Without a doubt, 2020 was a crazy year, and it seems that 2021 is starting off on the same foot. With Biden’s inauguration, the Capitol Hill riots, and rising COVID-19 numbers, last year and this year have been some of the most politically significant years yet. Starting off with a new presidency and an attempted overturn of the democracy in the United States, this year will not be a mellow one.
The United States Election
The election done by our neighbours down south is going to be one for the history books. The sitting president, Donald J. Trump, had made countless attempts to overturn the election in his favour, against his opponent Joe Biden. He ended up raising over two hundred million dollars in a PAC, (Political Action Committee) he created. This money was mostly given to him by his independent donors, only 5% of the donors were from big corporations and companies. However after the raid on the Capitol, the number has dropped to nearly zero. He hasn’t been afraid to spend that money, using 75% on his Save America campaign, his efforts to overturn the election, and the other 25% on the Election Protection Fund, which is mainly just about recounting the votes. This doesn’t leave a lot of space for his election costs of over 700 million, which is solely for him, not his competitors, leaving that cost to taxpayers in the country. Surprisingly, the inauguration day of Joe Biden went smoothly. Sadly, this cannot be said about the days leading up, which continues into the next topic.
The Conservative Leadership Race in Canada
It was a tough time to replace the conservative leader, Andrew Sheer, and the pandemic made it just that much harder. Without a doubt there was a lot of speculation over who would take the spot, with names like Rona Ambrose, Pierre Pollievre and Jean Charest being thrown around. After the party already suspended the race, they had no choice but to continue, leaving them with only 4 candidates, instead of 5. These were Erin O’Toole, Peter McKay, Leslyn Lewis and Derek Sloan. Finally, after a tough race, and a six hour delay due to technical issues with the ballots, Erin O’Toole pulled through, just beating MacKay.
The WE Charity Scandal
This pandemic has been a tough time for nearly all charities, but the WE charity had a different problem. After creating a pandemic support program for students, one that offered money from the federal government once completed a fixed number of volunteer hours in the summer, which WE was supposed to be part of, it came out that Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, had previously been paid by the charity. This sounds like trouble by itself, but it only gets worse for the charity. Originally Justin Trudeau was against the idea of WE administering the support program, but in the end, he didn’t go against it; bringing up some major red flags. After this scandal, the Canadian-based charity, has announced they will be shutting down in Canada.
The COVID-19 Pandemic
Without a doubt, when we counted down the time until 2020, this is not what we were cheering for. For nearly a year we have been social distancing, wearing masks and taking so many extra precautions it’s like second nature. But this hasn’t just affected us socially, but our neighbouring country’s political health. With the American election it drastically changed it as the Trump administration struggled to keep it under control, causing many of his previous supporters to turn their backs on him. In Canada we began rolling out billions of dollars worth of help packages and aid packages, large spending not seen by the government since World War II. The pandemic has done some terrible things, and it’s not over yet, but don’t forget all the things that have benefited you by staying at home, like many people finding new hobbies.
This year is still up for debate if it will be as detrimental as the last, but fingers crossed next year I’ll be able to write about the end to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Written by Eva Ramsay