I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Liberal Party of Canada for accrediting me to cover their biennial convention in Montreal. As both a delegate and a blogger, I enjoyed myself immensely at the convention.
|Now that’s my kind of Leader!|
Much ado was made this week about Liberal Party leader and (perhaps) Prime-Minister-in-waiting Justin Trudeau’s gaffe of a failed Olympic hockey joke in reference to the ongoing civil unrest in Ukraine. Of course other parties jumped all over it, turning an insensitive remark into major fodder for domestic attack politics, completely divorced from any actual concern for the Ukrainian plight which continues unnoticed among our own recriminations.
A few shots from last weekend’s Liberal Party of Canada biennial convention in Montreal.
2014 Liberal Biennial, a set on Flickr.
. . . → Read More: A BCer in Toronto: 2014 Liberal biennial photo album
John Baglow was at the 2014 Liberal Policy Convention all weekend so that you don’t have to be. Here is his second communique from the floor. Read parts one, two and three of the series.
It’s two days after #Lib2014 came to a…
[View the story "#SelfiesWithBroadhurst -- The definitive retrospective from #lib14" on Storify]
Le parti, c’est lui. How total is Justin Trudeau’s control of the Liberal party after this convention? So total that, the leader having brutally kicked the party’s senators out of caucus, suddenly, unilaterally and in explicit contravention of the party’s […]
Andrew Leslie, former Canadian forces commander in Afghanistan, now adviser to Liberal Party chief Justin Trudeau, has been busy recently defending his $72,000 moving expense, particularly from attack by the Conservatives. Apparently the expense was wi…
MONTREAL — Going into this convention, the grand strategic objective of the Liberal party, it was commonly supposed, was to peel off disaffected centre-right voters from the governing Conservatives. Populist rhetoric to the contrary, the Liberals would reassure these voters […]
MONTREAL — Despite being unceremoniously booted from the Liberal caucus last month and suggestions the Conservatives would try to use their presence as ammunition in the coming election, a handful of senators have turned up at this week’s Liberal convention. […]
I have begun posting some photos to the Progressive Bloggers site and more will be coming through the weekend. They’ll stream automatically as they get added.
I have arrived in Montreal and have checked into my hotel. I’m staying kitty corner from the Montreal Convention Centre (Palais des congrès de Montréal) and I’m looking forward to getting coverage underway.
If you’re reading the blog, and you’re at the convention, stop by the bloggers area in the Main Hall (517).
Remember, I’ll be tweeting (@progright) and you can see what other things are going on my Storified page.
In my view, the single most important policy resolution at this week’s convention in Montreal is the prioritized number 31, which should significantly reduce our democratic deficits. That resolutionreads: 31. Priority Resolution: Restoring Trust in Canada’s Democracy* BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Liberal Party pursue political reforms which promote: Open, democratic nominations of candidates; Fewer “whipped” votes in Parliament and more “free” votes requiring individual MPs to assume full responsibility for their decisions; Stronger Parliamentary control over public finances, including an annual deadline for the budget; accounting consistency among the Estimates and the Public Accounts; more clarity in voting (Read more…)
31. Priority Resolution: Restoring Trust in Canada’s Democracy*BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Liberal Party pursue political reforms which promote:
- Open, democratic nominations of candidates;
- Fewer “whipped” votes in Parliament and more “free” votes requiring individual MPs to assume full responsibility for their decisions;
- Stronger Parliamentary control over public finances, including an annual deadline for the budget; accounting consistency among the Estimates and the Public Accounts; more clarity in voting on Estimates; a costing analysis for each government Bill; and a requirement that government borrowing plans must get Parliament’s pre-approval;
- A truly independent, properly resourced Parliamentary Budget Officer;
- A more effective Access-to-Information regime with stronger safeguards against political interference;
- An impartial system to identify and eliminate the waste of tax-dollars on partisan advertising;
- Careful limitations on secret Committee proceedings, Omnibus Bills and Prorogation to avoid their misuse for the short-term partisan convenience of the government;
- Adequate funding, investigative powers and enforcement authority to ensure Elections Canada can root out electoral fraud;
- Pro-active disclosure of parliamentarians’ expenses, a more transparent Board of Internal Economy and better audit rules;
- A truly independent Senate not based upon partisanship or patronage;AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT immediately after the next election, an all-Party process be instituted, involving expert assistance and citizen participation, to report to Parliament within 12 months with recommendations for electoral reforms including, without limitation, a preferential ballot and/or a form of proportional representation, to represent Canadians more fairly and serve Canada better.Liberal Caucus(*) The democratic reform agenda described in this resolution represents a compilation of ideas developed by the Leader and the Caucus over the past year. Canadians want their Members of Parliament to be effective voices for their communities in Ottawa, and not merely mouthpieces in their communities for an all-too-powerful Prime Minister. Our goal must be greater transparency, accountability and participation in Canada’s political system, and fewer abuses which undermine the confidence of citizens and voters in the quality of their democracy.
