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Trudeau draws big Alberta crowd in traditional Conservative riding

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, centre, greets supporters as he attends a byelection campaign event in Medicine Hat, Alta., Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016.

Jeff McIntosh/THE CANADIAN PRESS

POLITICS BRIEFING

By Chris Hannay (@channay) and Rob Gilroy (@rgilroy)

The Globe Politics is pleased to include a roundup of news and opinion on U.S. politics, through until this year's election in November. As always, let us know what you think of the newsletter. Sign up here to get it by e-mail each morning.

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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW IN OTTAWA

> Justin Trudeau drew a crowd of 1,300 people in Medicine Hat, Alta., last night, as he is helping local Liberal candidate Stan Sakamoto campaign in a by-election. The Medicine Hat News front page declared it "Trudeau-mania in the Hat," though the paper noted there were dozens of protesters not happy about the Prime Minister's recently-announced carbon pricing. The riding, which has gone Conservative or Reform since 1972, lost its MP when Jim Hillyer suffered sudden heart failure in his Parliament Hill office earlier this year. Two more by-elections will be called in the coming months for the Calgary seats vacated by Stephen Harper and Jason Kenney.

> Speaking of climate policies, Premier Brad Wall argues in a Globe op/ed that "in Saskatchewan, we are opposed to a carbon tax whose efficacy is at best doubtful and whose impact on trade-exposed industries that provide thousands of jobs will be harmful."

> The parliament of Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium, threw a wrench in the Canada-EU trade deal today.

> The wheels of justice turn slowly: a trial linked to the decade-old sponsorship scandal revealed this week that a Liberal bagman says he was paid $40,000 after pleading guilty to influence peddling.

> How Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains uses his turban colours as a form of political messaging.

> And former Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak talks about life after politics. "Sometimes politics is like sports – athletes can stay past their prime," he says.

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U.S. ELECTION 2016

> A defining moment?: The Los Angeles Times said Michelle Obama "starred in a defining moment of the presidential race Thursday, delivering a stinging and emotional condemnation of Donald Trump's behavior toward women that framed the election as no longer about ideology, but human decency." So far Mr. Trump has refrained from speaking ill of the First Lady.

> Out in the open: Also in The Times, Susan Dominus says Mr. Trump may have perversely sparked a "culture-wide shift in how we think of and talk about sexual assault. … Grueling and sordid or not, it has placed matters of sex, power and gender at the center of the national conversation, not off in the peripheral space typically reserved for women's issues in media."

> Donors pressure GOP: The New York Times reports that several big GOP donors are putting pressure on the Republican National Committee to completely sever its ties with Donald Trump. Even for loyalists, there is a line beyond which the obvious moral failings of a candidate are impossible to disregard," one donor was quoted as saying. "That line has been clearly breached."

> Trump's locker room: In New York Magazine, Jonathan Chait says "[Donald] Trump's serial abuse was a time bomb on his campaign that is now going off." Chait writes that "a misogynistic belief in sexual entitlement is a, and probably the, foundational element of his self-conception."

> Empty suites: Not only is Donald Trump's presidential campaign turning toxic, but his global businesses might also be suffering. "If Trump hoped his campaign would elevate the value of his brand, it looks like just the opposite is happening."

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> Preparing the blame game: At Vox.com, Matthew Yglesias says there's a reason that Donald Trump is lashing out at House Speaker Paul Ryan: Trump knows he is losing the election and is preparing his blame game. "Taking personal responsibility for his own failings is anathema to Trump. More than a winning strategy, he needs a scapegoat. And Paul Ryan will do."

> V for victory, not vendettas: Charles Krauthammer in The Washington Post says it's the "Lock her up talk" not just the locker room talk that's most dangerous. "In democracies, the electoral process is a subtle and elaborate substitute for combat, the age-old way of settling struggles for power. … The prize for the winner is temporary accession to limited political power, not the satisfaction of vendettas. Vladimir Putin, Hugo Chávez and a cavalcade of two-bit caudillos lock up their opponents. American leaders don't."

WHAT EVERYONE'S TALKING ABOUT

Gary Mason (Globe and Mail): "The fact is, it's highly unlikely whoever the Conservatives pick will ever become prime minister. A party that has been in power for an extended period of time can go through many leaders before finding the one who leads them to the Promised Land again. Look at the Liberals. After Jean Chrétien spent 10 years in office, the party went through three leaders before it found someone who could lead them to a majority government again. After Brian Mulroney spent nine years running the country, his party, in various iterations, went through even more leaders before Stephen Harper came along."

Tasha Kheiriddin (iPolitics): "There was never any doubt that [Kellie] Leitch and [Chris] Alexander were going to touch on identity politics in the leadership race. The only surprise has been how they chose to do it."

Globe and Mail editorial board: "The news that Canada's federal prisons have cut back on their gluttonous appetite for sticking inmates in solitary confinement should be greeted with skepticism. Yes, it is a good thing that fewer mentally ill prisoners are being warehoused in tiny, undermonitored cells for hundreds of days at a time, and yes, it is nice to see that the hidebound Correctional Service Canada is capable of change. But it should not be forgotten that CSC insisted for years that change was impossible."

Colin Robertson (Globe and Mail): "Both [Canadian and Mexican] governments need to pick shared initiatives on which we can achieve tangible results. Success will develop more trust and create a better basis for a shared approach when dealing with the new U.S. administration. Over the years, the Canada-Mexico story has resembled a spasmodic series of tango-like bursts of intensity followed by long siestas. This time, let's keep the dance going and put the emphasis on our people-to-people ties."

Don Martin (CTV): "If this public enthusiasm [in Medicine Hat] translates into votes and victory or even a strong showing by the Liberals, it will be beyond astonishing, particularly given his candidate runs a catering company while the Conservative is a retired cop."

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