Is America ‘unhinged’, or does its case against Meng Wanzhou have merit?

Politics Insider for Dec. 17: Fallout from Trump’s offer to intervene in Meng’s case continues, Jagmeet Singh wants you to hear him, and mark your calendars for election day

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Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, leaves her home with a security guard in Vancouver on Wednesday, December 12, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

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As the case of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou expands into a diplomatic crisis for Canada, which arrested her in Vancouver on Dec. 1, opinion on her arrest remains divided.

Economist Jeffrey Sachs says Canada is being “used and manipulated” by the U.S. which is “unhinged” by the rise of China and is creating “a new Cold War.” (CBC News)

Writing in the South China Morning Post, Ankit Panda argues the case against Meng appears to have merit, but that Washington has jeopardized the rule of law with President Donald Trump’s offer to intervene in her case. “The U.S. should stand with Canada and affirm that Meng’s arrest is legally justifiable and will be handled as any other bank fraud prosecution might be, without being prejudiced by broader geopolitical factors.” (South China Morning Post)

Here’s a question: Can Trump even follow through on his offer to free Meng in return for China agreeing to a trade deal? It turns out, the answer is yes. But the result could prove disastrous for both the U.S. and Canada. (Maclean’s)

To say NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh had a heard time being heard in 2018 would be an understatement. Speaking with Maclean’s Ottawa bureau chief John Geddes, Singh sketches out his plan to get heard in 2019:

Singh doesn’t deny that he has struggled. “There were some challenges that I faced this year, absolutely,” he said in an interview. “And they took away from the things that I wanted to focus on.” Beyond media attention to his positions on Indian politics and his handling of the Weir affair, Singh suffered from trying to lead his party from outside the House. He jumped from Ontario politics to win the leadership in 2017 and isn’t an MP. Although Singh announced he will run in the vacant Burnaby South riding, just east of Vancouver, Trudeau has delayed calling that by-election, but it is expected to take place in February.

That will leave Singh, who is from Toronto, spending a lot of time working to build his presence in B.C.—away from the fray in Ottawa. But he told Maclean’s he plans to put distinctive NDP policy positions in front of Canadian voters well before next fall’s campaign. In the past, federal parties have sometimes released their platforms far in advance of elections, sometimes just before or even during the campaign. While he wouldn’t be pinned down on precise timing, Singh said he’s firmly in the “release it in advance, in its entirety, camp.”

Before reconciliation is possible, Canadians must admit the truth about the country’s relationship with Indigenous people, writes Riley Yesno:

 The truth is, there is no Canada without Indigenous people; they are the original, foundational, fundamental parts of this land. Instead of trying to make room for them in colonial systems and institutions that were never meant for Indigenous people to exist within, we need to find the willingness to tear it all down and reimagine what a nation that respects truth might look like—and then build that nation. (Maclean’s)

Forget Liberal talk about Canada’s respect for the rule of law, writes Tom Parkin. Late last month, the Trudeau government tabled a bill ending the charter-protected freedom of postal workers to form and act in association. It’s been tried before and it ended badly. (Maclean’s)

In a year-end sit down with Evan Solomon for CTV’s Question Period, Trudeau said Canada is still looking at whether it can cancel the sale of Canadian-made armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia, in the wake of the regime’s killing of a journalist. “We’re  engaged with the export permits to try and see if there is a way of no longer exporting these vehicles to Saudi Arabia,” Trudeau said. (CTV News)

In the same interview Trudeau also ruled out an early election, so now we know Canadians are going to the polls on Oct. 21.

Oh, and the Prime Minister’s biggest regret this past year? “The India Trip.