Tag Archives: Justin Trudeau

Hard Work + Hope = Why I voted for Justin Trudeau

The leadership results are coming in the next hour. I am so proud of my party. Over 104, 000 people voted for Liberal leader which is more than voted in the last Conservative Party and NDP leadership races! So here is a quick post on why I voted for Justin Trudeau for Liberal Leader:

1. Justin can grow into the job:

Justin Trudeau has grown as a politician throughout this leadership race. In 1996 the Ontario Liberals seemed to have hit the bottom. They picked a young guy who hadn’t been in politics for too long (who also had a father with a political career) to be leader. Dalton McGuinty didn’t win his first election but he grew with his party eventually winning 3 straight elections. The Liberal Party of Canada currently has 35 seats. The 2015 election is going to be a fierce battle between the Conservatives, New Democrats and the Liberals.

Proof that the LPC/Trudeau have grown: The day after the May 2, 2011 federal election whenever the Liberal Party was mentioned by journalists it was to predict our demise. Today, some have written about a possible Liberal government in 2015.

2. Justin is a leader who listens:

Throughout the Liberal Leadership debates Justin was one of the only candidates who stood up for “Preferential ballot”, the type of electoral reform adopted overwhelmingly by the Liberal Party at the 2012 biennial convention in Ottawa. Trudeau argued that it’s time the leader of the Liberal Party actually listen to its members.

During the campaign Justin took his philosophy of “listen and learn” even further by launching a “Soapbox” website where members/supporters could debate policy.

With Stephen Harper and Mulcair dictating every decision their party makes from the top down, we Liberals can set ourselves apart by being the only bottom-up party. We’re off to a good start with the first truly open leadership contest in Canadian history.

3. Electoral-cooperation is a non-starter with Justin or me:

From Justin Trudeau’s Liberal leadership showcase speech:

The truth is, Canadians want to vote for something, not just against somebody. They want to vote for a long term vision that embodies our values, our dreams and our aspirations. They will not get that vision from a Frankenstein’s monster, at war with itself over fundamental issues like the Constitution, Natural Resources and Free Trade. It would fail in its primary goal: it would extend, not end, Mr Harper’s career.

4. Justin understands that this won’t be easy:

In his campaign launch speech delivered in Papineau Justin said, “My fellow Liberals, these values are not the property of the Liberal Party of Canada. They are not Liberal values; they are Canadian values. I’ve too often heard it said in Liberal circles that the Liberal Party created Canada. This, my friends, is wrong. The Liberal Party did not create Canada. Canada created the Liberal Party. Canadians created the Liberal Party.” He has approached politics and the Liberal leadership with an attitude of hard work and humility. By stressing “service” in his final speech he has shown Liberals the way forward from tonight to the 2015. We must put service at the heart of everything we do because it is good politics, not because it will get us elected but because it raises the quality of political life.

5. Justin Trudeau has a sense of whimsy that is sorely missing in Canadian politics at the federal level:

trudeaugif

Conservatives call Justin Trudeau to testify at the House Un-Canadian Activities Committee

Blaine Calkins (CPC – Wetaskiwin) and the 5 other government MPs have called for David McGuinty and Justin Trudeau to answer questions at the the House Natural Resources Committee. They want David McGuinty to speak because of a poorly phrased statement he made about politicians prioritizing the national interest about all else. The Conservatives want Trudeau to answer questions on a statement he made during an interview 2 years ago.

Part of me wants Trudeau to go to the committee. Yes, the Conservatives are wasting the Committee’s time and taxpayers’ dollars. Yes, they are doing so for crass political reasons. However, if he did show up and answer their questions with knowledge and resolve it would give him an opportunity to expose the Conservatives for their hyper-partisan nonsense. If he doesn’t go, that is also fair. The CPC’s shenanigans don’t deserve encouragement.

In the meantime, I have some questions for Blaine Calkins and his fellow caucus members: Justin Trudeau made his statement 2 years ago and has since apologized. Is this really worth wasting your time, Mr. Trudeau’s time and the time of your committee? You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?

Joyce Murray Will Be A Formidable Liberal Leadership Candidate

The cutoff date for candidates to enter the Federal Liberal Leadership race is fast approaching. So far, only 2 candidates are officially in the race (Justin Trudeau and Deborah Coyne.) The media coverage has been almost completely about Trudeau since he announced on October 2nd. The Liberal Party needs a vibrant, competitive leadership race for the health of the party. With Mr. Trudeau based in Quebec and Ms. Coyne being from Ontario, there is still room for at least one B.C. candidate (with both Marc Garneau* and Trudeau being from Quebec there will be a real opportunity to build a strong Liberal presence in la belle province once again.) Although Alex Burton and David Merner are both really intriguing candidates, I think that Joyce Murray will be a first-tier candidate able to compete with Garneau and Trudeau at the convention in April.

