June 18, 2006

Choosing the Flagbearer

Joe Volpe is from the school of politics where if the other guy loses, you win. So when he held up the Globe and Mail and said Michael Ignatieff is too much like Stephen Harper, besides finding out that Joe can read at least at a 9th grade reading level, I also learned that Joe would have rather have an Anti-Harper than a real leader.

Leadership is usually judged when someone goes against the wind. I never believed that this leadership race would give Michael Ignatieff the chance to display the leadership he has displayed throughout his years as an academic and journalist. Most academics are all about how. Journalists prefer to report what, when, and where. Michael always sought out why. It does not help us to be reactionary. We must be pro-active. Therefore, I am happy to say that in some ways, Michael Ignatieff and Stephen Harper do agree on things. While this might be profoundly difficult for Joe Volpe to understand, the electorate wants someone they can vote for, not someone they will vote against. (I was saying this in 2003, so DUH I know Liberals are not in the best position to say this)

Michael Ignatieff and Stephen Harper believe we have to support the rebuilding of the Afghan society. They do not believe we should cut and run on an international commitment. While Harper believes we don’t need to honor our other international commitments like Kyoto, Michael has taken the stand that we have to honor these commitments, and that includes the 0.7% of GDP to foreign aid.

Michael Ignatieff and Stephen Harper both believe in the existence of the fiscal imbalance. They both believe Quebec is a nation. They both believe we should transfer money to provinces without strings. However, while Stephen Harper wants to devolve federal powers to the provinces and make the federal government decentralized, Michael Ignatieff believes the federal government can be strong and provide a common spine of citizenship and work to equalize services across the country with discussion and not with blatant interfering with provincial jurisdictions.

So if that is too close to Harper, sorry Joe. We Liberals always stood up for what was right, not against what the Tories were doing at the time. Stephen Harper should have nothing to do with how Liberals set their values no more than the New York Times should dictate Canadian foreign policy. Opposing for the sake of opposition will only turn us into the NDP. Ask Bob Rae, he will tell you the same thing.

We should not vote on electability alone, we should vote for someone whose principles we agree with. I say this to Michael as well, who was saying we should choose who is the best capable to beat Stephen Harper. The answer to his question is clear. ALL of us will beat Stephen Harper, we just have to choose to carry le drapeau Rouge Libéral, and for that, we must choose the person most in line with our personal values. It is after all, the Liberal way.

8 Commentaires:

Blogger calgarygrit a dit...

Michael Ignatieff and Stephen Harper both believe in the existence of the fiscal imbalance. They both believe Quebec is a nation. They both believe we should transfer money to provinces without strings. However, while Stephen Harper wants to devolve federal powers to the provinces and make the federal government decentralized, Michael Ignatieff believes the federal government can be strong and provide a common spine of citizenship and work to equalize services across the country with discussion and not with blatant interfering with provincial jurisdictions.

How on earth can you have a strong central government when you transfer money to the provinces without strings and cave in to the fiscal imbalance fear mongering?

Money without strings is the antithesis of a strong federal government.

6/18/2006 6:43 p.m.  
Blogger cat mutant a dit...

Calgarygrit...

Having a federal government that is too stong and too centralized is exactly what drives the ill-feelings in Quebec and Alberta. A balance needs to be found.

6/18/2006 8:27 p.m.  
Blogger Kyle Carruthers a dit...

Antonio,

Its interesting that you say that Ignatieff believes that Canada should live up to its international obligations. Isnt Canada obliged by international law not to invade a soverign country without the permission of the UN Security Council? Didnt Michael Ignatieff support the US invasion of Iraq? Hasnt he also endorsed a lot of tactics that are prohibited by international law?

If Ignatieff really beleived that Liberald need to choose the person who is most likely to beat Stephen Harper he would drop out and endorse Gerard Kennedy

6/18/2006 9:39 p.m.  
Blogger calgarygrit a dit...

Well, if you want to decentralize and take a Joe Clark/Stephen Harper/Gilles Duceppe approach to federalism, that's fine. It's a legitimate and perfectly defensible position.

But to pretend that that position means you have a strong federal government doesn't make any sense to me.

6/18/2006 10:05 p.m.  
Blogger cat mutant a dit...

Calgarygrit

I agree with you, the federal government would loose some of its power. I am a fan of the "autonomous region" idea, which is widely used in a many EU countries. It would be interesting to see it applied to Canada. I believe it is an option to solving the never-ending federalism woes that has never really been explored. Nothing has solved the federalism problem. A new approach (autonomous region) could be the solution.

However, I'm not sure how popular this idea is to Canadians outside of Quebec.

6/18/2006 11:14 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

Before 1995 in the days of Mulroney, there were three transfers to the provinces, one for health, one for post-secondary education, and one for social programs, mainly welfare. Martin merged them all into one and slashed it.

When the Chretien and martin governments began returning the money they kept putting conditions in, which is not really cool considering the constitution is pretty clear on jurisdiction.

CG, how you get a strong federal government without treading in provincial waters? It's simple, you create national programs, you make Canadian citizenship mean more.

Gerard Kennedy himself proposes a couple of things that would be great for that purpose, so does Michael and Scott Brison, Dion as well. We need a federalism where both levels of government respect each other.

6/19/2006 1:03 a.m.  
Blogger Manitoba Liberal a dit...

Joe Volpe is my favorite Liberal.

I'm supporting Kennedy, and I also really like Ignatieff and his principled stand on the Aghan misson, but Volpe as Liberal leader would be so fun to watch.

6/19/2006 5:51 p.m.  
Blogger MPM a dit...

Tina Keeper endorses Ken Dryden

www.kendryden.com

6/21/2006 5:16 p.m.  

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