Deborah Coyne has written a new memoir detailing her romance with Pierre Trudeau that is igniting debate about how much Canadians
As the Ontario policy chair for the 1984 John Turner leadership campaign, I discovered how marginalized policy ideas were from the political process.Turner held his own during the first televised debate, but many believe that the knockout blow came in the second debate, when he told Mulroney that he had "no option" but to approve the patronage appointments Pierre had left him during the transition. Pointing a finger at Turner, Mulroney forcefully pounced. "You had an option, sir," Mulroney said. "You could have said, 'I'm not going to do it, this is wrong for Canada, and I'm not going to ask Canadians to pay the price'. . ." A clearly rattled Turner simply repeated, "I had no option."
Today I enter public life as a candidate for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada. We live in an online world, and it has unlocked a universe of opportunities. Unfortunately, we have a government that sees our online world as a threat. They think everybody who lives in this online world needs to be monitored. One of the cornerstones of my campaign will be a proposed Digital Bill of Rights for all Canadians. Someone has to step up to protect our rights from the excesses of governments.
Avid news junkies know there's really five other folks "running," but c'mon folks, this is the leadership of the Liberal Party you're running for, a job only the most eminently experienced children of dead prime ministers are qualified to fill. In reality, of course, Wednesday was a date like any other for a nation that's already been toiling under the weight of a Liberal leadership tournament ever since Bob Rae stepped down last June, or at latest since that crisp October evening when Justin Trudeau threw his shimmering locks into the ring.
I am not an MP, and I do not come from the Ottawa bubble, and I do not believe that Canadians think the job criteria for a politician is being a politician. I want to bring a fresh and new approach to politics, one that is welcoming, inclusive, and values each individual for their contribution. I have recently driven across the country, not flown over it as many politicians tend to do. I have stopped in smaller towns and cities and talked to folks, and actually listened to them. When you do that, you hear what it is that actually concerns Canadians, and it also gives me a chance to share my vision of Canada with them.
Canadians urgently need the Liberal Party to step up to the plate, and provide the bold national leadership so glaringly absent today. It's an ambitious vision, but I have never been one to back away from a challenge. I have seen first-hand the power Canadians can have when we come together for One Canada. Join me in building a better Canada.
My vision for Canada's future is one that appeals to our higher aspirations and hopes for the future, rather than to our fears, distrust, and resentment. In running for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada, I want to appeal to all those Canadians who are uncertain where they fit into Canadian politics, but want to talk about the kind of nation we are building, and what it is that makes us Canadian.
Deborah Coyne is running for the leadership of the (once) mighty Liberals. The media has been less than supportive, describing her as the illegitimate child of Pierre Trudeau. This is doing little to convince her opponents that her resume reads differently than that of a debutante. Would the same sentiment hold if the candidate was man?