Thursday, April 07, 2016
Justin Trudeau's Plan to Turn the Liberal Party Into a Movement
Justin Trudeau has been underestimated from the moment he decided to run for office.
And even after boldly moving the Liberal Party to the left of the NDP, breaking the deficit taboo, and winning a strong majority, I still hear a lot of people saying this:
Justin is a nice guy, but he is the willing captive of the Liberal establishment, and you know what they're like. So he could never stand for real change, and it's just more of the same.
But actually they couldn't be more wrong.
Because this is another bold move.
Justin Trudeau is pushing a proposed new constitution for the Liberal Party of Canada aimed at transforming the federal party from an exclusive club into a wide-open political movement.
The proposal, adopted Saturday by the party's national board during a three-hour meeting with the prime minister in Halifax, would do away entirely with the long-held principle that only dues-paying, card-carrying members are entitled to take part in party activities.
He is trying to turn a party into a movement, which by the standards of our peaceful kingdom, is practically revolutionary.
And as Susan Delacourt points out, far from being a tame creature of the Liberal establishment, he is actually trying to unmake it.
It should be obvious by now that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has no special fondness for the Liberal party — at least the old version of it. You might even say that if this Liberal leader was forced to choose, he’d take new friends over old friends of the party.
That, in fact, is precisely the calculation Trudeau is making with his proposed overhaul of the Liberal party constitution, which would do away entirely with the idea of party membership.
He is trying to loosen the establishment's grip on himself and the party. He is trying to break with the past.
And while Delacourt can't seem to decide whether this is a good idea or a bad idea, or even why he is doing it, this is the bottom line:
At any rate, whether his motivation is professional or personal, Trudeau is building a Liberal party that won’t look anything like the old one — deliberately.
And I couldn't be more delighted. For I have always believed that a traditional party cannot effect real change, only a movement can.
And I honestly believe that with the power of a movement behind him Justin Trudeau could take this country in a far more progressive direction than he can even think about doing right now.
For nobody can deny that he is a very different politician.
As Lawrence Martin pointed out recently, he is also far more complex than his natural friendliness might lead you to believe.
There is still this perception, an image that persists among his detractors, that Justin Trudeau is a superficial politician, that there is little beneath the glamorous exterior. He’s always suffered by comparison to the intellectual heft of Pierre Trudeau.
In fact, the case could well be made that Justin Trudeau is a more complex individual than his father, deeper in terms of his range of emotions and vulnerabilities, broader in terms of of his interests and relationships.
So nobody should underestimate him, as I did when he first appeared on the political scene...
For he isn't The Messiah.
And BTW I'm still waiting for him to legalize marijuana. !!#@!!
But he just may be the Canadian leader, who at a time of extraordinary global upheaval.
Has what it takes to break free from the past.
And lead us to a new and exciting future...
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of course Steve and the rest of the western separatists will monkey wrench the process as much as possible
Boy, do I ever hope you're right, Simon. It would be so amazingly cool to see the old british mindset excuses for political parties over here get shaken up/torn down and something truly progressive take their/its place. The cons will never change....that's like trying to teach a cro-magnon to sight read Beethoven.
I'm not much of a Trudeau groupie at this point but if he actually took that party in a new and really progressive direction, who knows. You take the yellow out of orange and you got red, ay?
I, personally, am still hoping the NDP loses its yellow streak but that's another story.
I'm still waiting to see some action on the marijuana front. Some good, easy to implement first steps would be to decriminalize possession and to annul the criminal records of all those convicted in the past of simple possession. Allowing people to legally grow their own few plants would be helpful.
The real test for Trudeau, in my estimation, is whether or not, he pursues thse tax avoiders/criminal corporations and billionaires and starts regulating the banking consortiums or will he just ignores the issues and hopes it disappears from the short attention span of the electorate. Having said that, I hope that the progressive movement continues to press this point and not lose this opportunity to finally get these bastards to pay their fair share of the taxes. If they threaten to jump ship, let them go, but any product they sell in Canada should be taxed an import fee as if they were a foriegn entity with no free trade exemptions. Good riddance.
It may well be that the Liberal Party is the capture of Justin Trudeau.
I voted for him and to be honest I think he is overrated!!! No action on many of his promises as yet....
Oh well my Mary Jane is still tax free, the underground economy is growing and I shall participate at every opportunity!!!!!
Politicians are still lying, thieving, self serving and not transparent!!!!!!
Nothing on the CRA and their total lack of catching the real criminal tax fraudsters!!!!!!!! Separate rules depending on how much $$$$$ you have....... I feel I voted for change.... And got the same.
Now we have fundraising at lawyers offices....... After the Panama Papers and KGMP..... This fundraiser confirms that ALL politicians are crooks and just looking to line their pockets with the middle class tax dollars whilst the rich go tax free!!!!!!!
