Nomination battles are fascinating to watch and if you are part of one it is an exhilarating experience. The hype of "open nominations" will continue as all parties try to prove to the media and public that there is a new way of doing business now. Let us see how long it takes before we start hearing complaints from potential challengers about how they were dealt with during this "open" process.
Policies that restrict competition ultimately act to the detriment of Canadian firms and their workers. Free trade agreements like CETA open new markets for Canadian companies, but also force them to compete against foreign entities at home. It is that competition that spurs innovation and productivity.
Free and fair votes are the basis of any truly democratic system, something people of faith have a long history of promoting. Yet Christians in Canada have been relatively silent on some of the details. If our approach to politics is rooted in love of neighbour, we will recognize that these issues have moral implications and are worthy of periodic review and revision.
There seems to be some confusion as to the difference between open nominations and the commitment in the Liberal Party for open and fair nominations. In 2009, when we presented the "Change Commission" report to the Liberal Party of Canada, we really wanted to call it "Stop Rewarding Bad Behaviour." From coast to coast to coast we had heard stories of 'bad behaviour' in nomination and leadership races that were seriously turning people off the political process.
In the fight against Quebec separatists, its often insisted that Canadian politicians need to "speak with one voice." And that might be true. Everywhere else, however, politics would improve immensely if we could choose between two clear ones. Canada is long overdue for a fundamental re-calibration of provincial politics. Perhaps at the next Manning Centre Conference, all of Canada's supposedly "right-of-centre" politicians can get together and agree to forge a new provincial political brand (say, the "Conservative Party") that's present in all provinces. And then maybe all the left-wing people can meet at, I don't know, David Suzuki's next garden party or something.
They say that truth is one of the first casualties of war, but it should not be a casualty in the daily war of words we see in the House of Commons. The public may disagree with what you say, we may argue about the facts you tell us or how you interpret them, but remember that your words will still be there for others to see and read decades from now. We are listening, so at least tell us the truth.
This budget certainly does a lot of things. It ignores struggling families desperately in need of daycare options. In 2006, the Conservatives cancelled the Liberal National Daycare Program, opting instead for a $100/month subsidy. Canadian families know how to stretch a buck, but $100 does not stretch very far.
Once again we have a spending scandal occupying the attention of Canadians. This time however, it doesn't involve our esteemed senators but two former generals, Andrew Leslie who is presently a senior Liberal advisor and Daniel Menard who retired in disgrace from the armed forces. Leslie claimed $72,000 for moving expenses and Menard claimed $40,000.
Trudeau professes to be capable of both meaningfully combatting climate change and supporting oil sands expansion. Yet he recently went so far as to proclaim that "the opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline in the United States and elsewhere is not scientific." Leaving oil in the ground is precisely what must happen. The longer Trudeau loudly supports the oil industry without a similarly strong signal that he is committed to meaningful action on climate change, the harder it will be, should he win, to enact the bold policies the scientific community is actually calling for.
On Tuesday the Conservative government introduced the Fair Elections Act, a comprehensive list of reforms aimed at modernizing Elections Canada and Canada's whole electoral system. Bill C-23 was introduced by Minister of State for Democratic Reform Pierre Poilievre and proposes to implement a number of recommendations made by the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO).
Justin Trudeau probably shocked his Senate caucus colleagues more than the voting public today when he announced he was removing Liberal senators from the Liberal caucus, thereby limiting the caucus to elected members of parliament. Eventually the dust will settle and the real reason for this move will become evident, but for now Trudeau is in the limelight and he will have the Conservatives scrambling and perhaps the NDP as well. The truth is no one including Trudeau knows and we will only find that out down the road and closer to the next election.