Tag Archives: Liberal Party of Canada

Conservative Transparancy Now Scientifically Proven to be a Joke

51st place isn’t necessarily always a bad thing. The 51st wealthiest person in the world, or the 51st smartest are blessed to be so lucky. It’s a placement they can be proud of.

When your country is ranked 51st on any list, it is unlikely to be a source of such national pride, especially when the ranking deals with freedom of information. Yet, that is where Canada stands, behind traditional openness powerhouses like Colombia and Niger.

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Bev Oda Waves to Responsible Government | iPOLITICS/Kyle Hamilton

 

The Canadian government, its departments and agencies are given requests for information, which cost $5, and are supposed to respond within 30 days. Unfortunately if the information is ever released by said departments, it is typically done after several months.

While other countries have updated their access to information procedures, Canadian Government acts, predictably, in a shroud of opaqueness. Mr. Harper’s Conservatives have made no effort to adopt transparency in their Government. From countless muzzled scientists and environmentalists, the stifled debate in the House of Commons, the secrecy behind the F-35 transfers, the 400-page omnibus bills, cutting Elections Canada’s budget during the robocall scandal, there is a litany of abuses to Canadian trust by the current Government.

Canadians not simply in virtue of the fact that they pay high salaries and expenses to their elected officials, but intrinsically because they are citizens of the best country in the world ought to expect, and receive, better from their Government then $16 glasses of orange juice and helicopter rides. For every one policy the Conservatives have put out that I found myself in agreement with (Employment Insurance Reform, elimination of “Second Chance” Deportation for convicted criminals) there are endless abuses on the trust of the country that turn any commendation I was willing to heap on our Prime Minister into condemnation.

I am proud to be a Canadian, but this ranking fills my being with shame. Mostly it is shame for the apathetic Canadians that couldn’t be bothered to care about such a monstrous atrocity in our politics. These are the Canadians we are friends with, the ones we work with, study with and perhaps even live with.

Michael Ignatieff (quoting Bruce Springsteen) told Canadians that after suffering through Mr. Harper’s constant attacks on democracy, and his brutal insincere brand of politics it was high time for the country to “Rise up”. I care exactly enough to do so.

I desire transparency in government, and 51st is not good enough for me. I think Canadians deserve more out of our government, one that is accountable and open at the very least. If we ask for change then we ought to put forward new ideas, rather than simple condemnation of the other side. For starters, a much needed update to the access-to-information process currently in place would be a welcome start to an era of Canadian Governmental transparency. Letting your citizens know where their tax dollars seems like a good place to start.

So, as it turns out placing in 51st  for national transparency isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it’s a call to action.

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Mulcair’s Center Squeeze

Most New Democrats – probably all New Democrats – genuinely dislike Steven Harper. With good reason, he’s muzzled scientists, bullied unions, abandoned the impoverished, given tax breaks to the largest corporations, all things that stir up democratic socialists. Yet, their newly minted leader was not only represented the Quebec Liberal Party in the Quebec National Assembly, but he widely reported to have been courted by those same federal Conservatives that many NDP members despise.

Mulcair Rolls Up His Sleeves| Image Stolen From http://www.theglobeandmail.com

I say this because I want to prove that Thomas Mulcair represents an entirely novel brand of politics to the New Democratic Party. To me, Mr. Mulcair’s leadership has already proved to be three things: prudent, calculated and aggressive.

During the NDP Leadership campaign, Mr. Mulcair was quick to reference the lack of successful campaigns between Winnipeg to Vancouver. If the Party continued to do the same things, Mr. Mulcair reasoned, there would be no change. When he said that New Democrats have to bring the center to themselves, what he meant was “we have to shuffle to the right”, otherwise they will retain their altruistic values Ed Brodbent held, and find themselves where Ed always was: on the periphery of Canadian politics.

In the two weeks since his election, Thomas Mulcair has tried to swing the Liberals to the periphery, denied any cooperative merger, left non-NDP opposition members 20 minutes (out of a possible fifteen hours) to abhor the budget on the Commons floor, and called Liberal Leader Bob Rae anxious over recent polling showing an NDP surge in Canada.

Mr. Mulcair has demonstrated his calculative, prudent approach to politics, something Steven Harper has exemplified during his tenure. The current Leader of the Official Opposition understands the only chance of an NDP government is with a marginalized Liberal Party, one polling in the mid-teens, as their own party used to. The prescription is to make Liberals irrelevant, and eliminate any other diversions that stand between himself and the Prime Minister.

Additionally, Mr. Mulcair has selected a flat personality as his Deputy Leader. Not only does this decision hide the spotlight from a potential future challenger, it also makes Mr. Mulcair look like an even stronger leader in contrast, while smoothing over possible tensions from the election by picking an “establishment” MP. It’s smart and calculated.

I believe Mr. Mulcair has the leadership capable of winning a government because it matches Mr. Harper’s brand of leadership, and I sincerely mean that as a compliment. Both men seem to know what it takes to win: hard work, willingness to get dirty, and a “eat-or-be-eaten” disposition. If Thomas Mulcair can successfully chart a course to the political center while keeping the grassroots happy, he will have literally mirrored Mr. Harper’s accomplishment, and this is worthy of respect. What he needs to do is go from an alternative to the alternative, and that, in my opinion can only happen by suffocating the other leftist party between themselves and the government so that there is no unique message they can make.

With the right kind of messaging and debate performances, Tomas Mulcair might be able to prove to Canadians that he can be Prime Minister. I have two questions: First, will the eventual Liberal leader be able to stand up from a political threat greater than Stephen Harper? Second, can the Prime Minister label the NDP Leader the same way he labeled Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff?

Dion, Ignatieff, Rae | Image Stolen From http://www.hilltimes.com