By every interpretation of “natural-born citizen” in the United States Constitution, Ted Cruz is not eligible to run for President of the United States. Yet the junior senator from Texas will announce his presidential run for 2016 later today.
Ted Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta in 1970 and lived in Canada for his first 4 years.
Though Cruz did not have to do so, he eventually renounced his Canadian citizenship. Cruz’s father is Cuban; Cruz has not renounced any ties to Cuba because of the status of his birth.
The argument for Cruz is that because his mother is American, Cruz is a “natural-born” citizen. The only problem is that we don’t know if that is allowed.
The intriguing subplot to this story is that the Tea Party, the source of a lot of Cruz’s support, offered up a theory that a person born to a foreign-born father and an American mother outside the United States is not eligible to be president.
They claimed this was true for President Barack Obama without offering a shred of proof. All but a tiny percentage have been quiet on this point of order about Cruz.
Now that Cruz will be a presidential candidate, the media should ask him about his words about why he didn’t want to be a Canadian citizen. If Cruz gets elected, he’ll be the first president who was a Canadian citizen and lived in Canada. President Cruz will have to work a lot with Canada on numerous trade and security issues. Yet you get the feeling that I know more about Canada than Senator Cruz.
In reality, Cruz has less of a chance of winning the 2016 GOP nomination than George Romney did in 1968. Romney was born and raised in Mexico and is a child of U.S. citizens.
Ted Cruz can be prime minister of Canada, even if he wasn’t born in Canada. But until they changed the rules, he can’t be president of the United States.
photo illustration by: Gage Skidmore / Todd Wiseman
The primary focus on Canadian politics in 2015 will be the much-awaited federal election, scheduled for October 19.
Students of Canadian politics might be puzzled at a fixed date, but the Harper Government changed the rules to be on the third Monday of October in the fourth calendar year following polling day for the last general election.
The election could be called before this date, but Prime Minister Stephen Harper has indicated so far that the date will not change.
Stephen Harper is now the sixth longest-serving prime minister in Canadian history. On November 13, Harper marked his 3,203rd day on the job. The prime minister went past the last elected Tory PM Brian Mulroney and Robert Borden, who led Canada through World War I.
Harper’s run will be longer than the Mulroney/Campbell term, but 9 years is often a breaking point for the electorate. The Conservatives haven’t had a majority all those 9 years, but Harper has been visible in that role all this time. Even if somehow Harper were to abdicate in the role to a fellow conservative, there isn’t an obvious successor.
We are seeing signs of an election year from the Harper Government. After over a year without a meeting and many questions about why Harper wouldn’t visit with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Harper finally visited with Wynne in Toronto before going to the World Juniors final.
Julian Fantino was a disaster as Veteran Affairs minister. So Harper dumped him from the post but kept him in the cabinet as an associate minister on Defense (current, not former troops).
In 2 on-camera incidents, Fantino is arguing with a veteran and brazenly ignoring a veteran’s pleading and angry wife.
Both moves were to shore up Ontario support, specifically ridings in the Toronto suburbs — the 905 area code.
In an non-Ontario move, Harper appointed House of Commons sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers the new ambassador to Ireland. Vickers will likely do a fine job but the timing feels really political.
NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair and Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau as well as Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, Bloc Quebecois Leader Mario Beaulieu, and Forces et Démocratie Party Leader Jean-François Fortin all want to take advantage of the anti-Harper movement. Quebec, the Toronto suburbs, and scattered seats in the West are the best path to victory in 2015.
The Forces et Démocratie is brand new. This is a new political party formed last fall as MP Jean-François Fortin (Bloc Québécois) and Jean-François Larose (NDP) left their parties to form a new party. The party’s ideology, according to Wikipedia, is social democracy, Quebec nationalism, and regionalism.
Of the current 308 seats, the Conservatives have 163 seats. the NDP, as the official opposition, has 95 seats. The Liberals have 35 seats.
The parliament has 7 independents with 2 seats each for the Green Party, the Bloc Quebecois, and the Forces et Démocratie as well as 2 vacant seats.
