Three Elections, a Gunman, & a Referendum

The Round-Up Three Elections Gunman Referendum

The World in a Flash The RoundUp this week covers Turkey's referendum results, Trump's attempts to boost his approval ratings, an early bit about the shooting in Paris (actual motives/affiliations still unconfirmed), and a quick look at the upcoming French, UK, and Iranian elections. Turkey’s March From Democracy This past week President Erdogan of Turkey secured new, expanded powers with an affirmative win in the country’s latest referendum. The yes camp, which the President was championing, allows for a significant constitutional overhaul. With a meagre win of 51.2%, President Erdogan – after the 2019 elections – will be able to rule with virtually unchecked power as he continues his march to consolidate the state behind him since the recent failed coup attempt against

A Great Debate: Doctor Assisted Dying

Though the Canadian Supreme Court has already ruled that adults in grievous, unending pain have the right to doctor assisted death (unanimously, might I add), the Liberal government has gone ahead with a largely restricted version of Bill C-14. The bill sets out safeguards to protect vulnerable Canadians, but does not include giving the right to death to ‘mature minors’ and the mentally ill. It also does not include the right to advance consent for those with degenerative disorders. It did keep the language that I believe is entirely inappropriate; it limits access to the right to death to those who are “suffering intolerably” and whose death is imminent. The bill also includes a compulsory 15-day period of reflection and

OM Reading List: Homage to Catalonia

Memorial to Spanish Civil War Catalonia

For those history buffs among us, a look back can often serve to illuminate issues and themes that we see recurring in our time. Particularly with respect to warfare, stories from our past can often influence the way we perceive nationality and the rationales for going to war in the first place. First some background; the Spanish Civil war took place from 1936 to 1939 between the democratic, left-leaning Spanish Second Republic and the revolting nationalist and Falangist group (widely understood as Fascist) under General Franco. On both side there were coalitions of groups that loosely cooperated (until they suddenly didn’t). At stake was political reform; the left sought to limit the power of the monarchy and maintain a liberal state

The Most Ridiculous Blunders & Gaffes in Recent International Relations


Here are our favourite international relations blunders and gaffes. Spanning the globe, these "doh!" moments aren't particular to any country, though some do seem to have more than others. This is by no means a full list but does highlight some of the most ridiculous moments in international relations over the years.        President Jimmy Carter’s 1977 visit to then-Communist Poland took a highly sexual turn when his translator said that Carter desired the Poles, that he was happy to grasp at Poland’s private parts, and that Carter had abandoned the US. The translator also used Russia words, an awkward choice considering Poland’s struggles under the Soviet Union. In 1984, Nigeria started having problems with a former minister, Umaro Dikko, who had moved to

My “Top Five” Bookshelf Picks


As so much of what we do involves reading and analysis, in this segment, I'll be recommending the best five books for international relations students and young professionals from my bookshelf. These selections don't represent a preference for any political bias, though my own might peek through just a little, and are instead books that I feel are must-reads for anyone involved or interested in all the things we do here at OM.      Chris Hedges – Death of the Liberal Class (978-1568586793) This is a particularly interesting one for those who are disenchanted with the institutions and structures that make up much of our post-secondary system (among other pillars of the liberal establishment). Hedges argues that the corporatization

CARICOM & Correspondent Banking


The Caribbean: the Greater and Lesser Antilles. Fun, sun, all-inclusive vacations, cheap liquor. No problems, man. Except there are significant problems, few viable solutions, and many who depend on the outcome for their economic stability and survival. Recent events, however, have created a perfect storm of regulation and fear that threatens to overwhelm the already shaky foundations of the Caribbean economic system. The AML/CFT In response to the increase in financial crimes and financing of crimes, new international recommendations known as the anti-money-laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) were created by the IMF in 2015, and their adoption by western countries encouraged to address issues of money laundering and the financing of terrorism. AML/CFT requires that all financial service providers

A Precarious Post-Election Peace

Bangui Mpoko International Airport

Alongside Canadian campaigns leading the elections in late 2015, citizens of the Central African Republic (CAR) also began the process of replacing the interim government headed by President Catherine Samba-Panza and Prime Minister Mahamat Kamoun. They have been in control of the landlocked state since Michel Djotodia resigned in early 2014. His resignation came as international and internal pressures forced the government’s hand in an attempt to stem the violence that has been steadily developing for decades, and had taken over 5,000 lives since this bloody civil war began over three years ago. The violence centers on the predominantly Muslim Séléka alliance and the mainly Christian Anti-balaka militia, whose rivalry endangers a fragile socio-political climate. The Séléka alliance was originally created to protect

Prospecting our Future: Canadian Elections, African Connections

Nkana Mine near Kitwe

Having elected the Liberal Party of Canada and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as an overwhelming majority government, Canadian businesses and citizens alike are turning their thoughts towards the future of international financial relations and how the policies of this newly formed government may affect their ability to operate overseas. Canadian mining companies have a long history of creating both wealth and controversy domestically and internationally, though Canadian interaction in African mining has been a relatively recent development and one that comes with its own share of massive profits and potential risks. In addition to investment, Canada emphasizes its partnership with many of these countries through continuous foreign aid initiatives to increase mining education programs, “…expand Canada’s involvement in areas of high