Transcript: Advice for Troubled Times and Other Stories from the Week | Feb 19, 2021

Nam stands in the studio. She's in her early forties, with shoulder length straight brown hair. She's wearing glasses, a black blazer over a gray shirt, and a golden pendant necklace.

A wall screen behind her reads "The Week in Review."

Nam says "THE AGENDA" THIS WEEK LEARNED HOW THE HISTORY OF BLACK SETTLERS IN ONE ONTARIO TOWN WAS ALMOST WIPED OUT. CONSIDER CANADA'S APPROACH TO VACCINE DIPLOMACY, ASSESSED WHY WESTERN NATIONS DON'T TRY TO EXPORT DEMOCRACY LIKE THEY ONCE DID. AND EXAMINE UGANDA'S EFFORTS IN THE PAST 50 YEARS OF DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT. "THE AGENDA'S" WEEK IN REVIEW BEGINS WITH SOME GENTLE ADVICE FOR TROUBLED TIMES FROM PSYCHO THERAPIST AND AUTHOR JULIA SAMUEL.

Music plays as an animated slate reads "The week in review."

Steve Paikin appears on split screens with a guest. He's in his fifties, clean-shaven, with short curly brown hair.

A caption on screen reads "How to deal with big life changes. Learning how to live with it."

Steve says WHY IS CHANGE SO DIFFICULT FOR SO MANY OF US?

The caption changes to "Julia Samuel. Author, "This too shall pass.'"

Julia is in her late fifties, with short gray hair and bangs. She's wearing a green blazer and a patterned black blouse.

She says I THINK... I MEAN EVERYBODY THAT'S COME THROUGH MY DOOR, THEY KNOW THAT LIFE HAS CHANGED AND THEY KIND OF WELCOME THE CHANGE BUT THEY DON'T WANT TO DO THE CHANGE ITSELF THAT GOES WITH IT. DO YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN? SO THE FIRST ARROW IS THE BAD NEWS SO YOU ARE BREAKING UP WITH YOUR PARTNER OR YOU'VE LOST YOUR JOB OR YOU'VE GOT A HEALTH DIAGNOSIS OR YOU RECOGNIZE YOU'RE IN A PANDEMIC. BUT WE ARE BORN ADAPTIVE. BUT WE FEAR THE NOT KNOWING OF THE NEW VERSIONS OF OURSELVES. SO WE KIND OF HOLD ON TO, LIKE, GRIM DEATH, THE OLD VERSIONS BECAUSE WE PREFER THE FAMILIAR TO THE SCARY UNKNOWN. I THINK ONE OF THE BIGGEST THINGS PEOPLE ARE FINDING HARD NOW IS NOT HAVING CONTROL AND NOT KNOWING WHAT ON EARTH IS GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT OR NOT BEING ABLE TO MAKE PLANS.

Steve says YOU'VE IN DOUBT HAD A HUGE LIT ANY, A VERY LONG LIST OF AILMENTS IF YOU HAD TO RANK THEM WHAT ARE THE MOST SERIOUS CHANGES THAT PEOPLE ARE THE MOST AFRAID OF HAVING TO UNDERGO?

The caption changes to "Julia Samuel. Child Bereavement U.K."

Julia says I THINK THERE ARE TWO. I THINK THE THREE BIG ONES ARE YOUR RELATIONSHIP, LOSING YOUR JOB AND A HEALTH DIAGNOSIS. OBVIOUSLY YOUR LIFE BEING THREATENED IS RADICALLY THE MOST FRIGHTENING BECAUSE IT MAY MEAN THE END OF YOUR LIFE. AND THAT... ALL OF US LIVE LIKE EVERY DAY WE WAKE UP ASSUMING THAT TOMORROW WILL BE THE SAME AS TODAY. AND A DIAGNOSIS THAT YOU HAVE A LIFE THREATENING ILLNESS, GRIEF STARTS AT THE POINT OF DIAGNOSIS. BECAUSE YOU DON'T... YOU KIND OF PLAN YOUR DEATH. I THINK YOU IMMEDIATELY SORT OF IMAGINE YOU'RE GOING TO DIE. THAT IS VERY SCARY, I THINK.

The caption changes to "The Week in Review. @theagenda. Tvo.org."

Steve says DOES THAT KIND OF TREPIDATION HAPPEN EVEN WHEN THE NEWS IS GOOD AND NOT JUST BAD.

Julia says YOU'VE READ MY BOOK, I'M VERY IMPRESSED.

