In Provencher, the Liberals gained 23 per cent compared to the Conservatives who lost 12.5 per cent and the NDP who lost almost 10 per cent. Provencher is just outside the boundaries of Winnipeg further east from St. Boniface but at the same time, Provencher is one of the safest conservative seats in the country - not to mention rural.
Why is Bob Rae using a "back of the bus" analogy to defend his million-dollar mansion club? Does he realize that a number of Torontonians, and a number of voters, are indeed outsiders when it comes to this level of wealth and privilege? Borrowing the cloak of the less-fortunate to feign victimhood is too much to bear.
When Justin Trudeau said last week that he had a "level of admiration" for China's "basic dictatorship," the understandable knee-jerk reaction from some politicians and pundits was to kick the federal Liberal leader. But while that gaffe was reprehensible, it was hardly incomprehensible and perhaps entirely understandable given the structure of our own political system, the parties within it and how some Canadians feel about dictatorships.
Thursday night in Toronto, "ladies" are invited for cocktails and candid conversation (for $250 a head) with Justin -- unplugged! The Liberal Party has even been so kind as to craft an invitation specially for our gender, complete with cute cursive writing and lots of splashy colours. The only thing missing from this creepy, patronizing and unbelievably ridiculous picture are scented pages and locks of Trudeau's hair as door prizes. Fortunately, Trudeau's plan has totally backfired.
The Tories have money on their side, and lots of it. They are a powerhouse when it comes to grassroots fundraising, outperforming both the NDP and Liberals by far. In 2012 alone, when one would expect fundraising dollars to be on the low side, the Tories raked in $17.3 million from 87,306 contributors.
While much of the media and many in the opposition like to say that women's rights have faltered under Harper, the Thompson Reuters Foundation actually ranked Canada the best G20 country for women last year on account of its "strong policies against violence and exploitation combined with good access to education and healthcare."
What do you do when your opponent has the potential to challenge you in some hard-won ridings, possibly putting your majority at risk? That's the question Prime Minister Harper and his advisers are grappling with. Like it or not, the emergence of Justin Trudeau and his staying power has changed the political dynamics in Ottawa.
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.
Social networks' participatory power and our unfettered access to data is transforming politics -- and democracy itself. Political influence is shifting away from brokers and elites, and back to the people. Which is, generally, a good thing. However, instant communication and unfiltered flows of information are at best a mixed blessing.
What led an overzealous journalist to take Diana Burke's comments a few days ago out of context and write a negative headline? Maybe it sold some papers, or maybe it just generated some traffic to a website to keep advertisers happy, I don't know what motivated it. The second part of Ms. Burke's comments never made the story of course, because that wouldn't be entertaining.
The Toronto Centre nomination for the right to replace Bob Rae as a Liberal MP comes to an end this coming Sunday at a downtown public library. In the spirited nomination battle are three vastly different candidates vying to win the nomination. These candidates include the great community activist Todd Ross, the vibrant Diana Burke and the well accomplished Chrystia Freeland.
One of the first orders of business for new political party leaders is the branding of their party. What will their party stand for? What will they do if elected? How will their policies help Canadian families? The Liberals and the media together have been closely watching Justin Trudeau since he became leader. They want to see what Trudeau's brand will be. So far, his biggest alignment has been with illegal activity. Not a great start.
Political staffers always walk a fine line between what they are willing to do and what they shouldn't be doing when it comes to partisan political activities. Today we have a good example of that with allegations in the media that PMO staff had a direct involvement in organizing and coordinating the demonstration that took place earlier this month when Justin Trudeau gave his outdoor press conference. Was it really necessary to protest at Trudeau's press conference? Did the protest achieve its objective and embarrass Trudeau? Did the protest earn positive press coverage for the Conservative Party and more importantly for the Prime Minister?
Bob Rae's sudden retirement announcement shouldn't have come as a complete surprise and yet it left everyone in a kind of shock that only gets reserved for those whose lives have counted for something. History will reveal that Bob Rae outgrew all the labels that people used to identify him. They will remember him as a recipient of the Order of Canada, as chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University, and a Senior Fellow at Massey College. Twice under consideration as the Governor General of Canada, we will yet hear of his further exploits. Politics is a phase; service to others is a life, and Bob Rae isn't nearly finished with the latter.