The video here was released today by the Liberal Party of Canada. It’s just over 7 minutes an in it, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau uses charts and figures to present his diagnosis of what’s wrong with Canada’s economy. Laval University economist Stephen Gordon watched it and had these thoughts: Is the LPC is going to […]
There are a great number of prioritized policies up for debate at the 2014 Liberal Biennial Convention in Montreal. To go into each one, would need a month’s worth of blog posts.
Readers of my blog will know that I have long advocated against the development of a new international airport in the City of Pickering. Unfortunately, the policy proposal I authored to Protect the Pickering Lands and subsequently prioritized by Central Region did not make it to the biennial.
The proposal to build an airport is irresponsible. In the absence of a business case, it represents a dangerously reckless (Read more…)
|Real Change Wynne?|
After writing off the byelections as “skirmishes” that aren’t indicative of how things will go in a general election, Wynne vowed that the Liberals will do better whenever the campaign is held.“I know people are looking for change in this province,” she said. “Well I’m the change. My plan is the change. My team is the change, and that’s the change we’re going to take into the next election.”
|Real change Horwath?|
Horwath says the byelection results sent a clear message that people are not happy with the Liberals, but adds she is not focused on a possible election.“Families are worried about jobs, the cost of daily life and their health care system.” Horwath said. “They hear the same old ideas coming from the same old parties and they know it’s time for a change.”
“This evening’s results prove that the people of this province want change,” Hudak said in Thornhill. “They sent the McGuinty-Wynne Liberals a clear message (that) they want leadership that will take decisive action, implement a plan to balance the budget and create jobs.”
OTTAWA — Measures aimed at closing the citizenship loophole for so-called lost Canadians came up short, critics said Friday — a day after the government introduced a sweeping bill overhauling the Citizenship Act. Bill C-24, the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, […]
From February 20-23, federal Liberals will gather in Montreal, and one of their tasks will be to elect a new national executive. In the coming days, I’ll be publishing interviews with some of the candidates seeking election to the party’s national board. Maryanne Kampouris won a contested election at the 2012 Liberal Party of Canada biennial convention in Ottawa as national policy chair and, with no one stepping forward to contest the position, she’ll begin a second term later this month in February. Kampouris, who calls a farm between Ottawa and Montreal home, is a former LPC(Ontario) policy chair and (Read more…)
From February 20-23, federal Liberals will gather in Montreal, and one of their tasks will be to elect a new national executive. In the coming days, I’ll be publishing interviews with some of the candidates seeking election to the party’s national board. With Matthew Certosimo deciding to not seek election as Liberal Party of Canada national membership secretary, two candidates have stepped forward to contest the position – Leanne Bourassa from Quebec and Arif Khan from Alberta. While Certosimo’s term was focused on a leadership election and the creation of the supporter category, either Bourassa or Khan will face new (Read more…)
Pleased to announce that I’ve been accredited as a blogger to cover the 2014 Liberal Biennial Convention in Montreal. This will be my fourth time covering a political convention and as always, I look forward to it. You can find my coverage here and on Twitter.
The continued support for bloggers and citizen-driven media by the Liberal Party of Canada continues to be one of their strengths. I’m glad I can contribute.
I will be arriving in Montreal on the Wednesday afternoon before the convention. Look for my preamble post in the next week.
As you’ve seen on here if you follow me, the Liberal Party’s Biennial Convention is coming up this month. As you also know, I’ll be there as an accredited blogger to cover the policy resolutions passed, and the elections, and so forth. Since that has been known, I’ve had some Liberals email me from Liberal-land who say not everything is all roses with the record haul of money we brought in last quarter.