[LAUGHTER]

Julia says YES, BECAUSE WHEN YOU COMMIT TO A RELATIONSHIP, YOU'VE HAD THIS DREAM EVER SINCE YOU WERE 8 YEARS OLD THAT YOU ARE GOING TO COMMIT TO SOMEBODY. AND YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE THIS HAPPY FUTURE. AND THEN WHEN YOU ACTUALLY DO T. YOU REALIZE THAT IN ORDER TO LIVE WITH THEM AND COMMIT TO THEM YOU HAVE THROW GIVE UP A BUNCH OF STUFF. IT DEPENDS ON YOUR RELATIONSHIP. BUT MOST PEOPLE HAVE TO GIVE UP HAVING SEX WITH OTHER PEOPLE OR YOU HAVE TO DO THEIR LAUNDRY ORDEAL WITH THEIR BAD MOODS. NOTHING COMES FROM NOTHING. THE FIRST HOUR WAS THE CHANGE. AND THE SECOND BARRIER IS HOW WE DEAL WITH THE CHANGE. HOW WE SHIFT OURSELVES, TO RESHAPE OURSELVES. THOSE THAT ARE MOST ADAPTABLE ARE THE HAPPIEST IN LIFE. THOSE THAT RESIST CHANGE GET HIT BY CHANGE AGAIN WHEN IT HAPPENS AND IT DOES HAPPEN EVERY SEVEN OR EIGHT YEARS ARE THE LEAST HAPPY, THE LEAST CONTENT.

Steve says DO YOU KNOW WHY SOME PEOPLE ARE BETTER AT IT THAN OTHERS?

The caption changes to "For more on this story visit: tvo.org/theagenda."

Julia says I THINK IT'S PARTLY THE UP-BRINGING. IT MIGHT BE PARTLY THEIR DNA. I THINK IT'S A LOT TO DO WITH WHAT'S BEEN MODELED TO YOU ABOUT PREVIOUS LOSSES. YOU KNOW, LIKE NOW WHAT I CALL THE CHANGE NOW IS THE LIVING LOSS. SO ALL THE THINGS THAT WE PREDICTED THAT WE CAN HAVE LIKE SEEING OUR FRIENDS, MAKING PLANS, HAVING HOLIDAYS, THEY'VE BEEN TAKEN OFF THE TABLE AND THE EXPERIENCE OF THAT IS A LIVING LOSS AND IT'S EXPERIENCED LIKE GRIEF. AND IF YOU HAVE OBSERVED YOUR PARENTS MANAGING THESE LOSSES AND WHAT THEY DO WITH THEM, WE LEARN FROM OUR PARENTS. SO IF YOU HAVE SEEN PARENTS THAT ARE PRETTY ADAPTABLE AND ROBUST, THEN YOU TEND TO BE AS WELL.

Now music plays as an animated slate reads "The week in review."

Steve appears on splits screens with a guest.

A caption on screen reads "The desecration of Priceville's history. An eradicated story."

Steve says WHY DO YOU THINK YOU WE SO LITTLE ABOUT COLONEL PRICE, THE UNITED EMPIRE LOYALIST AFTER WHICH PRICEVILLE WAS NAMED?

The caption changes to "Elise Harding-Davis. African Canadian Heritage Consultant."

Elise is in her sixties, with short white hair. She's wearing glasses, a reptile print blouse, a black headband and hoop earrings.

She says BECAUSE HE WAS A BLACK UNITED EMPIRE LOYALIST. THE NAMES OF EMPIRE LOYALISTS WERE LARGELY STRICKEN FROM THE ROLES. WE HAVE TO PUT OURSELVES INTO THE MIND SET OF THE TIME. THIS WAS STILL WHEN SLAVERY WAS LEGAL ON THE ENTIRE NORTH AMERICAN CONTINENT. COLONEL PRICE AND MANY PEOPLE LIKE HIM WHO CAME TO ONTARIO HAD MADE THE DECISION TO FIGHT FOR GREAT BRITAIN. WHICH MADE THEM LOYALISTS. AND THE LAND GRANTS THAT THEY GOT, WERE IN AREAS THAT THE WHITE LOYALISTS DIDN'T NECESSARILY WANT BECAUSE IT WAS TOO HARD TO CLEAN OR DRAIN OR CUT DOWN THE FOREST. WE WERE MORE THAN WILLING TO TAKE THAT. WE HAD WORKED UNDER SIMILAR CONDITIONS, UNDER ENSLAVEMENT AND THAT DIDN'T BOTHER US. BUT, AGAIN, I'M SAYING WE WEREN'T GIVEN SOCIALIZED INFORMATION ON HOW TO OWN SOMETHING. JUST TAKING IT OVER AND CLEARING IT UP. AND PROMISING TO MEET GUIDELINES AND STIPULATIONS LIKE CLEARING FIVE ACRES WITHIN THREE YEARS OR PAYING OFF THE PRICE OF THE PROPERTY WITHIN 10 YEARS. LITTLE TRICKS WERE PLAYED. AND THE PROPERTY WAS TAKEN AWAY.

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcast: tvo.org/theagenda."

