My Joe Canadian award for today goes out to Justin Trudeau, who has been travelling the country trying to engage young people in politics. This is their future, and they need to become active participants in it.
One of the strategies of the neo-conservative movement is to turn people away from the polls by turning them off politics. That's the reason for the constant attack ads.
Republican strategist Paul Weyrich once stated "I don't want everyone to vote ... our leverage in the election quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down. We have no moral responsibility to turn out our opposition."
The late Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan's economic advisor once lectured at the Fraser Institute: 'You can't say that majority voting is a basic right ... That's a proposition I object to very strenuously.' The institutes's senior economist, Walter Block, agreed. Why does it follow that we should have an equal right to vote in the political process?'
"Friedman followed up his thoughts in a Fraser Forum article which concluded, 'One of the things that troubles me very much is that I believe a relatively free economy is a necessary condition for a democratic society. But I also believe there is evidence that a democratic society, once established, destroys a free economy.' Not content to stop there, he suggested that it was the pursuit of wealth that was the ultimate social value, while the pursuit of justice would lead to total ruin'." (Hard Right Turn: The New Face of neo-Conservatism in Canada, Brooke Jeffrey, Harper-Collins, 1999, ISBN: 0-00 255762-2, Pg. 423)
You might ask yourself why the Liberals want to get people out to vote, when the Reform Conservatives prefer they stay home? Because the less we care, the better their chances.
In speaking with hundreds of students, he explained that politics desperately needs the ingenuity and ideas of Canadian youth to restore purpose and passion to our political system. Mr. Trudeau talked at length about the importance of politics in shaping our future and the future of our country and discouraged the students from letting cynicism deter them from getting involved. He acknowledged that superficial political games could turn people off, but if we really care about dealing with the issues that face our society, issues such as the economy, climate change, poverty, human rights, etc, the youth can and must play a pivotal role in exerting pressure and influencing policies.
Justin, delicately remained above heated partisan rhetoric, but he didn’t shy away from discussing the various competing ideologies among the different political parties. He also spoke passionately about the need for having a conversation with Canadians about a large encompassing vision for the role of government in shaping our society and helping our citizens.
Overall, Justin’s contributions today were inspirational to Mississauga youth. They had a unique opportunity to hear first hand from someone who believes strongly in Canada. Mr. Trudeau’s confidence and passion will hopefully invite many youth to claim their rightful place in defining our priorities and needs as a nation.
Trudeau talks to students
November 9, 2009
Justin Trudeau, the federal Liberal Party's youth and multiculturalism critic, made a whirlwind tour of Mississauga today to tell students about how the Liberal Party his father once led is striving to return to its grassroots.
Trudeau addressed about 400 students in an assembly at John Fraser Secondary School first thing this morning, then met in a small group session with the students who are in the leadership program at the Erin Mills high school.
The son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau then moved on the campus of the University of Toronto Mississauga, where students fired questions at him in a packed boardroom.
The 38-year-old MP for Papineau, Quebec, spoke about how the Liberals are being revitalized under the leadership of Michael Ignatieff and how they must convince Canadians that they remain the party that best expresses the opinion of the common man.
Trudeau was accompanied during his sweep of the city by Omar Alghabra, the former MP for Mississauga-Erindale. Alghabra has already been nominated to run for the Liberals again against incumbent Conservative MP Bob Dechert.
Trudeau won a seat in the House of Commons just over a year ago.
So his name is Justin and HE IS CANADIAN!