Thursday, July 13, 2006

And You Do What Exactly?

The Liberal Party convention this December will be more then just a late night, late ballot slugfest for leadership of the party, it will also being electing its executives for the party as well as the commissions. For myself, the interest lays with the youth wing, the Young Liberals of Canada. Richard Diamond the current president I have never met, he is most likely a great guy who puts in a lot of time and effort into making the party great and engaging youth. The thing is, I’m not exactly sure what he does, nor what the YLC does overall. This might be because of my ignorance or my relative infancy in partisan politics but the questions for me still stands. What exactly do they do? I know what the provincial youth wings attempt to accomplish and the events they put on to do so but what does the national wing do. Outside of administrative tasks such as ratifying student clubs for eligibility to send delegates to the convention I have yet to hear or see of the initiatives they are doing.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Oh Renewal

Do not get me wrong, I think the Renewal Commission in theory is a good idea, and something I support. Problem is, the way it has been created or introduced I do not. Hopefully I am wrong, and it just hasn’t really started to get moving yet but so far I am have little confidence. Jason brought up the problem of who has been selected to ‘chair’ the various policy groups. It is a cross-section of the elite of the party, and the elites of society. Too many former MPs are involved; many are part of the problem that we need a such a commission in the first place.

What exactly do these policy chairs do? What is the format? How will the grassroots be consulted? If you look at the website none of these details are listed or explained. So far I have not been invited to any meetings in Ottawa, have there even been any? Will there be any?

Liberals want to have a discussion with each other. What will the focus be of the party for this 21st century. How do we reform the internal organization of the party to meet those needs, adapt to the realities of the country and technological and communications changes? I hope I am all wrong and the commission has really yet to launch. Somehow though I believe it will be like many other ‘taskforces’ that I have seen in my lifetime. The elites write a report to themselves and nothing ever changes.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Sorry Dion, Kennedy is New Ideas

This entire Kennedy has-no-policy/ideas wind is starting to get on my nerves. Obviously I am biased but it really makes little sense to me. Kennedy is one of the only candidates to release compressive policy papers beginning with immigration and the environment. Dion’s attack during the debate was unfair, firstly Gerard had no time to respond and secondly saying that you will extent an existing program is not really “new policy ideas”. There are a lot of candidates in the race that have actually brought forth no new ideas or even old ideas.

Now I understand where some of this line of attack on Kennedy comes from. He uses a lot of verbiage which sounds like platitudes. “Doing politics differently” and such seem like the empty rhetoric which we all have heard time and time again. But look beyond the face of the words and read into what exactly he is proposing. It is time to take the Liberals to the next level of progression. I believe we are the natural governing party, unlike some this is not because of some god given right but because of our views and policies mold best with Canadians. Gerard in my opinion is the best option to bring our party back to where it has to be.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Kennedy’s Balanced Environmental Approach

So I hope everyone has had a chance to take a look at Kennedy’s environmental policy that was released yesterday. You have to admit it is a practical approach to a complex and difficult issue. I will admit right off the bat that I am not an environmental expert, nor to me has it ever been a major issue when I make a decision. That all being said it has got me going, it a real effective balance between achieving sustainable development and yet doing it within the economic framework which allows for economic growth. Ignatieff carbon tax policy is a good policy if the only goal is greenhouse reduction; problem is it would be an economic disaster and one which would again split the country.

Economic incentives for companies to produce green technology and invest in research in development are a must. While a strong tax incentive for those why purchase hybrid cars while at the sometime providing a disincentive to purchase gas guzzling vehicles promotes and pushes consumer auto consumption in the correct direction. Yet at the same time not providing too great of an incentive or too strong of a disincentive to skew the market in an unreasonable or unproductive way.

