Category

The Politics of Politics

Category

Venezuela and I – some backstory

Friends, some of you might have seen my tweet from last week on the Maduro regime in Venezuela. It is right here, again, for context. I mentioned in my Retweet a story from a few years back, when dictator Hugo Chavez passed away. I’m here to provide you with more context and background than a tweet can allow. At the time of Chavez’ death, as Parliamentary Secretary of Foreign Affairs, I acknowledged in a press release the dictator’s death and expressed hope for a more democratic and prosperous future for the Venezuelan people. This was routine and part of my duties. Pretty standard, right?! I was also asked by Prime Minister Harper to attend the funeral ceremonies taking place subsequently in Caracas – this is normal practice for ceremonials abroad to foster continuous bilateral relations (I also accompanied PM Harper in another instance to attend…

The Power of Local Political Associations (EDAs)

Not all strategies are created equal in the “wonderful” world of politics. This is something that I quickly learned after unsuccessfully running in provincial politics. Having a game plan that incorporates the many facets of the political world is key to being successful. One of those facets is the inclusion of the local electoral district association (EDA) into your strategy (more on this below). The ultimate goal of any political candidate should be to receive a broad-base of support from grassroots groups. This is usually achieved by getting involved in local community associations, and causes, and volunteer groups. Grassroots support alone, however, will not get your foot into the door of the political world, as a more powerful group holds the key to that door – the EDA, who are referred sometimes as “gatekeepers”. The single biggest mistake that a candidate can…

Racism in Politics vs. Racism in Politics to further ones Agenda

Asking questions that help Canadians understand policies, behaviours and a politicians’ opinion IS NOT RACIST, and preventing this line of questioning goes against the very foundations of grassroots politics. This is a big concern for me! Make no mistake, during my 20 years of public service, I have faced racism firsthand. During my first successful campaign, I dealt with the ugly face of racism. You can read about it in the following article, however at this moment, I want to talk about the difference between facing racism and using racism as a way to shut down an uncomfortable line of questioning – a disturbing trend that is happening in Politics today. From M103 and its potential to shut down and label any discussion or questions of Islam as being Islmaphobic, to the newly elected NDP leader Jagmeet Singh shutting down questions regarding his own stance towards…