Leaders on the brink.
As expected Angela Merkel came out on top in the German elections but it is was not a result that I suspect Merkel or her party felt comfortable with. Once again, for the first time since 1945 the right wing in Germany has a foothold in parliament. Whether it can move on from there remains to be seen.
Politicians often can’t see the one election too far moment and I think Merkel has missed that boat and is in for a difficult, probably final, term of office that she may just regret not calling it a day beforehand.
In the UK, Theresa May is in her first term of office and is struggling to keep that. With a slim majority she called an election to improve it, and failed. Brexit negotiations haven’t gone well and her position looks tenuous especially given the unexpected popularity of the Labour opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn.
The UK Conservative Party is uneasy. It doesn’t want to lose an election but many are unhappy with the leader. Usually the knives come out and a failing leader falls or is pushed out. I wouldn’t be surprised to see May resign, a leadership election and perhaps Boris Johnson to seize his chance. That could force an election with a win for Corbyn or a minority Labour government. Labour would take over Brexit and the Conservatives could blame it for a result. Sound like a plan? Might just be. Media pundits have reported that EU negotiators have been talking to Corbyn in secret.
U.S. President Trump has been on the brink ever since he took office. I really think he might like it there. Hardly a day goes by without him picking another fight. U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson has been reported as referring to his boss as, “a moron,” other news outlets have put an expletive in front of that. I believe that Trump is one of those people that one has to work, “for,” body and soul rather than work, “with,”. When teamwork is required that’s not a recipe for success and Trump’s employees may be wise not to stray too far from their previous jobs as they may need them in a hurry.
In the meantime, the rhetoric between North Korea and the U.S. has ramped up to almost fever pitch and I truly fear that something horrible is about to happen.
Independence has been in the news as some of Catalonia defies its government. I expect some in Scotland and Quebec have been watching the events in Spain unfold closely.
The mass shooting in Las Vegas scored a record for a mass shooting in the U.S. Just saying, but who is going to protect U.S. citizens from other U.S. citizens that go on the rampage and slaughter their own people? Is there more danger within than without? Will gun laws be tightened? Did no one in the hotel notice this guy shipping his arsenal of weapons and ammo up to his room? These questions and more will probably never be answered.
TransCanada has given up on its Energy East and Eastern Mainline projects. That’s not a surprise to me. Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline looks to be the only game in town left to expand Alberta’s energy output to the coast and to international markets. I’ve got to say that I’m not convinced that going west is going to work out either. You can still go north guys through friendly neighbours. Just a thought.
I’ve read that conventional drilling around the oilsands is the play of the day. With oil at around US$50 a barrel, inexpensive wells that can profit are going in quickly. Some oilsands facilities are perfectly fine at current oil prices, some even lower, but there must be some big bucks investors that must be none too happy with break evens way north of that especially with billions of dollars in investments already spent.