Category: Cdn Politics

Cdn Politics

Simpson makes my morning

This piece in the Globe this morning came about three months too late, but it still made my day. As Simpson notes, while Dion was largely seen as being the environmental candidate, Ignatieff actually had a far better policy platform. This is no coincidence though, and the underlying reason why his environmental platform was so strong sums up why I got involved in the campaign.

The strength of Ignatieff’s environmental platform was a direct result of the consultative policy development process used by the campaign. It was collaborative, non-partisan and didn’t require public endorsements. The question was not, “if you indorse me then you can write my policy,” but rather, “I don’t care what your politics are, what is the best possible policy?” This insured the participation of Canada’s best thinkers on the environment (there were similar processes for other topics). The resulting platform was seen as being progressive, realistic and had the wide endorsement of the environmental community. An accolade that is not easy to acquire.

I have no doubt Dion cares passionately about the environment, and very much hope that he develops a strong environmental platform. His electoral fate depends on it. I don’t believe that the one he ran on, however, was it. Instead, on the environment and elsewhere, he would be wise to model his platform development process off the one his ex-rival and now deputy leader developed.

PS: Haven’t written too much about the results of the Liberal convention. Needless to say, I was disappointed that Ignatieff lost, but, I like much about Dion, am glad I got into the fray, and in retrospect, it’s pretty impressive that within two years of returning to Canada and entering politics, he is now the deputy leader of the Liberal Party, dominated the national discourse for the better part of a year, and is probably in the top handful of most influential Canadian politicians. It’s hard to think of anyone else who could have done this.

Cdn Politics

Politial energy

The energy in the Palais des Congres in Montreal is truly astonishing. I haven’t slept in days and am huddled in the Ignatieff war room, watching and working with the rounds of votes coming in and dashing in and out of the convention hall. The energies in each are like nothing I have experienced and are in their own ways, the very reasons partisan politics is so truly unique. No time for analysis, but watch out, it’s going to be a wild finish!
BTW – For convention blogging, check out cerebrus, sitting beside me at the moment, and for my money, one of the best Canadian political bloggers out there (he is also wearing an MI t-shirt which doesn’t hurt either!)

Cdn Politics

Ignatieff for Liberal leader

Posting has been non-existent of late in part due to work for MI’s candidacy at Liberal leadership convention now (finally) taking place in Montreal. If any readers are interested, or here, let me know!

PS. Dean is the convention keynote tonight…argh…

UPDATE: It actually wasn’t bad. Boiler plate feel good stuff. But his french impressed.

Cdn Politics

Talking to the dominions

Going to be on the same Oxford radio interview show that Porter-the-Aussie did a few weeks back, in about 30 mins (11am GMT). Think it will be primarily on Canadian politics. Link to listen is here.

Cdn Politics, Global Issues

Forest for the trees

Canada currently has a lot of problems in Afghanistan – shifting support to the Taliban, rising casualties in Kandahar, ineffective counterinsurgency strategies, bad poppy crop irradiation polices, the list goes on. But 10 ft high heat absorbing, Taliban hiding, impenetrable marijuana plants? mon dieu…things are worse, well maybe better , ok worse , no definitely better than I thought…this one’s just too close to call…

Cdn Politics

The Canadian primaries…sort of

For Canadian political followers, (count me in!), it’s a big weekend. After months of grassroots intra-party campaigning, the Liberal Party is choosing the delegates who will choose their next leader…in two months at the convention. If nothing but thorough, not to mention incomprehensibly complicated, the race is turning into a three way competition between Ignatieff (my horse), Stephen Dion (owlish Quebequoi), and Bob Rae (‘reformed’ Ontario premierial socialist). While Ignatieff as expected has 30ish% support with about a quarter of the votes in, he may well be faced with a Dion/Rae alliance at the convention, who ironically, need each other’s delegates to win their home provinces (ed – what’s Ignatieff’s “home province” again? Point taken). In any case, the results can be watched in real time here, these three sites are pretty good for regular updates, and it’s hard to beat these two guys for snarky leadership commentary…

Cdn Politics, Global Issues

Irshad Manji

A mentor of the Trudeau Foundation, with which I am associated, describes a recent meeting, overlapping ominously with the bombings in India and the start of the Lebanese escalation.

Two weeks ago, I joined 99 other “Muslim leaders of tomorrow” who gathered in Copenhagen to debate how Islam and the West could enrich each other. We came from the United States, Canada, Australia and across Europe. Brace yourself, the statements made may shock you:

Man from the Netherlands: “We, as Muslims, need to look in the mirror instead of blaming everybody else!”

Woman from
Germany: “I don’t have an identity crisis. I’m Western and Muslim and grateful to be both.”

Organizer from the United States: “None of my fellow Americans signed up to speak about integration. They don’t see it as their priority. I think this means Muslim immigrants have it better in the U.S. than in Europe.”

Imam from Britain: “The minute a woman becomes an imam, I will be the first to pray at her feet.”

I am curious what oxbloggers think of her. She is certainly a controversial figure. Perhaps more well known internationally than she is in her home county, Canada. I agree wholeheartedly with her principle stance, that Islam must modernise, particularly with regard to women’s rights, and that this modernization must begin with a recognition that many of the most unjust aspects of religion are rooted in human misinterpretations. However, I find that while the message is correct, rare, and valuable, she often doesn’t adequately discuss the policy implications to her message. Much like I feel about many neoconservative positions, I agree with the ends, but not by any and all means.

Cdn Politics

In the dept of when is a “photo-op” actually a “Symbolic Gesture”

Harper, the new Canadian PM, will be diverting his plane to pick up 130 evacuees (of the estimated 50,000 Canadian citizens currently in Lebanon) on his return from the G-8.

In response to questions, Harper denied the trip was a photo opportunity.

“It’s more than a symbolic trip,” he said. “There’s a need for air support in Cyprus. Freeing up seats, we will have a significant number of seats to help the situation.”

Journalists and most of the plane’s crew will have to find their own way home, however, as the aircraft will be “stripped down to a skeleton staff.” Luckily though, for posterity’s sake, his personal photographer made the cut…