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…)
On Monday, a byelection is being held in the riding of Toronto Centre, and Linda McQuaig, one of Canada’s principal champions of social justice and equality, is the NDP candidate for that seat in the House of Commons.
For years, the Liberal Party has taken Toronto Centre for granted — it is Bob Rae’s old riding and the Liberals want desperately to keep it to prove that Justin Trudeau is not just the vacuous pretty boy he actually appears to be. If he loses this riding, it would go a long way to exposing him and the party for what they are.
Dear Liberal Friends,
This weekend is the LPC(O) Policy Prioritization Meeting & Executive Board. You will be asked to prioritize 10 policy resolutions for debate at the Liberal Party of Canada Biennial in Montreal. It’s an impressive list of great ideas, showcasing clearly what Liberals care about.
On that list, is the policy resolution to Protect the Pickering Lands prioritized by Central Region.
In 1972, the federal government expropriated 18,000 acres of farmland for a proposed new Toronto international airport. In the face of mounting local pressure and opposition from residents, the project was shelved in 1975.
On June 11, (Read more…)
Keep Karl on Parl! Donate to the Indiegogo campaign today to have Parliamentary reporting for the rest of us.
There are by-elections next week in Montreal and Toronto where the Conservatives are also-rans, and the battle is between the Liberals and the NDP.
The NDP candidates are definitely the underdogs. The two seats, Toronto Centre and Bourassa, have been happily Liberal of late, and polls show the Liberals leading in both.
Maybe that’s why the NDP has decided to play a bit of unaccustomed hardball this time.
In 2004, Svend Robinson put an end to his heroic career as NDP MP by stealing a ring. Why? A new book explores answers.
Related StoriesThe Lessons of Dave Barrett (in Tyee Books)Did Gordon Campbell’s Chief of Staff Just Endorse Adrian Dix? (…
Check out Common Ground, and add your voice to protect the Pickering Lands and say no to Flaherty’s Folly International Airport.
The Conservative government in Canada wants to convert over 13,000 acres of prime farm land into an international airport (one that’s not needed) and for undisclosed industrial use.
While Common Ground is an initiative of the Ontario Liberal Party, you do not need to be a Liberal or an Ontarian to lend your voice to this important policy proposal.
The text of the proposal is as follows:
WHEREAS the designated lands for development constitute prime Class 1 farmland (Read more…)
The Harper government won’t deliver its speech from the throne until Wednesday, but the theme has been telegraphed for months, and much of the contents well-leaked over the past week. The government will appropriate the middle class theme that Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has been trumpeting since he began his leadership run, and will appropriate several mini-policies the NDP has proposed over the years, including ones the Conservatives have voted against in the past. It’s time-worn political tactics to attempt to neuter the opposition by outflanking them, and the Conservatives are clearly concerned with the apparent durability of current Liberal (Read more…)
While the 2015 federal election is a long ways off (if Stephen Harper actually sticks to his fixed election date law, that is), in a sign of the strength and renewal of the Liberal Party of Canada, quality candidates are already beginning to come forward and begin organizing for what will likely be hotly contested nominations across the country.
Just to the south of me is the riding of Scarborough-Southwest, where my friend Amy Robichaud has recently announced her intention to seek the Liberal nomination to take on the NDP’s Dan Harris. The riding has a solid Liberal history, (Read more…)
A busy day in downtown Toronto on Sunday, as both the Liberals and the NDP picked their candidates to replace Bob Rae as the MP for Toronto-Centre at nomination meetings just a subway stop apart. It made for interesting comparisons, and I attendeed both meetings.
The Storify below shares some of the highlights of my live-tweeting and selected tweets by others, so I won’t rehash the entire day at length. Rather, I’ll share some thoughts on the result and, with respect to the other parties, the marquee match-up of the upcoming by-election: Liberal Chrystia Freeland and NDPer Linda McQuaig.
As (Read more…)
I’m a big proponent of open riding nominations. During the Liberal leadership race, I was proud when my candidate released an extensive party reform proposal including an open nomination process, and I was pleased when many of the other candidates – including the eventual winner, Justin Trudeau – joined us in supporting the concept of open nominations. I don’t know enough of what’s going on in Toronto-Centre to comment on that process. I know Justin has promised open and fair nominations, and I know the party membership believes that open nominations are important to the renewal of our party. So (Read more…)
It’s interesting how selective the United States can be about weapons of mass destruction given that the U.S. continues to be responsible for widespread and ongoing death and destruction from its own chemical and nuclear weapons.The gas that Obama-Kerr…
It’s interesting how selective the United States can be about weapons of mass destruction given that the U.S. continues to be responsible for widespread death and destruction from its own chemical and nuclear weapons.
