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Trump’s presidency could last longer than some expect, Poland is chipping away at people’s freedoms, Too early to celebrate a Palestinian reconciliation, What lies ahead for Catalonia after Article 155, Japan must enshrine Abe’s foreign-policy vision

A roundup of global commentary for the Nov. 6, 2017 weekly magazine.

People hold a Polish national flag and raise candles as they protest against judicial reforms proposed by the president and ruling party Law and Justice, in front of the Supreme Court in Warsaw, Poland, Oct. 1, 2017. Similar protests are taking place in many cities in the country.
Alik Keplicz/AP
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  • Monitor Editors

The Globe and Mail / Toronto

Trump’s presidency could last longer than some expect 

“Not so long ago ... Donald Trump and ... Senator Rand Paul were at war. Here was Mr. Paul’s gently worded assessment ... [in] 2016,” writes Lawrence Martin. “ ‘Donald Trump is a delusional narcissist....’ This was after Mr. Trump had called Mr. Paul, among other niceties, ‘a spoiled brat....’ So what are they doing now? They’re golfing together.... Then there’s Senator Lindsey Graham.... As recently as the Charlottesville racial violence, the two of them were still spitting insults at one another. What are they doing now? Same. Yukking it up on the golf course.... If it all doesn’t quite fit the Trump template as the thin-skinned grudge bearer ... it shouldn’t.... There are other elements of the Trump character ... that could make his presidency more enduring than many imagine.”

Euobserver / Brussels

Poland is chipping away at people’s freedoms

“Since it came into power in October 2015, Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) has gone to great lengths to dismantle the fundamental checks and balances against government abuse of power...,” writes Lydia Gall. “In a democracy ... it should be possible to get redress through independent courts. Yet the Warsaw government has misused its democratic mandate ... to chip away aspects of these basic legal protections. In a [recent] report ... Human Rights Watch shows how ... Poland’s ruling party has sought to bring the country’s top courts and judicial appointments under its control.... [These] actions ... threaten the values of the European Union itself and undermine the credibility of its efforts to promote human rights....” 

The Jordan Times / Amman, Jordan

Too early to celebrate a Palestinian reconciliation

“The reconciliation agreement signed between rival Palestinian parties Hamas and Fateh in Cairo on October 12 was not a national unity accord – at least, not yet,” writes Ramzy Baroud. “For that to be achieved, the agreement would have to make the interests of the Palestinian people a priority, above factional agendas.... Many attempts were made, and failed, to reconcile the two groups.... Their regional politicking was a failure and their political programme ceased to impress Palestinians.... For the Hamas-Fateh unity to become a true national unity, priorities would have to change entirely, with the interest of the Palestinian people ... once more becoming paramount....” 

Al Jazeera / Doha, Qatar

What lies ahead for Catalonia after Article 155

“It is now official. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced on October 21 that his government would enact the controversial Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution to strip Catalonia of its autonomy...,” writes Rafa Perez Bel. “This previously little known constitutional clause is [now] the most discussed subject in every corner of the country.... After the enactment of Article 155, the Catalan regional government will be dissolved.... In six months, early regional elections will be forced.... In 1971, during a speech to the United Nations, famous musician Pau Casals defined Catalonia as ‘a nation of peace.’ What will Catalonia be like in the future? The answer to that question will be determined by Madrid.”

The Times of India / Mumbai

Japan must enshrine Abe’s foreign-policy vision

“In snap polls in Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party-led coalition has secured a two-thirds majority in the lower house of parliament,” states an editorial. “The result ... strengthens Abe’s hand in revising Japan’s pacifist constitution.... There’s no denying that Abe has made Japan more proactive on the foreign policy front. After the US pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, Japan has taken the lead to actualise the pact. Abe has also pushed back against China’s territorial assertiveness.... It’s high time the Japanese constitution is revised to make explicit the legality of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces, as Abe desires.” 

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