One specific quote, which I asked if I could do verbatim (provided I keep the person anonymous) was this, where the person said and asserted the following:
From February 20-23, federal Liberals will gather in Montreal, and one of their tasks will be to elect a new national executive. In the coming days, I’ll be publishing interviews with some of the candidates seeking election to the party’s national board. Chris MacInnes won a contested election at the 2012 Liberal Party of Canada biennial convention in Ottawa as vice-president-English and, with no one running against him this time around, has been acclaimed to a second term, which will begin at the Montreal biennial later this month. MacInnes, who calls Halifax home, brings some East Coast flavour to the (Read more…)
Justin Trudeau made the commitment yesterday.
A few thoughts here on today’s announcement by Justin Trudeau that Liberal Senators will no longer be part of the Liberal caucus and are now to sit independently.
One of Trudeau’s lines that stood out for me was this one: “At our best, Liberals are relentless reformers.” Recently, on the death of Jim Coutts, an opinion piece he wrote in 2004 was circulated, and in it, we found this:
“The current policy markers of the Liberal party have evolved over time and are fairly familiar to many Canadians. The most crucial Liberal markers are these:
- Reform, which is so central to Liberal identity that it was the party’s name up to and during the leadership of George Brown. The marker has stood for political reform, ranging from the introduc- tion of responsible government under Baldwin and Lafontaine, to battling ruling-class power and patronage abuse at the time of Brown, Mackenzie and Blake, to entrenching a constitutional Charter of Rights under Trudeau. Since the 1920s, the Liberal reform marker has most importantly sig- nified social reform, or the cre- ation and improvement of a modern welfare state.”
Today we saw a big bout of reform in the form of a Senate that would be independent, in Trudeau’s words:
That is why I have come to believe that the Senate must be non-partisan. Composed merely of thoughtful individuals representing the varied values, perspectives and identities of this great country. Independent from any particular political brand.
Trudeau’s reform will likely come off as reasonable to many Canadians. It is not the radical abolitionist approach of the NDP which would require constitutional reform. It is not the Conservative supposed pro-reform approach that has gone nowhere for their seven years in power and that would also likely require constitutional reform.
Trudeau’s reform looks at the Senate, and proposes an approach that will not tear it down, but make fair use of a second chamber. In the Westminster system, it would be anomalous not to have a second chamber. The direction suggested, a more merit-based approach is a good one that speaks to the times. This reform, as Trudeau is suggesting, could be infused with principles of merit, competency, and transparency, to bolster the credibility of the Liberal proposals. And this Liberal would suggest ensuring that the appointment process be free from an elite-based orientation.
To be sure, there will be wrinkles to iron out. Senator Campbell spoke to some of these today: He also questioned how the Senate will function in terms of their role in scrutinizing government legislation. He questioned, for instance, who will sit on committees and who will be named critics of which bills.
Ensuring that the elected representatives’ will is carried out and without blockage, is another consideration to be grappled with. And perhaps with that consideration in mind, note Trudeau’s last line in his remarks today:
We want to build public institutions that Canadians can trust, and that serve Canadians. This requires real, positive change. These proposals are the next step in our Open Parliament plan to do just that.
They won’t be the last.
This may be a nod to the democratic reform resolution that the federal Liberal MP caucus has proposed as one of its priority resolutions to be voted upon at the upcoming February biennial policy convention in Montreal, less than a month away now. That resolution, Bolstering Canada’s Democracy, contains this operative proposal:
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT immediately after the next election, the Liberal Party of Canada institute an all-Party process, involving expert assistance and citizen participation, to report to Parliament within 12 months with analysis and recommendations for an electoral system including, without limitation, a preferential ballot and/or a form of proportional representation, to represent all Canadians more fairly and to allow Parliament to serve Canada better.
Senate reform without reform of our House of Commons would be incongruent. The above proposed resolution would be the beginning of addressing the imbalance that would result if the Senate were reformed without a similar effort being made in respect of the House of Commons. As bad as some of the practices and appointments connected to the Senate have been, the pressing need for reform lies in the House of Commons. Electoral reform to change the system in which we operate is one route. Michael Chong’s reform which accepts the system yet changes the rules is another. The good news is that reform in a big way is on the agenda for Canada.
Liberals are re-embracing reform as a mantle. All in all, a positive development today.
