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.
In a constitutional monarchy like ours, royalty matters, which means every little random thing royalty does matters, too. Thus, in the aftermath of Monday's big announcement of Kate's impending baby bump, all of Canada's major papes quickly churned out lead editorials. And lots of Kate pics. For purely constitutional reasons, of course.
After spending his years in Parliament defending the long-gun registry, and voting to keep the registry, Justin Trudeau decided he would call the long-gun registry a failure. With the Liberals in desperate need of resuscitation, appealing to rural voters in this manner does not exactly lend credence to the theory that the man is all hair and no brain. A dynamic, young politician who likes his guns as much as he likes his lattés? Perhaps the Conservatives should be worried.
And now, like the nation of bored teenage babysitters we are, it's time to check in on the Liberal leadership race -- if only to make sure no one's swallowed the scissors. At the National Post, Andrew Coyne also thinks there's much Liberal hay to be made with an aggressively pro-democratic agenda. But in his world, this involves championing the mummified issue that no one ever gets tired of hearing about -- electoral reform.
It is hard to believe, but back on this day in 2005, we were all involved in an election that was forced on November 28th when the Martin government lost a confidence vote. Part of what made that election possible was the success the then opposition Conservatives had in Question Period. Today, the best you can say about Question Period is that it is pathetic and a great opportunity to take a nap.
The point Justin Trudeau, and largely the rest of Canada, has missed is the role British Columbia will play moving forward in Canada. If it's not obvious, it should be by now. With Vancouver MP Joyce Murray announcing her run for leader of the Liberal Party today, it's slowly setting the pace to which B.C. politicians will begin to take a more active role in shaping the country's policy.
The "Justin Trudeau story" is of course the recent Sun News revelation that everyone's favourite pretender to the Liberal tiara had some rather disparaging things to say about Albertans back back in 2010. 'Course, in the end, regardless of your allegiances, the question is how little thinking a future prime minister deserves to get away with.
Why do political handlers confuse contrarianism with "substance"? The Justin Trudeau campaign, keen to put to bed allegations of its candidate being a lightweight, just put out an opinion piece embracing the takeover of Nexen by China's state owned CNOOC. Unexpected, eh? It must therefore be substantive. Who knows, a real debate about Canada with real options beyond the current narrow bandwidth may open up and engage Canadians in politics again. Goodness knows that what's currently on offer isn't exactly inspiring.
Avid news junkies know there's really five other folks "running," but c'mon folks, this is the leadership of the Liberal Party you're running for, a job only the most eminently experienced children of dead prime ministers are qualified to fill. In reality, of course, Wednesday was a date like any other for a nation that's already been toiling under the weight of a Liberal leadership tournament ever since Bob Rae stepped down last June, or at latest since that crisp October evening when Justin Trudeau threw his shimmering locks into the ring.
I am not an MP, and I do not come from the Ottawa bubble, and I do not believe that Canadians think the job criteria for a politician is being a politician. I want to bring a fresh and new approach to politics, one that is welcoming, inclusive, and values each individual for their contribution. I have recently driven across the country, not flown over it as many politicians tend to do. I have stopped in smaller towns and cities and talked to folks, and actually listened to them. When you do that, you hear what it is that actually concerns Canadians, and it also gives me a chance to share my vision of Canada with them.
Martha Hall Findlay has jumped into the federal Liberal leadership race, good for her. It will be a nice counter balance to Trudeau's charisma and offer a chance to flush him out in the one area that he is considered to be a light weight -- policy issues. Whether or not she wins or whether or not people think she is a good candidate, one thing is certain: finally the federal Liberal leadership race is getting interesting and offering up some substance. As they say in horse racing "they are off and running."
I liked what Justin Trudeau had to say at my campus this week. He found a way to make a pitch for his Liberal-leadership candidacy, in between very direct and open answers to the audience's questions. Youth need to be engaged in politics in a way like never before. And the issues we care about are what animate his campaign for Liberal leader.
Our Canadian promise has never been too complicated. Work hard, we tell our kids, and you will have a better future than we did. Today, for too many, that promise rings hollow. Our task now is to give voice to young people's aspirations, to summon a new generation of leaders to give life to the Canadian promise, and to make the Liberal Party of Canada the vehicle for fresh new ideas and bold new dreams. That is the party that I want to lead.
Here's some counsel to the Harper minions: Don't undertake your historic practice of negative ads against Liberal leadership candidate Justin Trudeau. Election time is fine (everybody does it), but in this space between mandates, permit the next generation to continue moving forward into the political spectrum. Should you practice your usual and fill the Canadian airwaves with vitriol among a younger politician seeking to make a difference, you will likely turn off the next generation altogether.
Dalton McGuinty's decision to prorogue parliament doesn't pass the sniff test. He claims the government needed to hit the pause button on negotiations with public sector unions on a wage freeze. Well, Mr. Premier, governments of all political stripes have negotiated with unions while the Legislature sits for years.
In his new book Fight the Right, Warren Kinsella gets some big things correct while leaving some big things out. Yes, progressive politicians should take Kinsella's advice about authenticity, simplicity and speaking to the heart. Yes, we need a new progressive narrative as a counterweight to the one that is currently trashing our country and our planet. But, we shouldn't fool ourselves into thinking that we don't have a lot of hard work to do