Democratic House leader, Nancy Pelosi, recently tried to meet with Canadian New Democrat Party ("NDP") Leader Thomas Mulcair, in Washington, under th...
Right now in Canada, we need to get real about the math. That is of course, if you're one of the more than 60 per cent that voted for anyone other than Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party in the last federal election. The political math makes it virtually impossible for any of the opposition parties to beat Harper in the next election.
President Obama's liberal warrior call happens at the same time as the Liberal Party of Canada seeks not only a new leader, but also to reclaim its place as the alternative to the hard right government of Stephen Harper that has more in common with the hard right of the Republican Party than the Progressive Conservative Party of Diefenbaker, Joe Clark and Mulroney.
"Perception is reality" in politics. A lot of this is nothing more than smoke and mirrors and well scripted talk points which are repeated over and over in the hope that voters will change their perception of that party or that of their opponents. It has been an interesting year in politics and next year will provide us with an opportunity to see if voter's perceptions of our leaders and their parties will change.
Mulcair has made his party and himself invisible while moving his party so far to the right in the blind pursuit of power and it is becoming impossible to distinguish it from the Harper Conservatives. I bet Jack Layton would have been disappointed. For the late beloved leader, he would have settled for continuing to be the "Conscience of the House" rather than sell the soul of the party via a short cut to power.
There has been a flurry of cost figures for the F-35, ranging from the government's unwavering figure of $9 billion all the way to $45.8 billion dollars. First the government wants this plane, then they didn't, and now they do again. Canadians are being played for suckers in this little game of procurement bingo that the Harper Cabinet is playing.
Everyone is agog over the supposedly big dust up in the House of Commons yesterday, where MP Peter Van Loan marched across the Commons floor to wag his finger at NDP leaders. There was no need to cross over to the NDP side as nothing would be accomplished by doing so. The Official Opposition thought they had caught the government on a technicality and wanted to force another vote which would have further delayed passage of Bill C-45. What is so exciting about that? Why was it necessary for the Conservative House Leader to cross the floor? It is perfectly legitimate for any opposition party to use the full arsenal of tactics available to them to delay or defeat government legislation.
Why do political handlers confuse contrarianism with "substance"? The Justin Trudeau campaign, keen to put to bed allegations of its candidate being a lightweight, just put out an opinion piece embracing the takeover of Nexen by China's state owned CNOOC. Unexpected, eh? It must therefore be substantive. Who knows, a real debate about Canada with real options beyond the current narrow bandwidth may open up and engage Canadians in politics again. Goodness knows that what's currently on offer isn't exactly inspiring.
In his new book Fight the Right, Warren Kinsella gets some big things correct while leaving some big things out. Yes, progressive politicians should take Kinsella's advice about authenticity, simplicity and speaking to the heart. Yes, we need a new progressive narrative as a counterweight to the one that is currently trashing our country and our planet. But, we shouldn't fool ourselves into thinking that we don't have a lot of hard work to do
Anyone watching Question Period the last few days would be excused if they simply turned it off and walked away in disgust. Basically the kids in the chamber are back to their old games -- insults, evasive answers and slap downs. True it can get partisan blood going, but partisans are already committed to their own side's position. I doubt too many in the public are getting much out of the daily slug-fest. What ever happened to Michael Chong's attempt to reform Question Period? If this past week is an example, those reforms are needed more than ever.
One can certainly understand why Trudeau and his supporters might prefer a coronation to a true leadership contest. Leadership races can be brutal and very costly in time, effort and money. With a coronation Trudeau will have the added bonus of not having to present a lot of policy options Everyone likes to win, but Trudeau should welcome a tough leadership race and that is what his talk points should be saying. Should he win such a political challenge, then he will have put to rest the whispers that he is a policy light weight, or just a pretty face or just living on his father's name.
Can the Liberals survive as a third party? Liberals can no longer claim to be the natural governing party, nor to have the same ability to garner wealthy donors or those seeking connections. Liberals cannot coast by on "we win elections," "we're not Harper," or be the "everything to everyone" party. The Liberals face a tough political environment, with the NDP trying to crowd them out, and with their own return to power far from certain. A compelling message and clear ideals to attract support is key. Liberals cannot pine for a messiah.
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.
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.
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.