Posts tagged as:

liberal party

There are petitions going around urging Justin Trudeau to appoint Elizabeth May as Environment Minister.

I think that’s a terrible idea. Here’s why:

After a decade of Stephen Harper’s “war on science”, we finally have a government committed to returning to evidence-based decision making. Trudeau wants to bring back the long form census. He wants to make scientific committees independent again. He’s committed to bringing knowledge and scientific literacy back into public policy.

Elizabeth May and the Green Party, on the other hand, are a fringe party with a strong fringe lunatic contingent. Yes, they’re shiny and feisty people are prone to like them, and May in particular.

But when you chip away at the surface a little bit, you discover that this party supports or has supported all sorts of The Crazy: Anti-GMO, anti-vaccine, worried about cell phone radiation, pro-public health coverage for “alternative” medicine such as naturopathy or homeopathy. It goes on and on:

“After reading the above, I suppose what follows is less of a shock, but it’s still pretty bad. The following points are all part of the Green Party’s health care platform:

Provide funds to expand provincial health insurance to cover proven alternative therapies that are less expensive and invasive such as chiropractic, massage, acupuncture. (p. 68)

We will promote complimentary health care – through support of chiropractic, naturopathic, homeopathic, and other non-western practices. The Green Party of Canada recognizes the value of good health as a fundamental human right, and also the key to the most vibrant, inclusive and sustainable Canadian society possible. (p. 71)

Expand healthcare coverage to include qualified complementary/alternative health professionals such as naturopaths, acupuncturists, homeopaths, licensed massage therapists, chiropractors, and dietitians. (p. 73)

And sure, the above was from their 2011 platform. Since then, the Green Party has backpedaled on some of that nonsense. But not all of it. Which makes sense when you consider that it’s a fringe party, and has to pander to its fringe base for votes. If the party were to grow to become more mainstream, it’s likely that the fringe element would be calmed. But that’s not enough.

I want someone as environment minister who finally is going to make real, evidence-based policy decisions about the environment and fight climate change based on actual science. There’s just no room for woo in this job.

While I applaud the spirit of reaching across the aisle, I think Elizabeth May is wrong for the job. I’d think she was wrong for the job if she were a Liberal, too.

In my opinion, someone like Stephane Dion would make a terrific environment minister. There may be other places where Trudeau could reach across the aisle. But please don’t do it at the expense of science.


Wow. Just wow.

Prime Minister Trudeau. It’s been a long time since Canada has heard those words. Before my lifetime, anyway.

I dared hope for a Liberal minority. I never in my wildest dreams could have predicted a Liberal majority.

The Tories have been turfed out. Stephen Harper has announced he will step down as the leader of the party — the only leader the party in its current form has ever had. A long decade of darkness in Canada is drawing to a close.

The NDP dropped back to third place, its Quebec bubble having burst. One of the ridings it hung onto was my own of Laurier-Sainte-Marie, where Gilles Duceppe was defeated by Helene Laverdiere. I’m happy about that and proud to have played my part.

Overall, though, the NDP simply couldn’t compete with the Liberal surge as undecided progressive voters looked for a bandwagon to jump onto. Our broken First Past The Post system simply left no room for vote-splitting on the left, and Mulcair was unfortunately the loser on that front. I still respect him and think he ran a solid campaign. And I hope he will stay on as party leader and MP for Outremont, and participate actively in government. He and Trudeau agreed on quite a few issues, and the NDP could certainly make their mark in this next parliament.

The Bloc Quebecois won 10 seats, but got a lower proportion of the popular vote than they did back in 2011. Duceppe lost his riding and will probably retire again — for real this time.

Justin Trudeau will have his work cut out for him. A majority means he can get things done. It also means he has no excuses.

The real work begins tomorrow. And don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of it. Canada has suffered greatly under Harper, and a lot of work will be needed simply to stop the bleeding and start reversing the damage. Restoring funding to gutted federal programs, improving the status of women, minorities, immigrants, First Nations, restoring human rights and equal citizenship for all. Fulfilling his promise to amend Bill C-51. Dealing with the fallout of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as details emerge. Healing the wounds caused by wedge politics driven by racism. Bringing back openness, transparency, science and information to Parliament. Healing the wide chasm between Conservative and Progressive voters. The list seems never-ending and the work is surely daunting.

But that’s all for tomorrow. Tonight, we celebrate.

Merci, Canada.


Quebec budget update: More balanced than I expected


Quebec Finance Minister Carlos Leitao announced Quebec’s budget update today, setting off what is sure to be a continuing series of protests against the cuts, austerity measures and fee increases. The Liberal government claims that this sort of painful pruning is necessary in order to rein in Quebec’s out-of-control finances and balance the budget. The [...]

Read more →

On being a minority


Just once, I would like to know what it feels like to be in a majority. Normally, I embrace my outsider status. I’m the liberal in a room full of conservatives, the conservative in a room of Liberals. I’m a Jewish person among non-Jews and an atheist among Jews, a bilingual Quebecer in the RoC [...]

Read more →

Quebec political donations: By the numbers


Polls are one thing; money is another. What can we gauge from the fundraising of the major Quebec political parties, and what can it tell us about the possible election outcome? According to the Directuer général des élections du Québec, there have been 33,547 donations in 2012 to date to Quebec’s political parties, totalling just [...]

Read more →

High-ho, high-ho…


…it’s off to the polls we go. Quebecers will vote in the provincial election that some are dubbing the “tuition election” on September 4th. While it’s true that Charest has always been better at campaigning than at governing, after nearly a decade in power, it’s likely to be somebody else’s turn at the helm. And [...]

Read more →

Good news, bad news


The bad news? Bob Rae is the interim Liberal leader. The good news? He can’t be elected as long-term leader.

Read more →

Top 10 reasons why tonight’s results are bad for Canada


Well, the votes are in, and Stephen Harper has his majority government. The right moves further to the right. The Tories, after spending five years walking all over Canadians as a minority, now get to walk all over Canadians even more as a majority. Harper believes – as he should, with these numbers – that [...]

Read more →

Vote smart; read the platforms


What does your party believe? I’d venture a guess that only a small number of Canadians who vote actually bother to read their party’s platforms… or the platforms of the other parties.  Even if we concede that politicians break campaign promises all the time, shouldn’t you know what your party is promising before casting your [...]

Read more →

Too little, too late?


The Liberal bill introduced in the House of Commons today to reinstate and entrench the long-form census, after the Tory government callously and summarily ignored an opposition motion on the same subject yesterday. But is it too little, too late? But there is little chance a private member’s bill would be able to get through [...]

Read more →