Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Liberal Leadership Race: Candidates are Timid Unimaginative Comformists

Strangely, the candidates seem content run on the same platform that got the Liberals tossed from office back in January. Stranger still is the fact that the favorites have been the ones taking the chances (e.g. carbon tax) and the candidates with virtually nothing to loose are the ones playing it most safe.

Hedy Fry is the best example of a candidate who should be making noise, but is not. Indeed, despite the fact that Hedy Fry represents one of the most socially liberal ridings in Canada and the fact that she is at the end of her political career, she has been unwilling to roll the dice and make any controversial statements or bold policy proposals. What has playing it safe got her thus far? A paltry $15 grad in donations and the ghost of Prince George still has not been vanquished. Hedy Fry says the party needs more than just a fresh coat of paint. I could not agree more. However, if that is her position, it is time she put her money were her mouth is. Personally, I would love it if one of the candidates would line up behind one or more of the following.

4 weeks vacation for all Canadians

Legalization of marijuana

A promise to pull the troops out of Afghanistan

Euthanasia

Legalization of prostitution

Mandatory voting

Abolition of the senate

Abolition of the monarchy

Making Dental care part of health care

Willingness to tackle media concentration

It should be noted that during his first year in office, Trudeau decriminalized homosexuality, and lightened the restrictions on gambling, abortion and divorce. It is my hope that should the Liberals win the next election that they be as bold as Trudeau. As with claims about wanting to change the party, it means very little to invoke the ghost of Trudeau, as Fry and others have done, unless they are willing to act as boldly.

It should be noted that the above are certainly not new ideas and many are realities in Europe.

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