The media seem obsessed with the difficulty of creating party unity and "healing the wounds" of the campaign. I really don't get a sense there will be a lot of wounds. The opportunity for growth will surely make the party put aside their differences and work together under Thomas Mulcair's leadership.
People who live 4,500k from the Toronto-Danforth riding read in the Vancouver Sun just last month that the Liberals were in a position to win; they'll now be reading about a "lacklustre, no name, uninspiring dud" candidate who blew the Liberals right out of the water. Imagine what that does for confidence in the Liberal brand.
Like the Conservative party, the NDP appeals to the politics of fear in order to win votes -- fear of Stephen Harper. The Liberal party tried just that in the 2011 election and it didn't work. The Liberals' primary message was rebuking the Conservatives for their undemocratic practices, not one offering a compelling vision for the future of the country.
In January the NDP leadership candidates held a debate in Montreal in which every one of them refused to support the federal government's Clarity Act. It is important to note that independence by Quebec in such circumstances would not only fly in the face of the Clarity Act but stand in opposition to the amending formula of the Canadian Constitution.
The NDP leadership race is currently running neck-in-neck with Arctic Air in the contest to see who can produce the last compelling form of government-run entertainment. So the quest for our friends in the press has been to find some angle on the race beyond the traditional "Hey, who's winning?" narrative.
Don Drummond should be insulted that his report is going to be little more than political cover for the Liberals. It's going to be a convenient straw man for the party, giving them the option to lay any unpleasantness at the feet of an unaccountable third party.
I am very much looking forward to this Liberal Biennial Convention. There are more delegates coming here than to the past NDP and Conservative conventions combined -- right away, that's a great sign.
Leadership races are happening in the U.S. and Canada and for most voters and partisans, while winning elections are important, it is also about what kind of policies will be implemented. Most people want to support more than just a political party; they want to support a movement based on clear values.
The current Conservative government has seen fit to offer breaks only to the wealthy, exacerbating the growing gap between the rich and the rest of us. Families need help getting childcare, but instead of creating new affordable spaces, the Conservatives offer a tax break that doesn't cover the cost of a week's care for a single child.
Say what you will, but Mulcair has bonafides in the environmental field and as Canada abandons international climate accords like Kyoto, any opposition leader -- let alone Prime Minister -- needs to understand the environment file deeply, and the role our environment plays in our economic future.
Canadian political life in 2012 will be anything but dull: uncertain economic times that could either strengthen or weaken Conservative support; two opposition parties in flux, fighting for influence and voter support; and a new leader for the NDP and the Conservative political machine.
The thought seemed simple enough -- head over to Nathan Phillips Square and take some time to thank the people who were waiting in the long lines to say goodbye to Jack Layton. But the solemnity of the moment was overwhelmed by the enormity of the public outpouring.
For the first time since Confederation, the once mighty Liberal Party of Canada was neither the government or official opposition. Layton became the first New Democrat to be sworn in as Her Majesty's Official Leader of the Opposition, another historic moment brought to us by May 2nd's election.
While the candidates are a decent bunch of individuals, can Canadians envision all but a couple of them as the next prime minister of Canada? I say that because in the end, that is what this leadership race is all about. Whoever wins could be our next prime minister.
The Conservatives sold people a phony bill of goods, playing on anger over hot button social issues while undermining their economic future. But we can foster a sense of co-operation in our society rather than pitting people against each other, constantly fanning the flames of fear as Stephen Harper has done.