There's something about Justin Trudeau with his sideways smiles, V-necks and ladies' night that reminds me of smarmy men from my past. That connection is hard to break, even though as a friend recently pointed out, he's probably the politician who best reflects my views. As with our personal relationships, we are often blind to our favourite politicians' faults. We defend them when others bring up their shortcomings -- "You don't know the real Barack!" -- rather than accept the facts. That's why it stung so much when I recently read a piece in the Globe and Mail titled "From messiah to lame duck: How Barack Obama fell to earth."
How do you have an election in a country with a literacy rate of 37%? And why would someone who lives in a mud hut without running water or electricity take the time and effort to vote for someone who in all likelihood will have little to no effect on his or her life? But when the time finally came, election day in Mali was fantastic.
Liberals now have a clear choice between two distinct leadership options. One is a comfortable, business-as-usual approach. The second approach, personified by Joyce Murray, is to give Canadians a substantive vision for Canada as a modern, prosperous and healthy nation with a sustainable economy and environment.
The presence of 15,000 journalists in Tampa and Charlotte for the conventions was ridiculous but even wackier is the size of "Nation PR." Likely bigger than Newark or its governor, this is an industry of propagandists, bloggers, twitterers, scandal-mongers, pundits, spin doctors, pollsters, journalist-partisans who pen biased op-eds and columns, campaign operatives and dewy-eyed "Monicas" who will do anything for the boss. Nation PR never sleeps and now the fun, for the rest of us, begins as they launch their saturation bombing campaign on US voters to capture victory in November.
An electoral scandal has been brought to the Supreme Court, and will be precedent-setting in terms of what politicians can and can't get away with in elections. Some of the questions the Justices will be asking themselves: What kind of message will we be sending to future elections if we choose to ignore those violations? Is Elections Canada justified in its nonchalant attitude towards the occurrence of voting irregularities?
According to Thomas Mulcair, the recently crowned federal NDP leader, the fact that Prime Minister Stephen Harper would consult former Tory prime minister Brian Mulroney about Quebec, proves how little he understands that province. Really? Or is this Mulcair just shaking in his boots because this is a plot by Harper to regain support in Quebec?
"Polish death camps," isn't the first embarrassing "misspeak" by President Obama. But for some reason, when Palin makes a gaffe about Russia, it gets parodied by comedians. When Obama makes a gaffe about the Holocaust or concentration camps, all that ensues is an apology. Like warfare, politics isn't fair.