Luckily for the NDP, unlike the Democrats south of the border, they can scrap their party's name and orange motif without much blowback. And they should. The party's image is irreparable, tattered from years of negative election results and cemented in a state of mediocrity.
My life's story has always been about working with people, finding common ground, and delivering real results. I have the political experience we need to proudly bring our Scarborough-Rouge River voice to Kathleen Wynne's Liberal government and deliver on the transit, health care, education and opportunities that will make us stronger. I'm standing up for the progress we've made in Ontario, and the progress we need to make for a brighter future. I look forward to the opportunity to fight with, not against, Kathleen Wynne on her progressive agenda as part of her activist government. Together, we will continue to make progress.
This weekend, the NDP is meeting in Edmonton to decide their direction moving forward. Eugene Levy once complained about filming a season of SCTV in Edmonton because "It's Edmonton." While I'm sure it's a great city, this is a party who is dreading at the Big E. The election of the past year saw an early lead blown, notable key members of the party lose their seats in the House of Commons, and a third place finish for Tom Mulcair's rookie federal election run. As the NDP head to the Gateway to the North, it's time to begin paving the highway towards the future.
Make no mistake, everyone on that list is worthy of inclusion. They all made great contributions to our country and our world. But where are the women and non-whites who have contributed just as much? A pantheon so steadfastly monochromatic and male hardly reflects the diverse and multicultural nation we claim to be.
So what is my beef with the institute? It is that, while the institutes eloquently preaches high standard for public discussions on a slew of issues and demands better destinations for others, it is an elitist institutions that does not look like Canada. Just look at its employees and the board membership of the institute for instance.
So apparently Justin Trudeau fancies himself the next Jack Layton. How adorable. On Monday night he told a crowd of supporters "make no mistake, the NDP is no longer the hopeful, optimistic party of Jack Layton... it is the Liberal party tonight that proved hope is stronger than fear...." When Jack spoke of "hope" and "optimism," he was envisioning a leadership rooted in substance. Jack was hopeful that policies could be embraced based on principle, not on what the latest poll told you to believe. A word of caution to Justin Trudeau: I knew Jack Layton. Jack Layton was a friend of mine. And you sir, are no Jack Layton.
I must confess that there was an awful lot about Canada's 2011 General Election I simply didn't "get." But I certainly didn't get why Michael Ignatieff, a perfectly ordinary if uninspired Canadian party boss, stirred such loathing his Liberals plunged to a historically unprecedented third-place standing. And neither, it seems, does he.
Jack Layton was a die-hard Trekkie, and had his own custom-made Trekkie uniform that he wore at conventions. He was a musician, and loved to gather his friends and colleagues, singing songs from the 1960s. He would encourage everyone to sing, even if you didn't know the words. He wore funky glasses and blue jeans. He kept his hair long.
The week Jack died, I watched in awe as Torontonians came together to share their love for Jack. Our famously cold, unfriendly city began to bare its soul in chalk messages written all over Nathan Phillips Square. When thunderstorms washed away the chalk, the people came back and filled the square with writing all over again. I have rarely seen something more beautiful than that.
Tired of the bitterness and rancor of U.S. politics? Wouldn't it be nice if Americans weren't subjected to the nauseating likes of Mitch McConnell, L...
There's always been a back-and-forth in Canadian politics. Every few terms, the public would tire of either the Conservative or Liberal party and vote...
By sanitizing and canonizing Jack Layton, CBC's "Jack" biopic did a disservice to the man. And it was mediocre TV. Even the portrayal of the thrilling 2011 election campaign lacked tension and drama when in reality, the actual campaign was a wild and exciting ride. A missed opportunity for CBC.
Mulcair has made his party and himself invisible while moving his party so far to the right in the blind pursuit of power and it is becoming impossible to distinguish it from the Harper Conservatives. I bet Jack Layton would have been disappointed. For the late beloved leader, he would have settled for continuing to be the "Conscience of the House" rather than sell the soul of the party via a short cut to power.
Since the 1990s it has become less about who one's grandparents voted for and more about ideas and principles, what a party stands for, as a clearer left-right spectrum has emerged. Liberals can be the party that is not afraid to push the limits of political debate with bold ideas. It is a new political terrain for the party, one that will necessitate a greater need to define what exactly "Liberalism" is.
What Justin Trudeau brings to politics is a charismatic, genuine, energetic and trustworthy face. He can work a crowd like no other MP. Since announcing his candidacy, he has had no problems drawing full crowds at appearances ranging from rallies to talks on the role of social media in politics. Don't underestimate these traits. What the Liberal party of Canada needs is a young energetic leader who can reclaim the centre and encourage people who don't usually vote to do so.
Hardly a parade of Pravda puff pieces, much of the ink spilled during the recent flurry of Layton retrospectives has actually been fairly critical, skeptical, or at least measured in honestly assessing Jack's pros and cons. And if you thought the Canadian press' obsession with royalty was winding down just because we've gone -- what? -- six weeks without a royal visit, guess again! Several of Canada's leading papers felt inexplicably obligated to devote many inches of concerned columnspace to Prince Harry playing a particularly rousing game of, ah, Vegas hold-em.