Canadian political life in 2012 will be anything but dull: uncertain economic times that could either strengthen or weaken Conservative support; two opposition parties in flux, fighting for influence and voter support; and a new leader for the NDP and the Conservative political machine.
The Liberal Party is choosing to financially disadvantage the little guy in favour of big corporations that own media outlets by charging them to attend the Liberal convention in 2012. The decision demonstrates a lack of recognition of the impact bloggers have on social media and by extension, public opinion.
There are obvious potential caveats to the open primary system, but right now, with a party backed up against a wall with no place else to go, there aren't really a multitude of options. I applaud Mr. Rae for having the bold initiative to think outside the proverbial box.
We all want more social safety, but these initiatives won't get us there. Instead, the Conservatives are prepared to spend billions on policies that have long been discredited, and have no hope of any tangible return on investment.
Canadians remember the discussion that Jack Layton initiated on improving decorum and civility in the House. The question now becomes, how are the honourable members living up to their noble words?
We are a nation that flies economy, drinks Tim Hortons and wears khaki and plaid. But Gen. Walter Natynczyk's situation is, and should be, different. He needs to be a walking paradox -- a warrior and a diplomat, a genius with a common touch, a workaholic who never seems tired.
In the Toronto 18 case in which I testified five times over four years, it was clear that had there been no such legislation, the offences that the Superior Court found to be criminal would probably not have been denounced as required.
There have been some suggestions that the Liberals and NDP could cooperate in Question Period and this is a valid point. A united strategy could offer them the opportunity to hold the government to account. But any NDP leadership candidate proposing a merger will find out how quickly they lose support.
Minister of Transport Denis Lebel's Bloc Québécois story differs from that of Nycole Turmel's. He walked away from the separatist gang more than a decade ago, not months ago. And, of course, the biggest difference between them is that he's not the leader of the party.
Recently the mayor of Toronto pulled an 'all-nighter' to hear from approximately 300 of the roughly three million people who live in Toronto. But the process for 'meaningful consultation' was fatally flawed.
Bob Rae, a known quantity, versus the NDP's NycoleTurmel, an unknown quantity, should still give him the edge. Even if the media and the other parties allow her a short honeymoon period, the knives will be out soon enough and combat joined in the near future.
The Dadaab refugee camp is an ongoing saga of desperate human need. And with the $50 million Canada recently pledged being only a beginning to address the needs of the region, we must find other ways to leverage more support. Opening another camp would be a good place to start.
In the end, Stephen Harper's short talk in Calgary was nothing more than a political speech with a bit of humour thrown into the mix. I wonder if the same folks attacking Harper's comments would consider Jack Layton's other comments as arrogant?
As time marches on, Rae will find that the media will become less and less interested as there is a new game in town that offers more punch, excitement and perhaps even more opportunity for a few slip ups -- namely the NDP.