Now that Gilles Duceppe is back and has declared his willingness to support a coalition that would offer an alternative to the Conservatives and which is in Quebec's interest, the dilemma for voters in the province changes dramatically.
In the absence of a clear-cut vision from the Liberals, the NDP has become the reasonable alternative. The party is now on record voting against Bill C-51 and voicing a strong opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline. Mulcair has advocated for a national child care policy worth $8 billion and proposed targeted tax cuts for families.
We still have a foreign person, a queen living in a castle on another continent -- Victoria's great, great, granddaughter, in fact -- as Canada's head of state. And it's a pretty safe bet that Canada isn't on her mind a whole lot either, if at all. So why do we put up with it? Without question, Canada deserves to have its own head of state, chosen by us and from among our citizens. How have we made it this far without taking the final step to full nationhood? The reason lies with misinformation.
The fact is that nearly nine out of 10 Canadians believe the cost of living is outpacing their household income. Our economy has more than doubled in size since 1980, but median incomes have flat lined. Household debt has ballooned to over 163 per cent of disposable income. As Liberals, we believe a strong economy is one that provides the largest number of good jobs to the largest number of Canadians. But by that measure, we are in trouble. Canadians continue to work hard, but the majority of them are finding it tougher and tougher to get by.
Canada's Liberal Party leader, Justin Trudeau, has been riding high in the polls and many observers consider him well-positioned for the October general election. Yet Britain's election results contain some warning signs that Trudeau should heed. Voter behaviour in an actual election provides an insight into the complicated mood of a comparable electorate, and it would be a mistake not to observe and learn from Britain's example less than six months before Canadians go to the polls.
Last week Finance Minister Joe Oliver tabled Economic Action Plan 2015: Strong Leadership: A Balanced Budget, Low-Tax Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Security. This budget is only the latest in a long string of Conservative promises that have been made and kept, a proud record that will be easy to defend with an election only months away.
As the provinces' experience with carbon pricing proves, we don't need to choose between our environment and our economy. In fact, they go together. Indeed, Canada must be able to take advantage of the billions of dollars in investment that will be made in green technologies. Justin Trudeau is already doing the important work that needs to be done.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Canada for his first official visit today, drawing attention to the opportunity that India offers for the Canadian economy. Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative government have made global market access a priority, and India, a Commonwealth cousin, is at the top of the list.
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau's political slogan has been "building the team and the plan." So far, his "team" will be forced to be pro-choice and pro-marijuana, and his "plan" is legalizing marijuana, being against fighting terrorism, and placing a price on carbon. The Liberals' position of vacuous nothingness should be garnering far more attention than it has been -- the Press Gallery has only started to actually seriously question Trudeau -- but Trudeau has been ably abetted by a series of New Democrats' missteps.
Online polls can be fun and if we want to determine the public's opinion on their favourite colour, or why they like Britney Spears better than Madonna, they can be accurate enough to be newsworthy, I suppose. I think we have to look at the differences between American and Canadian politics and culture to understand why online polls don't accurately reflect public opinion accurately enough when it comes to voting intentions.
Lest we forget, the fact that Canada's black recent political biographies, for the most part, have come via political anointments rather than community organizations. As blacks, we are often too enthusiastic to celebrate Obama's biography in community organizations yet have neglected to follow in his footsteps.
Perhaps there is an element to which the Conservatives truly believe they are fighting a cultural and religious practice that they find repugnant. Even still, that seems far beyond the point, as has been stated many times by various commentators: a conservative man forcing a woman not to wear a niqab is effectively the same violation of her liberty as a conservative man forcing her to wear the niqab. What could be more Canadian than including someone's harmless religious practices in a citizenship ceremony, or really any other facet of public life?
With much ado about crossing the floor from the Conservative to the Liberal Party, the talk seems to centre on whether Justin Trudeau's Liberals gained much, if anything. That talk misses the point: the question is not what the Liberals got, but what the Conservatives lost. Coming on the heels of the clearly unplanned departure of John Baird, the real story is not the questionable value of the asset Trudeau has acquired but the fact that a sitting government member has crossed the floor to sit with a third party.
Baird might be partisan to the core but the fact is, he has always been friendly to his opponents and a great mentor to those willing to follow in his footsteps. He was kind, thoughtful, passionate and cared about people. I liked being part of Team Baird.
Like an overwhelming number of Canadians, you said -- publicly -- that you didn't want to grant telecom providers immunity for handing over our sensitive private information to government without a warrant. But then at the last minute something changed. You voted for the Bill in Parliament, and I don't mind telling you that was a huge disappointment. I also can't help but detect a hint of shame in the blog post that you wrote explaining why you turned around and supported the Bill after speaking out so vociferously against it.
A recent article on Justin Trudeau highlighted the Liberal Leader's position on prostitution as favouring an 'evidence-based approach' that protects marginalized people from violence. He just won't tell you what that approach is. It's time for leaders, in all levels of government, to stop waxing eloquent about "evidence-based" approaches and finally take a stand that protects marginalized women and girls. They are not commodities to be bought and sold. Every vulnerable and marginalized person has value and dignity and Canadian leaders should seek to end their prostitution -- not support it.