October 19 - Hope For Change in Canada's Elections; The Approaching Debt Ceiling Nightmare; Global Decriminalization of Drugs Shielded at the UN

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Full Program


Part 1

We begin with the elections today in Canada that will decide whether incumbent Prime Minister Stephen Harper will get a fourth term or whether Justin Trudeau, the son of a former prime minister will lead his Liberal Party to victory ending a ten year stretch of conservative rule in Canada. Cleo Paskal, a Visiting Trudeau Fellow at the University of Montreal’s Center for International Studies joins us to discuss why the Canadian left and center left are split between the New Democratic Party and the Liberal Party, thus giving the conservatives an easy electoral advantage.


Part 2

Then, on the day that the U.S. Congress returns to work, we speak with Edward Kleinbard, a Visiting Professor of Law at Stanford University who served as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation. Since the government will run out of money in early November, we discuss Ed’s article “Our Debt Ceiling Nightmare” and look into the much more serious implications of a debt-ceiling crisis as opposed to a government shutdown that calls into question our ability to govern ourselves, because when our government dishonors its financial obligations, a global financial and economic crisis is triggered, inflicting permanent damage on the dollar as a global reserve currency.

Part 3

Then finally we examine the foiled attempt by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime to get countries to consider decriminalizing the possession and use of all drugs, a proposal that was withdrawn after pressure from a powerful member nation, likely the United States. Steve Rolles, a Senio5r Policy Analyst at the Transform Drug Policy Foundation in the U.K., joins us to discuss efforts to change government drug policies ahead of a meeting on the “World Drug Problem” at the U.N. General Assembly next April.