The Liberal Party of Canada finds itself in an interesting position heading into a leadership race this April. For years, Liberal leadership races were as good as elections for the next Prime Minister. In fact, the two most recent leaders, Stephan Dion and Michael Ignatieff, were the first full-time Liberal leaders not to become Prime Minister since 1887. However, with the Liberal brand tarnished following the disastrous 2011 election, the new leader will have to rely on something more than a party name to get elected; the leader will have to rely on bold, sensible ideas. One leadership candidate in particular has come out with a series of impressive and innovative policies: former M.P. Martha Hall Findlay.
Martha Hall Findlay will get my vote in the upcoming Liberal Leadership election, because I believe that these bold policies are exactly what Canada needs. Hall Findlay has proposed the dismantling of supply management in the dairy industry, a government quota system that costs the average Canadian family more than $200 a year. This substantive policy is one of many that represent what Martha Hall Findlay brings to this leadership race. Hers is a politically difficult stance to take, but will lower the burden on struggling families and help make the Canadian dairy industry more competitive on the international scene.
Hall Findlay wants the Liberals to once again be the party of fiscal prudence, balanced budgets, and economic prosperity, as an alternative to the budget deficits and incoherent tax policy of the Harper Conservatives. She is a candidate who will fight for true equality of opportunity in a time when we face increasing inequality across different segments of the population and across generations. Under Stephen Harper’s leadership, Parliament has become less accountable and more secretive; Martha Hall Findlay promises an open and transparent government.
Canada has always had a Liberal Party, but it would be foolish to assume it will always have one if Liberals don’t embrace change soon. Martha Hall Findlay represents a chance to move away from divisive left versus right ideological politics, and offers a Liberal alternative based on substantive, evidence-based policies. For those interested in voting in the Liberal Leadership race, go to liberal.ca, where for the first time ever non-members can sign up to vote for free.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Bull & Bear.