Also creating and reinstating government programs which promote retro fitting of homes and businesses to be more energy efficient. The practical solutions to the environment are difficult in the modern age. Economic competitiveness holds back many of the best solutions and at the same time because of our federal system, many of the key areas which need to be tackled are outside of Ottawa’s jurisdiction. Gerard provides effective, practical and reachable solutions in areas which we can control. The environment is an important issue, and Kennedy understands real ways to tackle the problems it faces. I look forward to hearing more.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Why I am supporting Gerard Kennedy

My decision did not come lightly, after personally meeting many of the candidates, reading thought a fair amount of information, talking it over with friends and pondering it myself for quiet sometime I have decided to support Gerard Kennedy. My decision was based on a few things, obviously some semblance of vision and policy is required and so is experience, but also electability in an general election as well as someone who can take the party to a new place.

The party is in a low state right now, Canadians opinion of the party has failed obviously but so have loyal party members. We must fix both problems yet at the same time recognize it will not take one or two years but four or six. I overheard a discussion between two Iggie supporters talking about their chances in the next election. They believe that if Iggie wins then the Liberals have the best chance they thought to win in two, but if the Liberals would lose with him at that time, the party would be screwed. Harper will be in power I believe for four to six years, and the goal should be not what the above Iggie troops were hoping for. The goal must be to take power in four to six and keep it for at least two strong majority terms. I think Kennedy is the person who can do this.

Kennedy is young, almost bilingual, has a great story and has been a life long Liberal with none of the baggage. Do not discount how important this will all be come election time. He will be almost immune from the attacks of the opposition who will be trying to rehash sponsorship. He also has a record to stand on in politics of the biggest Canadian province, managing a department whose budget is bigger then some provinces. He also has an amazing pre-politics story, running and founding two food banks gives him credibility when it comes to social issues.

Being a life long Liberal and having none of the federal party baggage is key for creating a strong party within. Having the ability to unite the wings of the party as well as attracting those who were hesitant to get involved because of the perceived internal problems will be invaluable.

Kennedy though has something to work on, his French from what I have heard is not as bilingual as everyone thought. Also his verbiage is still very provincial, he will have to work harder to switch from the provincial mindset to the federal one if he wants a better chance to win the crown come December.

I also wanted to mention some thought on the other candidate. I have much respect for Dryden and Dion and if it comes to a second ballot would highly consider them. But there ability to connect with all Canadians is a problem, sadly it is a superficial one but it an important one. Michael Ignateiff, I also have much respect for, but as a professor. His complete lack of any experience in leadership and politics is a huge problem and also his electability concerns me.

Monday, February 06, 2006

HRDC Back Again (Sort of)

An interesting aside to all of this cabinet related news. Diane Finley becomes Minister of Human Resources and Social Development in Prime Minister Harper’s slim down cabinet. What is interesting about all of this is that the Conservatives actually supported the splitting of the former Department of Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) into the two departments of Human Resources and Skills Development (HRSD) and Social Development Canada (SDC). Yet Harper in his new cabinet has decided that this wasn’t a good idea and he is putting both departments under the privy of one minister.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Voting is Beautiful

I am not sure if its just the fact that I cant actually imagine the Liberals not in power yet or maybe something else but you have to admit today is a beautiful day. Yes, I don’t believe we should actually be having an election but that is a debate is irrelevant obviously and here we are on the election date. There is something to be said about making a mark on a ballot and putting it the slot that makes you feel alive. Does not matter who you vote for, the feeling is there for everyone. Although too little of us actually vote for those who do it, it is something to watch. Citizens of this country are deciding on their future. The people of this country will speak today, they will tell the political parties, the leaders, the spin doctors and all of us political watchers that at the end of the day they make the final decision. Our system has flaws, the campaign is rarely done in high discourse but exercising your right (although I believe it is more then that) to decide the priorities and path of Canada is something we take for granted. Voting is important, if you do not like the system or the parties then spoil your ballot in protest. For those who say that political doesn’t affect them, I say look deeper because it most certainly does.

If you haven’t voted yet, get out there and do it!