Thank God for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). I say that not because trade is an inherently Jewish issue, nor because I know for certain the recently negotiated deal will be good for Canada, especially since its details have yet to be released.
Irrespective of its long-term effects, the TPP might be our only hope to reorient electoral discussions toward an issue – the economy – that actually affects the well-being of large numbers of Canadians.
If so, it will offer a change from the debates that have dominated the campaign for the last month or so.
Barely seven weeks ago, news photos of little Alan Kurdi’s dead body provoked a (perhaps overdue) groundswell of concern for the four million refugees created by Syria’s brutal civil war. The sudden surge of interest blindsided the governing Conservatives, whose reaction was seen in many quarters as hard-hearted.
It seemed the issue might sink the Tories, especially in the wake of shaky economic numbers (which have since improved), as well as scandals and polls suggesting an appetite for change.
But they’ve since regained their footing. In addition to standing firm on the refugee file, they’ve connected with large numbers of Canadians on the issues of revoking the naturalized citizenship of convicted terrorists; wearing a niqab at citizenship swearing-in ceremonies and a proposed ban on them in the public service; and a pledge to set up a phone line for people to report “barbaric cultural practices.” Continue reading