If there's one thing that the Harper Conservatives are good at, it's message discipline. Sure, they have taken this to the extreme of muzzling everyone else they can, but you have to admit that they bring logic and consistency to all their communications. Less so Canada's opposition, which has some catching up to do.
In 2012, referring to council, Doug Ford said: "I can't get anywhere with these monkeys." Was that a term of endearment? How can Mayor Ford expect to get anything done at City Hall when you use such language? Oh, that's right. Since then, he mostly hasn't. No need to answer. When you told the father of an autistic child who rightly and democratically challenged your views to "go to hell," what were you thinking?
Toronto is more than Ford Nation, true, but it is also so much more than the Core. Let me tell you about my Toronto. Toronto is getting a Jamaican beef patty on a fresh portuguese bun at Eglinton and Oakwood. Toronto is getting congee rice porridge in North Scarborough. Toronto is so much more than the Core or the car-centric suburbs.
Political speech is seemingly under attack from the last place we might expect: Canadian media broadcasters, that say parties can't use broadcasters' content in ads. Protecting copyright is not an illegitimate purpose, but this approach is less than ideal for political advertisements. Political parties rely on election advertising to persuade the electorate to vote for them. This political expression is a significantly important aspect of public discourse and should be accorded the highest priority and protection.
In Ontario, an election is underway, and the Progressive Conservative Party is promising to create one million new jobs over the next eight years. Chances are, a lot of these new jobs will be in the STEM sector (science, technology, engineering, and math). But already Ontario doesn't have enough citizens with the ability to do these STEM sector jobs! Virtually all of the occupations experiencing skill shortages require math proficiency. Unfortunately, very few Ontario citizens are very good at math. Even more worrisome, the math scores of Ontario students have been dropping for the past five years.
Like millions of Ontarians, I don't care about Ontario politics; Why should I? Have no doubt: the Ontario premier is an insignificant figure on the world stage. Premier Wynne: Welcome to the new economy. Young people are more politically engaged and self-aware than older generations. Want to stop an election scandal or influence Senate reform? Don't write a letter to the editor of legacy print media. Start a YouTube channel. Tell us the truth and we might vote. We're smarter than you think we are.
Republicans have to reinvent themselves. The tactics and issues that have worked for them for more than three decades have failed. Democrats and progressives have a rare opportunity to permanently shift the debate on several key issues. America is at a crossroads, more divided than ever and trying to decide what kind of nation it wants to be now that it is no longer the world's lone superpower.
Though image politics is still very much with us, we are entering a third age of democratic politics as a result of the 24-hour cable news cycle, social networking, YouTube, Twitter, mass apathy and at least in the American case, the archaic electoral college system. As a result of all this we get meta-politics, image politics taken to its absolute degree.
As a voter there are reasons to cast a ballot for either President Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, but as a parent I honestly can't imagine why any mother or father could vote Romney -- and honesty is the reason. Parents teach by example, by being a person who acts with honesty, forthrightness, integrity and responsibility. These are family values. They are also, of course, are the polar opposite of how Mitt Romney has run his campaign and how he would run the United States of America.
I get a lot of raised eyebrows when I tell people I write materials that introduce politics to children. It's a subject that can make even a mature adult's palms sweaty, and on the surface, it seems like the last thing anyone would want to bring up with their child. You really should and here's why.
Two aspirations for Ontario -- to be the engine of Canadian jobs again and to have world-leading public services -- are interdependent, not separate, goals. We can't have one without the other. And Ontarians deserve both. Instead of grants and handouts to the politically connected, I believe tax cuts create jobs. Tax relief creates jobs, grows the economy, and stimulates new business investments.
In the three U.S. presidential candidates' debates, and in one vice presidential candidates' debate, Canada came up frequently. But in the final debate of this election season -- the one devoted nominally to foreign policy -- Canada did not come up at all. Is this cause for alarm or indignation? No.
Many Canadians are predisposed to dislike Mitt Romney. He is a Republican, and robotic even by those standards. In this land of centre-left sensibilities, such party affiliation and corporate mien often rankle. But I would urge my Canadian compatriots to reconsider. Romney is running for a foreign office, not joining your curling team, and if he can unseat President Barack Obama, the Great White North will be greater for it.
The upcoming U.S. Presidential election in November is already becoming regular water cooler content for Canadians starved for the return of hockey season, even though the outcome may not necessarily change the direction for Canada's economy. The similarities of both parties for Canada suggest that the attention to the election will be more for entertainment reasons on a night we don't want to watch hockey.
Over the course of the Quebec election, every time Jean Charest thought he was changing the conversation to Medicare or Le Plan Nord, the CAQ's Jacques Duchesneau would make another accusation and grab the headlines. But last week many thought the ex-police chief went too far. Duchesneau said he had a list of Charest's cabinet ministers who had accepted favours from a construction baron named Tony Accurso. Charest demanded the ex -cop supply names. The ex-cop played coy and refused. How could Charest possibly defend himself and his party against that kind of slander?