The NDP losses since the 2011 federal election is a pattern to watch for 2015. Those seats that were mostly Bloc Quebecois in 2011 that went NDP in the last election are seats that the Liberals and NDP will be fighting for in 2015. The Liberals won’t come close to getting a majority without those Quebec seats.
One of those lost NDP seats came when Olivia Chow resigned from Parliament to run for mayor of Toronto. The Liberal candidate won the Trinity-Spadina riding in a byelection.
Even with the federal election in 2015, we know there will be some stirring in the provinces, though 2015 would have a difficult time topping 2014.
Last month, Danielle Smith and 8 other Wildrose Party MLAs in Alberta jumped to the reigning Progressive Conservative Party. You might remember Smith from the infamous bus picture video when she ran for premier back in 2013.
Though more than ½ of the party jumped, the Wildrose Party is still the opposition party in Alberta. Heather Forsyth is the interim party leader. Smith had been the Wildrose Party leader since 2009.
Jim Prentice is the relatively new premier and his presence made the move easier for Smith and the other MLAs. Prentice has made hints that a provincial election could be called in 2015; he was named the new party leader following the departure of Alison Redford. Calling an election is an act that newly appointed premiers often do.
Manitoba should be the loudest province when 2015 is over. Premier Greg Selinger had several NDP cabinet members leave the cabinet in protest in part over a provincial sales tax increase. Selinger will be defending his leader role against Theresa Oswald and Steve Ashton in March.
Current polls have the PC Party far ahead in Manitoba.
Manitoba might call for an earlier election, depending on how the NDP Party leadership race goes.
Of the 57 seats in the Manitoba legislature, the reigning NDP has 35 seats. The PC Party, as the opposition, has 19 seats. The Liberal Party has 1 seat.
Manitoba — along with Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Northwest Territories — all have provincial elections scheduled for the fall of 2015. Since the federal election will also be in the fall, the provinces and territory are making plans to postpone their elections to not coincide with the federal election.
The Newfoundland and Labrador election is scheduled for no later than September 26, but there isn’t a contingency right now to move the election to spring 2016.
The province had 3 premiers in 2014, starting with Kathy Dunderdale followed by Tom Marshall and finally Paul Davis. This doesn’t even count Frank Coleman, who would have won (as the only candidate) the PC leadership if he had not withdrawn due to a “significant and challenging family matter.”
The PCs have 29 seats versus 16 for the Liberals and 3 for the NDP. Unlike other provinces, Newfoundland and Labrador has an even number of seats. The Liberals are leading strongly in the polls.
Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island are not in danger of flipping. Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall of the Saskatchewan Party has 49 of the 61 seats. The NDP Party is the opposition party with 9 seats. In Prince Edward Island, Premier Robert Ghiz of the Liberal Party has 23 of the 27 seats. The PC Party is the opposition party with 3 seats.
The quiet provinces in 2015, barring unexpected news, will be Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and British Columbia. The first 3 provinces on that list had 2014 elections while the last 2 had 2013 elections.
Speaking of quiet, we’ll have a lot less Rob Ford coverage in 2015. A lot less.
“Learning about Cuba, having some food.” — Jeff Spicoli
The United States and Cuba wanted to get together and talk about normalizing relations. But the leaders of the countries were concerned about meeting in each other’s country. So they needed a secret tree clubhouse where they could comfortably meet without people finding out.
So they picked Canada.
Canada hosted about seven secret meetings from June 2013 and November 2014 in Ottawa (6) and Toronto (1).
“Canada was pleased to host the senior officials from the United States and Cuba, which permitted them the discretion required to carry out these important talks,” Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper played down Canada’s contribution, pointing out in an interview that Canada did not mediate or direct the talks. Given the buildup to Canada’s federal election in 2015, rare these days to hear the prime minister be so humble.
We learned about the secret meetings when U.S. President Barack Obama announced that his country would normalize relations with Cuba.
