Politics

Kids Lighter Politics

Four-Year-Old Becomes Mayor Of Small Town

A four-year-old boy named Robert Tufts is the mayor of the small town of Dorset in Minnesota.

He was given the job last August – when he was only three – and will continue to be mayor until this August.

The boy was awarded the position after his name was pulled out of a hat.

Once a year, people who live in or nearby Dorset can pay $1 to have their name written on piece of paper and put into a hat.

Then a name is randomly drawn out of the hat, and the person whose name it is becomes the mayor.

Last year, Robert Tufts’ name was pulled out.

Image: Chris Krug
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Surprising Win For Liberals In BC Election

The Liberals unexpectedly won the provincial election in British Columbia on Tuesday surprising many people, who thought the New Democratic Party (NDP) would win.

The Liberals and the NDP are two of Canada’s biggest political parties.

The Liberals were already in power in B.C.; after this election, they will stay in power.

Being “in power” in this case means they are responsible for making many of the important decisions involving laws and money in the province. It also means that their leader is the Premier of the province.

Many people—including political experts—thought the New Democratic Party would win the election. Not only did the Liberals win, but they won a “majority government.” That means they have more seats in the legislature than all of the other parties combined.

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The Netherlands Gets Its First King In 123 Years

On Tuesday, the people of the Netherlands got a new king.

That’s because their queen, Queen Beatrix, abdicated the throne.

Abdicated means she stepped down—stopped being queen—to let her son take over the throne and become king.

Her eldest son is Willem-Alexander; he was Crown Prince and now is King.

Canada and the Netherlands have a connection.

During World War II, Beatrix’s family lived in Ottawa, Ont., Canada’s capital city, for five years.

Beatrix’s younger sister, Margriet, was born in Ottawa Civic Hospital in 1943.

At that time, a “federal proclamation” was made to declare the maternity (birthing) ward of the hospital “extraterritorial.” In other words, the room in which Margriet was born was declared neutral ground. That’s so the new royal baby would obtain Dutch citizenship through her parents, rather than Dutch plus Canadian (dual) citizenship because she was born in Canada.

The Dutch royal family thanked Canada for allowing them to live in Ottawa during the war by giving Canada 100,000 tulip bulbs. They continue to send the bulbs each year to Canada. The tulip bulbs form the basis for Ottawa’s stunning annual tulip festival.

Image: Jean-Marc Carisse
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Justin Trudeau New Leader Of Federal Liberals

Justin Trudeau is the new leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.

Justin Trudeau is the son of Pierre Trudeau, who was the charismatic Prime Minister of Canada for more than 15 years in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

A new kind of Trudeaumania swept the Liberal Party on Sunday, where Justin Trudeau won the leadership of the party by a landslide.

He took more than 80 per cent of the vote, winning handily on the first ballot.

Trudeau has a big challenge—to get the Liberal party focused again, and eventually to get it back in power.

He wants to be Canada’s next prime minister.

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Britain’s “Iron Lady” Dead At The Age Of 87

Margaret Thatcher was the Prime Minister of England from 1979 to 1990. That was the longest time for any British prime minister since the early 19th century.

Thatcher was Britain’s only female prime minister and she was considered an important leader around the world.

On Monday Thatcher died of a stroke; she was 87 years old.

When she was Prime Minister, Thatcher was considered by most people to be very strong-willed. Her nickname was “The Iron Lady.” Once when her own Conservative party members asked her to tone down her a hard decision, she said to them: ‘The lady’s not for turning.’

On the other hand, Thatcher had a vision for her country and she was loyal to it to the end.

She believed strongly in lowering government spending, letting private companies buy government agencies and letting companies compete with each other without government help.

When a terrorist bomb, meant for her, killed five people, she made a speech that evening telling her own party that the British would never give in to terrorism.

Image: Washiucho
Politics

Cyprus The Latest Country To Get A Bailout

Cyprus is the latest country to require a financial “bailout” from other European countries to keep its banks and economy from collapsing.

Like Greece, which was bailed out of an economic crisis last year, Cyprus is one of 17 countries in Europe that uses a type of currency, or money, called the Euro.

The problems for Cyprus began with the country’s banks, which loaned money to people who didn’t pay it back. Governments of other countries that use the Euro became nervous that Cyprus banks would fail if they were re-paid, and that the problems could spread to their countries.

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Change Comes 55 Years After the Cuban Revolution

Sirens. Security alarms. Sales pitches: “Taxi? Good restaurant! Best music CD? My art studio?”

These are the new sounds of Havana, Cuba.

This is my sixth time in Cuba–I am here on vacation; this year, I hear and see change.

It is almost 55 years since Cuba became a socialist country. In Cuba, socialism means that each Cuban has the same rights, the same salary and the same education as everyone else in the country.

Fidel Castro, former President of Cuba, brought socialism to the country in 1959 when he and his rebel forces took over the government. Now Cubans receive free education, free health care and most jobs have been protected by the government.

But the Cuban government is running out of money to pay for everything.

Things have to change.

Image: José Cruz/ABr
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Hugo Chávez, President Of Venezuela, Remembered For Social Reforms

Hugo Chávez, the charismatic president of Venezuela, died on Tuesday. He was 58.

Chávez had been the president of the South American country since 1998.

Chávez grew up in a very poor family. He dreamed of becoming a baseball player, but instead he studied at a military academy and then joined the army.

As a student and a soldier, Chávez read many books and became interested in politics and the problems affecting poor people in Venezuela. He believed that the people running the government at the time were dishonest, and were taking money that should have been used to help the whole country.

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Canadian Senators’ Expenses Being Reviewed

Senators are people who are chosen to help make the laws in Canada.

But right now, some of the senators are getting attention because of money they are spending on travel, and on apartments or houses to live in while they sit in the Senate in Ottawa, Ont., Canada’s capital city.

Senators can get as much as $22,000 each year from Canadians or their living expenses, as long as their main residence is at least 100 kilometres away from Ottawa.

But people say that some of the senators are claiming money to pay for their homes even though they are not living in them when they claim to be.

In other cases, people say the homes that are being paid for by Canadians are the main place of residence, or where the senators live most of the time — not just when they have to help make laws in the Senate.

If that is the case, these people say, the senators should be paying the cost themselves.

The senators who are being questioned about whether Canadians should be paying their housing and travel expenses include former TV news personalities Pamela Wallin and Mike Duffy.

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Rob Ford Wins His Legal Case, Remains As Toronto’s Mayor

Rob Ford has won his appeal and will remain as Toronto’s mayor.

Last November, Ford was removed from office – in other words, told by a judge that he could no longer be mayor.

The judge said Ford broke a “conflict of interest” law after he voted on an issue that he, himself was involved in. The judge said Ford must step down as mayor.

However, Ford appealed the judge’s decision. That means he asked the court to look over the case and reverse the decision.

Three judges from the Ontario Divisional Court did just that. They ruled that Ford never broke the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.