Steve says I WONDER IF I COULD FOLLOW UP WITH THIS. I WANT YOU TO TAKE US BACK. THE BLACK COMMUNITY HAD ESTABLISHED ITSELF IN PRICEVILLE. AND THEN WHITE SETTLERS CAME INTO THE AREA AND I WONDER IF YOU COULD JUST GIVE US SOME MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THAT FIRST CONTACT, HOW IT ALL WENT.

The caption changes to "The Week in Review. @theagenda. Tvo.org."

Elise says WELL, THERE WOULD BE SEVERAL WAYS IN WHICH IT WOULD GO. THE BLACK FAMILIES, MOST PROBABLY INVITED THE WHITE FAMILIES INTO THEIR HOMES UNTIL THEY COULD GET THEIR OWN PROPERTIES CLEARED AND BUILT. THE WHITE SETTLERS MAY HAVE BEEN A LITTLE BIT JEALOUS OF WHAT THEY WERE SEEING. YOU KNOW, AFTER ALL, EUROPEAN IMMIGRANTS WERE COMING FROM HARD TIMES AS WELL. THE IRISH CAME HERE WITH THE FIRST POTATO FAMINE. THEY WERE UNDER COLONIZATION FROM THE BRITISH. THEY HAD VERY LITTLE THEMSELVES. AND TO SEE OTHERS WHO WERE RACIALLY NOT APPRECIATED... TRYING TO BE VERY DIPLOMATIC ABOUT THE WAY I SAY THINGS...

Steve says I NOTICE THAT. THAT WAS A VERY GENTLE WAY OF PUTTING IT.

[LAUGHTER]

Elise says AND THEN THERE COULD HAVE BEEN, AS JENNIFER SAID, SIX MARRIAGES. AND SO OVER THE COURSE OF EVEN TWO GENERATIONS, WE CAN BLEND OUT. AND PEOPLE WOULDN'T KNOW THAT WE WERE BLACK UNLESS THEY WERE TOLD. AND SO IN ORDER TO NOT BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES, OR TO TAKE ON THE GUISE OF A WHITE PERSON, THEY WOULD SHUN THEIR BLACK FAMILY.

Steve says JENNIFER WAS IT ALSO THE CASE THAT IF YOU WERE A WHITE FAMILY AND YOU WORKED THE LAND FOR A YEAR, IT WAS YOURS. IF YOU WERE A BLACK FAMILY, THAT WAS NOT THE CASE. IS THAT TRUE?

The caption changes to "Jennifer Holness. Hungry Eyes Media."
Then, it changes again to "Unearthing truth."

Jennifer is in her thirties, with chin-length, big curly brown hair. She's wearing a dark blue jacket and a printed blue blouse.

She says ABSOLUTELY. IN ACTUAL FACT, SOME OF THE SETTLERS, THE WHITE SETTLERS TARGETED LAND THAT HAD ALREADY BEEN CLEARED THAT THERE WEREN'T ANY DEEDS. AND SO WITHIN A YEAR, BECAUSE THEY HAD LAND THAT HAD ACTUALLY BEEN PREPARED FOR THEM, ESSENTIALLY, THEY WERE ABLE TO MOVE IN AND ESTABLISH THE COMMUNITY. AND SO... AND AS YOU KNOW, WITH PRICEVILLE, AFTER WHITES TOOK OVER THE COMMUNITY, THE ONLY REMNANT WAS THE CEMETERY.

The caption changes to "For more on this story visit: tvo.org/theagenda."

Jennifer continues AND WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED WAS A FARMER, BILLY REID PLUCKED ALL THE GRAVE STONES AND ESSENTIALLY PITCHED SOME OF THEM INTO A STONE PILE, FLOORED HIS STABLE AND HIS BASEMENT WITH THE GRAVE STONES. AND, OF COURSE, ONE GENTLEMAN STUART NERO WAS AN OLDER GENTLEMAN IN THE FILM, HE TALKS ABOUT THEM USING A GRAVE STONE AS HOME PLATE. SO THERE WAS NO RESPECT FOR THE BLACK LIVES THAT WAS THERE BEFORE THE BLACK LIVES THAT HAD DONE ALL OF THIS WORK. YOU KNOW, THERE WAS NO VALUE PLACED ON THEM.

Now music plays as an animated slate reads "The week in review."

Steve appears on split screens with a guest.

A caption on screen reads "Should Canada adopt vaccine diplomacy? A time to reap."

Steve says WHICH COUNTRIES OR REGIONS OF THE WORLD DO YOU THINK WE'RE PARTICULARLY TRYING TO INFLUENCE WITH OUR VACCINE DIPLOMACY?

The caption changes to "Bessma Momani. University of Waterloo."

Bessma is in her forties, with long wavy blond hair. She's wearing a blue jacket.

