Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau announced a 32-point plan today, called "Real change." Much of it is old politics as usual.
Trudeau offers some good things, like promises to reinstall the mandatory long-form census, to reopen the veterans' service centres that Harper's Conservatives closed recently, and to end "political harassment" of charities and "muzzling" of scientists.
Stupidly, he plans to up-end the democratic process within 18 months of being elected. The Liberals would form an all-party committee to study different electoral systems and make recommendations. He promises to provide Canada with a new voting process, all within 18 months of the forming a government. Really? In Canada? We'd be lucky to have the committee in place within 18 months. Oddly, in December, Trudeau was given a chance to support changing the electoral system, but instead voted against an NDP motion to make the 2015 the last first-past-the-post election, and its recommendation to use MMP, or mixed-member proportional representation.
Trudeau promises more free votes in Parliament, though the whole thing is rather vague. There is a plan to create a non-partisan Senate, whatever the hell that might be. Trudeau offers no clear evidence of wanting to create an accountable Senate, nor an elected Senate, nor even an effective Senate. Old politics gussied up to look like something new.
Trudeau would create an all-party national security oversight committee to monitor and oversee the operations of every government department with national security responsibilities. This was one of the major criticisms of Bill C-51 yet the Liberals joined with Harper's Conservatives to foist this terrible bill upon Canadians. Is this a flip-flop, a correction, or the recognition that he lost a lot of voters when he joined hands with Harper on C-51?
On this same day, an on-line Angus Reid survey of more than 6,000 Canadians was published and found that among those who are likely to vote, 36 percent support the NDP, 33 percent support the Conservatives and only 23 percent support the Liberals.
Approval ratings for the three major party leaders suggests ever more increasing strength for the NDP: Harper has declined to 37 percent (down 5 points), Trudeau is down to 43 percent (down 6 points), while Tom Mulcair's approval increases to 54 percent (up 6 points).
Mr. Trudeau told his crowd today that Canadians think all politicians are the same, "But I know it's not true... We need to show Canadians that real change in possible." He's right. It's just that the face of change looks like Tom Mulcair.
Copyright 2015 by Jim Murray.