We still have a foreign person, a queen living in a castle on another continent -- Victoria's great, great, granddaughter, in fact -- as Canada's head of state. And it's a pretty safe bet that Canada isn't on her mind a whole lot either, if at all. So why do we put up with it? Without question, Canada deserves to have its own head of state, chosen by us and from among our citizens. How have we made it this far without taking the final step to full nationhood? The reason lies with misinformation.
It will irk NDP partisans seeing their newly crowned Alberta premier mingling with those they traditionally oppose. But Notley's speech made it clear she plans to work closely with other provinces and the PM, in addition to First Nations, union and local government leaders to benefit her province.
Canada's Liberal Party leader, Justin Trudeau, has been riding high in the polls and many observers consider him well-positioned for the October general election. Yet Britain's election results contain some warning signs that Trudeau should heed. Voter behaviour in an actual election provides an insight into the complicated mood of a comparable electorate, and it would be a mistake not to observe and learn from Britain's example less than six months before Canadians go to the polls.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Canada for his first official visit today, drawing attention to the opportunity that India offers for the Canadian economy. Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative government have made global market access a priority, and India, a Commonwealth cousin, is at the top of the list.
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau's political slogan has been "building the team and the plan." So far, his "team" will be forced to be pro-choice and pro-marijuana, and his "plan" is legalizing marijuana, being against fighting terrorism, and placing a price on carbon. The Liberals' position of vacuous nothingness should be garnering far more attention than it has been -- the Press Gallery has only started to actually seriously question Trudeau -- but Trudeau has been ably abetted by a series of New Democrats' missteps.
The NDP offers a unique political agenda at the federal level, capable of building bridges between Canadians of different stripes. Tom Mulcair is an experienced politician who provides reassuring, strong, well-respected, and balanced leadership. He knows the issues like the back of his hand. Under his guidance, the NDP has become a formidable Official Opposition.
Mulcair made the biggest blunder in the exchange at Tuesday's Question Period. His frustration in his inability to get the government to respond is understandable, but as the rules currently dictate, the Speaker was enforcing the rules of Parliament. Mulcair's criticism of the Speaker in this scenario is thus akin to disrespecting the institution of Parliament itself.
If there's one thing that the Harper Conservatives are good at, it's message discipline. Sure, they have taken this to the extreme of muzzling everyone else they can, but you have to admit that they bring logic and consistency to all their communications. Less so Canada's opposition, which has some catching up to do.
Last week the Conservatives had great fun targeting NDP leader Thomas Mulcair for the way his party used House of Commons dollars to pay staff in a regional Montreal office. Outside of the joy politicians and their staff get out of beating up on another party's leader -- what was the point?
For the last couple of weeks we have seen the Conservatives targeting the Supreme Court and the Chief Justice and you have to yourself why? What is the objective? What do they hope to achieve?
Canadians' politics are local, not national. The lack of confidence in governments to take on the country's big issues means Canadians trust their governments with smaller, achievable goals. Affordable, doable policy solutions trump vague, grand promises, programs, or visions.
It was exactly one year ago today that Justin Trudeau was elected Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. A year later, the positive mood continues. Politics shouldn't be a sour competition among unhappy people about who can make voters angrier. It should, instead, be about who and what to vote FOR, and the greater country we can build together for our children. That attitude is Justin Trudeau's greatest advantage.
I'll leave it to others to sort through the constitutional implications of what Justin Trudeau did this week. But I want to comment on what Justin's move did for his "brand", because that's my expertise. Trudeau's naysayers attack him as vacuous. He's a nice guy -- but where's the beef? Well, Trudeau just showed substance and leadership.
There is no discussion of the fact that part of the reason Mandela was sent to prison was because he was responsible for bombing a power plant. Though we seem to like to imagine that Mandela brought change to South Africa with nothing but wise words and a kind, grandfatherly smile, the truth is very different. Mandela fought for his freedom, tooth and nail.
2013 is almost done. Canadians and their political leaders will hopefully find the time to enjoy their families. Maybe they will return in a better frame of mind in the New Year, but then again do we really think that is possible?
The Act to Amend the Canada Elections Act and the Parliament of Canada Act (Reforms), already dubbed "The Reform Act," was only introduced in the Hous...