John Weissenberger

The International Scene
As Canada’s Conservatives evaluate leadership hopefuls and ponder what their party is about and which path might lead to electoral victory, it’s easy to ignore international politics. They should take a look, for the world holds dozens of established centre-right democratic parties, and many are tackling challenges of relevance and adaptation at least as steep as those burdening Canada’s Conservatives. John Weissenberger travelled to Washington, D.C. for the annual conference of the International Democrat Union (IDU) and provides his assessment in this essay. Later this year, once international travel is restored, Weissenberger heads to Vienna to deepen his understanding at the IDU’s 2020 Forum.
Elitism
The causes and state of relations between Western and Central Canada are usually viewed through a political, economic, fiscal, geographic or at times demographic lens. Less common is looking at who rules, why, what they have done and what they are like. That would be the “Laurentian Elite”. Despite its profound role in shaping Canada, discussing it still seems mainly to interest political junkies. As a proud and concerned Westerner who grew up and was educated amidst the Laurentian Elite only to escape its clutches, John Weissenberger rips away the veil and deconstructs what he regards as this decaying class.
WWI
2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. Despite the passage of time, the events of that terrible human tragedy still have the power to horrify, inspire, and unleash our tears. Lest we forget the sacrifices of the Canadians who fought and died in that war and all the military conflicts that have tested our nation’s mettle, C2C Journal is marking Armistice Day with an essay by John Weissenberger that is bookended by the stories of the first and last Canadians who died in the Great War.
Stories
2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, which began in part because of persistent Russian meddling in the Balkans. The Soviet Empire that grew out of the Bolshevik Revolution was largely created by Russian meddling in the affairs of its eastern and central European neighbours before, during and after the Second World War. Today the Russians are meddling in Ukraine, among other countries. The point is, the core of Russian foreign policy never really changes. We should not be surprised or acquiescent. If we give Vladimir Putin an inch, he will take a mile. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been saying as much for years, write George Koch and John Weissenberger, and it’s time for tougher action by Canada and the other western powers to contain modern Russian aggression.
Stories
In the federal election eight months from now we’ll find out how much damage the latest Quebec-centric political scandal has caused the Liberal Party of Canada. Previous ones, like the “Adscam” affair that crippled the Liberals in the 2006 election, involved millions of misappropriated tax dollars. So far “Lavagate” is about meddling with justice, not stealing money. The “Duffygate” scandal that dogged the Conservatives in the 2015 election involved a paltry $90,000 – and it got paid back. So it wasn’t really about money either. Or justice, as it turned out, when none of the charges stuck. As John Weissenberger wrote for C2C, it was mainly about the allegedly diabolical machinations of Stephen Harper. Readers can judge for themselves whether it belongs in the same league as Adscam or Lavagate.

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