If ever there was a time to change our way of thinking about the world, this is that time. And if ever there was a world power we needed to understand better, it is China.
I would like to think I am well travelled. Yet, I had never been to China, until a recent 10-day visit to participate in a conference at Peking University and to give some lectures in Shanghai.
In North America and Western Europe, heads of state often serve for many years, providing policy continuity. Yet, in South America, any effort at generating government stability through the ballot box is denounced as undemocratic.
The goal of rules framed and administered by civil servants should be to facilitate and enable agreed tasks. But too many take it as their mission to frustrate and obstruct.
On September 28, Ecuador approved, by a comfortable majority, a new Constitution. Over the past decade five new constitutions have seen the light in the Andean region - the broad arc that goes from Venezuela to Colombia and Ecuador all the way down the Pacific coast to Peru, and then into Bolivia.
Even while American dominance may have come to an end, American pre-eminence is likely to endure for some time yet.
Last week's revelation that Stephen Harper delivered a plagiarized speech before the House of Commons in 2003, authored by former Australian prime minister John Howard, provides an opportune moment to analyze the historical connections between these two states.
To the relief of climate scientists around the world, it appears that the polar ice cap hasn't shrunk as much this summer as it did last summer.
Canada will have to be up to the challenge of dealing with a region of booming economies, proliferating nuclear weapons and political instability in the coming years