What Justin Trudeau brings to politics is a charismatic, genuine, energetic and trustworthy face. He can work a crowd like no other MP. Since announcing his candidacy, he has had no problems drawing full crowds at appearances ranging from rallies to talks on the role of social media in politics. Don't underestimate these traits. What the Liberal party of Canada needs is a young energetic leader who can reclaim the centre and encourage people who don't usually vote to do so.
Liberals made a pledge to focus on rebuilding the party from the ground up. It is essential, now that the Grit leadership race is getting underway, that Liberals honour this promise. Liberals should select their next leader keeping in mind the following difficult but unavoidable truth: The Liberal Party of Canada will not win the 2015 federal election. The worst thing the Grits could do right now is to rally en masse around any one candidate for leader early in the race and not give this candidate a chance to prove his or her worth. Better to have Grits unite around a common vision as a result of debate than to unite around a personality hoping for a Hail Mary.
I gather from all the media hype that Canadians are supposed to be waiting with bated breath and pounding heart for the "Second Coming" i.e. Justin Trudeau's non-announcement this week that he will enter the Liberal Party's leadership race. I say non-announcement as I don't know anyone who pays attention to politics who actually thought Trudeau would sit this one out.
Can the Liberals survive as a third party? Liberals can no longer claim to be the natural governing party, nor to have the same ability to garner wealthy donors or those seeking connections. Liberals cannot coast by on "we win elections," "we're not Harper," or be the "everything to everyone" party. The Liberals face a tough political environment, with the NDP trying to crowd them out, and with their own return to power far from certain. A compelling message and clear ideals to attract support is key. Liberals cannot pine for a messiah.
If Pauline Marois' government decides it wants to lead Quebec out of Canada, to my mind she's simply following the logical path that has been laid down (intentionally or not) by our Federal leaders over the past 145 years. If it turns out Quebec wants a divorce we should grant it and move on. It seems evident there wasn't much of a family to begin with, and we don't seem to want to start building one now.
Stephen Harper has stayed true to his word, maintaining his stand that the issue of abortion will not be reopened in Canada so long as he is Prime Minister. That being the case, how did we reach the point where the blame for Motion 312 and it's implications on the reproductive rights of women in this country are perceived to be solely with Stephen Harper and the CPC?
The issue of age recently exploded in the Ugandan media when a 19-year-old woman won a by-election in Usuk, Uganda. How could someone so young, so inexperienced, adequately represent her constituents? In Uganda, as in Canada, the youth are the ones bearing the brunt of the global economic crisis, and yet are facing constant criticism for being entitled for wanting a good education and decent jobs. They have a right to be represented and heard.
According to a media report, it would appear that New Brunswick MP, Dominic Leblanc, would like to limit the number of contenders for the Liberal Party leadership. Leadership races are supposed to rejuvenate a party, improve its fortunes and give it a bounce in the polls. You won't do that unless you debate new ideas, hopefully with a few new people at the table.
On the 22nd of September Liberals from across downtown Calgary will vote from 9:00 am and 5:00 pm at the Kahanoff Conference Centre, and vote for one of three (or a rumored four, with the final one being a possible star candidate) candidates vying for the chance to contest the upcoming byelection under the Liberal banner. Three candidates are raring up to challenge the Liberal nomination in Calgary Centre.
The latest Angus-Reid survey reflects an unexpected continued surge for the New Democrats across the country. From British Columbia and Newfoundland, where the party has never elected an NDP government, it is on the verge of electing itself for the very first time. This is a very surprising reality for Canadians as the NDP is becoming more mute on important issues and concentrates all power within its leader while neglecting the voices of its large caucus.
The first impediment to ascension the Ol' Boys' Club -- or the Liberal Party -- has imposed is a hefty $75,000 entry fee to run for Party Leader. That's 65 per cent more than the national income average or what most of us call "a small fortune." Is this a way for a third place party to renew interest with the Canadian people? A party that's lost its compass is doomed to lose the legions voters who have strayed outside the once broad LPC umbrella.
Polling is a long haul game. Jitters of points inside margins of errors don't showcase who has different levels of support or who is the newest front runner in the media past time of political horse races.
Hardly a parade of Pravda puff pieces, much of the ink spilled during the recent flurry of Layton retrospectives has actually been fairly critical, skeptical, or at least measured in honestly assessing Jack's pros and cons. And if you thought the Canadian press' obsession with royalty was winding down just because we've gone -- what? -- six weeks without a royal visit, guess again! Several of Canada's leading papers felt inexplicably obligated to devote many inches of concerned columnspace to Prince Harry playing a particularly rousing game of, ah, Vegas hold-em.
Jack Layton is one the Canadian politician I respected most, yet never had a chance to support. I first met him at a charity event where he wrote out his private cell phone number. He asked me to call him anytime I wanted so we could have a conversation. I often felt like I was talking to Canada itself.
Bill C-25, an Act Relating to Pooled Registered Pension Plans received Royal Assent on June 28 this year, making it officially part of Canadian Law. Unless the cost of administration is low, and unless the pooled amount of investment is high -- the banks will profit and workers will continue to struggle to make ends meet before and after retirement.
The real question pundits should be asking is: Should the Liberals merge with the New Democrats? For his part, Justin Trudeau concedes that, if his party does not "shine" by the 2015 election, a merger may indeed be the only way to evict Stephen Harper from 24 Sussex Drive. A recent poll asked Liberals if they like the idea of a merger, a staggering 64 per cent said yes. This poll also found that 56 per cent of Canadians see the Liberals as a spent force. Doesn't seem so crazy now, does it?