The gas that Obama-Kerry are blaming on Assad appears to have killed somewhere between a few hundred and a thousand or more Syrians.
In Iraq and Afghanistan, the locals are left to live with the radiation hazard created by American depleted uranium (DU) shells and bullets. D.U. is known to cause cancers, birth defects and stillbirths and D.U. contamination is believed to (Read more…)
OTTAWA — A university law professor is lashing out at a colleague, calling his recent complaint against Attorney General Peter MacKay to the Nova Scotia Barrister’s Society “ill-advised, baseless and frivolous.” University of Ottawa law professor Amir Attaran made headlines […]
More polls to talk about today. First, two-thirds of Canadians who were polled disapprove of Prime Minister proroguing Parliament in Sept and waiting until late October to reconvene Parliament.
As I said in my blogpost just the other day, this is probably the most “conventional” use of proroguing Parliament (or intending to prorogue, as he hasnt formally asked for it yet) that Harper has done while in government, and it’s ironic that on the more conventional type of prorogue, Harper’s getting massive disapproval of his intent to use it again.. but I guess that’s what you get when you abuse (Read more…)
Ok, point made. Moving on, Canadians have far more important issues to consider than legalizing marijuana. Let us not keep gilding the cannabis. Sure the news media are always in a rut with their questions but there is certainly more exciting news. What about the way Prime Minister Harper is saying things in the high Arctic unchallenged by a responsible opposition. You cannot allow him free rein up there to destroy peoples’ lives and livelihoods.
But we are also concerned about the current process Canadian Liberals are using to develop their policy options. Where are the open discussions taking place? (Read more…)
Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein has interviewed the presumptive Liberal candidate in Toronto Centre, Chrystia Freeland, who declares, “I’m a capitalist red in tooth and claw.”
To his credit, Klein asks her a couple of times for policy specifi…
Turns out the Young Liberals at the University of Calgary is seen as an organization of real influence by the US State Department. Below is a quote from Wikileaks that talks about how the UofC Liberals were able to influence the policy of the party and shake up a whole other party. 6. (SBU) The […]
Tax? Fight? Adapt, says Kevin Milligan.
OTTAWA — The top Liberal in the Senate says that to the best of his knowledge, the Liberals have never used party funds to help one of its senators repay the upper chamber for improper expense claims. I asked that […]
Chrystia Freeland, The Globe and Mail’s candidate in Toronto Centre, recently wrote a book about inequality (which I have not yet read) and is supposed to “bring fresh thinking to the Liberal Party’s economic team.”
She has already attracted a f…
A week later and my news clippings are still filled with news about Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s sensible talk about marijuana legalization – and they say it’s hard for an opposition leader to get attention in the summer, when the House isn’t sitting… The Conservatives are helping keep the issue alive with the usual fear-mongery fundraising pitch warning of Liberal-inspired reefer madness and the breakdown of civil society should we not continued with the spectacular failure that has been the war on drugs. Here’s what they fear the future would look like: Ironically, these distortion-filled, fear-mongery fundraising pitches designed to (Read more…)
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s support of marijuana legalization and regulation made news this week, although it isn’t really new. He spoke about his position during the leadership race, but it made a bit of news again this week when he spoke about it in Kelowna during his well-received summer tour of British Columbia. Here are his comments: “I see my friend waving a sign about decriminalizing cannabis. I’ll take that as a question. I’m actually not in favour of decriminalizing cannabis – I’m in favour of legalizing it. Tax and regulate. It’s one of the only ways to keep it (Read more…)
Canada is an un-developing country.
It has been for decades. Here are some of the signs.
* Crumbling infrastructure.
* Irresponsible deregulation of industry and cutbacks to enforcement of the few, weak regulations that remain. This resulted – and will continue to result – in otherwise-preventable deaths, injuries and illnesses; worse working conditions; lower wages; and lowly consumers being ripped off.