She says WELL, I THINK QUITE SIMPLY YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT WHERE OUR FOREIGN AID HAS GONE BEFORE. IT REALLY IS A GREAT PREDICTOR, WHERE WE WANT TO INFLUENCE. I DO HAVE TO POINT OUT THAT MOST OF OUR CONTRIBUTION IS THROUGH THIS COVAX MECHANISM AS MY COLLEAGUE NOTED BECAUSE THAT'S WHERE WE THINK WE'LL DO THE MOST GOOD. WE HAVE DONE OUR JOB IN TERMS OF PUTTING IT THROUGH THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS LIKE THE W.H.O. OR THE COVAX MECHANISM WHICH IS REALLY THE RIGHT WAY TO DO IT. BUT YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW WHERE THE MONEY IS. WHERE WE'RE CONTRIBUTING OUR FOREIGN AID DOLLARS IT'S IN MANY COUNTRIES. OF COURSE LANE AMERICA IS AN IMPORTANT MARKET FOR US SO WE'RE GOING TO DONATE THERE AND CERTAINLY PARTS OF EAST ASIA AND AFRICA AS WELL.

Steve says ERICA YOU MENTIONED EQUITY BEFORE AND I WANT TO FOLLOW UP ON THAT. DO YOU BELIEVE CANADA CAN OR SHOULD USE THIS APPROACH TO INFLUENCE THINGS SUCH AS GENDER EQUITY.

The caption changes to "Erica Di Ruggerio. University of Toronto. @ed4socialchange."

Erica is in her forties, with long brown hair. She's wearing a purple sweater.

She says THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION. AS MANY PEOPLE KNOW THE PRIME MINISTER ACTUALLY MADE THIS A KEY PART OF HIS POLITICAL PLATFORM IN 2015 PART OF THE FEMINIST AGENDA. BUT I WOULD ARGUE THAT GENDER IS MUCH BROADER THAN JUST VACCINE SIP LOW MACY. BUT THE IMPLICATIONS FOR WOMEN IS... FOR INSTANCE WOMEN ARE MORE VULNERABLE DURING PERIODS OF CRISIS. THIS IS PARTICULARLY TRUE DURING COVID-19. ONE OF THE REASONS IS THAT WOMEN MAKE HUNDRED MORE THAN 70 percent OF THE REPORTS AND, THEREFORE, ARE AT GREATER RISK. THE SECOND REASON IS THE KIND OF ROLES THAT WOMEN PLAY THEY OFTEN ARE ESSENTIAL WORKERS. THEY'RE OUR PSWS. AND AS WE HEARD BACK IN MARCH LAST YEAR, IF WE CAN DIAL THE CLOCK BACK THAT FAR, FEMALE DOMINATED SERVICE SECTOR JOBS WERE AMONG THE FIRST TO BE AFFECTED IN THE FIRST WAVE OF THE PANDEMIC. BECAUSE MANY OF THESE JOBS WERE PRECARIOUS BECAUSE THEY'RE PART-TIME. THEY LACK BENEFITS SUCH AS PAID SICK LEAVE WHICH IS A HOTLY DEBATED ISSUE RIGHT NOW IN ONTARIO. AND SOME CHILD SECURITY. SO, OF COURSE, ACCESS TO VACCINES FOR WOMEN IS A PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT ISSUE HERE AT HOME BUT ALSO GLOBALLY.

The caption changes to "The Week in Review. @theagenda. Tvo.org."

Steve says BESSMA, CAN I HEAR YOU ON THAT, TOO?

The caption changes to "Bessma Momani, @b_momani."

Bessma says I COMPLETELY AGREE. AND THE OTHER ASPECT IS THAT WOMEN'S ORGANIZATIONS ARE REALLY GRASSROOTS ORGANIZATIONS. AND WHAT THEY CAN DO IS OBVIOUSLY RAISE PUBLIC AWARENESS. I THINK WE HAVE TO POINT OUT THERE IS STILL A LOT OF VACCINE SCEPTICISM. IT'S NOT JUST A DEVELOPING COUNTRY PROBLEM. I JUST HEARD A POLL... A YUGA POLL THAT NOTED THAT IN FRANCE, 48 percent OF PEOPLE ARE STILL VERY SCEPTICAL ABOUT EVEN TAKING THE VACCINE. SO WE DO NEED TO RAISE PUBLIC AWARENESS, PUBLIC EDUCATION. AND WOMEN'S ORGANIZATIONS, BEING GRASS ROOTS ORGANIZATIONS, KNOWING THEIR COMMUNITIES, KNOWING THEIR FAMILIES ARE REALLY IMPORTANT IN UNDERSTANDING THIS TYPE OF INFORMATION. THE MORE WE CAN GET THESE TYPES OF GRASS ROOTS ORGANIZATIONS THROUGH A BOTTOM-UP EFFORT THE BETTER WE'LL BE IN TERMS OF GETTING THAT KIND OF VACCINE DISTRIBUTION THAT'S NEEDED TO STAMP OUT THIS VIRUS.

