By Harvey Oberfeld
June 27, 2015
I’m not sure …maybe it’s because the parade of Conservatives through the Courts is more like watching The Godfather TV series than seeing our federal government at work … but I am certainly searching the alternatives.
One thing is abundantly clear about THIS federal election … Canadians WILL have clear choices.
And even though I have often concluded Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is shallow, too young, inexperienced … he came up this week with SEVERAL policy pronouncements/promises that do find quite appealing; and even though many might worry NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair would be too radical left-wing … he also has come out with statements/policies aimed at helping the middle class, while promoting Canadian businesses and protecting the environment. Great stuff!
What’s an uncommitted voter to do????
This past week, it’s been Trudeau who has been setting out several clear policies on both domestic and foreign policy and has offered himself up for several IN DEPTH media interviews. Nothing like a drop in the polls to make a politician deliver several policy announcements and make himself much more available!
But I have to admit, a bit grudgingly, that what he said, what he promised and how delivered the message actually had me thinking …. maybe I could vote for him/Liberals …. at least not rule them out as readily as I have until now, because of my concerns about his shortcomings.
I liked Trudeau’s calls for: a middle class tax cut; boosting benefits to families with children; no GST increase; introducing electoral reform; a continental clean energy policy; easing border blockages; and, reforming the Senate, not abolishing it (not possible anyway).
The federal NDP has also supported electoral reform, increasing corporate taxes, reducing small business taxes. introducing new tax credits for research and development, and introducing a federal minimum wage of $15/hour.
I favour those ideas … and have to concede, I am becoming more impressed with the alternatives. Every week that goes by Harper and the Conservatives are increasingly mired in more and more disgraces … their faces pinned up on tv screens like the rogue’s gallery we used to see at the local post office … and there have been other very serious gaffes, like refusing to take part in the upcoming national tv debates … although I still believe that decision may change (as they watch the polls).
Maybe Trudeau IS growing into the job, perhaps he has pretty good policy advisors and campaign strategists … but at least, it is an alternative to the hard-edge cold dictatorship we’ve endured under Harper. And certainly, this past week, he was really “out there”, announcing SPECIFIC policies and promises … certainly a welcome change from seeing the PM’s former Parliamentary Secretary paraded before the cameras in handcuffs and shackles on his way to jail.
During his appearance on the CBC’s Power and Politics, Trudeau DID propose major change from Harper’s policies on foreign affairs.
He would end Canada’s combat bombing missions against ISIS (I do NOT agree with him on that); he would DOUBLE Canada’s 70 military advisors in Iraq to help train Iraqi army forces (Good luck!) ; and he would restore Canada’s diplomatic relations with Iran (I don’t trust the terrorist-supporting religious fanatics in charge over there … but I’m not against trying to at least engage diplomatically).
All very interesting … and he DOES have me paying attention, even if I disagree on some it.
Now Mulcair has to step it up too … announcing more SPECIFICS on NDP domestic promises AND clearly set out NDP foreign policies.
One thing is already abundantly clear … those of us who have not yet decided WILL have very clear choices this time around … and OUR votes will be the most critical.
The following are comments from Harv’s blog
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