Liberalism's Bright Light
Well folks, here we go.
My nominator was Nancy Singh and my seconder was Devin Demerse.
Ladies and Gentlemen now is the time to rekindle the light of liberalism here in Victoria!
Now is the time to build on the proud Liberal legacy of David Anderson!
We’re here today because we are Liberals proud of the strong, caring, prosperous, and envied country liberalism has made of Canada.
And we are also here today to take back our country from the clutches of the most arrogant, mean spirited, narrow, fiscally irresponsible, and scientifically stupid government in the long history of our country.
Even in the face of this trying moment in our party’s history we Liberals look forward not backward, see opportunity not obstacle.
We Liberals know that ‘we’re all in this together’ is much better than ‘everybody’s on their own.’
We must remind Victorians that at our Liberal core is a bright light burning with optimism.
Because liberalism is not an ideology, liberalism is not a book of campaign promises, liberalism is a movement based in trust in others to do the right thing.
However, Stephen Harper and the leader of the Official Opposition both represent something very different.
Both these men are practitioners of the poisoned politics of anger and divide.
Veteran pollster Allan Gregg calls Stephen Harper’s style of governing an assault on reason, ‘Orwellian’, Harper’s world framed by superstition and dogma blind to facts and reason.
This has led us to an ugly and uncivilized politics.
That is not my Canada.
Is it yours?
And Thomas Mulcair he pits West against East pandering to separatism teasing a 50% plus one promise of nationhood.
That is not my Canada.
Is it yours?
What century do we live in when a female Minister of the Crown responsible to protect all women votes for a bill that could slam the door shut on a women’s right to choose?
That could never be my Canada.
Could it be yours?
No it’s not because Liberal politics are different.
Our politics are the politics of inclusion and responsibility, of facts and evidence, of reason and dialogue not dogma and ideology.
Yet dogma and ideology is forcing on Victoria, forcing on us, a secondary sewage treatment plant that we don't need and we don't want.
A sewage treatment plant dismissive of scientists, health officials, and a former Federal Minister of the Environment, all, all who have rejected it as wholly without merit.
The proposed plant being imposed on Victorians by the Harper government, is yet another example of a government that ignores science and scientists, claims to be small yet is big claims to be fiscally responsible yet is the opposite, dumping debt and tax increases on all of us and our children.
And this mad plan makes strange bedfellows the NDP says it can’t be stopped and the Green Party says there should be treatment but there not sure what kind, hey, maybe they should flip a coin?
The truth is, three parties want it they’re the Gang of Three, and only one party is against it that’s us, the Liberal Party of Canada giving voice to the people of Victoria.
And sadly this wasteful project will vacuum up all the federal and provincial infrastructure dollars that could be used for public investment like storm sewers and 21st century public transit things that really matter to Victorians!!
And tragically this dumb plan will have a severe financial impact on seniors living on fixed incomes, families, single people, people just trying to balance their books.
To build and run this billion dollar boondoggle all of us, homeowners, renters, and businesses will face the consequences of steep local tax increases for years and years to come.
The secondary sewage treatment plant is bad science bad economics, it is bad for Victoria and Victorians, so together, let’s stop it!
This great battle comes at an exciting and hopeful time for the Liberal Party of Canada.
Now all that remains is to build a winning team and standing here with you today, I know that together, as Liberals, we will.
Let me conclude by saying how lucky I have been in my life to have lived in and travelled to many cities in the world as a student, a business person and out of curiosity.
It was in Tokyo where I finished my education, where I fell forever in love, and where Taeko and I built our future and family together
But after those many journeys we have found our permanent homes, our home here in the most beautiful city on the Pacific, and our home in the Liberal Party of Canada.
I stand before you as a proud Victorian, a proud Liberal, confident that with your support the bright light of liberalism will shine again from Victoria casting its glow across our magnificent land.
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Ultimately, the most successful societies find the balance between the twin virtues of inequality of outcomes and equality of opportunity.
The new politics must marry the twin virtues of unequal outcomes and equality of opportunity.
When too few get too much everybody loses.
Feminism is about women living their lives on their own terms, marshaling the resources of the society to make that possible, and men embracing this as vital to a successful society and their own liberation.
Can it be that striving for equality of opportunity however imperfect the process not only benefits the individual but also creates benefits for the society that are unintended but wonderful?
Economics must be a 'moral enterprise' as much as politics claims to be. Economic outcomes need to be framed in terms of right and wrong not just efficiency if only because these often align in surprising ways that are good for society and the economy.
My vision of Canada is that any Canadian child from a family of limited circumstance can expect to have a chance at lifetime of unlimited opportunities.
Tax policy should be founded on the principle of generating steady tax revenues sufficient to maximise environmentally sustainable economic growth in order to fund fair government.
Public policy should be designed to decrease inequality before the law and increase equality of opportunity.
Capitalism is not the problem; the problem is what we do with capitalism.
Content is always more difficult to argue than conspiracy.
Let the state regulate and the market operate (most things).
Welfare strategies are best designed as a hand up, not as a hand out.
Political debate should not be fact free fighting.
Explanation lasts longer than eloquence.
Always favour empowerment over dependency.
The most enduring public figures are embraced for the causes they fought for and not the concept of themselves they hoped others would remember them by.
Find your voice and don't be the echo of somebody else.
It is possible to operate on two different levels: the practical, cautious and conservative; and the realm of ideas, open, free, and radical.