Be bold: Why the Liberals should stop playing it safe

As Justin Trudeau’s win in the Liberal leadership race grows more imminent we still have yet to see any real hints of his vision for what he wants to do with this country. He is charismatic and not Stephen Harper, which may be enough to win him the next election but if he is smart he will do so much more. He will convince us that he actually has policies, and maybe just maybe he will present a vision for our country that people can get behind. He will lure us out on election day by making us feel that our country will be a better place because he is leading it.

A recent National Post article begins with “Justin Trudeau has made no apologies for offering little in the way of substantive policy prescriptions during the Liberal leadership race.” It is true that most of us have no idea what he actually believes, and the article provides a good glimpse of what some of his ideas are.

Some no brainers are that he doesn’t want to touch the constitution with a ten foot  pole and thinks that the long gun registry was a failure. He supports the Clarity Act, which may have ended Stephan Dion’s political life but is actually a fairly sensible piece of legislation. He wants to decriminalize marijuana but won’t go all the way to legalization, which is a safe and timid policy.

Overall he seems like he would be sensible and moderate. My hope is that he will take some of the good ideas being floated around in his Soapbox. My suggestions include a Canadian version of the Peace Corps and generally greater efforts at promoting youth employment, investments in public transit and sustainable development, a better deal for Canada’s cities, universal daycare subsidies and making university more affordable. He can also target how Stephen Harper has tarnished our cute and cuddly image abroad with his foreign policies. Canada has always had a lot of soft power at our disposal and we need to work to be a more positive force in the world.

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