If Pauline Marois' government decides it wants to lead Quebec out of Canada, to my mind she's simply following the logical path that has been laid down (intentionally or not) by our Federal leaders over the past 145 years. If it turns out Quebec wants a divorce we should grant it and move on. It seems evident there wasn't much of a family to begin with, and we don't seem to want to start building one now.
There's an aura growing around Trudeau, or perhaps there has always been one, that gives liberals (I use the small "l" intentionally) hope for the future. Especially in the face of Stephen Harper's quietly draconian governing style rising up again in the form of a new omnibus bill as the fall session starts. "Can Trudeau reignite the flame of the centre-left?" Canadians wonder. Trudeau's aura brings with it a halo effect to liberal/Liberal politics that's been missing since, well, I don't know when. Yesterday, for example, I got an accidental phone call from a disaffected NDP supporter in Montreal (which is odd, since I'm based in the provincial Liberal office in Edmonton). She was upset that the NDP in Quebec were drifting toward what she termed "soft nationalism" and she didn't want to remain with a party that supported separation, no matter how softly. Toward the end of the conversation she asked whether I knew if Trudeau had officially declared his nomination. "Ah, there it is," I thought.
In Parliament, the one-minute Standing Order 31 was designed to give MPs an opportunity to highlight something of importance in their riding. By 2008 there was increasing pressure to use more of the SO 31s as attack pieces (sometimes all of them) to get the government talk points out. Today, this has become pretty much standard practice. In my opinion this has been one of the contributing factors to the caustic atmosphere you now see on a daily basis in the House of Commons.
With Pauline Marois now officially inaugurated as the sixth separatist premier of everyone's favorite French-speaking province, you might reckon that our nation's gigantic, months-long Quebec politics bender would finally be coming to an end. Also, you might be an idiot. Speaking of not-so-smart ideas, Harper's plans to reform parliamentary pensions aren't going over so well in the media...
It likely didn't occur to the strategists in the permanent Conservative Party war room that they would be mounting a push against the NDP and carbon taxes at a time when the severity of the impacts of climate change would be on such full display. So now this is all going on at the very same time as story after story tells us how much trouble humans are in as a species.
Thomas Muclair... wants to raise your taxes! Specifically, he wants to raise a carbon tax, which is a tax on everything you have, want, or could even conceive of! Time-traveling unicorn zombie cyborgs? Oh, you better believe Tom's gonna tax the hell outta those. You know what else was taxing? All the coverage of Kate's topless foray. To summarize, the consensus is that duchesses should not be naked in public.
According to a media report, it would appear that New Brunswick MP, Dominic Leblanc, would like to limit the number of contenders for the Liberal Party leadership. Leadership races are supposed to rejuvenate a party, improve its fortunes and give it a bounce in the polls. You won't do that unless you debate new ideas, hopefully with a few new people at the table.
The latest Angus-Reid survey reflects an unexpected continued surge for the New Democrats across the country. From British Columbia and Newfoundland, where the party has never elected an NDP government, it is on the verge of electing itself for the very first time. This is a very surprising reality for Canadians as the NDP is becoming more mute on important issues and concentrates all power within its leader while neglecting the voices of its large caucus.
Friday morning brought news that the Harper administration had officially unrecognized the Islamic Republic of Iran. So rest easy. Or panic. Harper has either made one of the worst diplomatic blunders of our time or given us a head start in fleeing the terrors of World War III. It all depends on what source you consider more credible on issues of national security -- Al Jazeera or Sun TV.
Any Prime Minister in his sixth year in office and nine years as party leader has to start looking at his legacy. What will he be leaving Canada with when down the road he decides to leave? Up until this point it was his performance on the economic front that was the strongest item, now how he performs and whether or not he can keep Canada together will also be part of his legacy.
The advent of a PQ government in Quebec is both a challenge and an opportunity for Canada. This is a time for renewed national leadership that reaches out to Canadians to offers an overarching vision for Canada in the 21st century -- one where a strong federal government works with the provinces. I look forward to working with Quebecers and all Canadians to build a 21st century Canada -- one Canada, for all Canadians.
With Jean Charest's resignation as leader of the Quebec Liberal Party, any arrangement between the Liberals and François Legault's CAQ to form a government now appears highly unlikely. That means that the PQ is set to govern Quebec at least for the next several months. Paradoxically, the PQ's minority win gives Stephen Harper a small window to advance a new vision for Canadian federalism and therefore unite a polarized Confederation along the lines of a common direction.
Polling is a long haul game. Jitters of points inside margins of errors don't showcase who has different levels of support or who is the newest front runner in the media past time of political horse races.
The late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has been described as both a dictator and a progressive leader. But one cannot measure Ethiopia by Canadian or American standards. The fact is that most western civilizations did not start out as unified nation we see today and the fact is that democracy is a process.
This month I visited the northernmost region in my riding, Nunavik, and met with people from all walks of life there. Trips like those give you a real reality check that some politicians go out of their way to avoid. Last week the Prime Minister had a chance to begin listening to the people of the North, but instead he stayed inside his bubble. Clearly, this is work that Conservatives cannot properly do.
Earlier today, B.C.'s young Finance Minister and Deputy Premier, Kevin Falcon, resigned both positions effective immediately. In recent weeks, many MLAs have announed their resignations. The fact is that Christy Clark's leadership style and lack of clarity has made her irrelevant and incompetent at best.