When Justin Trudeau’s sophisticated and cosmopolitan father Pierre was prime minister in the 1970s and early 1980s, Canada’s brand became synonymous with an open, liberal and sane society that got the balance right. During the Cold War and amid the conflicts in developing nations those days, its red and white maple leaf flag was the welcome symbol of an activist, peace-making foreign policy. However small its political clout compared to the colossus to its south, Canada enjoyed an outsized influence globally as the exemplar of the values of a civilized state.
The world today could do with another Trudeau, and thankfully we have one. Just how much Canada’s new prime minister not only walks in his father’s stead, but inhabits his spirit as well, can be seen in this global forum hosted by HuffPost Canada in Toronto this week. Trudeau took questions from around Canada and from editors of HuffPost editions around the world. In his report, Howard Fineman trenchantly sums up the discussion, writing, “Canada’s new prime minister is the opposite of Donald Trump.”
At a time when the leading Republican contender for the U.S. presidency is calling for walls and expulsions, and when European politics is relapsing into the kind of nationalist fervor that brought two devastating wars to the continent in the 20th century, the young Canadian prime minister already exhibits some of the wiser qualities bequeathed by his father.
As prime minister, Pierre Trudeau campaigned for the passage of the The Constitution Act, 1982 in Canada that eschewed “distinct status” for French-speaking Quebec in favor of a federalist solution. In an interview I did with the senior Trudeau as the Balkan wars ignited in 1990, he eloquently evinced the liberal creed against the siren of nationalism.
“Nationalists, whether of the left or right, are politically reactionary because they are led to define the common good as a function of an ethnic group or religious ideal rather than in terms of ‘all the people’ regardless of individual characteristics,” he told me. “This is why a nationalistic government is by nature intolerant, discriminatory and, when all is said and done, totalitarian.”
This message could not be more relevant at the present moment. Writing from Europe, both Alex Görlach and Gianni Del Vecchio worry that successes in state elections this week in Germany are strengthening the extreme right nationalists of the Alternative for Germany party and shifting the center of gravity of German politics. As Behlül Özkan writes from Istanbul, the nationalist backlash is so intense in Europe, that, in pursuit of a deal with Turkey to curb the influx of refugees, European leaders are looking the other way while the pro-Islam nationalist president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, cracks down on any opposition, recently seizing the country’s leading newspaper, Zaman. WorldPost Middle East correspondent Sophia Jones also reports from Istanbul on the outrage of Turkish journalists at European leaders “turning a blind eye” to the crushing of freedom of expression. In an interview, Turkish novelist Elif Shafak views the situation darkly: “Artists, writers, academics — people who have been trying to build bridges so as to promote coexistence and peace — know that they have lost big time.” Aydoğan Vatandaş suspects that the press crackdown is really aimed at undermining any support that may emerge for a new centrist party led by former President Abdullah Gül that would challenge Erdoğan.
Writing from Athens, Nicos Devletoglou compares the measly 300 million euros being offered by the European Union to Greece for refugee relief to the 3 billion euros being offered to Turkey and calls for national referendums on Europe’s open borders. Writing from the Greek port of Piraeus, Katerina Prifti says the refugee situation, already dire, is about to get much worse. And this photo offers a glimpse of the already severe human cost of Europe’s shut borders.
Joshua Ostroff worries that the xenophobic fires being set by Donald Trump may be hard to extinguish. Writing from Italy, Massimo Faggioli dissects how conservative American Catholics unhappy with Pope Francis are lining up behind Donald Trump. Ed Dolan takes up Bernie Sanders’ challenge and favorably compares Europe’s and Canada’s single-payer health systems to that of the U.S., which spends nearly twice as much of its GDP on medical care.
Writing from Rome in our “Following Francis” series, Sébastien Maillard discusses how the 79-year-old pope is preparing to ensure that his reforms are not rolled back when he is gone. In this week’s “Forgotten Fact,” we examine the resilience of the Somali militant group Al Shabab.
Former NATO commander James Stavridis and cybersecurity expert Dave Weinstein weigh in on the battle between the FBI and Apple over encryption and argue for a middle road that balances security and privacy, something that must ultimately be determined by lawmakers and not the courts. Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez looks at the FBI-Apple dispute from the angle of having lived in a society that is constantly under surveillance.
In an exclusive commentary, Saudi Arabia’s new ambassador in Washington, Prince Abdullah bin Faisal bin Turki Al Saud, responds to the growing criticism of the kingdom in the U.S. “Today, we often hear claims that the ‘Wahhabis’ are exporting extremism and fueling radicalism in religious schools and ‘madrasahs,’ he writes “…it is illogical for the Kingdom to promote the very mindset that has threatened Saudi Arabia with deadly attacks against our homes and mosques.”
Writing from Brazil, Diego Iraheta says that there are serious questions still yet to be answered by former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the corruption case against him. It is up to Lula, he says, to prove what he once proclaimed about himself, that, “there is ‘not a more honest living soul in this country.’” World Bank advisor Jorge Thompson Araujo makes the surprising find in a new study that Latin America’s growth in recent years was due as much to structural reforms as to the commodity boom, which has now fallen off. The McKinsey Global Institute reports in this essay how, for the first time, digital trade is surpassing traditional trade in goods and reshaping what globalization means. Writing from Hong Kong, investor Stephen Peel makes the case that Britain will become poorer if it leaves the European Union because its hinterland is too small without Europe to enable its companies to prosper.
Dror Berman and Samantha Wai examine how the latest innovations in synthetic biology, protein sequencing and tissue engineering are opening doors to rethinking food and protein production. In a photo series on everyday entrepreneurs, we look at how one man is perfecting coffee and chocolate production in the small African island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe. Fusion this week delves into the new funeral practice of preserving the DNA of loved ones. Finally, our Singularity series foresees how 3-D manufacturing will be able to assemble structures in space so they will not have to be launched from Earth.
WHO WE ARE
EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Co-Founder and Executive Advisor to the Berggruen Institute, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Executive Editor of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Alex Gardels and Peter Mellgard are the Associate Editors of The WorldPost. Katie Nelson is the National Editor at the Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s editorial coverage. Eline Gordts is HuffPost’s Senior World Editor. Charlotte Alfred and Nick Robins-Early are World Reporters. Rowaida Abdelaziz is Social Media Editor.
CORRESPONDENTS: Sophia Jones in Istanbul
EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media) Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera), Dileep Padgaonkar (Times of India) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun).
VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS: Dawn Nakagawa.
CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy), Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review) and Katherine Keating (One-On-One). Sergio Munoz Bata and Parag Khanna are Contributing Editors-At-Large.
The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea.
Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine.
ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as the Advisory Council — as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail, and Zheng Bijian.
From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt.
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