comes together rather than falling apart in constitutional chaos.

Looking on, we cannot see how a majority can be found for any proposition in parliament: some want to remain, some want no deal, some want Norway, some want to vote again. The same rifts exist across the UK. Anger and resentment are growing, splitting families, communities and our country. Without a new intervention, the toxic culture which has infected public life will irrevocably damage democracy and the future for us all.

Each of us individually has different views on what should happen next when it comes to Brexit, but we all agree that finding a way forward is vital to restoring faith in our democracy. We are not MPs and we respect the important work they do. Yet we also recognise that there are important ways to help heal this rift and involve the public in deeper and more meaningful ways.”


“Just weeks after MLAs in the N.W.T. voted down a motion to introduce party politics there, Yukon politicians celebrated 40 years of party politics in their territory.

A gathering of current and former politicians was held at the Legislative Assembly in Whitehorse this week, to mark the occasion.

The Yukon general election on Nov. 20, 1978, was the first in Yukon history where elected candidates were openly affiliated with a party. The Progressive Conservatives won a majority that year, with 11 seats in the 16-seat Legislature. Also elected were two Liberals, one New Democrat, and two Independents.”



In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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