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.
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.
Had millions of Canadians taken the bait, on Monday evening we could have heard the following from a victory stage in Calgary: "The Canadian people have spoken -- giving me four more years in the job I love, which allows me to make all the decisions. But the Globe and Mail has spoken too. So, to do the noble thing yet again. I hereby tender my resignation. Bye."
Stephen Harper lost the election not because Canadians rejected Conservative values, i.e., an aversion to big government, bureaucracy and regulation but because he came to be seen against democracy. Conservatives believe in smaller government, lower taxes and keeping the state out of the lives and businesses of citizens. But Mr. Harper sometime during his nine-plus years as prime minister began sacrificing our democratic institutions, especially the media, on the altar of his Conservative government.
Restoring the long form Census could be the defining characteristics of the new Liberal government. Unlike the Harper Conservatives, who governed by ideology and did not let data or facts dissuade them, the Liberals should embrace evidence-based planning and governance. It will be timely because in the world of big data analytics, turning our back on data, as the Conservatives did, has harmed Canada's competitiveness.
The new PM will be a breath of fresh air on the environment -- it's impossible to be any worse than his predecessor -- and he will take the leash off federal scientists, or so he has promised. However, one area the Liberals aren't expected to deliver any good news in are telecommunications services.
A minority is defined as dangerous by a segment of society that clings to traditional views of acceptability. They fail to recognize prejudices inherent in their views until a hard-won fight for equal rights and shifting zeitgeist forces them to move on, foisting their fears on the next marginalized group.
When Justin Trudeau was elected in 2008 it was clear to everyone that he could never be destined for the backbenches. They sat Justin Trudeau directly behind me in the House and for almost three years I got a ringside view of his development. His rhetoric, at times bawdy, nevertheless carried intensity in the Parliamentary chamber. I was asked more frequently than I could count whether he was the real deal or just his father's son. My answer was always the same: both.
TORONTO -- Voters woke up on Tuesday morning to find that the most powerful people in their government were all under 45. The boomers no longer control Canada. That fact is a transformation to the underlying structure of Canadian political life. And youth wanted the old Canada back, it turns out. Trudeau's election revealed that the traditional Canadian values -- multiculturalism and socialism -- are just too strongly embedded in the national consciousness to be seriously budged.
With a lead in the polls, Thomas Mulcair fell victim to the Conservative definition of the NDP as fiscally irresponsible and led with a promise to balance the budget. After years of austerity measures, that rightward fiscal turn felt to many like a betrayal of NDP values in search of a few votes. And by the time the NDP started plummeting in the polls and Mulcair reasserted their progressive position, it was too little, too late.
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Climate science has a different calendar -- fossils must essentially be gone by 2050. That extra 50 years is, to coal and oil, worth fighting for -- and natural gas is oil's alternative of choice. Their secret weapon? Ever lower prices.
Politics is theatre on a grand scale. People go to the theatre neither to watch the actors nor to listen to them. They want to be transported into the world of the play: to suspend disbelief. The politician who can evoke an emotional response is the politician we will inevitably favour.
In 2004, I was disallowed from boarding an Air Canada flight from Vancouver to Victoria. Since then, I have spent many years trying to get answers from the federal government as to why this happened. The NDP have pressed successive Liberal and Conservative governments to provide me answers.
Hopefully the Liberals' majority mandate will not mean that electoral reform falls by the wayside. It is absurd that Canada has an electoral system where less than 40 per cent of the popular vote can mean a majority government and absolute control in Parliament.
The Liberals led by Trudeau have a lot work ahead of them, but their surprising victory may not be the upset we all thought it was. When you combine a growing need for change with a fresh, newer face, who brings a positive, unifying and consistent message, we can see how the red wave momentum was waiting for us. Perhaps many of us did not see it because this election fired up many negative emotions and divisiveness. However, most Canadians saw right through that. The people of Canada were the one who lit the fire and fanned the flames across the country on election night.