Friday, September 22, 2006

Gerard Kennedy Is The Right Man For Liberals

Very rarely in politics do you get to vote for a politician you really like; usually you have to pick the lesser of two evils. I am glad to say that amongst the candidates for the Liberal leadership, there is one person I can genuinely vote for and that person is Gerard Kennedy. I agree with most of his stances on various issues, and endorse him whole heartedly for the coveted post.

Immigrant Success

This is an issue very close to my heart. In my interview with Dion, I had asked him what he would do to help immigrants get the jobs in Canada (for which they emigrated to via the points system in the first place). I liked Dion's answer, and I like Kennedy's strategy. I wish the two could be merged.

First of all, Kennedy wants to declare "closing the gap between Canadian-born citizens and immigrants of similar education and work experience" a National Priority. Recognition of the problem is the first step - and so far this problem has been marginalized, despite Canada losing an estimated $6 billion per year.

Kennedy advocates greater recognition of skilled labour within Canada's Point System, increased focus on family reunification and greater access to language programs.

Afghanistan

When the Taliban was first toppled, I had great hopes. After all, the Taliban were abusing Islam and the muslims of Afghanistan, perpetuating great myths (such as women not working when the Prophet's own sister-in-law worked, that too in the fields, or no education for women). They were engaging in barbaric massacres, such as Mazar-e-Sharif. They were engaging in supporting terro rism.

However the mission was so badly mismanaged (lack of sufficient manpower, for example) that now it is a losing mission. We cannot overwhelm the Taliban by might alone.
"We cannot eliminate the Taliban, not militarily anyway," Gordon O'Connor told Reuters in an interview on September 7 from Australia [Globe].
Yet we are there, losing lives, dollars and goodwill. We need to help the Afghanistan people, but in other ways. Kennedy has called our strategy in Afghanistan a losing strategy and I agree. He wants to reevaluate the mission and I agree.

Canada

Kennedy is not for declaring one part of the country a "nation" or re-examining the constitution. He wants to fight for Canada. That's why he has called for Saskatchewan to become a leader in bio-fuel technology (which will also aid our environment), values his Western roots (set up Canada's first food bank in Edmonton), had an eye on our climate by calling for a GST aid to hybrid car purchasers. He had worked as MPP and in cabinet in Ontario, where our education system now unrecognizable from the mess that it was under the Harris government.

Foreign Affairs

Kennedy has supported a balanced view of the Middle East, calling on Israel for restraint and deploring the Canadian lives (and others) lost in the recent Israel-Lebanon conflict. Unlike Harper, Kennedy thinks Canada can be a leader while promoting peace, while Harper's ideas of leadership roles are a bit different. Kennedy is for solutions and peace, not for war. When the news about the arrests of the Toronto 17 broke, Kennedy was one of the first to offer an honest statement, which while congratulating the police and RCMP, also stated we must assume the suspects "not guilty unless proven", and also not discriminate against other Canadians of similar faith and culture. Frankly, he didn't jump on the 'We Are Not Scared' bandwagon, when none of the charges are proven, and now that we know that the RCMP can make mistakes, and then try and hide them.

Summation

A full list of Kennedy's positions and statements on various issues is available from his webpage. He is young, charismatic, has been in our country for the last little while, has been a Liberal as far as I can remember, has no baggage and is bilingual. He can appeal for support from various constituencies, and I am sure is the right man to lead our country. I hope he stays in the leadership race till the end, and wins it.

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4 comments:

calgarygrit said...

Glad to hear you've picked Gerard!

mezba said...

Glad to be here :-)

Gavin Neil said...

I like a lot of those same positions - GK also has an interesting strategy for a Federal role in education which I think is great. But mostly I just think he's got an optimism about government as a force for good that I find really refreshing.

G

Jason Bo Green said...

Hm, I've never "disliked" Kennedy, but... you've really outlined a lot of reasons for me to be more excited about him here.

Gavin's comment above is also a really sharp one that catches my attention.