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.
Our election process would benefit by adopting this Canadian approach to politics. We should drastically shorten the campaign period, which now begins almost three years before the election. This year's Canadian election was the longest in history. 78 days.
For those women who care about advancing women's equality, the answer is simple: the women's equality vote is the non-Conservative, anti-Harper vote. We need a government that will champion women's equality by recognizing it as something that needs championing, not as something that already exists. There are young women who refuse to buy the "women are equal" Conservative tag line. We know what our foremothers fought for, we know what we've lost in our lifetime under Harper's leadership, and it's time to reclaim the losses.
Nothing in recent history had redefined what it means to be Canadian more than Bill C-24. This bill, made into law, allows the government to take away the citizenship of undesirables. Although currently limited to acts of terrorism, the government has expressed an interest in using this law against other acts.
During the federal candidates forum in my riding I noticed that both the NDP and Conservative candidates didn't mention their leader's name. It wasn't surprising. It's been hard differentiating between the campaigns of Thomas Mulcair and Stephen Harper.
Alberta is changing. What was once a stronghold now feels like the way we hold someone's hand when we're about to break up with them. In the ten years I've lived in Calgary, this city and this province has undoubtedly changed. So much so that sometimes it feels like I've moved to a whole other world. This is likely the first Federal election where Albertans, especially in the urban ridings, have a chance for their vote to actually matter. And I mean that literally.
Whatever the outcome on October 19th, the coming election will bring about a conclusion to an exhausting but exciting political thriller while, at the same time, putting an end to three long months of non-governance in this unique democracy.
There is nothing intrinsically "Canadian," let alone "conservative," about leveraging insecurity, racism and xenophobia for votes through ethnic scapegoating. That is not a "conservative" strategy; it's a fascist strategy with a long and bloody history, and it has no place in Canada. On October 19th, we have a chance to "take our country back." We have the chance to declare once and for all that who and what we are as Canadians is no longer for sale. We have a chance to steer Canada off its collision course with history, to save it from derailing and crashing beyond our ability to recognize it, let alone repair it.