September 8, 2008

Pt 1: Election Panel - It feels like only...oh, about two years and eight months since our last federal election. And yet here we are again. After weeks of speculation, Stephen Harper went for a walk yesterday and now we're going to the polls on October 14th. Not surprisingly, the party leaders don't agree on much except that the reason we're here is because of Canada's limping economy and that one of the defining questions of the campaign will be who has the goods to lead us through what could be a few lean years.

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Pt 2: Alaska Pipeline Deal - Governor Sarah Palin was at church earlier this year asking parishioners to help her get God on the side of a 2,700 kilometre long natural gas pipeline from Alaska to Alberta. Two weeks ago, just a day before she was tapped to be John McCain's running mate, Governor Palin signed a piece of legislation giving a Canadian pipeline company called TransCanada half-a-billion dollars to start the process.

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Pt 3: Political Primatologist - With elections on both sides of the border, we've got power and influence on the brain here at The Current. Thankfully, so does Frans De Waal. He's one of the world's leading primatologists. He's spent more than 30 years studying chimpanzees and bonobos.

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It's Monday, September 8th.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has called an election for October 14th.

Currently, the Conservatives aren't sure exactly where the writ was dropped, but they're pretty sure it's now somewhere in Julie Couillard's apartment.

This is the Current.

Election Panel - Economic Leaders

My, my ... Where has the time gone?

It feels like only...oh, about two years and eight months since our last federal election. And yet here we are again. After weeks of speculation, Stephen Harper went for a walk yesterday and now we're going to the polls on October 14th. Not surprisingly, the party leaders don't agree on much except that the reason we're here is because of Canada's limping economy and that one of the defining questions of the campaign will be who has the goods to lead us through what could be a few lean years.

The Panel

For their thoughts on that, we've gathered four people who have been through a few election campaigns of their own.

Deborah Grey was an MP with the Reform Party and the Canadian Alliance. She joined us from Victoria.

Akaash Maharaj was the Liberal Party's National Policy Co-Chair. He's now the CEO of Equine Canada and he joined us from Calgary.

Ed Broadbent was the leader of the Federal NDP for 14 years and joined us from Ottawa.

And Dominique Ollivier is a former advisor to Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe. She was in Montreal.


Alaska Pipeline Deal

Governor Sarah Palin was at church earlier this year asking parishioners to help her get God on the side of a 2,700 kilometre long natural gas pipeline from Alaska to Alberta. Two weeks ago, just a day before she was tapped to be John McCain's running mate, Governor Palin signed a piece of legislation giving a Canadian pipeline company called TransCanada half-a-billion dollars to start the process.

The deal was the outcome of an emotional battle in Alaska and garnered very little attention outside the state. But now that Governor Palin is also the Republican Vice Presidential candidate, investigative reporters have descended on Alaska to dig through her administration's record on a host of things including the TransCanada pipeline deal.

Mark Hosenball is a reporter with Newsweek Magazine. He's been investigating the deal and he's in Anchorage.

Now, the question we haven't asked yet is what -- if any -- impact the proposed pipeline would have on Canada. And some of the answers may lie hundreds of kilometres east of Alaska in the Mackenzie Valley. For more on that, we were joined by Andre Plourde. He's the Chair of the Department of Economics at the University of Alberta and he was in Edmonton.



Political Primatologist

With elections on both sides of the border, we've got power and influence on the brain here at The Current. Thankfully, so does Frans De Waal. He's one of the world's leading primatologists. He's spent more than 30 years studying chimpanzees and bonobos. And he says that's helped him gain a much greater understanding of how politics works - human, chimp or otherwise. He's written two books about what we can learn from watching our distant cousins struggle for power Chimpanzee Politics and, more recently, Our Inner Ape. And Frans De Waal was in Atlanta, Georgia.


Last Word

We left you this morning with a last thought on leadership in politics courtesy of The Clash. Apart from the reference to the Profumo scandal that brought down British Prime Minister Harold McMillan in the 1960s, it still holds up.

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