By voting for change, we sent our message loud and clear. Positivity trumps negativity. The previous administration attempted to divide us but as I sat on my couch, listening to Justin Trudeau's valiant acceptance speech with goosebumps, my Canadian pride grew stronger with his every word.
In 2004, I was disallowed from boarding an Air Canada flight from Vancouver to Victoria. Since then, I have spent many years trying to get answers from the federal government as to why this happened. The NDP have pressed successive Liberal and Conservative governments to provide me answers.
Hopefully the Liberals' majority mandate will not mean that electoral reform falls by the wayside. It is absurd that Canada has an electoral system where less than 40 per cent of the popular vote can mean a majority government and absolute control in Parliament.
The Liberals led by Trudeau have a lot work ahead of them, but their surprising victory may not be the upset we all thought it was. When you combine a growing need for change with a fresh, newer face, who brings a positive, unifying and consistent message, we can see how the red wave momentum was waiting for us. Perhaps many of us did not see it because this election fired up many negative emotions and divisiveness. However, most Canadians saw right through that. The people of Canada were the one who lit the fire and fanned the flames across the country on election night.
I'm hoping that Mr. Trudeau will surround himself with the best and brightest of the Liberal Party, and with a combination of intelligence, character and willingness to learn, as well as their guidance, he'll grow into the great leader that this country needs and deserves.
Alberta is changing. What was once a stronghold now feels like the way we hold someone's hand when we're about to break up with them. In the ten years I've lived in Calgary, this city and this province has undoubtedly changed. So much so that sometimes it feels like I've moved to a whole other world. This is likely the first Federal election where Albertans, especially in the urban ridings, have a chance for their vote to actually matter. And I mean that literally.
In the run up to next week's federal election who is really listening to the startups that make our economy healthy? While we like to think of ourselves as having a market economy it is virtually impossible to do a startup in Ontario without running into the distortion of a government funded gatekeeper.
I believe Canada needs a responsive, open and strong government that provides leadership for our transition to an innovation economy and a digital age. This is not a time for tinkering but a time of great change. To me, the defining issues of this election are clear.
Almost all innovation policy and spending by the Ontario and Federal Governments are focused on subsiding private sector risk. These kinds of government programs create artificial gatekeepers, arbiters empowered to make capital allocation decisions despite never having "been there and done that" -- or often being less qualified to evaluate a new billion-dollar-plus opportunity than the startup founders they are judging.
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.
There is nothing intrinsically "Canadian," let alone "conservative," about leveraging insecurity, racism and xenophobia for votes through ethnic scapegoating. That is not a "conservative" strategy; it's a fascist strategy with a long and bloody history, and it has no place in Canada. On October 19th, we have a chance to "take our country back." We have the chance to declare once and for all that who and what we are as Canadians is no longer for sale. We have a chance to steer Canada off its collision course with history, to save it from derailing and crashing beyond our ability to recognize it, let alone repair it.
Without sounding obvious, it all starts and stops with you. Your behaviour does impact what will happen. How you choose to discuss issues with others does have influence. How you choose to collect information to inform your decision does inspire the end result. And in the end, it does come down to this. Choose to vote and something will happen. Choose not to vote and something different will happen.
After months of an on-air campaign claiming Liberal leader Justin Trudeau is "just not ready" to be prime minister, another gruelling 78-day election campaign spewing the now tired slogan and, indeed, almost 10 years in office, it's become evident that Harper himself just isn't ready for an increasingly diverse Canadian future. The duplicitous, short-term Conservative strategy of stoking racial tensions for xenophobic votes will have the long-term impact of alienating future electors who clearly hold the cards on which party will dominate federal politics in the coming decades if not sooner.
Karen Selick recently wrote the most honest column we will see in this election campaign -- Ms. Selick would permit "niqab-wearers" the benefit of Canadian citizenship, so long as they continued to play by her rules. If they did not, she suggests Canadians ought to deny them service at restaurants, refuse them as renters and as employees. What Ms. Selick fails to understand is she is affirming that her own membership is conditional.
When the Muslim Canadian Congress called for an outright ban on the wearing of the niqab or the burka, they have gone too far. But that doesn't mean that we have to celebrate such restrictive clothing. Apart from the degrading and misogynistic aspects of burkas and niqabs, they offend against a fundamental implicit tenet of our society.
Stephen Harper is campaigning on fear, using the niqab as a wedge issue scapegoating Muslims. It is no coincidence that a senior adviser on the Conservative campaign is an Australian strategist known for dogwhistle politics against cultural minorities.