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Alex Rivard

Can’t handle the Randal

What I like most about politics isn’t necessarily winning—it’s that feeling you get when you find a candidate that you fundamentally agree with, one which may not win but shifts the discourse of a race or a debate to substantive issues and politics. Who continuously supports public policies that may be wholly unpopular by the electorate but nevertheless maintains ideological consistency in the face of dwindling support, juvenile attacks, and, frankly, the overwhelming possibility of losing. Simply put, Rand Paul should have excited the libertarian section of the GOP. In a race that consists of a populist cum despot, hawkish military supporters, evangelical lunatics seeking to return America to their ‘Judaeo-Christian founding values’, and a general neglect for individual rights, privacy, and limited government, stood Rand Paul. A principled candidate who offered more substantial policy ideas and discussion than any other candidate he stood on stage with. Instead of a more aggressive foreign policy, Paul stood for a limited foreign policy that did not put American boots on the ground, did not enforce ‘no fly zones’, and for foreign domestic problems to be handled by America’s foreign allies, thus reducing the imperialistic foreign policy that America has, not unfairly, been accused of. Limited foreign policy isn’t sexy, particularly in a party that embraces military intervention. But in a party that claims that President Obama has done nothing but run roughshod over the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, only Rand stood as a principled candidate arguing for the protection of individual liberties from an increasingly growing and terrifying state. Having once filibustered a bill for 13 straight hours in order to force a response from then AG Eric Holder concerning the government’s legal right to use drones…on American citizens…on American soil…Rand would eventually become the liberty candidate. The ‘liberty’ movement… Read More

Trudeau not the first to use his good looks for political gain

Canada’s love affair with Justin Trudeau is fully understandable and, I can assure you, is certainly appreciated within the Liberal Party of Canada. It’s Trudeau’s ability to connect with would-be voters, seniors, youth, the middle-class, and Canadians alike that have seen the polling numbers for Canada’s natural governing party sky rocket from their pre-Trudeau below-NDP numbers. Trudeau’s leadership of the Liberal Party, and the subsequent rise in popularity is not a new phenomenon in Canadian politics. Indeed, Trudeaumania is the prime example of Canadian political cult of personality, for lack of a better term. But populists who can speak to the masses, perhaps a bit vaguely, have characterized much of Canadian political landscape for the 20th century. While William Lyon Mackenize King, Canada’s longest serving prime minister, wasn’t noted for his public speaking ability – Arthur Meighen certainly held that advantage over him – it was nonetheless King’s ability to forge a populist base in Ontario, western Canada, and Quebec through Louis St. Laurent that helped secure power. Indeed, the extension of the King dynasty into St. Laurent was but an extension of a charismatic and populist leader. John Diefenbaker, running specifically on Prairie populism, arguably helped make the west a more important and relevant factor in Canadian politics. I’m incredibly weary of the argument that people make that Trudeau doesn't 'sound like a prime minister'. That's why I took issue with an article published in these pages regarding Trudeau's recent trip to Concordia University. Perhaps this generation just doesn’t know their history well enough. Or perhaps those who maintain such a vitriolic hate towards Trudeau are far too used to a cold and calculating style from our current prime minister. It’s no surprise that our current PM maintains a public persona of being risk-free, dull, and conservative. Yet when… Read More

Liberals: Don’t fall in line for Coderre

Montreal is a unique city. It is a city that is heralded for its multiculturalism, its unofficial bilingualism, and its European flair that offers visitors a taste of Europe without the price tag. Montreal’s undoubted uniqueness also comes with recent revelations of massive and entrenched corruption. So corrupt in fact that the city has lost two mayors in the past year, and now most Montrealers probably could not name their interim mayor. Allegations of corruption come amid decades of anecdotes and speculation – every good Montrealer can tell you who in their family knows someone who knows a guy who knows a guy who has stories about the rigging of the construction process. So worrying were these allegations that Liberal MP Denis Coderre gave up his comfortable federal seat in Bourassa to form Équipe Denis Coderre. Polls now suggest he is poised to take office as Mayor of Montreal this coming November. Coderre’s announcement, albeit terribly planned, released a fervor of support across the island among those who think Coderre is incorruptible and offers a real and palpable change to a city that has, so many times in the past two years, found itself bruised, wounded, and broken. But Coderre’s entry should not be immediately seen as a cake-walk. Wanting to mobilize Liberal support on the island of Montreal, Coderre is hoping to cobble together a coalition of Liberals and likeminded supporters who would like to see a superstar candidate become mayor. The man has had an impressive career and is one of Quebec’s most accomplished politicians, but his entry should not make all Liberals fall in line. While most party-members chose the Liberal Party of Canada after much soul-searching and agreeing that the party best represents their values, it should be remembered that Coderre left the party to create… Read More