Sep 29, 2019
Bob Rae is senior counsel with the law firm Olthuis, Kleer Townshend and teaches public policy and governance at the University of Toronto. He was the Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre and was the interim leader of the Liberal Party of Canada from 2011 to 2013. He was previously leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party and the 21st Premier of Ontario, from 1990 until 1995. Between 1978 and 2013, he was elected 11 times to federal and provincial parliaments. Mr. Rae is currently Canada's special envoy to Myanmar. He has written five books, the most recent of which, What's Happened to Politics? was published in 2015, just prior to that year's Canadian federal election.
We talked about the book and this year's election when we met at his offices on University Avenue in Toronto. Among other things we discuss lessons he's learned during his time in politics, how scripted and stage managed politicians are today, the undermining of parliamentary procedure, constant campaigning, partisan spin replacing meaningful policy, centralization of power in the PMO, broken promises, the rule of law, and the need for more political engagement on the part of the general public. The book serves as a blueprint for how the next Prime Minister should lead, and what policies he or she should consider introducing.