Saturday, September 28, 2013

Vote for my policy on Encouraging Youth Democratic Participation and Improving Civic Education on Common Ground!

Sign up and vote here!

Very excited to see the new online platform tool Common Ground be rolled out at provincial council today. Please register, take a look at the policy, and vote for it if it's something you want to see the party move forward on!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Brush up on my youth democratic participation and civic education policy in time for provincial council!

With provincial council coming up this weekend, here's a brush up on my policy that got prioritized by the Ontario Young Liberals at Summer Fling back in August. Here is a blog post I wrote outlining some of the stats and evidence behind this policy, and why I think it would work for Ontario.


WHEREAS the lowest voter registration rates are for young voters 18-24 years of age

WHEREAS there is a positive correlation between voting and being registered as a voter before General Voting Day

WHEREAS Australia and several American states allow for voter registration below the age of 18

WHEREAS the Chief Electoral Officer of British Columbia recommended in 2011 in his Report to the Legislative Assembly to amend the BC Elections Act to allow the provisional registration of individuals when they are 16 years of age

WHEREAS Ontario Young Liberals have previously passed policies encouraging youth democratic participation and improving the Civics class as part of Ontario’s curriculum

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Ontario government amend the Ontario Elections Act to permit the registration of individuals onto the voter list when they are 15 years of age

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Ontario government amend the Ontario High School curriculum to include the voter registration process, as the majority of students in grade 10 would be 15

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Ontario government continues to work with post-secondary educational institutions to help students living away from home vote.

Monday, September 16, 2013

"Willing to bring it … hard", "stoke[ing]...frustration and anger" - What the expect from NDP campaigns in the upcoming by-elections

That's what Pundits' Guide and David Akin wrote about new Mulcair candidate Linda McQuaig's approach to politics in their (both very good) summaries of the Toronto Centre nominations. I was happy to spend the day pulling vote for Chrystia Freeland, who McQuaig wasted no time in attacking. Those who read my blog frequently will know that I would be a wild hypocrite to pretend to be offended by going on the attack, but as Liberals, we have to realize both that Mulcair's NDP will pull as few punches as the Harper Conservatives in both Toronto Centre and Bourassa going after Liberals and making personal attacks both nationally and on local candidates. The "Love is better than anger" etc stuff was always more how New Democrats saw themselves then how they actually behaved, but Mulcair's NDP's determination to attack the third-party Liberals years before a general election is something Liberals are going to have to deal with when campaigning directly against the NDP. In the past, Liberal campaigns against the NDP failed too often when they simply boiled down to strategic voting arguements - an arguement that collapsed in the 2011 federal election. We have to be unafraid to defend our Leader and candidate from personal and policy attacks, and argue that Justin Trudeau and candidates like Chrystia Freeland are better suited to address the needs of all Canadians. And yes, we can make arguements like how McQuaid's support of "Israeli Apartheid Week" and Mulcair's main focus as leader being tearing open the Constitution with Senate abolishment demonstrate that the NDP isn't focused on the issues of everyday Canadians. As a soon to be constituent of Toronto Centre, I'll be looking forward to helping out Justin Trudeau and the Freeland campaign.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Hudak Finance critic bills you for second home

If Hudak wants to lower the deficit, his own Finance critic not billing you 20 grand for a rental home while he spends his time in Niagara-on-the-Lake, 150 km from his riding of Thornhill might be a better idea than firing thousands of teachers and nurses.

Last year, Tory finance critic Peter Shurman claimed $20,719, the maximum permitted, from a housing allowance that was set up to help representatives of far-flung constituencies pay for accommodation in Toronto. Mr. Shurman received the funds because he claims a home in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. – about 150 kilometres away from his riding – as his primary residence. He uses the money to help pay rent on his Toronto apartment.

As a point of reference for how close Shurman could be to Queen's Park if he actually lived in his constituency, if Shurman spent more time in the riding he's supposed to represent, he might know his constit office is only a half hour drive to Queen's Park (my morning commute is twice that).