The world's top one per cent own more than 50 per cent of the world's wealth. The ability to make policy and to enforce it at the national level is essential to combat the slide towards plutocracy, under which society is controlled by the wealthiest citizens. Mr. Obama and Ms. Freeland, please listen to your own rhetoric. Pull the plug on the TPP and CETA.
First it was the Liberals' failed promise to receive 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the year. Thanks to Tory pit bulls on the Hill, Justin Trudeau has had to admit a delay of 60 long days in meeting his government's target. Who knows? The goal may now not even be reached until the end of March!
During the Canadian and Turkish election campaigns, leaders of the ruling parties hoped to benefit from a divided political opposition. At the front of each campaign, many voters in Canada and Turkey hoped for minority governments to fend majorities with leaders they mistrusted with too much authority.
Justin Trudeau cast aside all that prevailing wisdom and just went for it, appointing a cabinet with a 50-50 gender split. What happened to all that having to wait for the slow movement of history? The reality of course is we can never use history as a lame excuse but as an opportunity to transcend it.
During the lengthy campaign I had a disagreement with Trudeau over his party's climate policy. I still think his climate plans need to be strengthened, especially with clear and ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But I'm confident the new government will take this issue seriously,
Stephen Harper lost the election not because Canadians rejected Conservative values, i.e., an aversion to big government, bureaucracy and regulation but because he came to be seen against democracy. Conservatives believe in smaller government, lower taxes and keeping the state out of the lives and businesses of citizens. But Mr. Harper sometime during his nine-plus years as prime minister began sacrificing our democratic institutions, especially the media, on the altar of his Conservative government.
We shouldn't be judging a political leader on what he or she has been saying or doing a few weeks before an election. Assessment needs to be based on the prior years. In Mr. Trudeau's case, even putting aside the question of what we should expect to see in someone with such a privileged upbringing, a quick review of the past couple years is evidence enough.
Could we as a people, despite our many distinctions, be giving birth to a new kind of revolutionary optimism, to the belief we recognize that the political estate can only be as collaborative, visionary, or as engaged as we are? If so, and if the advanced polls are any indication, we could be building our own "Field of Dreams," but with one great distinction.
Commerce is a desirable economic activity, but it should never force us to renounce our fundamental values. Democracy and due process of law, based on humanistic values are way above the dollar sign. The legal basis of the lawsuit of Lone Pine are incompatible with the principles of a free democratic society.
The world is littered with women and men who feed on the misery of entire societies, who have grown fat in their spoils and comfortable in their impunity, sheltering behind national jurisdictions and national institutions they have been able to twist to their benefit. But there is a higher law. There is a deeper justice. And we will stand up for it.
I am a reluctant activist. I don't like rocking the boat. But when our federal election was called in August, it occurred to me that the entries in my blog might be worth sharing. So I'm posting 78 of them to a Facebook page, 78 Days, 78 Reasons. It's my hope they'll help reasonable Canadians, particularly young people and small c-conservatives, see that we deserve better.
This may catch your attention -- if doctors can't afford to pay staff, and patients are too disabled to return to work because they cannot get surgery in a timely fashion, your government will lose significant tax dollar revenue whilst having to support more unemployed or underemployed citizens. Does this hit home to you? Doctors number in the thousands but the implications of these cuts, caps and clawbacks extend to millions. We want as many Ontarians as possible to have timely, safe and appropriate access to care, not just emergency care but preventative care.
Despite the fact that Canadians are in the deep and lazy days of summer, there has been more interest in the federal election campaign that many believed unlikely. It's not due to the parties, their leaders, or their policies. With most of the election still ahead of us, those aspects will likely become more prominent. No, it's likely that healthy attention to this election season is due to a kind of restless desire amongst Canadians for change. This could well be the real story of Canada's 42nd federal campaign. It's not really about who is chosen but the choosers themselves.
I'm not sure which Canada to celebrate this year. In the past I celebrated John Diefenbaker's Canada, the one that introduced the Canadian Bill of Rights, Pierre Elliot Trudeau's Canada, that birthed the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and Mulroney's Canada that fought to end Apartheid. But in Stephen Harper's Canada, what is there to celebrate? In Harper's Canada, citizenship, now considered a privilege, has two tiers.
The latest depressing revelations about the Senate make it clear that the institution cannot continue in its present form. The vast majority of Canadians now agree that reform or abolition of the Canadian Senate is overdue. It is time to bring the people of Canada into the centre of the process and directly consult Canadians on any proposal for constitutional reform through a consultative referendum.