Steve says ERICA CAN I PURSUE THIS ONE MORE TIME. I WANT TO MAKE SURE I HAVE A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THIS. I DON'T THINK THERE'S ANYBODY IN CANADA WHO WOULD SAY, FOR EXAMPLE, MEN OUGHT TO GET A SHOT BEFORE WOMEN AND WHO CARES ABOUT EQUITY? MEN ARE MORE IMPORTANT TO SOCIETY AND, THEREFORE, DOT DOT DOT. NO ONE WOULD TAKE THAT VIEW IN CANADA. BUT THERE MAY BE PLACES IN THAT WORLD WHERE THAT IS THE VIEW. AND DO YOU THINK THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA OUGHT TO USE VACCINE DIPLOMACY TO TRY TO STAMP THAT OUT?

The caption changes to "Erica Di Ruggerio. Centre for Global Health."

Erica says YEAH, I THINK WE NEED TO BE CAREFUL THAT WE DON'T PREACH TO THE DEVELOPING WORLD WHAT MIGHT BE THE APPROACH HERE AT HOME. AS MY COLLEAGUE HAS SUGGESTED WE HAVE ALREADY SEEN ATTEMPTS TO JUMP THE QUEUE AND GET VACCINES IN NORTHERN PART OF CANADA AS ONE EXAMPLE. AND VERY I THINK THE ISSUE IS HERE AT HOME AS WELL I GUESS THE OTHER ISSUE HAS TO DO WITH TRUST. IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT TO BUILD CAPACITY FOR ADOPTION OF VACCINES BECAUSE WE CAN'T REST ON OUR LAURELS. VACCINE IS HERE. AND PART OF THE REASON IS TRUST IN INSTITUTIONS.

Steve says BELLE BESSMA, ADMITTEDLY I'M DOING A LITTLE BIT OF SPIT-BALLING SO HELP ME OUT IF I'M REALLY OFF BASE HERE. FOR EXAMPLE, COULD CANADA USE VACCINE DIPLOMACY IF IT WANTED TO MEDIATE IN A LONG STANDING DISPUTE IN THE MIDDLE EAST? I'M NOT SURE HOW. BUT DO YOU SEE A ROLE FOR IT IN THAT CIRCUMSTANCE?

The caption changes to "For more on this story visit: tvo.org/theagenda."

Bessma says YOU HAVE TO BE REALLY CAREFUL WITH THAT, FRANKLY. YOU DON'T WANT TO WEAPONIZE THE VACCINE. YOU DON'T WANT TO MAKE IT AN OVERLY POLITICAL TOOL EVEN THOUGH I THINK IT IS IN MANY WAYS. I DON'T SEE A CANADIAN EXAMPLE REALLY EFFECTIVELY TO BE USED IN THE MIDDLE EAST, FOR EXAMPLE, BUT THINK ABOUT COUNTRIES LIKE NEPAL OR SRI LANKA WHERE YOU HAVE CHINA AND INDIA VERY MUCH COMPETING FOR INFLUENCE IN THOSE TWO COUNTRIES. THEY'RE DOING EXACTLY THAT. AND FRANKLY, THE LEADERS OF BOTH SRI LANKA AND NEPAL ARE SMART ENOUGH TO ACTUALLY USE CHINA AND INDIA AGAINST EACH OTHER TO GET MORE AND MORE VACCINES.

Now music plays as an animated slate reads "The week in review."

Steve appears on split screens with a guest.

A caption reads "Exporting democracy."

Steve says THERE ARE PLACES IN THIS WORLD WHICH HAVE FEWER OBJECTIONS TO THE NOTION OF FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS. THAT PART OF THE DEMOCRATIC EQUATION. BUT THEY'RE NOT GOING TO GIVE UP THE NOTION OF RELIGION HAVING AN ABSOLUTELY CENTRAL PART OF THE STORY OF THEIR COUNTRY AND IN THE DAILY LIFE OF THEIR COUNTRY. THEY'RE NOT SIGNING ON FOR GAY RIGHTS AND THAT KIND OF THING. THESE ARE THE PARTS OF THE EQUATION THEY'RE NOT GOING TO BE A PART OF AND YET THEY STILL WANT TO BE THOUGHT OF AS DEMOCRACIES. DISCUSS.

The caption changes to "Martin Regg Cohn. Toronto Star. @reggcohn."

Martin is in his forties, clean-shaven, with short brown hair. He's wearing glasses and a striped shirt.