“I think it’s very clear that the Liberal Party and Canadians in general have had very positive friendships with both the United States and with Cuba, and to see the welcome steps of building ties between the two countries appear today is a very good piece of news,” Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau said in Vancouver. “I look forward to Canada playing a positive role in bringing together those two countries.”
“Today is a great day for those who believe in engagement as the most effective tool of diplomacy. We should see more of this constructive approach in Canadian foreign policy,” NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar said.
Canada was one of only 2 countries from the hemisphere not to break diplomatic relations with Cuba. The trade and travel advantage that Canada had in the hemisphere is about to disappear.
Travel restrictions will be lifted to travel to Cuba from the United States.
Licensed American travelers to Cuba can bring back up to $400 in Cuban goods, including tobacco and alcohol under $100. As for importing Cuban cigars, we still need to learn more information. Short term, Canada will be a great source for Cuban cigars. Why fly to Havana when you pick up some cigars in Toronto.
Again, we’ll have more when those rules are more clear about Cuban cigars. The economic embargo is under the lid of Congress. Given that the GOP controls both houses, the embargo will likely stay until at least 2017.
Canada has had a traditional role of peacemaker, a country that could be trusted to solve world problems in a low-key manner. This is a great example of where Canada has been, which is why you saw the NDP and Liberals as pleased if not more than Stephen Harper.
This act of diplomacy should be a talking point in next year’s debates leading up to the 2015 federal election. This should be an example of where Canada should be on the world stage.
Glad to see Canada play a role in a significant diplomatic mission in the Western Hemisphere. The impact on Canada, United States, and Cuba will be a delicate path that we will see unwind in the months to come.
Rob Ford has been mayor of Toronto in title alone for some time thanks to his own antics. Doug Ford took the baton in running to get those powers back.
Despite getting over 330,000 votes for a solid second place finish, the Ford Nation dominance will be limited to Ward 2 … at least for the next 4 years.
John Tory, who has worn more professional hats than Rob Ford has smoked vials of crack, is the new mayor-elect of Toronto.
|2014 Toronto mayoral race results|
Former MP Olivia Chow finished a distant third.
“Together, like never before, we now begin building Toronto the great,” Tory said, adding he will lead the city “not left, not right, but forward.”
- Candidates Election Night speeches (courtesy of CBC News)
Doug Ford did well in the suburbs, though not as well as Rob Ford in 2010. Tory did well up the middle of the area map, including in the city. Chow did best in the west side of the city, in her old federal riding.
Rob Ford will be back in the city council, winning Ward 2 Etobicoke North with 58.9 percent of the vote. Rob Ford will replace Doug Ford, the current councillor from Ward 2.
In his victory speech, Rob Ford gave the impression that Ford Nation would be ready in 4 years to run for mayor … again.
“I guarantee: In four more years, you’re going to see another example of the Ford family never ever giving up,” Ford said. “We’re just warming up.”
We saw Rob Ford on Election Night with a clean head, recovering from chemotherapy as treatment for cancer.
Ford’s status on the council will depend on his health. The new council and mayor officially take over on December 1.
If you weren’t interested in this mayoral race … Toronto turned out 64.3 percent voter turnout, surpassing the previous mark of 50.6 percent in 2010. The city had almost a million votes in the 2014 election.
In the next few days, pundits and late-night comedians will have a chance to mourn the loss of Rob Ford as mayor. But Toronto has had enough of a joke as its leader, however ceremonial that became in the last year or so.
As much as John Oliver wanted Toronto to (re-)elect Doug (Rob) Ford, he knows that Toronto deserves better. Jon Stewart wanted Olivia Chow to win, but she ran too nice a campaign.