Here’s why:

  • Business Experience: Unlike Stephen Harper and Thomas Mulcair, Murray isn’t a career politician. In 1979, she co-founded “Brinkman and Associates Reforestation.” This company works  on reforestation and sustainability initiatives in British Columbia. It has expanded to Alberta, Ontario and Central America. The Liberal Party needs to have credibility on the economy and Ms. Murray’s business experience would go a long way on that front.
  • Government Experience: In the B.C. government Murray served as Minister of Water, Land, and Air Protection from 2001-2004**, and then as Minister of Management Services until June 2005. Her governing experience would be invaluable for the Liberal Party.
  • Environmental Credentials: As a former Minister and co-founder of a pro-environmental buisness Murray has solid environmental credentials. She has introduced 2 private members’ bills both of which were environmental policies. In June 2008, she put forward Bill C-572, which proposed exempting bicycles, bike accessories, repairs, and safety training from GST because she believes in sustainable transportation. This would be appealing in a lot of Canada’s urban centres. In December 2010, she introduced Bill C-606, an act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, banning oil tanker traffic on Canada’s Pacific North Coast.
  • The Liberal Party needs to build out West: Ms. Murray was able to win her seat and keep it during 2 elections that were particularly terrible for the Liberal Party.
  • Bilingual: Ms. Murray is fluently bilingual and has been doing interviews with Quebec’s French-language media as of late.
  • Clean break from the past: First elected in 2008, Ms. Murray (along with Garneau and Trudeau) would give the Liberal Party a break from the scandals that lead to the recent electoral defeats of the LPC.

I hope candidates seeking the Liberal Leadership declare sooner rather than later. Though Justin Trudeau is the prohibitive front-runner, I expect Ms. Murray will bring a lot to the race and give him a run for his money.

*In a speech to the Northumberland–Quinte West Federal Liberal Association Garneau outlined his 3 priorities “if” he decided to seek the liberal leadership. So it is safe to assume he’s in.

** Her nickname was “Minister of Earth, Wind and Fire.”

Micah Goldberg: Trudeau Leadership Needs Big Ideas

Politics is more about timing than it is skill. Being the right person in the right place at the right time is more conducive to political success than being the wisest, best-educated or most prudent individual in the world.

With Bob Rae’s decision to respect his oath not to seek the permanent Liberal Leadership position, the window of opportunity for Justin Trudeau has become a titanic gaping hole in the side of the Liberal caucus. There’s little doubt that Trudeau can become Liberal Leader if he wants to, but the question “should Justin Trudeau run for Liberal Leader in 2013?” appears to have been largely ignored.

 

In January, during the Liberal biannual convention I heard Mr. Trudeau speak for the first time to the Young Liberal Caucus. I was unimpressed, finding myself craving to leave what seemed like a one-man production of Les Miserables produced by a high school drama teacher going through a mid-life crisis. If he was expected to be a statesman, then I his exaggerations and flourishing calls to end the impoverishment of Canadian youth to be, if nothing else, substantive.

 

Five months ago, I would not have wanted Justin Trudeau to be the Liberal Leader, the Prime Minister or my own member of parliament. Honesty, however scarce in politics, is a still a quality I value highly, and he seemed to be lacking it.

 

Last month I saw Mr. Trudeau speak for a second time in Calgary. No drama. No exaggerations. No pomp. He had a conversation with an adult audience about why there is not just a place, but a need for the Liberal Party and centrism in Canada. His thesis (if I can call it that) was that domestic nation-building is always superior to ideological demagoguery.  For forty-five minutes, with no typed speech or hand-written notes, Mr. Trudeau came across as a well-educated, sincere, concerned Canadian. Maybe Les Mis got a new producer.

 

Justin Trudeau has the enthusiasm, the appearance of sincerity and intelligence, and most importantly the name that can put his name in a serious conversation to lead the country. But he’ll need more than a collection of traits to become Prime Minister, and I, like most people, believe that is the point of becoming Liberal Leader.