He says ABSOLUTELY. I SPENT 11 YEARS ABROAD AND MOST OF THAT TIME WAS COVERING NOT SO MUCH CONFLICT BUT FAITH AND RELIGION. AND FAITH AND POLITICS, IF YOU WANT A REFRESHER COURSE ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THAT AND HOW CONNECTED THEY ARE THINK OF OUR FRIENDS TO THE SOUTH. FOR BETTER OR WORSE FAITH AND RELIGION ARE HUGE PARTS OF AMERICAN POLITICS. CERTAINLY THE ANTI ABORTION DRIVE WITH THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. BUT REMEMBER, IF YOU THINK ABOUT THE SET BACKS LET'S SAY IN POLAND RIGHT NOW, A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE FOCUSING ON THE LOSS OF ABORTION RIGHTS. I COULDN'T BE MORE PRO-CHOICE BUT I UNDERSTAND THAT'S NOT NECESSARILY AN INDICATOR OF PURE DEMOCRACY. BECAUSE LOOK AT IRELAND. WE THINK OF IRELAND AS A REBUS DEMOCRACY. BUT THEY BANNED ABORTION FOR DECADES. ITALY TOOK ITS TIME. SO YOU CAN'T PICK AND CHOOSE. DEMOCRACY A PROCESS AND IT DOESN'T HAVE ONE PARTICULAR LOOK. THERE ARE MANY DEMOCRACIES IN AFRICA AND THE CARIBBEAN. SOME OF WHICH ARE QUITE HEALTHY WHICH ARE VERY RETRO GRADE ON GAY RIGHTS. SO YOU CAN'T NECESSARILY PICK AND CHERRY PICK WHICH ARE THE PROBLEM AREAS. YOU MENTIONED THE MIDDLE EAST A WHILE AGO. I SPENT FOUR YEARS LIVING IN THE MIDDLE EAST. I'VE JUST BEEN TO IRAN, EGYPT, LEBANON IN THE LAST THREE OR FOUR YEARS. THESE ARE COUNTRY THAT IS ARE HURTING IN EVERY WAY BUT CERTAINLY DEMOCRATICALLY IN EGYPT. LEBANON HAS A KIND OF DEMOCRACY, BUT IT IS HIJACKED BY VARIOUS FACTIONS. RELIGION PLAYING A HUMAN PART THERE. BUT HERE'S THE POINT I WANT TO MAKE. PEOPLE IN GAZA, AND THE WEST BANK THAT HAVE NOT HAD AN ELECTION SINCE 2005... 15 YEARS AGO, DESPITE PURPORTING TO BE DEMOCRATIC T. THEY'RE INSPIRED BY A MODEL. NOT NECESSARILY THE OPTIMAL MODEL. BUT PERHAPS "INSPIRATION" IS A WRONG WORD THAT WILL OFFEND SOME PEOPLE. BUT THEY SEE DEMOCRACY IN ACTION EVERY DAY NEXT DOOR ON THEIR TELEVISION SCREENS IN ISRAEL. ISRAEL IS AN OCCUPYING FORCE TO WHOM THEY FEEL GREAT ANTIPATHY AND EVERYTHING ELSE. BUT ONE OF THE REASONS THEY WANT DEMOCRACY IS THAT THEY HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO IT EVERY DAY IN ISRAEL WHERE THEY HAVE TWO OR THREE ELECTIONS A YEAR IN A BAD YEAR. PEOPLE WANT DEMOCRACIES. CHINESE ON THE MAINLAND SEE WHAT'S HAPPENING IN TAIWAN AND THEY WANT DEMOCRACY. ONE OF THE REASONS THEY'RE SNUFFING OUT DEMOCRACY IN HONG KONG WAS THE FEAR THAT THE WILL BE A VIRUS THAT IS A CONTAGION IN THE MAINLAND. SO THERE IS STILL THAT DESIRE TO LOOK FOR MODELS. THE MODELS CAN BE FLAWED AS IT IS IN AMERICA. PEOPLE CAN STILL ASPIRE FOR THE PROCESS OF DEMOCRACY WITH ALL THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY.

The caption changes to "The Week in Review. @theagenda. Tvo.org."

Steve says YOU MENTIONED AMERICA AND I WANT TO PICK UP THERE WITH LUCAN. THERE IS A NEW TEAM NOW IN THE OVAL OFFICE, LUCAN. AND, WELL, THEY'RE DIFFERENT FROM THE OLD TEAM. THE OLD TEAM DIDN'T SEEM TO HAVE TOO MUCH PROBLEM WITH INCREASING AUTHORITARIANISM IN VARIOUS PARTS OF THE WORLD. I WONDER WHEN YOU THINK JOE BIDEN AND KAMALA HARRIS INTEND TO BE MORE ROBUST IN THEIR PURSUIT AFTER MORE LIBERAL INTERNATIONAL ORDER.

The caption changes to "Lucan Way. University of Toronto."

