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U.S. election campaign reaches final weekend


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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> Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he is open to political finance reforms, after The Globe exposed many cases of cash-for-access fundraisers, where donors can pay large amounts for private audiences with cabinet ministers. Mr. Trudeau also said critics of Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef – who recently discovered she was born in Iran and not Afghanistan – are "torquing" the issue for political purposes.

> Finance Minister Bill Morneau says he and other cabinet ministers will be making the pitch to institutional investors later this month to invest in Canadian infrastructure projects.

> A government poll, obtained by CBC, confirms what we all suspected: most Canadians don't pay much attention to details of the budget.

> The Federal Court says Canada's spy agency has been unlawfully obtaining Canadians' data and has not been entirely truthful in court.

> The Canada Research Chair program's steering committee says fixing equity practices is a high priority.

> And today The Globe unveils the Unremembered project, a spotlight on the lives and the families of the soldiers who died by suicide after serving in Afghanistan.

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> Just relax: The Globe's John Ibbitson tries to lower the temperature after a week of wild poll swings that has prompted many to fear an unexpected win on Tuesday by Donald Trump. "After all this panic, mayhem and gore, most likely nothing will change. This presidential election is reaching a predictable end. And once it's over, the next four years will look a lot like the last eight."

> Democrat's 'golden report': If John Ibbitson's piece didn't calm your jangled nerves, read this New York Times op-ed by Jim Messina, campaign manager for Barack Obama in 2012. He recalls Obama's nervousness a few days before the vote, when a few national polls showed him lagging Mitt Romney.  "I assured the president that the golden report [internal numbers] was predicting a victory, with 332 electoral votes. On Election Day, that was the exact number of electoral votes the president won."

> Where's the white surge?: Also in The New York Times, Nate Cohn says people should be skeptical of the claims that 'missing white voters' will flock to the polls on Tuesday and sweep Donald Trump to victory. "Clinton's lead among newly registered voters isn't simply about an influx of voters who were previously ineligible, either. She leads among every age group of new voters."

> When extremism goes mainstream: Also in The Globe, Sarah Kendzior writes on one of the key strategies of the Trump campaign: Its ability to pull the fringes "into the centre, mainstreaming extremism so that it is not recognizable as extreme any more."

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> Don't forget about debt: The Globe's Konrad Yakabuski says "this brutal U.S. election campaign has provided a respite from at least one ugly reality. Both candidates have avoided talking about the hard choices the next president will face getting on top of an elephantine $19-trillion(U.S.) debt load that looms ominously over the global economy."

> Is Gary Johnson the 'Queen maker'? The New York Times says Libertarian third-party candidate Gary Johnson could be the force that propels Hillary Clinton to the White House. "Why are Republicans more vulnerable? The anti-government and fiscal conservative platforms of Libertarian and independent candidates are registering with voters who distrust the G.O.P. But it's more than that: Among Democrats, Mr. Nader's impact on the Florida vote in 2000 delivered a searing lesson about voting third party in a close race."

> Clinton is the change agent: David Brooks of The New York Times agrees that Americans are looking for an agent of change in Donald Trump. But, Brooks writes, it's Hillary Clinton that would bring the most beneficial change to the most Americans. "But Clinton does possess the steady, pedantic skills that are necessary for governmental change: the ability to work doggedly hard, to master details and to rally the powerful."


Gary Mason (Globe and Mail): "During the height of oil's boom years in the late 2000s, Newfoundland became a "have" province after decades of being a regular recipient of federal handouts. But at a time when the province could use transfer dollars more than ever, it is obligated to live with an arrangement that prevents it from renegotiating the terms of equalization until 2018. This mess is now [Premier Dwight] Ball's to handle."

Denise Balkissoon (Globe and Mail): "Violence and injustice are not easily digestible news morsels, and 'checking in' to the Dakota Access pipeline protests via Facebook is the definition of 'slacktivism.' It's shameful that the police in Abbotsford, B.C., had to ask Canadians not to share video of this week's fatal stabbing at a high school. A like or shocked emoji disrespects these stories, and sharing violent death without regard for the families involved is just tasteless."

Senator Peter Harder (Globe and Mail): "Given this national expression of good faith, it is now crucial that all senators, regardless of affiliation, seize a historic opportunity to effect change from within. At the very least, this means that the new independent senators be provided the same rights and resources to do their jobs that are accorded other members who sit in political party caucuses. The momentum of these few weeks cannot be squandered."

Don Martin (CTV): "[Lisa] Raitt's entry is important because, along with rivals like Erin O'Toole and Michael Chong, she will file down those hard-right edges of the Harper era to set up a middle ground showdown against the Liberals in three years. A kinder, gentler Conservative party armed with a strong economic legacy is the only route out of the current wilderness."

Daphne Bramham (Vancouver Sun): "Filling those data gaps is what Amnesty [International] is arguing for, with gender-based analysis and examining the social costs of resource development on a wider scale rather than simply project by project. Only with that kind of baseline data, it says, can governments protect the human rights of women, indigenous people and others in those communities."

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