John Tory has a number of issues to work on, and a right-wing background despite his “centrist” attitude. The buffoonery that was Rob Ford needed to go, but his policies as well.
photo credit: Darren Calabrese/Canadian Press
“It’s so incredibly sad, and should not happen in Canada. We’re such a peaceful and loving country that for somebody to violate us like that, and try and take our innocence. The greatest thing we can do is stay Canadian and stay who we are. And just say to the people that want to harm us, don’t mistake civility for weakness. You do so at your own peril. We’re very tough people, we’re very sane people, and very fair people. And I’m very, very proud of my country.” — Mike Myers
Scott Oake interviewed the Canadian comedian before the 3rd period of the Maple Leafs game Saturday night. When Americans ask me what I like and appreciate about Canada, I give my best impressions. What I liked about Myers’ answer is that it fits the emotion of what happened in the last week and why I like Canada.
I love the civility that Canada offers. Staying Canadian is the one thing that the terrorists don’t want. Canada is tough, sane, and fair.
Myers is one of those Canadian entertainers that has crossed over into Hollywood. Yet he hasn’t forgotten where he came from. Myers should be very proud of Canada’s reaction to a heart wrenching tragedy.
The singing of O Canada has been a source of nurturing as the country recovers from the two tragic shootings. The huge Canadian flag accompanied a robust anthem at the CFL game in Ottawa Friday night.
The Saturday night anthem at the Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata was simulcast to the crowd at the Bell Centre in Montréal and the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
The video above showcased the three anthem locations. The anthem ran on CBC, City, Sportsnet One, and the NHL Network in the United States.
Coming on the heels of the anthem in Pittsburgh Wednesday night, O Canada had never sounded better. Maybe this will encourage more showing of the anthems on both sides of the border long after the attacks have slipped out of the spotlight.
The morning after the attack in Ottawa, U.S. cable news showed us coverage of the Canadian Parliament. We saw a speech from Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair.
The coverage even stayed when the party leaders switched to French. Having the translator tell the audience what was being said definitely helped.
I watched the MSNBC coverage. They stayed with the prime minister and offered a little bit of Mulcair’s speech. Trudeau had the disadvantage of being the leader of the current third party in the House of Commons.
Harper did huge the two other major party leaders in Mulcair and Trudeau. The prime minister also went over to Kevin Vickers, sergeant-at-arms for the House of Commons. Vickers was the one who shot the assailant who entered Parliament.
Would love to see C-SPAN carry Canadian Parliament. Nice to see coverage of Canada but still afraid the extra attention is more about hyping terrorism than appreciating Canada.
The Ottawa shooter had several reasons why he couldn’t get a gun legally. Yet the guy, who was sleeping in an Ottawa homeless shelter, got a long gun — a Winchester .30-30 caliber rifle.
The Harper Government campaigned on getting rid of the long-gun registry and successfully eliminated the registry. Quebec, the province where the first soldier was killed and just across the river from Ottawa, fought hard in the courts to keep its long-gun registry but lost that fight.
Yes, it’s entirely possible that the gun was stolen from a private citizen. But without the registry, we don’t know the path of the gun. Since the Ottawa shooter is deceased, we can’t ask him.
It is standard practice in Canada for courts to issue a lifetime gun ban to almost anyone convicted of a violent offence.
Even where such bans are not imposed, Zehaf-Bibeau would have found it virtually impossible to legally obtain a gun in Canada.
The Highway of Heroes lived up to its name as the body of Nathan Cirillo was driven back to his home in Hamilton.
The pictures and video of the crowds of people were breathtaking.
I noted in my original thoughts that Remembrance Day will be a much bigger deal in Canada this year. This may be an understatement.
Don Cherry devoted all of Coach’s Corner to Nathan Cirillo and Patrice Vincent as well as soldiers who are suffering from injuries and need help they aren’t getting.
Given Cherry’s sensibilities, this wasn’t a surprise. He struck the right tone on the subject. Cherry was on such a roll that Ron MacLean, who sat beside him during the entire segment, didn’t say a word.
video credit: YouTube/Chris S
“We are also reminded that attacks on our security personnel and our institutions of governance are by their very nature attacks on our country, on our values, on our society, on us Canadians as a free and democratic people who embrace human dignity for all. But let there be no misunderstanding. We will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated.” — Prime Minister Stephen Harper
A second Canadian soldier killed on domestic soil in the same week. First at Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and then yesterday at the National War Memorial.