Lucan is in his late thirties, with wavy gray hair and a stubble. He's wearing glasses and a black shirt.

He says WELL, IT WOULDN'T BE HARD GIVEN THE FACT THAT YOU'VE GOT A PRESIDENT WHO ACTUALLY EMBRACED AUTOCRATS AND FAVOURED THEM OVER DEMOCRATIC LEADERS. AND I THINK ESPECIALLY IN TERMS OF RHETORIC IT WOULD BE A SHIFT IN TERMS OF ACTIVELY TRYING TO PROMOTE DEMOCRACY IN VARIOUS COUNTRIES. BUT THERE ARE CLEAR LIMITS. THERE IS OBVIOUSLY A LOT OF STUFF ON BIDEN'S PLATE. GLOBAL WARMING, OBVIOUSLY COVID THAT REQUIRES HIM TO WORK WITH AUTOCRATS. I WOULDN'T BE TOO OPTIMISTIC IN TERMS OF HOW FAR HE'S WILLING TO GO. BUT I DO THINK THIS CHANGE IN RHETORIC CAN HAVE A HUGE CHANGE ON THE MARGINS.

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcast: tvo.org/theagenda."

Steve says BESSMA HOW ABOUT YOU ON THE SAME QUESTION?

The caption changes to "Bessma Momani. University of Waterloo. @b_momani."
Then, it changes again to "The Democracy Agenda. A TVO and Toronto Star partnership."

Bessma is in her forties, with long wavy blond hair. She's wearing a yellow blouse.

She says I AGREE. CERTAINLY WE'VE SEEN A TOTAL CHANGE OF RHETORIC COMING OUT OF THE WHITE HOUSE. I THINK BIDEN WILL BE A MORE INTERPRETIVE PRESIDENT. I DON'T THINK WE'LL GET A LOT... DESPITE THE SIGNS WE'VE SEEN ALREADY, I DON'T THINK YOU'RE GOING TO GET A VERY ACTIVE PRESIDENT. FRANKLY THIS IS NOT HAD A TIME TO BE TALKING ABOUT FIXING THE WORLD WHEN THEY NEED TO HELP WHAT'S MAPPING AT HOME.

The caption changes to "For more on this story visit: tvo.org/theagenda."

Bessma continues YOU THE UNITED STATES IS BREAK EN, IT'S POLARIZED. SHALL RACIAL THE ECONOMIC DISPARITIES, YOU KNOW, TALKING ABOUT TRYING TO FIND A NEW PATH FORWARD FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH. I MEAN THERE ARE SO MANY CHALLENGES AT HOME FOR BIDEN TO FIX. I JUST DON'T THINK THEY HAVE THE MORAL HIGH GROUND TO BE TALKING ABOUT TRYING TO FIX THE WORLD.

Now music plays as an animated slate reads "The week in review."

A guest speaks on screen.

A caption on screen reads "Uganda: 50 years after the coup. A fair comparison?"
Then, it changes to "Derek Peterson. Author, 'The unseen archive of Idi Amin.'"

Derek is in his fifties, with receding brown hair and a mustache. He's wearing glasses, a blue shirt and a striped tie.

He says THE GOVERNMENT IS SET UP DIFFERENTLY THAN THE AMIN GOVERNMENT IS SET UP. POLITICIANS HAPPENED BY DECREE, EVERYTHING WAS DONE FROM KAMPALA. I TAKE THE POINT THAT, YOU KNOW, THE INCREASING VIOLENCE IN PUBLIC LIFE MAKES... REMINDS PEOPLE OF ASPECTS OF THE 1970S. BUT NONETHELESS, THE CURRENT REGIME IS MORE ANSWERABLE TO THE PUBLIC WILL... CONSIDERABLY FOR ANSWERABLE THAN AMIN'S HAD BEEN. FOR AMIN IT WAS UP TO GOVERNMENT TIME PRESENT THE DIRECTIVES AND FOR ADMINISTRATORS TO FOLLOW THE LINE THAT AMIN GAVE.

A map of Uganda pops up briefly highlighting the location of Kampala.

The caption changes to "Gerald Bareebe. York University."

Gerald is in his thirties, balding, with a shadow of a beard. He's wearing a blue suit and shirt.

