Friday, October 31, 2008

In Solidarity

(That's the most NDP-ish thing I've written since I worked for a labour union, btw.)

During my admittedly short time in the Liberal and progressive blogospheres, I've come to respect the one known as Red Tory.

Today, Red drew his line in the sand with Liblogs. I don't blame him, and this post is notice that I too want to be removed from the Liblogs roll. In fact, even if they do boot Lib4ever, I don't want back in.

UPDATE: I wondered why my traffic from Liblogs was so little. My blog isn't on the list over there. I guess dumping Cherniak from my blogroll when he started going off about Liberal Israel policy and who could be a candidate got me deleted from Liblogs. I still stand by what I wrote. And I've deleted the link on my profile.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Generational Shift.

Someone sent me the youtube video of Generation We, an inspirational take on the next generation coming up. I want to help them attain their dreams in a way that my early boomer parents wouldn't or couldn't help me. Then I realized...

I'm generally a Gen Xer and more specifically I'm a Baby Buster. I am of that generation of people born between 1965 and 1979 who are not going to be as financially successful or secure as their parents. I am of that generation where little was expected of us, so little was asked of us. I wanted to know if my generation was even being talked about online, or electorally, or *anything* to prove that we do exist.

"If Nevermind changed the world, the world changed back pretty fast," was the quote I found in the linked article, and it certainly feels true.

Sandwiched between 80 million baby boomers and 78 million millennials, Generation X... has just 46 million members, making it a dark-horse demographic "condemned by numbers alone to nicheville,"

Something about my generation twigged my memory. The other day I was invited to join the "I support Dominic LeBlanc for the Liberal leadership" group on Facebook. I declined, because I wasn't sure that Mssr. LeBlanc had the electoral experience or perhaps was too young to lead the party. The Gen-We vid led me to the Gen-X Time article which led me to Dominic LeBlanc's wiki page!

Born: December 14, 1967 (he's only four months older than my husband)

First elected to the House of Commons: November 27, 2000 (he was almost 33 years old) and he has faced re-election 3 times since then. I thought he won for the first time in 2006.

I've met him. He was smart, engaging, and was willing to look at issues that might not capture the public's fancy, but were meaningful. He was good enough to spend some time talking with Joe about Iraq, stop-loss and the Democratic primaries.

Now that he's announced that he's going to run for the leadership, and I've had a little time for reflection, I think that I will support him. He is the first person of my cohort with a legitimate chance of being the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.

It was this quote that all is not business as usual in the LeBlanc camp.

"I think Liberals want to see the party reposition itself as very much the voice of middle-class Canadians and occupy a pragmatic and centrist position," he said. "Perhaps, in recent campaigns we have drifted from that pragmatic centre of Canadian politics and we haven't given some of the traditional Liberal voting blocks an enthusiastic reason to support us."

Pragmatic and centrist. Though many may disagree with me, that's the kind of position that I'd like to see the party take. The environment should be an economic platform and not a "leftist" issue.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Everytime I read about the GOP circular firing squad...

I think of the National Executive of the LPC.

I was directed to this story by Daniel Finkelstein via Andrew Sullivan and his Daily Dish and it almost brought me to tears. Here we are talking about the Republican Party and the British Tories, and ALL it is doing is reminding me of the party I love to be a part of.

For example, these words from Mr. Finkelstein:

The first step towards recovery for the Conservative party was to stop thinking that we were the centre of the universe and that what we thought mattered more than what others thought.

The Republicans are about to go through a period of self absorption and will think it is all that matters. They will only recover when they start to understand that no one is watching and that no one, except them, cares.

While I don't think that the outcome of October 14 was even close to being as dire as the British Conservatives' outcome in 1997 or the trouncing that the GOP is going to take a week from tomorrow, I do think that the attitude is the same.

Here we are barking about our historical relevance in Canada, but what we used to be has a great deal to do with why we are where we are today.

We're not inclusive. We're not transparent. We pander and try to buy voters with their own money and then are never heard from until the next writ period. We have shadowy folks who try to control everything and fail miserably. It's a disappointment, all around.

If we do not, as a party, get our shit together, put together not only a platform - but a plan - and build a long-term strategy to do this from the bottom up, we will be as irrelevant as the Tories of 1993, 1997 and the GOP of 2008.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Canada doesn’t need an Obama.

Sometimes I wish that I was bilingual so I could stop reading the English and/or the Toronto focused press. It has become depressing and quite a bit embarrassing to watch the Liberals of the world try to name and claim any POC as "Canada’s Obama" and future savior of the LPC.

If Canada is going to choose a leader based upon being a part of the group that historically has faced more discrimination than any other group, that "Canadian Obama" should be Aboriginal. If Canada is going to choose a leader based on being a part of the largest ethnic minority, that person should be South Asian.

51% of Canadians are women, yet Canadian women are still treated as a "visible minority" with "issues". That’s not to say that women vote as a homogeneous block, but to say that leadership is not exclusive to the male gender. It is also not to say that the men of Canada don’t have a stake in what effects women. Kim Campbell notwithstanding, there has NEVER been a legitimate female candidate for the leadership of a party who could be in power. We all know that she was the only one who would take the job in 1993 and the bloodbath that ensued wasn’t a surprise.

Obama is a transformative figure precisely because he doesn't fit into the US stereotypes of blackness and ISN'T radical. He's about as moderate and middle of the road as a Mulroney-era Progressive Conservative. He's a sign that Americans aren't interested in business as usual, and lord-love-a-duck, the US needs to find some sort of direction in the 21st century.

Canada doesn't need an Obama. What we need is someone uniquely Canadian who has great big ideas that will put an end to the regionalism that has plagued this nation since the PCs built their first Alberta firewalls.

I think you can see that Canada doesn't need the kind of saving from itself that the US does. We need to build a sustainable economy, we need to keep the population from growing too quickly, we need to disengage ourselves from the US, and learn some lessons about having all of our eggs in one basket. We need radically different than what we have always done, but not radically financially risky. Canada is a small nation with a stable finance system and as such is nimble and flexible enough to adjust to the realities we have, not the ones we wish for.

Unfortunately, until Stephane Dion came along, there was no leader for any party who was interested in doing anything different from the way we had always done it. Canadians proved by not listening or caring that they weren't interested in doing things any differently either.

I despair for my country as long as the dinosaurs continue to rule the land.

With that, I am firmly stating that while I am Facebook friends with Bob Rae, I will not be supporting him for leader. I will not be supporting Iggy, or Gerard, or Dominic or really any of the names they keep bringing up. I don't think that the latter two have enough electoral experience, and I don't think that the former two have enough of a "machine" in Quebec to win. I bear no ill will toward Mr. Rae, Mr. Kennedy or Mssr. LeBlanc, I just don't think they're radical enough and/or ready enough to do this immense job of achieving electoral success AND bringing together a party full of warring factions.

I will also state that I think Obama may be the worst choice for President as it relates to proposed relations with Canada, but his election may be the beginning of the US doing things differently when it comes to their working relationship with their closest allies and trading partners.

There's always hope, right?