The non-Americans' guide to US elections (Handy for citizens too)

By Doug Criss CNN (CNN) — The US presidential election. It’s exhilarating, it’s exhausting, but it’s also inexplicably complicated, even for us natives. Here’s everything you need to know to become an insta-pundit.When’s the election? Tuesday, November 8 for most Americans. Notice we say “most.” Millions will have already voted by then. That’s because early voting is a thing in the US. More than 40% of all votes this year will be cast before Election Day – a record. In some states, you can even vote early, change your mind and vote again. Yeah, we make democracy really easy.Why is the turnout so pathetic? Alright, you got us with that one. Our country loves the hype surrounding the elections, but the actual election? Not so much. Just 53.6% of the voting-age population cast a ballot in 2012. Some can’t. (Like felons. That’s 6 million right there.) Some just don’t feel like it. (We’re …
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Canada’s focus on trade is big for small business

Andrea Stairs is managing director of eBay Canada.U.S. presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump may vehemently disagree on most key issues – immigration, economic prescriptions and who has the right temperament to be president – but one item the opponents seem to align on is trade. Throughout the campaign, both have made increasingly definitive statements against the Trans-Pacific Partnership and demonstrated strong skepticism toward the North American free-trade agreement and other international deals. Time will tell who will win the election, but one thing is certain: Come Wednesday morning, Canada’s top trade partner may want a new deal.

Similarly, it took dramatic, last-ditch efforts to save the Canada-Europe Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement from being derailed by the Wallonian Parliament in Belgium. There remains a long, bumpy road to full ratification against a backdrop of intense opposition from European anti-trade activists. CETA may be signed, but many question …
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What the U.S. election means for Canada

OTTAWA — Canada’s neighbour elects a new president Tuesday with either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump to take up residence in the White House. Each are proposing different agendas for the U.S. that pose questions, opportunities and challenges to cross-border relations.

Hillary Clinton

Connections: Clinton is a known quantity to Canadian officials from her time as a U.S. senator and secretary of state, which has also given her an understanding of Canada’s role in the world, says Gordon Giffin, a former U.S. ambassador to Canada: “Sometimes there’s too much focus on what we sell back and forth across the 49th parallel and not enough attention to the fact that Canada is quite engaged with the United States all over the world on issues and principles and values that we share. And she knows all of that, so she starts from a pretty strong foundation of engagement with Canada.”

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Only Trudeau can get big money out of Canadian politics

It’s never a bad idea to keep an open mind. Sometimes, the status quo needs a shakeup.For the past couple of weeks, Prime Minister Trudeau has been defending his party’s fundraising practices. He’s argued that everyone does it; including the party in office until last year. That’s true – though not much of a defence. He said nobody in the Liberal Party broke the law, which is a mighty low threshhold. It’s also beside the point, given that the issue is how the law allows everything short of the most blatant influence-peddling. He said that Ottawa’s rules were already better than most provinces; also true, also beside the point.

Late last week, the PM even argued that his government’s fundraising efforts were less objectionable than those of his predecessor, since he wasn’t appointing bagmen to the Senate.“Yes, but the other guys …
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Exclusive: Trudeau government to mail every household in Canada questions on electoral reform

OTTAWA —  The Trudeau government is mailing postcards to every Canadian household this month to find out how people feel about the way they elect MPs, the National Post has learned.
More than 13 million full-colour postcards were being printed up this week which, when they land in mailboxes at the end of the month, will encourage Canadians to go to a website — or — and answer questions about their democratic values.
The websites are “parked” right now with Internet web hosting company but will go live no later than Dec. 1, said a senior government official.
The online consultations, which will close Dec. 31, will be the last of three extensive rounds of consultations on electoral reform under way since the spring.
This means the Trudeau government is expected to declare its preference for how, if it all, to change the way MPs are elected early in the …
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Two Italian workers and a Canadian freed after Libya kidnap

MILAN/TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Two Italian workers and a Canadian kidnapped in Libya in September have been freed and were flown to Italy early on Saturday, Italian and Libyan officials said.

Danilo Calonego, Bruno Cacace and Frank Poccia were abducted on Sept. 19 in Ghat, southwestern Libya, near the site where they worked by an armed group that blocked the vehicle in which they were traveling, the Italian foreign ministry said.

The two Italians were technicians employed by construction group Conicos, it added.

“The three were released in the early hours of Saturday and were handed over to Italian authorities,” said …
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Canada spy agency illegally kept data

Canada’s spy agency is under scrutiny itself after a scathing court ruling said it was illegally keeping data on Canadians who posed no threat national security threat.The programme had been going on since 2006. Ottawa says it will ensure the spy agency is in is full compliance with Thursday’s Federal Court decision. The news came in the wake of revelations that police in Quebec had been spying on journalists. The Federal Court ruling said that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) had been illegally keeping and analysing so-called “associated data”, more commonly known as metadata, from third party communications. That …
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Canadian miner moves its HQ from Paris to London

Canadian mining company Endeavor is to relocate its headquarters from Paris to London, in a move that is likely to cheer a market concerned that firms would leave the UK after the Brexit vote.
The company is understood to have made the decision because it favours the UK’s tax and business regime over the French system, and will locate its corporate staff in a new office in Kensington, having brokered the deal through agency JLL.
Endeavor closed an office in Vancouver earlier this year, and will also move staff from Monaco, as well as two offices in the French …
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What do Canadians think of Trump?

The USA’s northern neighbour looks on the Republican candidate with a mixture of horror and fascination, says Bill Law – but sometimes cross-border friendships mean putting politics aside.I have lived in the UK for 25 years but every summer I go back to Canada with my family. We have a cottage on the St Lawrence River, in a region of spectacular natural beauty called the Thousand Islands. It’s part of a summer community built in the 1880s on the sloping hills and the flats above a small bay. The place once had an abundance of butternut trees, now sadly diminished …
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Canada military probes mysterious Arctic pinging noise

The Canadian military has investigated a mysterious pinging sound coming from the sea floor in a remote region of the Arctic, officials have told the BBC.The strange noise is reported by local people to have frightened animals away over the past few months.A military aircraft conducted various multi-sensor searches in the area, officials said on Friday.But the military says it is so far unable to explain the cause of the “acoustic anomalies”.”The [aircraft] crew did not detect any surface or sub-surface contacts,” the military said in a statement released to the BBC.”The only thing the …
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