* Electoral fraud, bribes and other types of corruption being grudgingly accepted as “business as usual”.
* Bizarre, expensive and unnecessary transformation of Canada back into a colony that is subservient to foreign interests, specifically (Read more…)
Dear Readers: It’s not every day that I get a gem like this just handed to me: The Perspective Research Department also reports that a drunk who was walking by saw the couple hit the pavement while still in an amorous embrace…………, so he went up to the front door…., knocked…., and when the ‘Madam” […]
OTTAWA—A Conservative MP’s pro-life bid to have Parliament study the definition of a human being has gone down to defeat in the House of Commons.
Stephen Woodworth’s motion was voted down 203-91.
Eight cabinet ministers voted in favour of the motion, including Status of Women Minister Rona Ambrose, government House leader Peter Van Loan and Trade Minister Ed Fast.
The latest Ipsos poll paints a rather dreary picture of Liberal fortunes, with what was once the natural governing party languishing more than 15 points behind both the NDP and the Conservatives.
Of course, the NDP are in their post-leadership honeymoon, the Liberals don’t have a permanent leader, and a horse race poll when politics is the farthest thing from the electorate’s mind won’t tell you a lot. But I think we can safely assume the Liberals are a distant third, trailing two parties who are both intent on hugging the centre of the road, making it almost impossible to pass them. So what’s a centrist party to do?
I agree with Rae’s message of staying to the middle of the spectrum, but the days of finding sunny compromises between the NDP and Conservative extremes on every single issue are numbered. When you’re the third place party you need to give people a reason to vote for you, and a milquetoast platform topped with some language about the “extremist” positions of two very non-extremist parties isn’t going to be convincing.
Faced with this new reality, the challenge is standing out and being noticed. That likely means on occasion passing the two parties ahead of you on the right, and on occasion passing them on the left. So maybe the Liberals adopt a few “right wing” economic policies even the Conservatives dare not touch, like the abolishment of supply management. Maybe it means “out-NDPing” the NDP by proposing a national pharmacare program.
Of course, the entire concept of a left-right political spectrum is somewhat arbitrary when you think about it. Is democratic reform a right wing or a left wing issue? Either way, parties talk a lot less about it the closer they get to power, so there may be an opening there for the Liberals who are decidedly nowhere near power. There’s certainly an opening on the “Quebec question”, given the PQ may be in power a year from now, and both the Tories and NDP have spent long nights flirting with the separatists in recent years.
The other thing to consider is the dirty little secret that most voters aren’t reading through party platforms and casting their vote based on policy. Did Jack Layton leap from third to second because voters found his policies that much more compelling than Ignatieff’s? Most voters would be hard pressed to identify a single area of cleavage between the two party platforms.
Now, I’m not saying the Liberals are one leadership change away from power. As I’ve written before, there’s a lot of structural work to be done, and even if voters didn’t know the intricacies of the Liberal and NDP platforms last election, they had a clear impression of party brands, and an overall sense of party values. But a party’s leader does matter, and it’s just as important to have a leader who can differentiate himself or herself from Mulcair and Harper, as it is to have policies that can be differentiated from the NDP and CPC platforms. That doesn’t mean the Liberals should search for the anti-Mulcair or shy away from an experienced and polished politician like Harper – only that there needs to be some kind of “value add” that makes their leader stand out. The brilliance of Jack was that he always smiled and could connect with voters – that’s an ability Michael Ignatieff lacked completely, and one both Harper and Mulcair struggle with.
In the past, all the Liberals needed to do to get elected was wedge themselves squarely between the extremes. There are still many issues for which that strategy makes sense from both an ideological and political perspective. But adopting that knee-jerk approach on every issue and failing to stand out is a sure fire path to irrelevance.
Regardless of ones political affiliations, the conclusion is: Ours is the country it is today because of the Liberal Party’s dominance over both the political landscape and Canada’s agenda for nearly 70 years of the last …
America’s Presidential re-election campaign is getting underway. So in politics this is just about ancient history: But four years ago, it was the young voters of the United-States who engaged the movement of hope and aspiration that swept Barack …
All in all, the Liberal Party’s “thinkers’ conference” was uninspiring and failed to deliver anything even approaching a complete and coherent election platform (which, by the way, was supposed to be ready by June 2009). Having said that, the main prom…