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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during Question Period on Oct. 19, 2016.

Chris Wattie/Reuters

POLITICS BRIEFING

By Chris Hannay (@channay) and Rob Gilroy (@rgilroy)

The Globe Politics is pleased to include a roundup of news and opinion on U.S. politics, through until this year's election in November. As always, let us know what you think of the newsletter. Sign up here to get it by e-mail each morning.

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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW IN OTTAWA

> The Liberals have made sweeping changes to how judges are appointed in this country, in a bid to increase diversity on the bench. The government also disbanded the 17 committees that recommend nominees to bring in new membership. At the same time, the Liberal government nominated 24 new judges – though dozens of vacancies remain.

> The Prime Minister's first Supreme Court pick, Malcolm Rowe, is facing criticism for how he handled a sex-assault case earlier this year.

> Finance Minister Bill Morneau says he will give a fiscal update on Nov. 1, and will begin to act then on recommendations from his growth council.

> Justin Trudeau has put the bureaucrats who report to him in charge of enforcing fundraising rules. Meanwhile, the information commissioner says the access-to-information system isn't likely to be reformed any time soon.

> And what will the Liberals do to deal with the new leader of the Parti Québécois? Back away slowly, sources say.

U.S. ELECTION 2016

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> Humour vs the fragile ego: The Globe and Mail's Elizabeth Renzetti says all bullies have one thing in common: they hate being mocked. "Humour is the tool anyone can wield, a shiv that can be hidden on the smallest body. It's the reason dictators throw cartoonists and comedians in jail. … So it's no surprise that the thing that made Donald Trump lash out and label Hillary Clinton 'such a nasty woman' was a joke she made at his expense.

> No one escapes Trumpworld: The Globe's Adam Radwanski says it gives Donald Trump too much credit to call him a cornered, wounded animal. That, Randwanski says, understates "the extent to which he is simultaneously becoming more pathetic and more terrifying. Wounded animals just lash out at whatever wounded them; maybe whatever is in their immediate vicinity. They don't respond to losing a fight by pulling out a match and trying to burn down the entire forest."

> America's deferred dread: Sarah Kendzior in The Globe says the third debate was anti-climactic. It also imparted a sense of "deferred dread. … One of the consequences of Mr. Trump's recent actions is that he is likely to lose the election. For Mr. Trump, however, this is incomprehensible, and so we arrive at the unprecedented scenario of a candidate who may not concede."

> Don't worry, America knows it's great: Andrew Cohen in The Globe reminds Canadians that Americans don't really need our help when it comes to reassuring them that they're great. "Americans may be uneasy today but they are not despondent. They have no inferiority complex like Argentina. They do not feel diminished like Austria. There is no danger here of a contagion of modesty."

> The self-hating American: In The New York Times, Timothy Egan says Donald Trump's "true persona was there for all to see – a self-hating American. … The smear and loathing in Las Vegas was in character. So was Trump's lack of stamina. He's become a very tired and confused 70-year-old man feeding nuts to squirrels in the park of his delusions."

> The coming GOP civil war: The Washington Post's Robert Costa says the campaign may be winding down, but the fight for the soul of the Republican Party is just beginning. "The axis of furious conservative activists and hard-right media that spawned Trump's nationalist and conspiratorial campaign is determined to complete its hostile takeover of the GOP, win or lose." Also in The Post, Costa and Philip Rucker say panic has set in among GOP leaders as polls show control of the Senate and House slipping away as Trump's popularity craters.

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> Why Hillary is winning: Paul Krugman says its time to change the narrative on Hillary Clinton, the one that says she's leading the race only because Donald Trump is a more deeply flawed candidate. "But here's a contrarian thought: Maybe Mrs. Clinton is winning because she possesses some fundamental political strengths – strengths that fall into many pundits' blind spots."

WHAT EVERYONE'S TALKING ABOUT

Globe and Mail editorial board: "Perhaps [Justin] Trudeau believes his current political honeymoon will protect him from the same outrage that forced the unpopular [Ontario Premier Kathleen] Wynne to clean up her act. But he is wrong about that. Cash-for-access was not acceptable at Queen's Park, and it is not acceptable in Ottawa."

Tony Keller (Globe and Mail): "Bringing in more immigrants can boost overall economic growth, simply by making the population larger. It will expand the pie – but it will also increase the number of forks in the pie, and at the same pace. The goal of economic policy is not about baking a bigger pie, by whatever means. It's about expanding the pie in a way that ups the size of each individual slice."

André Blais (Globe and Mail): "When we take into account many different factors and control for them, we find that people are slightly more satisfied under more proportional [electoral] systems. So what is going on? We find that the presence of coalition governments also affects overall satisfaction. People are less satisfied with the way democracy works when there is a coalition government. So more proportional systems make people happier because they are fairer but they also produce coalition governments, which tend to make people slightly less satisfied. These two contradictory effects cancel out so that in the end satisfaction is not higher overall in more proportional systems."

Vern White (Ottawa Citizen): "Since the attack, the changes that have been implemented on Parliament Hill identify a level of security more in tune with today's reality and threat, as well as the challenge of protecting such a large facility with the open access that parliamentarians want and the public expects. We now see a robust presence of RCMP officers on the Hill, often carrying carbine rifles, located strategically across the facility, while the security agencies responsible for the House of Commons and the Senate have been combined into one armed force."

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Don Martin (CTV): "While even the harshest critic would likely give the Liberals decent marks for their post-election performance so far, there's an irritant with the history-proven capacity to morph from a quibble to disappointment to voter divorce if not caught and cured. That double helix of entitlement and political favouritism, so dominant in the DNA of Liberals past, is staging a biological comeback in Justin Trudeau's government."

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