A few thoughts here on today’s announcement by Justin Trudeau that Liberal Senators will no longer be part of the Liberal caucus and are now to sit independently.
One of Trudeau’s lines that stood out for me was this one: “At our best, Liberals are relentless reformers.” Recently, on the death of Jim Coutts, an opinion piece he wrote in 2004 was circulated, and in it, we found this: “The current policy markers of the Liberal party have evolved over time and are fairly familiar to many Canadians. The most crucial Liberal markers are these: Reform, which is so (Read more…)
OTTAWA – The federal access-to-information watchdog, already investigating complaints that the government’s central bureaucracy is withholding documents about the Senate scandal, is now being asked to widen its probe — again. The request from the Liberals comes after months of […]
With MPs back in the House Monday, here is a thumbnail guide to what we can expect from the Conservatives, Liberals and New Democrats in the days and weeks ahead. Top-line hint: steady as she goes. Stephen Harper’s call to […]
It was an ironic twist of fate that delegates to the Liberal Party of Canada’s 2012 biennial in Ottawa would vote to create a supporter system and elect a decided supporter system skeptic – Matthew Certosimo – as national membership secretary, with the task of creating and overseeing the system in time for the 2013 leadership race. Two years later, with over 300,000 members and supporters having been recruited by the end of the leadership race, Certosimo is leaving office a confirmed supporter convert. Liberal delegates to February’s biennial convention in Montreal will elect his successor, and I (Read more…)
On January 19, I endorsed Brian Rice for Liberal Party president. I’m not a Member of Parliament, a Senator, a candidate, or party official … I’m just a regular guy. A regular guy who wants a Liberal government. To that end, I donate, I volunteer, I attend conventions, I propose policy and I’ve sat on a riding executive.
It’s clearly evident that Brian has a deep and nearly unbridled passion for building and strengthening the Liberal Party. He has crisscrossed this country helping to build local associations and to build a best practices for riding association success.
An often overlooked segment (Read more…)
When Mike Crawley won the presidency of the Liberal Party of Canada in January 2012, defeating Sheila Copps, Alexandra Mendes and Ron Hartling at the party’s biennial convention in Ottawa, the party faced a number of challenges: declining public support, a weary volunteer base and a worrying fundraising gap. Add to that running a leadership race, and creating a supporter system at the direction of the delegates as part of that leadership process. Two years later, as Liberals prepare to elect Crawley’s successor in February at the next biennial convention in Montreal, it’s a very different scenario. The party (Read more…)
I have inquired as to whether the party will be accrediting bloggers to the 2014 Ontario Liberal AGM on March 21-23. If I hear anything, dear readers, I’ll let you know and update this post accordingly.
I will be attending the AGM as a delegate and will be tweeting / blogging regardless.
A riding whatsit?
Interestingly, I had a conversation with someone about what a riding president does exactly. Essentially, the riding association president is the conduit between the party and the riding. The president acts on behalf of the party in the riding, and on behalf of the riding members to the party.
The riding association is on the ground before, during, and after an election – keeping the party top of mind of residents. The work of the riding association is especially important when the riding is unheld – we don’t have the luxury of sharing the spotlight with (Read more…)
OTTAWA – The most interesting story I covered this year was Justin Trudeau’s arrival as Liberal leader. I had several opportunities over 2013 to sit down and interview Trudeau, as well as see him in action both before and after […]
Those affected don’t vote Conservative, says Angus Reid survey
O.K. folks, enough is enough. This whole thing with Rob Ford, and the Three Tenors Senators, is primarily a manufactured issue by the C.B.C. and the Toronto Star, that should never have hit the airways in the first place. As far as Duffy and Whalen are concerned, (we will leave the Indian out of this […]
Thursday, December 5, 2013
In his effort to present himself as the appropriate leader for the post-Harper era, Liberal leader Justin Trud…
News roundup: November 30, 2013
Here are a few thoughts about recent Canadian political stories (in no particular order).
Liberal spin on the Toronto Centre by-election
Justin Trudeau and the federal Liberals have been falsely claiming they ran a wholly positive campaign in the Toronto Centre by-election, and that this is why they beat the “angry” and “negative” New Democratic Party (NDP).
First, the Liberals did go negative during that campaign, including distributing a flyer that was a personal attack against NDP leader Tom Mulcair. When called on it, the dishonest Liberals cynically claimed that the personal attack was not (Read more…)