Absolutely no transparency in this current Regime, just like the last!!!!! Different face same lies!!!!!
My new bumper sticker........ Voted for Change.....Got the Same FS
Get a grip, it's only been 5 months and the Liberals have accomplished much already. Trudeau is awesome but he doesn't have a magic wand.
agreed. people can not expect every thing the first year. it takes a lot of hard work and writing legislation is complex. IT isn't done over night. You want to get it right the first time.
The Liberals are still the same old right-of-centre, corrupt, elitist, capitalist, corporate, pro-globalization party as before. They are good at flashing a few shiny baubles and distracting people from the big issues though. As for Trudeau's proposal to let non-members vote on party business, that gimmick makes no sense and probably won't get passed. Why would members of a group want to allow non-members to influence the direction of their group? It would make more sense to just lower the membership fee or offer free membership.
P.S. Deficits are neither left-wing nor right-wing. Deficits happen when revenues do not cover expenses. The Liberals promised deficits because they have no intention of increasing taxes on profitable corporations or non-productive rich individuals, nor do they have any plan to crack down on wealthy tax evaders or cut waste and abuse of expense accounts in the upper levels of government and bureaucracy. They aren't going to turn on their own.
Turn it up!!!
We're Ready by Kelly & Kaylen Prescott (Liberal Party Of Canada's Song.)
Hey my Anon buddy. You'd rather have 4 more years of Harper and his Harpercons???
Even if you voted NDP or Green, we are better off than with another Harpercon regime. The day I heard Mulcair say he would balance the budget if he became the PM, it was downhill from there. The Libs brilliantly stole a page from the previous NDP playbook. The NDP should have agreed with the Libs that running a deficit is what we need to stimulate the economy and job growth.
Trudeau did not move the Liberal party to the left of the NDP. Trudeau's Liberal party is the most right-wing incarnation yet. He ran on middle-class tax cuts and TPP free trade to "create middle class jobs and grow the economy." His $20-billion stimulus package is half of Harper's $40-billion "Economic Action Plan."
Mulcair ran on reversing Harper's $15-billion a year in corporate tax cuts. Junior supports them. Mulcair ran on reversing Harper's $36-billion healthcare transfer cuts. Trudeau supports them.
Trudeau is willing to run a $30-billion deficit, but all that money we are borrowing to pay out to the rich in about $100-billion a year in tax cuts: Trudeau's tax cuts piled on top of Harper's tax cuts piled on Chretien's tax cuts piled on Mulroney's tax cuts.
All of Trudeau's "Real Change" initiatives are all fluff. Just like this blog. Welcome to the establishment media (although I imagine the process that led you to this point was entirely unwitting and predicated on a laziness to read what the parties were actually running on.)
hi anon...no doubt they will, but they don't have anybody like Trudeau capable of starting a movement. By opening up the party before the election the Liberals gained about 300,000 supporters. And there is no reason it should not work for them again....
hi anon...I can't be sure it would work, or that it won't be sabotaged by the establishment. But what I do know is that in these times of global upheaval, leaders like Corbyn and Sanders are leading by example, creating movements, and motivating large numbers of young people to join the political process. I am convinced that is the future, and the only way to push for the real change we need.
And you don't have to be a Trudeau groupie to recognize that he is a different kind of politician. And that given a little freedom he just might surprise a lot of people....
hi hinofan...yes I've really got to write a post about that issue. I can understand why it takes time to set up a new system, but in the meantime the government should declare a general amnesty and the police should stop busting people for simple possession. That strikes me as insanity, when we know we are going to legalize it. And yes, I am also in favour of annulling the criminal records of all those convicted of the "crime" of possessing marijuana...
hi GreazedLitenen...well the Liberals have given the CRA $400,000 to boost their ability to go after tax evaders. But those kind of cases are complicated, the millionaires put up all kinds of legal obstacles, so it will take time. Still as you say, the Liberals must show that they are serious about rounding up those tax dodgers and making them pay what they owe, because people are angry and they will expect results...
hi jrkrideau....if Trudeau is successful in creating a movement, he will capture the Liberal party, and I suspect much of the NDP. Justin has shown himself to be audacious, and if his gamble pays off he will change how politics is done in this country...
hi anon...I would also advise you to be a bit more patient. Trudeau has only been in office for just over four months. And that's not enough to accomplish all that needs to be done. As far as I am concerned he is doing quite well, and the most important thing is that he is at least heading this country in the right direction. After ten years of Harper that is something to celebrate....
hi anon...Well your free to think that, but I think you're mistaken. And I don't think you understand what creating a movement instead of a party really means. As Delacourt points out in her article, parties are evolving in that direction, and traditional parties are on their way out. Movements get more people involved in the political process, and give them more say in determining where that movement should go. So it becomes more of a question about where do Canadians want to take their country, and that can only be good...
