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To attribute Justin Trudeau's ascendancy to a rock star phenomenon such as his father Pierre Trudeau experienced back in 1968 is to misread current Canadian politics. What happened, in fact, was less a cult of personality than a national plebiscite on the rule of the much-hated incumbent, Stephen Harper.
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Although the Conservatives find themselves preparing for a shift back into the opposition benches after nearly 10 years, the party didn't incur a loss great enough to warrant a rethinking of its approach to politics. The loss of seats was, in part, a response to Harper -- it was an anti-Harper vote. So, the loss of seats may not be as devastating a signal for the party's ideology or organization as it might first appear. There comes a time for the electorate when [leadership] turnover is necessary.
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The Alberta battleground riding of Edmonton-Mill Woods became one of only two ridings in the city and one of only four ridings in the province to go Liberal. For the first time in a decade, Edmonton-Mill Woods is not a Conservative domain. This is only one example of a larger trend across Canada.
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Attention is turning to what the Liberals plan to do when they formally assume office in just a couple weeks. Many Canadians will be watching very closely to see what the Liberals are planning on the reckless secret police bill introduced by the previous government.
Restoring the long form Census could be the defining characteristics of the new Liberal government. Unlike the Harper Conservatives, who governed by ideology and did not let data or facts dissuade them, the Liberals should embrace evidence-based planning and governance. It will be timely because in the world of big data analytics, turning our back on data, as the Conservatives did, has harmed Canada's competitiveness.
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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.
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.
"We put everything on the line. We gave everything we have to give and we have no regrets whatsoever,'' said Harper.
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Eleven weeks later, here we are.
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"This is a very, very basic difference and the choice between a Conservative government and a Liberal government."
Running for the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada doesn't grab Mike Taffarel a lot of votes.
"Voting Liberal will cost you."
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"I believe that the other three parties - which I call the 'Bloc Canada' - are basically the same on many, many issues."
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For more than two decades, Mark Jaccard has been penning "report cards" about Canada's environmental track record. The results haven't been pretty. His annual evaluations were harnessed in the mid-2000s by Stephen Harper as arguments for why the Conservatives deserved a shot at governing the country. Jaccard's latest report card, released on October 6, concludes the Conservative Party has since "implemented virtually no policies that would materially reduce emissions" despite making significant emissions pledges for 2020 and 2050. Jaccard concludes the absence of such actions shows "they must have had no intention" of dealing with climate change.
What is most telling is that even given the divisive and downright xenophobic campaign the Conservatives have run thus far, they are still within striking distance to form government. This carefully crafted U.S.-style Republican narrative has set Canada on an extremely dangerous course, and one that only Canadian voters can steer back to the right path. From "old stock Canadians" deserving of greater government benefits, to the ridiculous niqab debate, to the absurd hotline dedicated to reporting "culturally barbaric" practices, the Conservatives are pulling no punches in their quest to mobilize their voter base.
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"What family would invest their life savings in a home near a brothel, a marijuana shop or a drug injection site?"
Emma Sveistrup, 11, interviewed Calgary Centre's Liberal, NDP and Green candidates for her YouTube show, The Owl's Nest.
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The party is promising a series of budget surpluses, predicting a $1.7 billion surplus in 2016-17 and $1.4 billion the year after.
With Canada's federal election less than two weeks away, I felt it important to address a highly topical matter: the Conservatives' close relations with the controversial Jewish Defense League. In 2001, after it had engaged in a series of bombings, an assassination, and several other violent incidents, the JDL was labeled a "violent extremist Jewish organization" and a "right-wing terrorist group" by the FBI.
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"Fear is not a policy. It is not an election platform," Stephen Lewis, the former NDP leader, recently declared during a campaign speech. "Using fear to get power suggests a deep and abiding cynicism." It does. But it can also be an effective strategy. It has been for centuries. It distracts.
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The Conservative Party, for one, is taking shots at "lefties" on campuses and touting its ISIS airstrikes as a recruitment tactic.
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This will be the first generation of Canadians in our history to be worse off than their parents. That blunt fact is the new reality of our country, where seven per cent of workers are officially jobless (and much more if hidden unemployment is included) and youth unemployment stands at over 13 per cent. And that reality is a direct result of the policies and actions of this Conservative government and the Mulroney government that came before it. Friday's headlines point to the 26,000 auto parts jobs at risk as Harper drives ahead to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal.
Data from UNHCR shows that only about one per cent of the world's displaced population resides in Canada. In fact, Canada has yet to meet its own targets for refugee acceptance when it comes to the current crisis, which originates primarily out of Syria and Iraq. Canadians, especially Muslim Canadians, interested in changing this status quo now have a lot more incentive to show up on October 19 to vote and do their part in the political process.
Rudyard Griffiths says it's time for leaders to explain their rationale for how Canada can navigate all the world's turmoil and make a concrete-- and practical-- contribution.
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The Tories are framing the measure as a way to ensure Canada is able to confront international security threats around the world.
When we cast our ballot, most of us believe that we are voting for a prime minister. Indirectly, we are. But we actually vote for an individual who, if elected, sits in the House of Commons as the representative of one of 338 federal constituencies in Canada. -- Despite our creeping cynicism and dismissiveness of our MPs, few jobs are as important, and the people whose names are actually on the ballot matter a lot. Yet, we rarely take time to assess whether they should be entrusted with the duties of a lawmaker. Often, our only focus is on the party leader, which comes at the expense of getting to know the person we are actually going to be voting for.
Canada does not follow the U.S. in spending astronomical amounts of funds to develop and purchase weapons and use them in wars. Our health care expense is way lower than that of the U.S. The U.S. spends about 17 per cent of its GDP on health care, whereas the Canada medical share is around 11 per cent. So where has the Canadian government's money gone?
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The ads depict Harper as someone reliable, while making Thomas Mulcair look like a risky choice, and painting Justin Trudeau as too inexperienced.
The primary objective of Stephen Harper's absurdly-named Fair Elections Act is to prevent hundreds of thousands of Canadians from voting for the NDP, Liberals, Greens, etc. They know that a large number of people -- students, marginalized people and First Nations -- will have a hard time voting. There needs to be close co-operation among groups to make sure that as many people as possible -- particularly people in some 70 ridings where the Conservatives are vulnerable -- have the identification they need to vote.
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The endowment fund would be based on a similar program already in place for the arts.
TORONTO — An email being circulated among former Canadian soldiers suggests federal Conservatives are looking for a few happy, satisfied veterans to appear in television ads backing the prime minister...
Speculation about the former Toronto city councillor's return to politics has hit a fever pitch.