The Conservative government has made the promotion and protection of human rights an integral part of Canadian foreign policy. Canadians expect their government to be a leader in the human rights field by reflecting and promoting Canadian values on the international stage. Venezuela should be no different.
After news that Harper intervened in Mike Duffy's expense scandal, I watched CBC's "The National" with Peter Mansbridge. Mansbridge was positively gleeful as he reported how Duffy had implicated Harper. Finally Mansbridge and the CBC had Harper, the bane of CBC's existence, on the proverbial ropes. But if you look at the facts objectively, rather than through a visceral anti-Harper prism, it becomes clear that Harper is blameless. I predict the prime minister will ride out this Ottawa-centric media blip. And emerge stronger and more politically powerful than ever.
What do you do when your opponent has the potential to challenge you in some hard-won ridings, possibly putting your majority at risk? That's the question Prime Minister Harper and his advisers are grappling with. Like it or not, the emergence of Justin Trudeau and his staying power has changed the political dynamics in Ottawa.
The outlines of the Justin Trudeau Liberal election strategy are now appearing. Purposeful or not (and I think it is), he is getting Canadians to first look, then think, and finally accept him and, by extension, his party as the natural voting alternative to Mr. Harper. Voters do not all wait till election day to make up their minds.
Here Warren Kinsella's oft-repeated maxim rings true. In Kinsella's latest book he states that what is true of car crashes is true of political life. When polled, voters will insist they hate negative ads. But when they thinking no one is looking they will slow down, take a look, and remember what they see.
In his most recent video where he thanks donors for their money, the Liberal leader Justin Trudeau looks like a college sophomore playing hacky sack in the quad. What Trudeau says in the video is of little import -- as so often with the aspiring prime minister -- but it's how he presents everything that makes this ad -- initially (and easily) thought to be a joke -- so downright clever.
Political attack ads are designed to make you think. Their aim is to get you to look at a person or an issue in a different light, one different from what the media or the party's political spin machine wants you to look at. Simply put, they work. While it seems everyone complains about them, they still watch them.
Justin Trudeau is about to head into the national Liberal leadership vote heavily ahead of the competition, with little changing since he first announced his running back in the fall. Below are several of the most often used reasons, and perhaps some perspective on addressing those reasons and hopefully alleviating some of the hesitation in supporting another Trudeau to right the ship and lead the new Liberals in the 2015 election.
My congratulations to Justin Trudeau. My condolences to the Liberal Party of Canada. With Marc Garneau's recent withdrawal from the race for the party leadership, the "battle" is all but won. Marc Garneau offered a glimmer of hope for the optimists amongst us who wished to see a Liberal who might give the Conservatives a run for their money in 2015.
Justin Trudeau is a leadership hopeful who can't figure out what he wants to stand for. Gun registry? Yes and No. Support Quebec separatists? Yes and No. Albertans good people? Yes and No. Doesn't the Liberal Party deserve better? Shouldn't the race be more than baton-twirling and swimsuit competitions?
If voters sit down and scrutinize the political and economic policy proposals put forth by each party in 2012, it becomes apparent that it is nearly impossible to tell where one party stops and another begins. So unless you sit slightly to the right -- in which case every party embodies your politics -- the next time a canvasser, pollster, government official, or public figure asks, "which political party do you support?" consider responding "none of them." Can you really be considered apathetic?
How can we create a workplace environment that encourages public servants to do the best job possible, while celebrating the very finest among them? Make government jobs opwn to everyone -- not just those already on the public sector payroll. And put an end to compulsory union membership and mandatory dues.