Patrice Vincent was killed in a hit-and-run incident on Monday just outside Montréal. Nathan Cirillo was shot and killed while guarding the National War Memorial Wednesday morning.
Another soldier was injured on Monday. 3 others were injured on Wednesday.
House of Commons Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers reportedly shot the assailant inside the Hall of Honour, the main entrance to the Centre Block beneath the Peace Tower.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper addressed Canada in a national address; the above passage came from that speech.
In the coming days, we will hear a lot about motive for both attacks. Right now, this is about mourning the loss of 2 Canadian soldiers and being strong for the family and friends of those killed and injured this week. #ottawastrong #canadastrong
I will be in Canada near but not actually on Remembrance Day this year. Given what has happened to Canadian soldiers inside Canada and the threat they will receive overseas, this will be a significant Remembrance Day.
The outpouring of support for Canada came in political circles, sports fans, and the general public.
U.S. TV coverage
Wednesday was a difficult day for me to monitor U.S. television accounts of the shooting. 3 RCMP officers were shot in Moncton earlier this year, and didn’t get that much publicity in the States. The first Canadian soldier killed this week didn’t get much attention.
There was video of gunfire inside the Parliament Building, thanks to Globe and Mail reporter Josh Wingrove. Being in the nation’s capital might have increased the coverage, even if many Americans weren’t quite sure where Ottawa is in Canada.
The “Rachel Maddow Show” was a great source of coverage. Regular readers might remember that Maddow’s mother is from Newfoundland, and Maddow eagerly reports on news from Canada on a regular basis.
TV Newser via Media Bistro had a great side-by-side comparison between CBC and CNN on the Web in covering the Ottawa shooting.
At work, I turned to the CBC News Network online. Watching Peter Mansbridge in his calming tone reminds those in the States of what we miss from quality TV news. CBC made sure the family knew of the death of the soldier before reporting his name.
Malala Yousafzai was to receive honorary Canadian citizenship in a ceremony in Toronto on Wednesday. Prime Minister Stephen Harper was supposed to be in Toronto for the ceremony.
The event was cancelled.
Security would be heightened anyway for the 17-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner from Pakistan. When the ceremony is rescheduled, we will let you know.
Ottawa as tourist destination
The Moncton shooting happened in a part of the city that I did not visit during my trip in 2013. The National War Memorial and the Centre Block of Parliament Hill: I recognized those areas right away.
The video from the Globe and Mail was down a corridor I traveled in August this year as well as 2009. The Rideau Centre, the Westin, places on the map we kept seeing on television and online: these are places I have been all too recently.
We greatly hope that the words from the prime minister prove correct. We hope that tourists can have similar access to Parliament Hill, the National War Memorial, the government buildings, and the surrounding area.
You go through a metal detector to enter the Supreme Court building and the Parliament building. The shooter somehow got into Parliament with a long gun. Let’s address that issue before we go overboard.
- Ottawa’s Byward Market: more than just a building
- Seeing a CFL game in Ottawa
- Ottawa impressions over a 3-day trip
Sports isn’t the important issue, but sports is still worth noting.
The Toronto Maple Leafs team was locked down at the Westin near the Rideau Centre across from the National War Memorial. The Ottawa Senators were at the Canadian Tire Centre out in the suburbs of Kanata, far away from the horror in and around Parliament Hill.
The NHL made the smart move in cancelling the game. We might know really soon when the game will be rescheduled.
“O Canada” was played in Pittsburgh before the U.S. national game on NBCSN with the Philadelphia Flyers. To whomever came up with and implemented the idea for this gesture, Canadians — real and wannabes — truly appreciate what was done.
Rogers Sportsnet One carried the U.S. feed since Toronto-Ottawa was postponed.
Moments of silence also happened at the NHL games, including in Edmonton, the only Canadian team that played on Wednesday.
Those might remember the Senators were involved in a similar issue with the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013. The game with the Bruins had to be postponed.