 

The Liberal Party has become reactionary. What was the last big idea that came out of the Party? A small credit for University Students that would be the equivalent of subsidizing the cup-holders in a new car? If the Party wants to return to power, it must start behaving as an innovative government. Trans-Canada transportation innovation, a national progressive energy policy, a (serious) re-commitment to the Kyoto Accord, a method of dealing with high prices for groceries on reserves or correcting the correlation of youth unemployment and debt. Big ideas exist, but to bring them to fruition is a challenge the Liberals must take on.

 

My answer to the initially stated question is that Justin Trudeau, more than any other Liberal candidate should become Prime Minister if he wants to demonstrate that the Liberal Party is one of brokerage and prudence, but also one of progression and innovation. Only this way can he bring the derelict Liberal caucus from the periphery of Canadian Government and back into good, accountable governance, one where question period actually means something, where bills are given an opportunity to be scrutinized, and faith in the political system as a whole is restored.

 

Yes, Justin Trudeau can become leader. Yes, Justin Trudeau can become Prime Minister. He will need to decide for himself whether he is ready to take bold stands on issues, and support innovation at a time when Party and Country needs it most. Otherwise the fence he sits on will sink under the weight of an already disinterested and disheartened Canadian electorate.

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Follow Micah on twitter: @micahgoldberg

Read Micah’s blog: CenterAndLeft

Justin Trudeau is a Serious Candidate for a Serious Party

I agree with Andrew Coyne that the Liberal Party of Canada needs to be the party of bold policy ideas and that on some issues we need to be to the left of the NDP/to the right of the Conservatives. However, I strongly disagree with Mr. Coyne’s assertion that “a party that is preparing to throw itself at Justin Trudeau is not a serious party.” The Liberal Party needs to have a competitive leadership race with many qualified candidates. Justin Trudeau would be a serious candidate and would be a solid choice for leader of the Liberal Party, if the Liberal Party wants to be patient and pursue a long-term strategy.
Justin Trudeau and the long-game:

As Premier McGuinty outlined in his speech at the 2012 Biennial Convention, the Liberal Party needs to elect a young leader and give that leader more than one election to rebuild the party. Liberals need to burn the phrase “two election strategy” into their minds. No one seriously believes that we can form the government after one election, and we need to show Canadians that we are a humble, substantive alternative to the divisive bullies Harper and Mulcair. This will take more than one election and we need a leader who can grow with the Liberal Party. Justin Trudeau is 40 years of age as I type this. In 2015, Prime Minister Harper will be 56 (with a full head of grey hair) and Thomas Mulcair will be 61. Justin Trudeau’s youth would bring a new energy to the Liberal Party. While his name evokes a nostalgic connection to the past, the fact that he was elected in 2008 would give the Liberal Party a clean break with the sponsorship scandal. Trudeau is fluently bilingual, but the fact that he grew up in politics makes him fluent in the political language of both French and English Canada.

Trudeau does have a ways to go before he is prime minister material. He is great at giving speeches (when I saw him speak in Parkdale-High Park there was a real electricity in the air) but he needs to speak with a substance and gravity that can only come with time. His name recognition is a great strength. I would also argue that the fact that a certain (small) percentage of Canadians who have a predisposition for/against Trudeau because of his name is another advantage as that good will will bring some Canadians back in to the Liberal Party and Trudeau will get to prove those who irrationally dislike him wrong when he enters the national arena. Becoming the leader the Liberal Party needs will be a lot of work. Justin has shown his strong work ethic on a number of occasions. Running and winning (twice) in Papineau was no small feat. Trudeau has also been a loyal liberal soldier traveling the country for the party. One specific example that I believe shows his commitment was his boxing match with Senator Brazeau. Trudeau saw that he was outgunned, so he spent months training and preparing himself. This is the kind of commitment the Liberal Party needs from its next leader.

The 4 pillars of a winning political campaign:

In the past, Canadian political parties have relied on a combination of three elements to win: a strong leader, strong policy,a strong political machine and disorganized opponents. Under Jean Chretien the LPC focused on having a strong leader, a strong political machine and disorganized political opponents.

In the last few elections the Conservatives have relied on their leader, their political machine and a disorganized opposition. The NDP have gone all in with their leader in 2008/2011 and are trying to play organizational catch up while keeping the Liberals weak. In 2011 the Liberal Party tried to go all in with policy with disastrous results.

In 2015 the Liberal Party needs to have a strong, charismatic leader who campaigns with a solid machine and a solid set of unique policy proposals. We have done a great job explaining why Harper is bad, we need to do the same with Mulcair while always saying what we would do if elected.