hi anon...well you're right that deficits are almost always the results of not enough revenue rather than too much spending. And I think the Liberals will have to find a way of raising taxes, because the Cons have cut them so much the government does not have enough money to properly service the needs of a growing population. But as for declaring that the Liberals are not interested in tackling tax evaders I think that's a little premature. They have given the CRA more money and new marching orders, so I suggest you give them a little time before you condemn them so hastily...
hi Ron...you know you and the Mound of Sound should form a two-man party called the Real Progressive Party or Club, because you both sound like you think you own the truth. When in fact you couldn't be more out of it, and only sound like a pompous ass. You just don't get it, we're not living in Hoxha's Albania we're living in Canada, with its own political traditions and way of doing things. And by the standards of this country what Trudeau is trying to do is revolutionary. And what narrow ideologues like you can't understand is that change is a complex living organism not some lifeless dogma that you quote like a Bible salesman. Who the hell do you think you are you arrogant asshole? Do you puff yourself up like a toad to make yourself feel bigger ?As for calling my blog fluff, All I can say is that I remember your blog and it couldn't be more deadly or boring. I mean DEADLY boring. I think I'm a pretty good swimmer but if I had one of your posts in my pocket at a shipwreck I would go straight to the bottom. You are the very embodiment of what's wrong with the left, with its self appointed judges of who is progressive and who is not. Cease your absurd posturing and for god's sake get a life...
Let's just say that everyone is not as patient. There is a dramatic change from the election talk and the actual leadership walk...... And comes from many of these Ministers and MP's. I would like to see something actually accomplished. Four months should have been enough time to see some light on something. I'm not saying I am not relieved that there is no more Hitler Harper but come on....... Time to throw Canadians a little bone to show they are actually not more of the same!!!!!! I would like to see more of that "transparent" government which that word is always loosely iused in answering any question by the Liberals. To think we are throwing millions of our hard earned tax dollars into CRA and they are still as inept as ever!!!!!!! Neither the government nor the taxpayers can communicate with this dishonest, useless arm of our government. I guess soon I will hear, it's only been two years, give the guy a chance!!!!!! Maybe after that fundraiser at the law office, which is a slap in the face after KGMP and Panama, they will be able to find a better way for the government to hide their rich friends money. oh well we let them slide for four months, what's another few years of getting paid with our hard earned tax dollars for nothing....... We have been screwed for ten years so Whats four months of nothing!!!!!!! I know I voted for change that the Liberals promised us would happen very swift once elected. Lots of double talk going around, lots of Twitter, Facebook.. But no real accomplishments unless the more Twitter and Facebook followers you get is an accomplishment. I know my Mississauga South MP will not return calls, emails but he as time for endless twitters and have done nothing since he dropped his sign off on my lawn during the election!! Canadians need real service, not lip service!!!!!! FP
I'm a centrist Keynesian, not an ideologue. Trudeau is continuing the 30 years of Tough Tory Times that Mulroney started. It's not working. All of his economic policies are right-of-center including his "baloney" infrastructure spending.
If you want to use hand puppets to explain the news to people, first try absorbing some facts. Trudeau takes a selfie and you get all weak at the knees. A real progressive blogger will demand real progressive policies. Not help whitewash more of Brian Mulroney's regressive conservatism.
No your not, you're a bloated arrogant old toad who think he owns the truth, and likes I to go around like the Mound of Misogyny lecturing and insulting people. Who the hell cares about Mulroney? That's ancient history Ron, get with it you idiot, it's 2016. And as proof that you are a dinosaur there's the bit about going weak at the knees and selfies. SELFIES ??? SELFIES. Is that all you can say? How bloody original. You sound like every other Idiot Con out there. Keep your ingrained homophobia to yourself you lowlife asshole, you don't have the mental attributes to criticize anyone. You're no progressive, you haven't an ounce of humanity. I remember reading your boring as batshit blog and thinking is this guy real? Or do you have to wind him up like an old cuckoo clock? Cuckoo...cuckoo, cuckoo. You're the kind of ideologue that always end up condemning people to death in revolutions that go bad, and the most deadly enemies of human progress. In my post I simply repeated what others were saying about Trudeau's plan to turn the Liberal Party into a movement, which even your fellow Cons at the Globe called "genius" while of course moaning about it for basically the same reasons you do. I am far to the left of you, I didn't vote for the Liberals you cretin, and if you think you can come around here and try to push me around and flaunt your disgusting old man homophobia you've got another thought coming....
The Liberals are as "revolutionary" as the Progressive Conservatives of decades past. If you honestly compare their policies on big issues like taxation, trade deals, minimum wage, social programs, public assets, business regulations, etc., there is no denying that today's Liberals are substantially to the right of the old PCs.
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