Amazing: Trudeau Has Finally Impressed Oberfeld!

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OPINION:

 

harvoverfeldpic1

By Harvey Oberfeld

Keeping it Real…

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.

Harv Oberfeld

The following are comments from Harv’s blog

  • DBW // Jun 26, 2015 at 9:13 am

    You asked “what’s an uncommitted voter to do?”

    Simple: Anybody but Conservative. (You point out some of the reasons not to reward them.)

    And if you can’t decide between the alternatives, then select the one that has the best chance of defeating the Conservative candidate in your riding.

    (Responsible: It’s beginning to look like that could happen: I’ve always said I like minority governments ..and could be satisfied with one this time, preferably for me led by the Liberals, with NDP support/backing. Even maybe a coalition. h.o)

  • 2// Jun 26, 2015 at 11:13 am

    strategic vote time ?
    minority gov?
    orange crush with some red perhaps

  • 3larry Bennett // Jun 26, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Raising the minimum wage to $15/hour? Are you losing it Harvey? Just what do you think that will accomplish besides making the dollar worth less in its buying power and putting seniors and others in even deeper doo-doo than they are now. Give your head a shake my friend, though not too aggressively.
    Also, opening diplomatic realations with Iran would only signal to them that we are as naive and as anti Christian/Jewish is the swaying/sashaying double-jointed idiot in the White house!

    (Response: I could support that … over time. And certainly, when you look at all the bodies being imprisoned, forced to walk the plank or thrown overboard on the Good Ship Harper, as it lists badly to the right … supporting another party that calls for a $15 minimum wage is much less of a concern. h.o)

  • 4e.a.f. // Jun 26, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    I want Bill C-51 gone. I want that election disenfranchisement bill gone. I want the Cons gone.

    I see no reason to not have an embassy in Iran. We had one for years until Steve had a pissie fit of some sort. All Trudeau said was “I’m fairly certain that there are ways to re-engage with Iran. He is correct. All sorts of “normal” countries “engage with Iran”. Why can’t Canada? O.K. perhaps Steve doesn’t like the idea Iran is providing subsidies for its citizens who convert to solar power I don’t know. to say Iran is a terrorist country, well lets not get picky Steve. How about Saudi Arabia? Exporter of such fine things as money and bombers who blew up the World trade Centre, gave us Bin Laden. Saudi Arabia financed it all. They finance all sorts of things, based on their wacked out version of islam. You know flog a blogger to death a week at a time.

    If Steve wants to talk terrorism, why does he want to back Ukraine. Has he had a really, really good look at the neo Nazis over there on the “good guy side”.

    Trudeau will be an improvement over Harper. His party just doesn’t have the same number of crooks.

    of course I’d like to see Mulcair in that nice house for a term.

    (Response: I agree on an Iranian embassy …doesn’t mean I like them, trust them or would oppose actions against their Republican Guards or Hesbollah or other terrorist groups they have funded. But we have diplomatic relations with all kinds of countries we disagree with and have supported insurrection groups… ie Russia, China, the US. h.o)

  • 5workforfun // Jun 26, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    I would be happy to see a coalition government instead of the arrogant dishonest Conservatives.
    Maybe a coalition is what is needed these days, to do the right thing for Canada and not some large corporation. Might take time to get agreement, but hopefully it would be a fair compromise.

    I can tell you that I have had enough of the dictatorial style of this Harper government.

    The October election can not come soon enough for me.

    (Responses: I’d prefer minority government …but could support a coalition IF the Libs had more power than the NDP. At least that’s my view right now …and the campaign hasn’t officially even begun yet! Maybe even Harper will look better before it’s all over …although with Nigel Wright to testify under oath later this summer, I won’t bet on that. h.o)

  • 6Gene the Bean // Jun 26, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    Hi Harv, seems we are agreeing a lot lately……

    I am uncommitted (voting wise…) and I know the PC’s have to go….but who gets to sit in the big chair?

    Mulcair…smart, little if any bench strength but too invested in Quebec for me.

    Trudeau…he reminds me of that kid in high school that was popular, the teachers loved him, always got the girl, nice car etc etc – and didn’t have to put in any effort or work a day in his life. The easy road. I will never trust people like that.

    Harper – NO.

    So….by default….. a minority government without the Cons in control.

    OFF TOPIC – Vaughn Palmer is tripping over himself these days sort of, ummm, maybe, ummmm, we need “another look” at the Health Care scandal. Then, in an interview, he directly parrots the BC Liberal speaking points about a “public inquiry costs too much and takes too much time.” Just when you think there is a glimmer there….it is back to the dark side.

    (Response: It’s not as if there are one or two Tories in disgrace…there’s an entire cast now of people who violated our trust and the law. I can’t hide the fact that I have been very critical and had many doubts about Trudeau … but people I respect keep telling me, don’t worry …he has a lot of experienced people behind the scenes, who would control his “childishness”. Not totally convinced, esp after THREE ISIS attacks killing dozens, from France to Kuwait to Tunisia today alone, I do not agree with him that Canada should not be involved in hitting the terrorists, even from the air. But I also have no idea where Mulcair/NDP stand …maybe even worse in confronting the terrorists from my point of view. Maybe that’s what Harper/Tories are counting on …doubts about Trudeau’s/Mulcair’s abilities/willingness to confront/stop terrorism.

  • 7Gilbert // Jun 26, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    Justin Trudeau is the PM ISIS wants. He’s too inexperienced and naive to be PM. Without his name, he’d be nowhere in politics.

