Zach Paikin is a grassroots Liberal activist and a Canadian political commentator. He was a candidate for National Policy Chair of the Liberal Party of Canada at the party's 2012 biennial convention. Paikin is a columnist for Canada's iPolitics and contributes research on international affairs to several Washington-based think tanks and institutes. He has earned a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University and is currently pursuing a Masters in Global Affairs at the University of Toronto's Munk School.
Let's get right to the point. As the third major eruption of violence between Hamas and Israel since 2008 drags on, I have so far identified three unconventional questions intended for dwelling upon by those who, like me, consider themselves to be friends of Israel in Canada.
Last week, Justin Trudeau broke a key promise to hold open nominations in every riding by blocking the candidacy of Christine Innes in downtown Toronto. Therefore, after spending the weekend consulting with friends and family, I am taking what I believe to be a principled decision by withdrawing my candidacy for the Liberal nomination in Hamilton West--Ancaster--Dundas as a sign of protest.
03/17/2014 03:33 EDT
As a prospective MP, I believe that it is my responsibility to share the conclusions I've reached and the questions I still have concerning the current crisis in Crimea. I personally am of Ukrainian, Russian and Polish stock. My job is to put that aside as much as I can and deliver an intellectually honest account that will help enhance Canadian public policy. So here's what I've come up with so far.
03/05/2014 12:33 EST
The only way to earn the backing of Canada's eastern provinces for Senate reform would be to rip open Canada's fundamental law once more, putting everything back on the table and possibly plunging the country into yet another national unity crisis. This could set Canada back by years, if not decades.
02/06/2014 09:38 EST
Critics of the Harper government's foreign policy have had nearly eight years now to develop a compelling alternative. Generally speaking, they have failed. Our country's foreign policy dialogue has become overwhelmingly polarized between two poles, each of which has a gaping flaw in its very approach to international affairs.
01/24/2014 12:32 EST
Montreal and Vancouver have already received major stadium renovations. Hamilton, Winnipeg and Ottawa are all getting or have already opened beautiful, brand new ones. Let's protect our heritage, build for the future and get the ball rolling for Toronto. I guarantee that ball will produce an Argo bounce.
07/24/2013 05:18 EDT
A somewhat-scathing recent blog post surrounding the selection of Adam Giambrone to be the NDP candidate in the upcoming by-election in Scarborough-Guildwood has garnered some attention on social media. Perhaps a counterpoint is in order.
07/10/2013 12:11 EDT
Canada as long been a diplomatic player -- albeit a small one -- in the Middle East. In helping maintain a stable geopolitical order, Canada can become a stronger economic player in this region.
04/05/2013 12:09 EDT
It's time to put an end to the use of the following phrases and terms: "anti-Israel," "pro-Israel," and "to support Israel." Israel is a state. No one ever accuses a head of government of being too "pro-France" or "anti-Spain." Using simplistic adjectives to describe our prime minister isn't conducive to an intelligent conversation about international relations.
02/02/2013 10:58 EST
Despite much fanfare over PSY's halftime performance and the fact that Rogers Communications -- who brought the team to Toronto -- had an entire year to market a single NFL game, the Buffalo Bills drew a crowd this past Sunday at SkyDome of just 40,770. Toronto does have NFL fans. But at the end of the day, Canadians (including southern Ontarians) prefer our game to the one played south of the border.
12/19/2012 08:18 EST
What I find particularly interesting about the Canadian Football League -- our league -- is that it often reflects Canada's political, economic and ideational condition. As Canada completes its celebration of the 100th Grey Cup, it is a particularly timely moment to examine "Canada-Toronto relations."
11/28/2012 05:47 EST
<img alt="2012-11-05-electionbannerreal.jpg" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2012-11-05-electionbannerreal.jpg" width="300" height="70" /> Thanks to Barack Obama's re-election tonight, Canadian political leaders of any stripe have the geopolitical wiggle-room to prepare Canada's economy for the coming decades.
11/06/2012 11:42 EST
Largely since the Liberal Party's electoral defeat last year, the Grits have taken up the mantra of being the party of "evidence-based policy." Even if this narrative is true, Liberals need to remove it from their refrain. Three particular reasons come to mind as to why they should do so, including one quality that already led to the party's demise -- arrogance.
10/31/2012 08:01 EDT
During the debate, without thinking, I tweeted that Romney had just been "raped" by Obama. Realizing my mistake, I deleted the tweet seconds later and issued an apology later in the debate. It may have taken an idiotic mistake on my part, but I now appreciate more than before the importance of language in advancing our values. It is not enough to pay tribute to certain laudable rights-related causes every once in a while. We must be serious about the issues in question in every aspect of our lives. We could collectively start by choosing our language more carefully and opposing the use of certain inappropriate words whose meanings have unfortunately become watered down over the years. I know that's where I'll begin.
10/23/2012 12:18 EDT
A man who did the right thing, not the easy thing. That's how I'll remember Dalton McGuinty's time in office. It is no secret that the province of Ontario is cash-straddled. Every province will be short on revenue in the coming decades as the cost of health care, in particular, increases. Yet Dalton McGuinty understood one of the key tenets of governance -- short-term pain for long-term gain. Yet it was not merely pragmatic decisions that characterized Premier McGuinty's tenure. Liberal values also defined his government, even after it was reduced to minority status. McGuinty said it himself the night he was elected to a third term as premier: Liberalism is still alive in Canada.
10/16/2012 12:14 EDT
Liberals made a pledge to focus on rebuilding the party from the ground up. It is essential, now that the Grit leadership race is getting underway, that Liberals honour this promise. Liberals should select their next leader keeping in mind the following difficult but unavoidable truth: The Liberal Party of Canada will not win the 2015 federal election. The worst thing the Grits could do right now is to rally en masse around any one candidate for leader early in the race and not give this candidate a chance to prove his or her worth. Better to have Grits unite around a common vision as a result of debate than to unite around a personality hoping for a Hail Mary.
10/03/2012 08:15 EDT
Somehow, the media have already decided that the race for the Liberal Party of Canada's leadership is over before it has even started, with Justin Trudeau the clear frontrunner. The one issue most often cited by the media as being Trudeau's decisive advantage is his army of Twitter followers. How Twitter followers necessarily translate into votes on convention day has yet to be explained. Let there be no mistake: Important elements within the media are attempting to create reality rather than report it. Whether this race is up for grabs or not should be dependent upon the views of Liberals, not the media.
09/28/2012 12:03 EDT
With Jean Charest's resignation as leader of the Quebec Liberal Party, any arrangement between the Liberals and François Legault's CAQ to form a government now appears highly unlikely. That means that the PQ is set to govern Quebec at least for the next several months. Paradoxically, the PQ's minority win gives Stephen Harper a small window to advance a new vision for Canadian federalism and therefore unite a polarized Confederation along the lines of a common direction.
09/06/2012 08:59 EDT
The Liberal Party of Canada is the only party on the federal spectrum that can unequivocally embrace national unity, Quebec nationalism and social progressiveness at the same time. Referendum or no referendum, the LPC needs strong, committed federalists advancing a clear vision for a united Canada <em>now</em> if it wants to successfully embark on its rebuilding voyage.
08/16/2012 11:59 EDT
<img alt="2012-06-26-canadaflag.png" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2012-06-26-canadaflag.png" width="300" height="55" />I love the very philosophy that guides our society: peace, order and good government. Our constitution is wise to mention these principles as foundations of our way of life. Although the American motto of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" explicitly mentions freedom, it is in fact the Canadian incantation that provides for real liberty.
07/01/2012 08:08 EDT
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