Sat Dec 2nd, 2006 at 07:12:13 PM EST
Canadian News Short
The liberal leadership convention is now over. Stéphane Dion defeated front runner Michael Ignatieff. Dion 54.7% (2521 votes) to Ignatieff 45.3% (2084).
Michael Ignatieff is a Harvard professor who has spent most of his adult life outside of Canada. He has supported torture and the Iraq war. Part of his support may have been because he was not part of the Sponsorship scandal - the scandal that defeated the Liberal party and brought in a minority Conservative government.
Stéphane Dion's politics are as follows:
Stéphane Dion: Through my three-pillar approach, which is bringing together economic vitality, environmental sustainability and social justice. My action plan is to create a virtuous circle between the three pillars. Because I am proposing sound environmental policies, Canada will become more energy efficient and competitive in the new industrial revolution; double column the sustainable economy. Then we will have more capacity to improve social justice in Canada, and n on a progressive platform. because of that Canadians will be more educated, healthier, better equipped and more confident as players in the economy. And in this way, you will have a virtuous circle between the three pillars. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20060917.wlivelibsdion/BNStory
We don't know if the greenhouse gas emissions went up when I was Minister of the Environment because the last available statistics stopped in 2004. Having said that, it is very likely that there has been an increase since then. It is why I released, in April 2005, a much more compelling plan to honour our Kyoto commitments. This is also why I listed greenhouse gas emissions as a substance to be regulated under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. If the Liberals would have been re-elected, this plan would have been implemented, including a Carbon Market system and our emissions would start to go down. But Mr. Harper cancelled everything and we have wasted a full year. Three weeks ago I release an energy and climate change plan which is even more comprehensive than my 2005 one.
In addition to my Energy and Climate Change Plan, I have released during the last week a Clean Air Plan and a Clean Water Plan. Pretty soon, I will release an Environment and Health Plan and a Nature and Biodiversity Plan.
The red Tory David Orchard supported Stéphane Dion as the best person to defeat the current Prime Minister Steven Harper. Steve Harper seems to be not as extreme as George Bush, but built from the same mould.
The Conservative Party is traditionally known as the Tory party. A red Tory is one who is socially progressive but fiscally conservative. The Conservative Party merged/was taken over by the extreme right wing Alliance Party who wanted to avoid splitting the right wing vote so they would have a chance at power. After the merger the name Conservative Party was used.
Canada has a first past the post system. The party most often in power is the Liberal Party - a centre of the road party that manages to swing left and right in order to capture the most seats an amazingly large percentage of the time.
During the last election, something like 11% of the people who voted Conservative - voted for the Conservative Party. The remainder voted against the Liberal party. During a recent pole, the liberal party was more popular in every province in Canada except for Alberta - in spite of not having a leader. Now that Dion has been elected leader of the Liberal party, this trend will probably increase - perhaps with the Conservatives becoming even more popular in Alberta.
People in Quebec are reluctant to vote for a party unless that party has a leader from Quebec. This will stand the liberal party well in the next federal election whenever it may be.
By electing a left leaning leader, this will give Steven Harper more room, and will hurt the New Democratic Party. As well, the strong environmental stands by Dion will hurt the Green Party in their quest for a seat. Because Dion is from Quebec it will potentially hurt the Bloc Quebecois. Because Dion was around during the Sponsorship Scandal, it is possible that there may be some negative baggage that he may be saddled with.
That so many delegates voted for Ignatieff does not mean that people support entering the Iraq war or that they support torture. It does mean, as far as I can tell that these issues are not that important to people.