Ottawa hosts New Jersey on Saturday but that should be fine. City TV and the NHL Network will have the Senators Sunday night in Chicago (blacked out for me). Moments such as these were made for Ron MacLean; let’s see how Rogers handles this over the weekend.
Though the game isn’t until tomorrow, the Ottawa RedBlacks play at home Friday night against the Montréal Alouettes.
That game shouldn’t be a concern: the stadium is south of the downtown area along the Rideau Canal. If you are going to the game Friday night, get there early. Really early.
video credit: NHL/NBCSN; Globe and Mail
Toronto’s long nightmare is about to end. No, not Rob Ford’s reign as mayor, though that will come to an end on December 1.
The Toronto mayor race will finally come to a close next Monday. Canada is known for short election cycles, but the candidates to replace Rob Ford has been running for 8 months.
Doug Ford, who wants to replace his brother as mayor, hasn’t been running as long nor has he been talkative, but the Rob Ford/Doug Ford train has been running from well beyond the 8 month mark.
One sign that people are paying more attention to the Toronto mayoral race is a significant increase in advance ballots. The final figure will be about 125,000, up from about 77,000 in the 2010 Toronto mayor race. The City of Toronto released the info that 28,046 people cast a ballot on the first day of advance voting.
More advanced ballots also indicate a race where minds aren’t going to be changed.
Based on recent polls, John Tory is significantly out in front with Doug Ford running second and Olivia Chow quite far behind. Though there are 65 candidates for mayor, these are the primary 3 candidates. As we have noted before, you don’t need a plurality to win: get the most votes and you are in office.
So who is John Tory?
This is Tory’s second run for mayor, coming in second to David Miller in 2003 by slightly over 36,000 votes. Tory’s name was brought up in the 2010 election, but he did not run that time.
After losing the 2003 Toronto mayoral election, Tory spent his time in Ontario politics. In 2004, Tory became leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario. Tory was eventually elected in the legislature in 2005 in the very safe Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey riding. He switched to his home riding — Don Valley West — in the 2007 Ontario election, losing to now Premier Kathleen Wynne.
Tory has worked for Rogers Media, including a stint as president and CEO. He also served as the CFL commissioner from 1996-2000.
He managed Kim Campbell’s 1993 federal election campaign and also served as tour director and campaign chairman to then Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.
What Torontoians (and those in the suburbs) want to know is where John Tory will be on the issues affecting the city.
Doug Ford is riding the “vote for me, vote for Rob” approach that we predicted. Ford hasn’t made major speeches and tried to escape debates for flimsy reasons.
Even though Rob Ford is technically the mayor and technically not running for mayor — Ford is running for city council in Ward 2 — Rob Ford was kicked out of three advance polling stations for violations of fraternizing with voters.
Olivia Chow had name recognition, an extra connection to Toronto through her late husband, Jack Layton, and was the major liberal voice in the mayoral campaign. So why isn’t Chow likely to win next Monday?
On paper, 2 conservatives vs. 1 liberal would give the advantage to the liberal, especially since the winning candidate doesn’t have to get to 50%. Rob Ford never got to 50% in 2010.
By all regards, Chow has run a poor campaign and not articulating her ideas well enough. She spent more time focused on Rob Ford and not Tory. Chow is the major anti-Ford candidate, but we have seen reports that potential voters who like Chow are going for Tory because they want to make sure Ford isn’t elected.
Chow gave up her seat in Parliament to run in the race. The Trinity-Spadina riding went Liberal in the by-election on June 30.
The new mayor of Toronto will have a lot of messes to clean up from Rob Ford’s time as mayor. Transit is still a gigantic issue in the GTA. Assuming Doug Ford is not the new mayor, the new mayor will have to clean up Toronto’s image as a city.
As we have noted before, you don’t need a plurality to win: get the most votes and you are in office.
The winner of the race on October 27 won’t take office until December 1.
We will have much more extensive coverage next week. Good luck, Toronto. Get out and vote.