I don't fault the New York Times liberal editorial pages celebrating a Liberal victory in Canada. It's their paper and they can print what they want. What got me were the Canadian journalists who rushed to their liberal friends down south with op-eds to complain how awful things were up here under Harper.
To attribute Justin Trudeau's ascendancy to a rock star phenomenon such as his father Pierre Trudeau experienced back in 1968 is to misread current Canadian politics. What happened, in fact, was less a cult of personality than a national plebiscite on the rule of the much-hated incumbent, Stephen Harper.
The coordinated killings that rocked Paris over the weekend are an unspeakable horror. But we must not allow the horrific nature of this atrocity to drag Canada back into the racism, Islamophobia and war-mongering that characterized our last government. The burden to hold firm on the change that we demanded in the October election is jointly shared between Canadians and our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The challenge isn't simply to get youth to vote. First, you have to inspire youth about the act of voting itself. There's no point in getting youth to vote if it's an activity they really would rather not be doing; that won't form a lifelong habit of voting. You have to first sell the benefits of voting before you can push youth to the polls.
Unfortunately, there is a stubborn quality to the Prime Minister's current commitment to meet his election promise of admitting 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by Christmas. There is an easy solution to this current impasse between the facts on the ground today and an election promise made months ago. Set a reasonable timeline and follow the responsible policies of the American government.
There needs to be a concerted effort to confront the rise of prejudice that was encouraged by the Conservatives in their bid for re-election. Although Steven Harper has been defeated, the lingering "permission" given to bigotry needs to be challenged in every workplace and community across Canada. Canadians have never been immune to the corrosive influences of racism and anti-Semitism. At this point in history we are called upon to specifically challenge Islamophobia. The fact is that our Muslim brothers and sisters have been made to feel defensive about their faith and unsure of how their neighbours accept them.
The true test of the Trudeau team's openness will come when actual decisions are being made, when real people start to object, when the human beings running the place start making mistakes. The national press gallery may be charmed for now, grateful that the Harper years of cold war are over. It will not last. Parliament Hill reporters are top professionals who will be ready to pounce when things inevitably go off the rails. When that happens, will the smiling ministers of day one remain available to be interrogated, challenged, or even hectored?
By blaming Palestinians for the Nazi Holocaust, Benjamin Netanyahu wildly distorted Jewish suffering for Israel's ends. A lack of widespread comment by Canada's main Jewish organizations speaks to their own use of Nazi crimes to serve Israel and power more generally.
Although the Conservatives find themselves preparing for a shift back into the opposition benches after nearly 10 years, the party didn't incur a loss great enough to warrant a rethinking of its approach to politics. The loss of seats was, in part, a response to Harper -- it was an anti-Harper vote. So, the loss of seats may not be as devastating a signal for the party's ideology or organization as it might first appear. There comes a time for the electorate when [leadership] turnover is necessary.
The Alberta battleground riding of Edmonton-Mill Woods became one of only two ridings in the city and one of only four ridings in the province to go Liberal. For the first time in a decade, Edmonton-Mill Woods is not a Conservative domain. This is only one example of a larger trend across Canada.
If the Liberals wish to maintain the stance that using the term apartheid to describe Israeli state practices amounts to a form of Jew-hatred, then they should be aware that under that logic, they are labeling a lot of unlikely people as anti-Semites.
There is a definite nostalgia for the way Canada used to be. Canadians accept Trudeau's desire to recast Canada as a global peacekeeper, and to live up to our reputation as a caring and compassionate society. Over the past decade under the Harper government, they felt that was slipping away.
Canadian Pension Plan legislation requires three years' notice to implement any change - even a good one. So even if the provinces were able to pause from elbowing each other for federal attention long enough to agree on a CPP increase this year, no change in contribution rates would take effect until 2019.
A vibrant democracy requires strong parties with clear and strong philosophical and ideological base coupled with able politicians willing to bring forth new ideas and challenge the status quo. Real change involves a change of attitude toward power and politics, politics is not just the means of attaining and maintaining power, it is the art and science of managing and transforming the society.
History has shown us you may be able to bomb and kill your enemy -- but your enemies' ideas can never die. In fact, this could result in popularizing the ideas and harden its believers. Current Islamists extremists know this well, that is why they have developed a business model that is fuelled by reacting to the actions of the West. Bombs and air campaigns cannot stop the social phenomena that lead to the expansion of the Un-Islamic State; we need a sustained counter narrative to defeat this new form of terrorism. We need to show respect and vocalize how our diversity is our strength; fostering a narrative of inclusivity.
During the past nine years, reputations have been shattered, national institutions have been destroyed, the rules of parliament abused, the federation itself weakened, and the trust in the institutions of democracy profoundly undermined. Justin Trudeau will have to do a lot of heavy lifting to repair the damage.