And so, it is done. Justin Trudeau has won the Liberal leadership, and lo, the party is reborn. Or something like that. To be fair, the fact that he won with some 80 percent of the vote share on the first count is quite remarkable, and Trudeau made a very important – and forceful – point during his speech that the era of the “hyphenated” Liberal – be they Chrétien-Liberals, Martin-Liberals, Turner-Liberals, or what have you – ends here and now. And considering that his leadership team was of a new generation that eschewed those former battles, it does send a strong signal that it’s the case, and perhaps the party will stop fighting with itself for a change. Perhaps. Meanwhile, the Conservatives wasted no time at all in putting out a congratulatory statement with a little dig about his experience in it. I write about what his election by means of the “supporter” category means from a civic literacy and accountability perspective. Leslie MacKinnon looks at how Trudeau became leader from what was an unlikely start. Michael Den Tandt wonders if Trudeau’s popularity may be his undoing, with the dangers of peaking early and not engaging the party’s veterans and loyal core support. John Ivison looks at the belief that Trudeau can single-handedly resurrect the party. John Geddes takes note of three key themes from the speech, and what they may portend for the future of the party.
As for the NDP policy convention, the party did eventually vote to remove reference to socialism from their party constitution’s preamble, after cutting the debate short, but passing it by more than two-thirds of the membership. (Insert grumbling about the Sherbrooke Declaration and its 50 percent-plus-one to break up the country here). Colin Horgan talks about how the party was reluctant to face those socialist roots in the face of that debate, as their behaviour in the convention demonstrates. As Nick Taylor-Vaisey writes, the party seems to have confidence in their chances in 2015, no matter how much ground those socialist roots lost this weekend. They also tried to downplay the threat of Justin Trudeau, and hope that their young MPs are their key to the future. Aaron Wherry gives what is possibly the most perfect summation to the weekend’s events.
Incidentally, it was quite hilarious that Thomas Mulcair went on The West Block yesterday morning to talk about Stephen Harper’s lack of respect for our parliamentary institutions. Because the NDP’s contempt for the Senate and republican sentiments are such shining examples of respect for two of the three institutions of Parliament.
It seems that four of the six Challenger jets that we have to fly VIPs around have become so obsolete that they may no longer be allowed to fly internationally, and are probably not worth upgrading due to parts shortages. There is talk of maybe transferring some of the jets under Transport Canada’s authority to DND for this kind of passenger duty, but so far they are “exploring their options.”
At long last, three of our four submarines are now ready to enter active service (the last of them still expected to be in dock until 2015).
In the wake of Peter Penashue’s attack against the CBC, David Cochrane recounts some of his own encounters with politicians that went over badly. Meanwhile, Penashue now says he held up two projects – and refuses to say what they are. Since the premier doesn’t even know what the projects are, I’m starting to suspect that Penashue is making this up in order to make himself look the big regional champion who did ALL THE THINGS for Labrador.
And here’s a look at how author and high school teacher Nathan Tidridge is taking on the education system in Ontario to correct the errors in its civics textbooks, so that students in this province can get a chance at some proper civic literacy – something that is sorely lacking across the whole country.
Up today – Trudeau will undoubtedly face off with Harper for the first time as leader in QP, as Harper will almost certainly be in the House on a Monday – a rarity – before he heads off to the UK for Margaret Thatcher’s funeral.