    (Response: That is one of my fears ..would Trudeau or Mulcair be the Neville Chamberlain of the modern age? In fact, not even with a phoney piece of paper, but just by sticking their heads in the sand …hearing, seeing and speaking no evil … as ISIS moves to enslave/behead thousands more. h.o)

  • 8larry Bennett // Jun 26, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    One gets the feeling here that the Conservatives are goners, with no hope of re-election! It seems to me, that is exactly what was thought of Cameron’s gang in Britain this past election. Tory voters there were all seen as racists, sexists and homophobes, and the same old tiresome accusations ensued right up to the election day. Labour was absolutely giddy. Even after the last exit poll at 0230 AM, their functionaries
    were assuring Miliband of a huge sweep. A British news presenter is quoted as saying “Labour is saying the exit poll is wrong”. Off air, he was heard to say “In a few hours they’ll be wishing it was right”!
    Also, UKIP’s support base was 61% working class, which was way more than Labour. On top of this all, Cameron rid himself (and England) of the LibDems.
    It would seem likely that Cameron can do even more in his next term than he did in the last. Whodda thunk?

    (Response: I wouldn’t say the PCs are a goner … remember Christy Clark? And of course, Cameron. My comments are a snapshot of how I assess what I see right NOW. I have always said I believe elections are usually won or lost in the two or three weeks before the vote. A lot depends on the ads, the promises, the debates and any gaffes etc. Stand by …there’s a lot of time left! h.o)

  • 9DBW // Jun 26, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    The Conservatives in the Senate want to quash debate of the bill that would see unions forced to disclose spending, a bill that is opposed by seven provinces representing 80% of the population.
    The privacy commissioner has expressed reservations to it and most constitutional experts feel it won’t hold up in court.

    Even the Conservative speaker rules against their motion saying it breaks the rules which is does.

    The Conservative senators then challenge the speaker’s ruling which passes so they can now break the rules and pass an unconstitutional law.

    Just one more example of why the Steven Harper Conservatives need to be replaced.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/senate-speaker-leo-housakos-overruled-by-conservatives-to-force-vote-on-anti-union-bill-1.3129201

  • 10e.a.f. // Jun 26, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    who cares what Canada’s position is on ISIS, etc. We’re a non entity on the world stage. Yes we’d like to believe we are, but truly, not so much. the players are the U.S.A., G.B., Germany, France, China, Russia, Japan.

    They keep Canada around because of our work in WW II and guys like Lester Pearson, Trudeau Sr., even Mulroney. Canada and its 6 jets are a joke. Not to mention are ships are kept afloat with spare parts from craigslist. Hell, even Italy probably has a bigger influence in Europe and we aren’t in Europe. Their navy and coast guard does better.

    Canada’s contribution was its peacekeeping abilities. Now we have a P.M. who likes to play Mr. dressup in camos. Lets not forget he and kiddy Kenny with their “spyglasses” trying to look military. Took Canada’s ship out of the “exercises”. Upp another photo op. In the grand scheme of things Canada is not much on the international stage. we are a 36 million citizen country, with an idiot for a P.M. and an Armed Forces with more guts than supplies.

    once this deal with Iran is signed, they will most likely have a higher profile on the world stage. they may well become the major player in the middle east. they and the Kurds will divide up what they want and leave the rest to a new country, run by ISIS. over time ISIS, will simply become another government. probably won’t get invited out much, sort of like North Korea, but hey all the countries still act like they are there. If we want to talk about terror and killing, gee that is one government who gives ISIS a run for its money and what do we really do about them? Not much. when things get really tough for its citizens we send supplies and ask china to get them to tow the line.

    (Response: You say Canada is a non-entity …but then you list a number of extraordinary efforts/contributions Canada made when we were even smaller on the world stage. And I notice that nowhere do you mention the word “responsibility”: so you think Canada should do nothing to help stop thousands of innocent people from being slaughtered …including kids, elderly, Christians, other “non-Sunnis”. If Canada doesn’t do anything, why should France, Britain etc. Yes, we need the ARAB nations to do more, but we have to be there too. h.o)

  • 11morry // Jun 26, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    best thing for Canadian democracy is to kick Harper out. The rest is secondary/

  • 12Gary L. // Jun 27, 2015 at 8:20 am

    “A lot depends on the ads, the promises, the debates and any gaffes etc.”

    Sad isn’t it?

    And we wonder how people with ulterior motives

    get foisted upon high.

    (Response: It is sad …because many people vote the way they buy soap suds … a catchy ad or clip, brochure or debate point. Very few go on the Internet and actually read the policies and positions of the parties. h.o)

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Harv … no matter which party gets in … the same old same old … promises not kept … they just want at the trough … so I say keep what we have … at least we know what to expect …

  2. Having been a long time conservative supporter, federally, I’ve become very discouraged with the governing party, what with the Senate scandal, then with Bill C-51, which the Trudeau Liberals also voted and supported. Then with Trudeau’s comments related to ISIS. Please watch this video clip and tell me honestly, does this guy know what he is saying?
    In closing, I never ever thought I would even consider the New Democrats, but I have to say, they are becoming more and more appealing, especially when it comes to the senate, scrapping Bill C-51… Let’s face it, so far the sky hasn’t fallen in in Alberta with the mandate the New Democrats were handed in the May election. Matter a fact, it broke a dictatorial government which had been in power for 44 years. With solid opposition of the Wildrose, democracy has finally returned to Alberta. Prime Minister Tom Mulcair is beginning to sound more appealing to me everyday.l

  3. Keep what we have? Now that’s the worst idea I have come across all week. Time to send The Supreme Leader packing.
    Also with that sort of thinking , Charles, I suppose it doesn’t matter who is there right? So time for at least a new face on The Hill.

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