Gentle and not-so-gentle thoughts and musings from a Jewish, left-leaning, Canadian, pro-Israel, inner-suburban, fortysomething, libertarian, recovering perfectionist, quasi-socialist husband, dad, basketball fan, writer and editor with a few opinions.

wRanter.com - Gentle and not-so-gentle thoughts and musings from a Jewish, left-leaning, Canadian, pro-Israel, inner-suburban, fortysomething, libertarian, recovering perfectionist, quasi-socialist husband, dad, basketball fan, writer and editor with a few opinions.
Featured wRants
He was burned by this very issue.

The Jewish community should fund its own schools

The fallout from the recent controversy over the creation of gay-straight alliance clubs (GSAs) in Ontario's publicly funded Catholic school system should give pause to those seeking funding – in the name of fairness – ...

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Who will be the next big-name Jewish MP?

Last week, we examined four “Jewish” battleground ridings, including two – York Centre in Toronto and Mount Royal in Montreal – where, one way or another, a Jewish candidate is likely to win. This week, ...

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The next occupants of 24 Sussex?

Why Thomas Mulcair gets it when it comes to Israel

Not surprisingly, Thomas Mulcair won the NDP leadership last month, replacing Saint Jack Layton as the man social democrats hope can rally left-of-centre voters to defeat Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives. Here's hoping he's successful, but ...

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Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau

Israel shouldn't be a political football or litmus test

Despite public and private appeals to call off the event, the Jewish Defence League (JDL) went ahead with its unfortunate decision to picket a Liberal fundraiser at the Toronto home of pharmaceutical magnate and Jewish ...

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Thursday the rabbi walked out, or was he pushed?

Being a pulpit rabbi can be a cutthroat business

When Toronto Jews awoke last Saturday morning and collected their Globe and Mail newspapers from their doorsteps (those who still subscribe, that is), they discovered a front-page story detailing how Holy Blossom Temple, the city's ...

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Jewish issues at centre of partisan sniping

Jewish issues and candidates made headlines last week and became the subject of some distasteful political rhetoric on the campaign trail. In Alberta, a 21-year-old hijab-wearing university student resigned Aug. 18 as the Liberal candidate in ...

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Being mislabelled by educators can make school a misery.

Your December-born kid may not have ADHD. He might just be immature.

A new Canadian study is bolstering an argument I've been making to my kids' teachers and principals for years: children born later in a calendar year are more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit ...

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Free advice for the federal Liberal party

Bob Rae at wRanter.com

Finally, he’s done trying to be leader.

Well, well, well: it appears that Bob Rae has decided not to run for the federal Liberal leadership after all, despite rampant speculation over the past year that he would if the party let him.

This has to be a relief for people who’d like to see Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative wrecking crew defeated sometime before, oh, 2028.

That was unlikely to happen with the Liberals being led by Rae. Obviously, he carried too much baggage from his polarizing time as the NDP premier of Ontario from 1990 to 1995. As well, he turns 64 in August and would be 67 at the time of the next election.

Justin Trudeau at wRanter.com

Saviour, pretty boy, both or neither?

These facts hardly scream “renewal” to a party sorely in need of just that.

The temptation for the party will be to go for what might appear to be the quick fix, namely choosing 40-year-old Justin Trudeau, son of Pierre and MP for the Montreal riding of Papineau, as its next leader.

That may or may not be a great idea.

At the very least, party members should take a collective deep breath, have a good debate about who they intend to choose and – above all – avoid handing the reins to Trudeau in a coronation, because we all know how that turned out with the last guy. Continue reading

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More lessons from Alberta’s surprise election result

Political junky that I am, I can’t get enough of the analysis being generated in the aftermath of the Alberta election, which saw Premier Alison Redord and the Progressive Conservatives defy virtually all the polls to beat Danielle Smith and her Wildrose Alliance party.

It’s truly a fascinating result that holds lessons for the entire country, a few of which I mused about earlier this week.

Here are some more that have been rattling around my brain.

Joe Clark at wRanter.com

The Chinless Wonder lives.

• Redford, the onetime adviser to former  prime minister and national Progressive Conservative leader Joe Clark, won on a socially progressive but fiscally conservative platform, showing that Red Toryism is alive and well in Canada. As Thomas Walkom argued in the Toronto Star, in defining the term made popular by University of Toronto political science professor Gad Horowitz, “Parties that are successful in this country tend to marry fiscal conservatism with social progressivism. They support free markets but don’t make a fetish of them.

“As a result, Red Tories don’t hesitate to intervene in the economy to serve what they define as the public interest. Successive Red Tory governments used the state to build railways and public hydro-electricity networks. One invented the CBC.”

Redford is definitely a conservative in the Red Tory mode. Red Tories still exist. Really, truly.

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Of wilted wild roses and elbows to the back of the head

Alberta, it turns out, isn’t the out and out redneck haven that some of us easterners might have thought it was.

And it looks like Alberta’s Progressive Conservative dynasty will live to fight another day.

Alison Redford at wRanter.com

Still smiling, after dodging a bullet

I was going to write about how Premier Alison Redford and her PCs had won fewer seats in yesterday’s election, and about how she looked to be in a better shape to govern than Danielle Smith, leader of the Wildrose (a.k.a. the Wildrose Alliance) party, since Redford could likely count on the NDP and Liberals to support what would have been her minority government.

Suprise! The polls were wrong, or at least partly wrong, in predicting a Wildrose government. The newish party won only 17 seats, with 34.3 per cent of the vote, and becomes the official opposition.

The PCs, meanwhile, secured a majority, albeit a smaller one than last time, winning 61 seats with 43.9 per cent of the vote, versus 72 seats with 52.7 per cent of the vote in 2008, although they had only 66 seats when the 2012 campaign started. They also did it without garnering a majority of the popular vote, as they have in the past under former premiers Peter Lougheed and Ralph Klein.

So what does this say about Alberta and about Canadian politics more generally? Continue reading

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