The issue of age recently exploded in the Ugandan media when a 19-year-old woman won a by-election in Usuk, Uganda. How could someone so young, so inexperienced, adequately represent her constituents? In Uganda, as in Canada, the youth are the ones bearing the brunt of the global economic crisis, and yet are facing constant criticism for being entitled for wanting a good education and decent jobs. They have a right to be represented and heard.
You probably didn't hear about the Rally for Clean Water that took place in Washington this weekend. A bunch of nice people gathering on Capitol Hill to offer informed, impassioned views on environmental policy doesn't make for front page news in Canada. You should know about the rally, though -- it's a rally for you and for me and for people who need clean water to survive. Which is, basically, everybody.
Parliament resumes this week. MPs have returned from their 308 ridings rested, connected with their constituents and ready for another round of political gamesmanship. We here at Samara thought it was a good time to revisit some of the ideas for Parliamentary reform put forward by those who've survived politics on the front lines: the Members of Parliament themselves.
On the 22nd of September Liberals from across downtown Calgary will vote from 9:00 am and 5:00 pm at the Kahanoff Conference Centre, and vote for one of three (or a rumored four, with the final one being a possible star candidate) candidates vying for the chance to contest the upcoming byelection under the Liberal banner. Three candidates are raring up to challenge the Liberal nomination in Calgary Centre.
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.
When a celebrity is promoted as a national leader after gaining celebrity status elsewhere, the gap between expectation and performance is accentuated. (Take Clint Eastwood, for example.) The take-away lesson from this is that celebrities need to do a lengthy form of apprenticeship as they make the transition from celebrity to politician.
The Republican convention's most telling moments happened every time the camera scanned the delegates in Tampa, Florida. Yes, it was a 2012 political convention but it still looked predominantly white from my vantage point. Republicans could take a paint-by-number lesson from Canada's political play book -- primarily from one Preston Manning.
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.
Did you know that in politics you can actually attack somebody for doing good and harmless stuff! How is this possible, you ask? Let me give you three recent examples of ways in which Prime Minister Stephen Harper has come under assault for doing things any rational person would see as completely innocuous.
We all know that Quebec is sensitive on language issues. But Pauline Marois' plan to require anyone running for public office to be proficient in French should outrage everyone who believes in democracy. It's fine to expect anyone applying for a government job in Quebec to be competent in the official language of the province. But to restrict running for elected office to only French-speakers is arrogant, dictatorial and unnecessary.
If you've been following the commentariat's coverage of the Quebec election lately, well, I'm sorry to hear that. Truth is, there's basically only one way to analyze any Canadian election, be it federal, provincial, or Albertan, and it simply entails following the script of the world's least compelling four-act operetta.
Many Canadian commenters are drawing comparisons between Republican heartthrob Paul Ryan and Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Some parallels do exist. Both are men of strong convictions; both gained prominence at relatively young ages. More important than the similarities, however, are the differences.
The new conventional wisdom that Stephen Harper and Thomas Mulcair are jockeying for "the centre" is laughable. The only objective is political power, nothing more. The Liberal Party of Canada is the country's one and only authentic centrist party. Liberals have never strayed far from the sensible and vital centre in economic, social, or foreign policy.
The question we hear most frequently from people ready to make a difference is: "Where do I begin?" In our contributions to Impact, we'll tackle some of these questions, using our experience working with communities in Canada and all regions of the world, and in the context of news that's happening right now. This new online community has the potential to bring us together and start making the news instead of just reading it.
The federal Conservatives responded to the influence-peddling charges that former Prime Minister Harper adviser Bruce Carson is facing by issuing a statement saying those who don't follow the rules face the consequences. This is a deeply hypocritical statement from the Conservatives whose leader has done nothing to penalize dozens of Conservative Cabinet ministers and MPs who violated federal good government rules.
During Ramadan, a time for focus and introspection, Michelle Bachmann and her posse are testing me. Big time. She believes that members of the Muslim Brotherhood have infiltrated the U.S. government -- and she's calling them out in public. In today's ballooning and increasingly influential social media landscape, sure sticks and stones can break bones, but a correctly phrased Google search can be even more devastating.
Bill Maher wrote to interim Liberal leader Bob Rae expecting the Liberals to do better than the Conservatives in their blind support of Canada's commercial seal hunt. Sadly, the response was typical of what's usually seen from politicians: excuses and sad attempts to deflect from the issues at hand.