The Manifesto consists of a list of "15 Demands" that range from the somewhat reasonable; to the ridiculous; to the sublime. It would take numerous blog posts to address them individually. Happily, I have been writing blogs for a while and the Manifesto addresses a number of topics I have previously covered.
Restrictive voter identification requirements preventing non-Conservatives from voting were a myth. Rather, voter turnout hit 68.3 per cent, the highest turnout in over two decades. It turns out, when you allow 38 different pieces of identification, people will overwhelmingly use those pieces of ID and just get on with voting.
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau's political slogan has been "building the team and the plan." So far, his "team" will be forced to be pro-choice and pro-marijuana, and his "plan" is legalizing marijuana, being against fighting terrorism, and placing a price on carbon. The Liberals' position of vacuous nothingness should be garnering far more attention than it has been -- the Press Gallery has only started to actually seriously question Trudeau -- but Trudeau has been ably abetted by a series of New Democrats' missteps.
In Ontario, in the one riding the Liberals had previously held (Scarborough-Agincourt), the Party was re-elected with Arnold Chan getting some 60 per cent of the popular vote. In the seat previously belonging to NDP powerhouse Olivia Chow (Trinity-Spadina), the NDP lost to Liberal Adam Vaughan who polled over 53 per cent.
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.
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.
We, as the electorate, have a certain level of expectations for children at school: don't be rude, respect each other and your teachers and complete your work to the best of your ability. I certainly don't think that it's too much then to ask the same of our MPs and our government. We cannot continue to remain silent as our elected "adults" act like children while they represent us, as Elizabeth May did recently.
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.
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.