The Race to Defeat Stephen Harper

Brian Topp, leading NDP leadership candidate.

There’s a race on to defeat an unpopular elected official, though some (I) would call the man a place-holder. Stephen Harper has three years left in office, and if he’s anything like his Liberal and Conservative predecessors, he’ll likely jump ship before his term is up, leaving an appointed replacement to take it in the shins in 2015. If Harper is the Mulroney clone I suspect him to be, I can only hope Peter MacKay manages to at least keep his riding in the 2015 federal election, unlike so many other former party leaders fed to the dogs before him. Unless there is a major international cataclysm on par with the Second World War between now and 2015, Canada will shed the veil of apparently populist neo-Conservatism and return to our progressive, social-democratic roots. And thus the fight in 2015 will be between the NDP and the Liberals, two seasoned pugilists.

The Grits and Dippers toe to toe in 2015 – I hope I have ringside seats. Doubtless the Tories will try to re-brand themselves as the Grits are, but they will be unable to counter the momentum of nine year’s worth of widespread ideological opposition and pent-up scandal. By then the race may be to see who can read off the laundry list of Tory sins the fastest!

And so, it looks like the race in 2015 will be defined by policy, platform and the strength of individual conviction. While some believe this should be the time the NDP moves off towards the centre, Brian Topp does not. In fact, and quite unlike some other ‘leading’ candidates, he believes firmly that the NDP and its members don’t have to change who they are in order to win a federal election. Canada was built on progressive values, and Brian Topp is convinced adhering to these values is all we need to succeed.

Full disclosure: I’m volunteering for the Topp campaign. I honestly think he is the best possible candidate for the job – not so merely the job of leading the party, but of leading the nation as well. Topp is the best candidate in the field for numerous reasons, least of all his fluent bilingualism and the support of party luminaries from Ed Broadbent to Libby Davies and Roy Romanow. It’s that he’s worked tirelessly across Canada, helping NDP MPs get elected in three provinces and further being elected President of the party. He was also Jack’s choice and right hand, helping to draft the party platforms in 2006, 2008 and 2011.

I could go on, but why me when someone else has done a more exemplary job (plus I’m tired). A friend of mine going all the way back to elementary school, Mr. Shawn Katz, has written this excellent op-ed in support of Brian which neatly summarizes why you choose him to be the leader of the NDP and this country. Take a look at his website, Take Canada Back incase I haven’t convinced you yet.

Now is the time for decisive action – no more sitting on the fence. If you are a progressive or have progressive tendencies, now is the time to make your voice heard. Register to become a member today at and when your paper, preferential ballot arrives in the mail sometime in February, be sure to put your support behind Brian Topp. And if you’re feeling generous, be sure to make a donation at Brian Topp’s official website.

Canada’s counting on you.

Moving Forward

From the top floor of the Aldred Building, Place d’Armes

Ola amigos –

So you’ve doubtless noticed a bit of a slow down in terms of my output. A lot of this has to do with the fact that I’m working two jobs and am still somehow under-employed. On behalf of the thousands, if not tens of thousands of talented, frustrated young Montrealers such as myself, I can only say thank you to the cabal of international financiers and American con-men who helped destroy the global economy, leaving us fighting each other for shitty scraps of former jobs. In case you’ve been asleep it has been more than three years since the first signs of trouble and very few people have gone to jail for creating the greatest international economic shit-storm since the Great Depression. It’s clearly far from over and we’ve only just begun to appreciate the implications.

I say all this only because I won’t be able to write nearly as often as I once did, and until I find regular, decent-paying work, posts will be coming in irregularly at best. I also say this because I want you to ask yourself if you are currently doing what you love in life, and if not, what it will take to get you there. I don’t mean to sound like a nagging parent, I think it is a legitimate question everyone should ask themselves. I ask myself this question all the time and rarely offer myself a satisfying answer. I know that writing offers me a lot of joy but until I find a way to make coin off of this, I have to get my funding from other sources. I’m not complaining; I still have my health and I’m relatively certain we’ll make contact at some point during my life-time (so here’s hoping!)

Anyways, moving forward I can only say this. One day I will run for mayor of this city, and if I am elected I plan on guaranteeing this city’s financial strength and prosperity in such a fashion that we could weather any storm. Among other things I’m keen to introduce municipal bonds and shares to allow citizens to invest in the city, in addition to a city-administered micro-finance banking system available uniquely to citizens. We must break the mould of reliance on transfer payments from various levels of government and the charity of a few large corporations – where is our entrepreneurial spirit? My city of the future will have an unending supply of funds for the development of new businesses and initiatives, and this will be done by securing citizen investment.

But more on that plan later. For the time being, enjoy the picture above. In case you’d like to see a neato perspective on our city, I’d recommend heading down to the Aldred Building (the unmistakable Art Deco masterpiece and ‘Ghostbusters’ building located at 507 Place d’Armes); go on a weekday and take the elevator to the top floor – view is open to the public. I work in the building and will pass by with some windex in the next few days so as to allow for better photographs.