According to one theory, whose origins I've long forgotten, the business of voting has undergone an evolutionary transmogrification. In earlier times, citizens voted for the candidates they liked the most. Soon, a cynicism having seeped into the civic fabric, they began to vote for the candidates they disliked the least. And now? People vote against the crooks and liars that they hate the most. The problem with this theory is that it presumes a golden age, and no experienced person could reasonably indulge a notion like that.
More and more, it's appearing the provincial New Democrats simply possess no real base beyond the narrow confines of what we might call "NDP World" -- militant union bosses, anti-everything eco-extremists, dogmatic staffers of the inner-city charity-industrial complex and out-of-touch professors in fringe faculties.
Former interim leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Bob Rae is calling for a national strategy on suicide. While Rae is undoubtedly moved by sadness, he has failed to do his homework. What we do not need is another committee wasting scarce resources to study what is already known. We do need better access for people so that they can get the treatment that they need.
Why is Bob Rae using a "back of the bus" analogy to defend his million-dollar mansion club? Does he realize that a number of Torontonians, and a number of voters, are indeed outsiders when it comes to this level of wealth and privilege? Borrowing the cloak of the less-fortunate to feign victimhood is too much to bear.
What went wrong for the NDP? In the aftermath of their stunning 2009 win, their popularity dramatically slipped. The NDP became the first government in Nova Scotia, in 131 years, to not win a second term, being relegated to third place in the Nova Scotia Legislature.
The vacancy in Toronto Centre started a countdown for a permanent answer on the elephant in the room question. Would we return to active duty in elected life? In 2013 the only energy I can muster for politics is to help push and shove my leader forward. Forward to rid our country of a government that has a very different view of Canada than mine. I won't be a candidate now. I won't be contesting a riding in the 2015 general election or any other. I will, as always, be an active Liberal volunteer and I look forward to knocking on doors in Toronto Centre whenever the by election comes.
Bob Rae resigned from Parliament last week, and in doing so concluded a 35-year political career that achieved so obviously little, yet has been so slavishly celebrated, it's hard to read the coverage without feeling pranked.
Bob Rae's sudden retirement announcement shouldn't have come as a complete surprise and yet it left everyone in a kind of shock that only gets reserved for those whose lives have counted for something. History will reveal that Bob Rae outgrew all the labels that people used to identify him. They will remember him as a recipient of the Order of Canada, as chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University, and a Senior Fellow at Massey College. Twice under consideration as the Governor General of Canada, we will yet hear of his further exploits. Politics is a phase; service to others is a life, and Bob Rae isn't nearly finished with the latter.
The recent flurry about patriating the Canadian constitution has brought back a flood of memories, and some reflections. Patriation was not an exercise in partisanship. Neither was the Charter. The origins of the desire to "bring the Constitution home" go back decades.
The Liberals have been defeated badly before and have been able to come back. Defeats are serious, but we should never make the mistake of thinking them permanent. We owe each other; we owe generations to come, a re-commitment to the enduring strength of the liberal idea. We are fighting for prosperity for all Canadians -- social justice for all -- and a sustainable society and economy for all Canadians. The values and approach of the Liberal party matter to too many Canadians for us to ever think of abdicating the important role we all will share in shaping the Canada of tomorrow.
Bob Rae never ceases to surprise. In a recent speech in Saskatoon, reported in the Huffington Post, Bob Rae, unequivocally voiced his support and hi...
With a final media show, Chief Spence has now ended her 44 day "reduced food" diet. The question should now turn to what did she accomplish? Are Canadians more aware today and do they have a better understanding of the abysmal living conditions in First Nations communities? Probably not, such conditions were already well known and have been for decades.
The issues Chief Spence is raising -- terrible living conditions, deep neglect, poverty and powerlessness -- will not go away, and will not disappear in the face of attack. They are the shame of our nation and must be addressed. But the Conservatives have rejected replacing the Indian Act with a real transfer of power, and the implementation of the self government agreements which all Canadian governments agreed to in Charlottetown 20 years ago. They have offered nothing that even begins to address the issues. We shall all pay a heavy price for this lack of leadership.
Mulcair has made his party and himself invisible while moving his party so far to the right in the blind pursuit of power and it is becoming impossible to distinguish it from the Harper Conservatives. I bet Jack Layton would have been disappointed. For the late beloved leader, he would have settled for continuing to be the "Conscience of the House" rather than sell the soul of the party via a short cut to power.
There's an aura growing around Trudeau, or perhaps there has always been one, that gives liberals (I use the small "l" intentionally) hope for the future. Especially in the face of Stephen Harper's quietly draconian governing style rising up again in the form of a new omnibus bill as the fall session starts. "Can Trudeau reignite the flame of the centre-left?" Canadians wonder. Trudeau's aura brings with it a halo effect to liberal/Liberal politics that's been missing since, well, I don't know when. Yesterday, for example, I got an accidental phone call from a disaffected NDP supporter in Montreal (which is odd, since I'm based in the provincial Liberal office in Edmonton). She was upset that the NDP in Quebec were drifting toward what she termed "soft nationalism" and she didn't want to remain with a party that supported separation, no matter how softly. Toward the end of the conversation she asked whether I knew if Trudeau had officially declared his nomination. "Ah, there it is," I thought.
Why is it that some in the Liberal Party of Canada are using the disturbing and polarizing language of ageism? It has become open season on the "old guard". Older people seem to be framed as out of touch and constitutionally unable to cope with change. Of course, fresh thinking and new energy is indeed vital to any organization. However, "fresh" doesn't necessarily mean young. To me, "new" and "fresh" has nothing to do with age and everything to do with mindset, values and sincerity of purpose.