The wedge politics and fearmongering of the Conservatives in the last election were resoundingly rejected by Canadians. Whether it is Kellie Leitch playing to xenophobia with her values test or Tony Clement gleefully trampling our rights, it seems the Conservative Party still hasn't gotten the memo.
As with most leadership races (regardless of political party) the voting public will be treated to leadership candidates turning on each other like dogs fighting for a bone. While the nastiness and name calling might end in May 2017, the divisions and animosities created will linger on until well after the 2019 election.
Members of the Ethiopian community in Winnipeg recently called on Canada to sanction the country. The protesters are angry about the regime's violent crackdown in the Oromiya and Amhara regions. Hundreds of peaceful protesters have been killed and many more jailed since unrest began over a land dispute 10 months ago.
With Harper gone, you would think the Conservatives could return to providing a reasonable alternative for voters. If you thought that, you'd be wrong. We could go on all day about how Harper's tax cuts for corporations and the rich gutted the social programs and economic development that the rest of us depend on, or how his poorly negotiated trade deals put more power in the hand of corporations at the expense of jobs and a stable future for working Canadians, but the real point here is that these sorts of comments show just how out of touch the Conservative Party has become.
Canada is a young country and we lack the long history and cultural heritage like European countries. We do not share the American Dream nor America's melting-pot culture. Thus, we provide better ground for multiculturalism to flourish; we let refugees and immigrants from around the world preserve their culture and heritage.
He won't talk about his government's non-progressive policies, but man does he ever look good with his shirt off. This calculation is duplicitous; it showcases an accessible leader but one with little time to get into the specifics of the policies that run counter to Trudeau's reputation of a real progressive. It is the best of Trudeau, it is the worst of Trudeau, and until his gushing fans and the complicit media start doing their jobs by demanding transparency, we will be stuck having to tolerate both.
Stephen Harper emerged in May from his self-imposed obscurity to say goodbye. I say good riddance. The former prime minister who once boasted, "You won't recognize Canada when I'm through with it," lost the federal election last October and stepped down as leader of the Conservative Party, but remained a Member of Parliament.
Canadians have spoken. Reasonable risk has been established. Evidence has been presented. All possible red flags have been raised. At this point, proceeding with this deal will utterly and predictably undermine the integrity of Canada's export control system.
The press is aiding and abetting the PMO's strategy of image first, substance second, to the point that we can't seem to go a few days without seeing our country's leader in that all too common, casual photo op, reassuring Canadians that he is unlike his predecessor, Stephen Harper. We get it. Trudeau and Harper are different. Only, they do have one huge leadership component in common; both men have taken an element of public relations and used it as their main mechanism to influence public perception. In fact, both men have staked out their preferred piece of PR and taken it to heights previously unknown in the stale world of federal politics.
Manners are increasingly taking a back seat and it shows. What stuns me is how completely oblivious people are to their own lack of manners in a given situation, but how quick they are to point out ill-mannered others. Time to take an etiquette selfie. You might be aghast at what you see.
Does the inevitable stagnation that comes with a decade in power automatically cast a departed leader as the worst in history? Many will point at Harper's dictatorial approach to governance, his deficits, his disregard for science or his political gamesmanship as proof that he was. I don't think this type of hyperbole is worthwhile nor productive.
Kevin O'Leary premiers his new reality show this weekend -- an all-too real show, in fact. The man who made a name for himself as the loudest and most offensive cast member of the Dragon's Den reality TV show will be testing the waters at the Conservative Party convention this weekend for a possible leadership bid. He would be a terrible leader. Terrible for the Conservatives and terrible for the national debate in this country. Being offensive and insensitive to the very real needs and wishes of Canadians is not leadership and it's certainly not prime ministerial.
If Conservatives are shrewd as they convene in Vancouver this week for their party's convention, they will plead with Ambrose to run for the party's permanent leadership while requesting a not insignificant change to the party's constitution that would allow the party's interim leader to contest the permanent leadership.
We should never get over it. With the apology, we risk the ability to raise the issue of the Komagata Maru with "old stock Canadians" who likely would not want to hear the issue brought up again. With this, we potentially lose the ability to make the point that the Komagata Maru continues to be as relevant today as it was in 1914.
Don't forget, way back in January 2014 Trudeau said about Kinder Morgan, "I certainly hope that we're going to be able to get that pipeline approved." Unless we make things uncomfortable for him politically, the prime minister will force this pipeline through our communities against our will -- the public's will.
A preferential ballot system levels the playing field for all candidates. Like the per-vote subsidy, it will promote more party/candidate loyalty on the first vote. Unlike the last election, strategic voters won't need to choose between voting for the party they like and voting for the party they think can beat party/candidate X. They can do both.