Not only did Canada vote against starting negotiations for a nuclear weapons ban treaty this fall, but now that the international community is moving ahead with the negotiations beginning March 27, Canada is boycotting them. The Liberals have given three different excuses, but none of them make much sense.
Thanks to the federal budget presented by Finance Minister Bill Morneau, we saw not the self-described feminist, environmentalist, progressive Justin T, but the reigning prime minister of austerity and broken promises. Clearly, "sunny ways" for the "middle class" are no longer part of his weather forecast.
Is the NDP establishment scared to have party members discuss Canada's international posture? At the party's first leadership debate last weekend there wasn't a single foreign policy question despite a host of contentious recent party positions on international affairs.
If we really want to support women and really want to be known as a feminist nation, then we need to work hand-in-hand with women and fund their work. We would welcome an announcement for this in the federal budget this week. But for this to happen, it would take courage and vision - not just rhetoric.
The NDP needs a leader who is rational and has an abundance of common sense and knowledge about what they are talking about. We need a leader that everyday workers can believe in. This person is not Peter Julian.
While Liberals continue with their failed Bobby McFerrin "Don't worry be happy" economic mantra, the data paints a different picture. In 2009 the number of Canadians who considered themselves working class or poor was 29 per cent. That number has since jumped to a stunning 44 per cent.
The NDP is seen to be the one with the toughest hill to climb. The party faithful believes that the NDP lost ground because it allowed itself to be outmanoeuvred by the Liberal Party -- on the left. The leadership contest is an opportunity to see which of the candidates are seriously listening to the expressed desire of the rank and file to move the party to the left.
Justin Trudeau is perpetuating a myth about the middle class. In reality, it has devolved into a new working class that is both white collar and blue collar - a world defined by massive levels of student debt, sky-high housing prices and the perpetual cycle of short-term contract work without benefits.
While both the issues of "cash for access" and electoral reform will continue to dog the government in 2017, it is the drip-drip of the former that could prove fatal to the credibility of the government. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should embrace the constructive suggestion of the three opposition parties.
The Manitoba party establishment has inexplicably brought in a proposed series of changes that would give it some of the most restrictive membership and leadership processes of any NDP section in the country. The NDP cannot afford to disenfranchise anyone, and to do so is extremely shortsighted.
Thanks to right-wing anti-Cuba propaganda, politicians on the left run for cover when asked for an opinion on Castro. The latest shameful example was furnished by interim NDP Leader Tom Mulcair. Is it any wonder that Justin Trudeau ate the NDP's lunch during the 2015 federal election, and continues to do so?
There are issues requiring tough decisions that a few selfies will not provide him with enough cover nor will they help him to change the channel to better issues or allow for better optics. His recent foot in mouth moment over his comments on Fidel Castro is just this past weekend's storm cloud. We also have other storm clouds developing on the horizon.
The reason why a candidate like Angus is so interesting is because the new conventional wisdom is that there is no conventional wisdom anymore. A self-described socialist almost won the nomination for president of the United States, and probably would have won if the party he ran under did not work tirelessly against him. So the prospect of a true left-leaning politician inspiring voters from various sub-political persuasions no longer seems so far fetched.
There are lessons for the New Democratic Party and the Canadian Labour Congress in the stunning defeat of Hillary Clinton. The NDP should grow a backbone and learn to more vigorously fight trade agreements such as the CETA and TPP because workers in this country are suffering just as much as their American counterparts.
This is a bit like commenting on a married couple who have severe marital problems, complete with shouting matches and physical abuse. While all their friends may agree that the marriage is in trouble and that the couple should get counselling, no true friend would allow the husband to repeatedly beat his wife as they wait for counselling. But Canadian political leaders seem perfectly willing to allow the "beating" to continue as they await the ever elusive negotiated solution ("counselling") between Israel and Palestine.
We're being left behind by other countries and economies while we chase an elusive ideal under some imaginary rainbow. It's time for our leaders to stand up and draw a line in the sand and stop enabling these fanatics, lest they achieve their ultimate goal of completely shutting down our economic engine.