I don't fault the New York Times liberal editorial pages celebrating a Liberal victory in Canada. It's their paper and they can print what they want. What got me were the Canadian journalists who rushed to their liberal friends down south with op-eds to complain how awful things were up here under Harper.
There needs to be a concerted effort to confront the rise of prejudice that was encouraged by the Conservatives in their bid for re-election. Although Steven Harper has been defeated, the lingering "permission" given to bigotry needs to be challenged in every workplace and community across Canada. Canadians have never been immune to the corrosive influences of racism and anti-Semitism. At this point in history we are called upon to specifically challenge Islamophobia. The fact is that our Muslim brothers and sisters have been made to feel defensive about their faith and unsure of how their neighbours accept them.
Although the Conservatives find themselves preparing for a shift back into the opposition benches after nearly 10 years, the party didn't incur a loss great enough to warrant a rethinking of its approach to politics. The loss of seats was, in part, a response to Harper -- it was an anti-Harper vote. So, the loss of seats may not be as devastating a signal for the party's ideology or organization as it might first appear. There comes a time for the electorate when [leadership] turnover is necessary.
Restrictive voter identification requirements preventing non-Conservatives from voting were a myth. Rather, voter turnout hit 68.3 per cent, the highest turnout in over two decades. It turns out, when you allow 38 different pieces of identification, people will overwhelmingly use those pieces of ID and just get on with voting.
Alberta is changing. What was once a stronghold now feels like the way we hold someone's hand when we're about to break up with them. In the ten years I've lived in Calgary, this city and this province has undoubtedly changed. So much so that sometimes it feels like I've moved to a whole other world. This is likely the first Federal election where Albertans, especially in the urban ridings, have a chance for their vote to actually matter. And I mean that literally.
Without sounding obvious, it all starts and stops with you. Your behaviour does impact what will happen. How you choose to discuss issues with others does have influence. How you choose to collect information to inform your decision does inspire the end result. And in the end, it does come down to this. Choose to vote and something will happen. Choose not to vote and something different will happen.
After months of an on-air campaign claiming Liberal leader Justin Trudeau is "just not ready" to be prime minister, another gruelling 78-day election campaign spewing the now tired slogan and, indeed, almost 10 years in office, it's become evident that Harper himself just isn't ready for an increasingly diverse Canadian future. The duplicitous, short-term Conservative strategy of stoking racial tensions for xenophobic votes will have the long-term impact of alienating future electors who clearly hold the cards on which party will dominate federal politics in the coming decades if not sooner.
As election day draws inevitably closer, I'm struggling to decide what to do. The planet simply can't handle another five years of Stephen Harper in power. During his time as prime minister, Canada has become a climate change pariah. He's done about as much as one can, both at home and abroad, to stymie efforts to tackle the climate crisis. Building a just, clean energy economy that works for people and the planet starts with a prime minister that understands the basic math that climate action and tar sands expansion just don't add up.
Last week former defence minister Jason Kenney said if re-elected the Conservatives would significantly expand Canada's special forces. Why? What do these "special forces" do? Who decides when and where to deploy them? For what purpose? These are all questions left unanswered (and not even asked in the mainstream media).
I was quite taken aback by Justin Trudeau's performance at the Globe and Mail debate. We have all seen how Stephen Harper's Conservatives fail to tell the truth and mislead the public, so it's hard to believe that anyone could do worse. My issue with Trudeau has nothing to do with his performance or speaking skill. It has everything to do with the substance and content of his speech, and this speaks to his integrity.
A large percentage each of NDP and Liberal supporters (over 30 per cent) is prepared to vote for the other if it is seen as the better option to defeat the Conservatives. However, the current deadlock has not revealed who that is and any gains made by either are small -- The tipping point, if it in fact occurs, may come down to Canadians making a judgement similar to that expressed in folklore and widely known as the Judgement of Solomon.