Trudeau’s magnetism is not something that a politician can necessarily learn, as is his ability to promote progressive policies in the language of the centre-right and the values of fiscal and personal responsibility in the language of the left.

Justin Trudeau doesn’t fit into the CPC or NDP paradigm:

One distinct advantage that Mr. Trudeau has is that his reality is frustratingly foreign to the Conservatives and New Democrats.

Conservatives purged their party of the genuine grassroots energy and principled policy positions of the old Reform Party and have become solely the party of their leader, Stephen Harper. The CPC’s divisive, slash and burn politics would see an election against Justin Trudeau as the opportunity they’ve always wanted to against Justin’s father. The NDP have a different  mindset. New Democrats do not care about getting real results for Canadians, they only care about getting more NDP seats in parliament. When Jack Layton decided to betray the progressive budget that Paul Martin had negotiated with him in 2005, he did so because the NDP only had 18 seats in parliament. In the NDP worldview Jack Layton, who has no major accomplishments at the federal level, is a hero simply because he helped elect 103 NDP MPs. The NDP and CPC both seem to believe that the Liberals would try and run Justin Trudeau on his father’s accomplishments. They would both be trying to attack the Liberal Party from a perspective that would not be accessible to the majority of Canadians who aren’t as blindly ideological as the CPC and NDP.

Conclusion:

Justin Trudeau still has to prove himself as a leader, as does any candidate running for that position. He may be the unique blend of charisma, substance and hard work that the Liberal Party needs. However, one thing he needs from Liberals is patience.

Liberals need  to stop panicking. We aren’t going to die out in one election–but we aren’t going to rise from the ashes like a phoenix, either. Every single Liberal needs to be working hard to rebuild the party. No political party can win solely on the strength of their leader.

Justin Trudeau has been thoughtful and contemplative in his approach to entering the Liberal leadership race. He is a serious candidate and should be treated as one.

“Pennies 4 Katimavik” Launches Today!

Pennies 4 Katimavik* (a campaign spearheaded by Bismah Haq) is officially launching today in Ottawa at 2:30pm (click here for the facebook event.)

When I heard about this campaign I was very excited. Axing the program was one of the Harper government’s most maliciously-arbitrary decisions in the 2012 budget. I talked to Bismah about what inspired her to start up this campaign and what she hopes to accomplish. Here is what she
told me:

“I originally came up with the idea while watching an analysis about the budget on CBC at Hedy Fry’s office (I volunteer there) the day the budget was released. I didn’t think much of it at first, but last week some friends urged me to act on the idea. So along with other members from the OYL United team who committed to launching this in their cities and towns, some Young Liberals in BC and some Katimavik alumni I know, we will be starting our penny drives and online launch this weekend.

Here is some additional information on “Pennies 4 Katimavik” that was provided to me from the campaign:

Project Idea: According to the 2012 Federal Budget, as of fall 2012, the Canadian penny will not be in circulation anymore, and the youth volunteerism program called Katimavik has lost its funding. Pennies for Katimavik, quite literally, is a penny drive/small change drive to fundraise to support Katimavik to continue to serve our nation through youth community service, as well
as to raise awareness about the positive impact Katimavik has had on our communities.

Background: The Canadian federal government has decided to phase the penny out of existence starting this fall, when the Royal Canadian Mint will stop distributing the one-cent coin to financial institutions. Pennies themselves will continue to hold their inherent cash value, so Canadians can always trade them in at financial institutions. Banks can then return those pennies to the mint for recycling into their base materials. Which means before too long, the penny will
be mostly removed from the Canadian economy — except for the jars i Canadians’ closets.

We will be collecting the change and money that we raise,rolling the coins and exchanging them at a bank for cash, and then sending the money to Katimavik’s National Office.

Our short term goal is $5000(500,000 pennies) but we hope to exceed that by approaching organizations, businesses and individuals( Liberal and non-Liberal) to match our fundraising or to make larger donations.

This is a Young Liberal initiative but we hope to make this as non-partisan as possible in order to engage with Katimavik alumni and the general public.

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Please “like” the “Pennies 4 Katimavik” facebook page: here. This isn’t merely a fundraising operation. They provide a backgrounder of facts on the Katimavik program (here) and they have set up an excellent Katimavik Advocacy Kit (here.) If you are in Ottawa please attend the launch party. If you cannot attend (or are living outside Ottawa, like me) then check the facebook page regularly for details on upcoming events.

*Pennies 4 Katimavik is not officially affiliated with Katimavik.

Justin Trudeau Handsomely Responds to Conservatives’ Desperate Attack Ads