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Justin Trudeau on Iran – I love a straight answer (video)

Iran's nuclear program is an existential threat

Iran’s nuclear program is an existential threat not just to Israel but to the whole Middle East and, therefore, the globe. It is therefore a high priority.

I was at a great program on Thursday, November 29th at Beth Tikvah Synagogue in Toronto. Visions for Canada is billed as an opportunity to engage with senior politicians on issues of interest to the Jewish Community. The first program was that night, featuring Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau. With almost 500 in attendance, I think we can call it a rousing success.

After Justin assisted in lighting the Hannukah candles (my 19 year old daughter, who voluntarily attended pointed out that Justin could not light the candles because he is not Jewish), the program truly got into gear. The format was straightforward. Five questions, discussed by the organizers and members of the synagogue, would be asked by Rabbi Jarrod Grover. After those questions were asked, the audience could pose questions to the aspiring Prime Minister.

One of the key questions regarded the work of the P5+1 in negotiating an agreement with Iran regarding their nuclear program and enrichment of materials. To be frank, I was worried that Justin would follow the path of other pols, giving a wishy washy answer designed to pander to the audience while saying nothing. I was pleased to hear him start his response with a direct statement. To me, that direct statement framed the rest of his response, building a strong foundation upon which additional nuance could bring value.

I agree with Justin on this statement and on the need to bring additional nuance to the discussion. When unequivocal support of Israel is a part of the foundation, diplomatic nuance becomes one of the key tools in moving from loud rhetoric to action. It is what allows diplomats to translate the bluster of leaders to the reality of success.

There is a road to travel before I am fully confident about Justin Trudeau. But even now, he stands above the leaders of the two other parties, one enmeshed in controversy and the other a pale shadow of his predecessor. I am a faithless man but I am increasingly confident that in 2015, the Liberal Party of Canada and its leader will be the right and best choice for Canada and for its support of our only democratic partner in the Middle East.

James Morton. The right candidate for Thornhill.


What I Learned from the November 25th By-Elections

There are some lessons learned and some remembered after the Nov 25th, 2013 by-elections. An exciting time for the Liberal Party of Canada and Justin Trudeau. A less exciting time for the Conservative Party of Canada. Must less so for the NDP.


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2013/14 Leitch Lecture with Andrew Coyne

This is an excellent lecture from optimistic contrarian Andrew Coyne. There is large Liberal policy meeting in Montreal in February. Perhaps this can be copied to a flash drive or DVD and given out in the delegate package.

Love the quote “every time the leader burps, his entire caucus jumps to their feet shouting their applause.”

 

 


Syria – What is our interest?

I find myself more than a little conflicted about Syria.

On one side, I hold a dislike of tyrannical governments and their actions. I detest the loss of life in the two year old civil war, especially the deaths of children. The use of chemical weapons on civilians is properly considered an evil act.

On the other side, I do not see the national benefit for Canada or the United States to get involved in a Syrian civil war. No matter who takes power, the people of Syria will not be better off. No matter what happens, Canada and the US will gain nothing. Inevitably, we will squander our treasure and the blood of our military in either a useless gesture or a long term failure.

I wonder whether it might be better to put a perimeter around these folks and let them fight it out. We can provide some humanitarian aid while we let this tribal fighting play itself out.

More thinking on this is needed. What do you think?


Phobia This! Phobia That!

I am coming to agree with my daughter that I deserve the sobriquet Grumpy. Case in point was seeing the entry below on a Facebook entry:

How many homophobes does it take to change a light bulb? A: None – They are afraid of change, even if it will make the world a brighter place.

I saw this a few weeks after the Supreme Court rendered its decision on DOMA and gay marriage was legalized in California. To me these decisions were good steps to getting the government out of peoples’ lives. There may be valid reasons for denying gays state sanctioned marriage but none have to do with the sanctity of heterosexual union. But that is for another entry.

What raised my hackles and my blood pressure was that stupid entry. A homophobia joke which, in the current context if its use, paints a picture of fear on anyone who does not agree with the politically correct current slogans. As an example of similar phobias we have

  • Homophobia – Does not agree that gay marriage should be accepted and endorsed by the state. Does not agree that being gay is just as normal as being straight. Afraid of the obvious truth.
  • Islamophobia – Does not believe that Islam cannot possibly be a threat. Afraid of the obvious truth.

How do I state this nicely and politically correctly? Fu## You!

There are solid arguments against gay marriage, Islam and other, so-called, phobias. It seems that the arguments for these are stronger and have begun to triumph. To label everyone who disagrees with the current political correctness as phobic diminishes the argument and makes the labeler look like a moron. It makes the labeler look intelligence-phobic.


The not so new normal

We live an existence of change and uncertainty. We should celebrate.


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