He says I WOULD SAY THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE BEING IS THAT IDI A AMIN WAS A COMPLETE AUTHORITARIAN OR MAYBE DICTATOR. AND MUSHAFE IS A DICTATOR DRESSED IN DEMOCRATIC CLOTHING. SO HE HAS CREATED AN CONSTITUTIONAL SPACE WHICH AMIN DID NOT HAVE. BUT HE HAS WORKED TO UNDERMINE THESE SAME INSTITUTIONS TO ENSURE THAT NO INSTITUTIONS GET POWER TO BECOME INDEPENDENT AND HOLD HIM ACCOUNTABLE. SO THIS IS THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AMIN'S REGIME AND THE MUSHAFE REGIME. THE OTHER DIFFERENCE IS THAT WHEREAS IDI AMIN DID MANY HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN SECRET. MANY PEOPLE KILLED WE NEVER CAME TO KNOW ABOUT THEM UNTIL LATER. THE MILITARY IN UGANDA RIGHT NOW IS WILLING TO ENGAGE IN THIS TORTURE, IN ABDUCTION, IN KIDNAPPING, WHAT. AND IN MOST CASES DURING THE DAY AND SOMETIMES BEING RECORDED BY EVEN CIVILIANS. NONE OF THESE VIDEOS OF BUTCHER OR ABDUCTION HAVE BEEN SPREADING OVER THE INTERNET. PART OF IT IS BECAUSE THEY'RE BEING RECORDED BY INDIVIDUALS. NOW WE SHOULD ALSO ADMIT THAT MUSHAFE HAS CREATED THIS IMAGE OF THE FATHER OF THE NATION OF UGANDA AS A NATION. PART OF IT IS BECAUSE HE IS SUCH A BIG, DOMINATING FIGURE IN UGANDAN POLITICS HAS BEEN CAPITAL POWER AS A LEADER AND HAVING SPENT 35 YEARS IN POWER WITH HUGE PATRONAGE NETWORK THAT IS ABLE TO PRESIDE OVER TO RULE THEIR COUNTRY.

The caption changes to "The Week in Review. @theagenda. Tvo.org."

Nam says JUST TO GO BACK TO WHAT YOU SAID, RITA YOU SAID CANADA IS A SMALL PLAYER AND I THINK THE NUMBER IS 50 MILLION COMPARED TO THE U.S.' 1 BILLION dollars. DOES CANADA NEED TO TAKE MORE RESPONSIBILITY TOWARDS WHERE AND HOW THIS AID IS DISBURSED EVEN IF, AS YOU SAID, IT'S SMALL?

The caption changes to "Rita Abrahamsen. University of Ottawa."
Then, it changes again to "International aid: Boon or curse?"

Rita is in her late forties, with long wavy gray hair. She's wearing glasses, a black blazer over a black blouse, and a blue pendant necklace.

She says I THINK THERE'S A LOT FOR CANADA TO THINK ABOUT IN THIS. I THINK THERE'S A LOT FOR IT TO CONSIDER IN TERMS OF HOW IT POSITIONED ITSELF VIS-A-VIS THE BROADER DONOR AGENDA OF SUPPORTING DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND SUPPORTING SECURITY AND STABILITY. NOW, UGANDA... CANADA HAS ALWAYS SAID THAT ITS MAIN PURPOSE IS TO SUPPORT DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS. IF YOU GO TO THEIR WEBSITE ON CANADA-UGANDA RELATIONSHIPS THEY SAY WE'RE SUPPORTING HUMAN RIGHTS, STABILITY AND SECURITY. WELL, THIS ELECTION SHOWS THAT IT'S HARD TO DO THE TWO AT THE SAME TIME. AND THIS MEANS THAT CANADA WILL HAVE TO THINK CAREFULLY ABOUT OTHER WAYS IN WHICH IT CAN SUPPORT DEMOCRACY. NOT FROM A POSITION OF SUPERIORITY, NOT FROM A POSITION OF SAYING WHAT A COUNTRY MUST DO. BUT FROM A POSITION OF SOLIDARITY. FROM A POSITION OF SUPPORTING. AND I THINK IN THAT SENSE, CANADA BEING A SMALL COUNTRY, A MIDDLE POWER DOESN'T HAVE THAT MUCH INFLUENCE IN THE WORLD.

The caption changes to "For more on this story visit: tvo.org/theagenda."

Rita continues BUT WE'RE AT THE POINT IN THE WORLD WARM DEMOCRACY IS IN DECLINE PRETTY MUCH EVERYWHERE. AND MOST COUNTRIES HAVE WITHDRAWN FROM ACTIVE DEMOCRACY PROMOTION. FOR A COUNTRY LIKE CANADA, THIS IS POTENTIALLY AN OPPORTUNITY TO SEEK WAYS OF BUILDING ALLIANCES WITH OTHER MIDDLE POWERS, TO FIND WAYS OF, AGAIN, SUPPORTING DEMOCRATIC FORCES AT HOME AND ABROAD.

The clips end and Nam stands in the studio alone.

She says THAT'S JUST SOME OF WHAT WE COVERED THIS WEEK ON "THE AGENDA." FOR MORE, INCLUDING THE FULL CONVERSATIONS, YOU CAN VISIT OUR WEBSITE, TVO.ORG. OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL AT YOUTUBE.COM/THEAGENDA. OR OUR TWITTER FEED TWITTER.COM/THEAGENDA.

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