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Politics nowadays more about staying in power: Nitin Gadkari – Times of India



NAGPUR: Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari said Saturday that he sometimes feels like quitting politics because there are many other things that need to be done for society. The former BJP chief said at an event in Nagpur that politics nowadays has become more about staying in power, rather than being a vehicle for social change and development.
“We have to understand what politics means. Is it for the welfare of society, country or about being in government?” he said. “Politics has been a part of the social movement right from Mahatma Gandhi’s era, but then it focused on the nation and development goals.”
He said: “Today what we are seeing (in politics) is 100% about coming to power. Politics is a true instrument of socio-economic reform and that’s why today’s politicians must work for the development of education, arts etc in society.”
The minister was speaking at an event organised to felicitate social worker Girish Gandhi, who is known to have friends across political parties. A former MLC, Gandhi was earlier with NCP, but quit the party in 2014.
“When Girish bhau was in politics, I used to discourage him because even I think sometimes about quitting politics. Apart from politics, there are many things in life which are worth doing,” said Gadkari.
The Nagpur MP praised the late socialist politician George Fernandes for his simple lifestyle. “I learnt a lot from him as he never cared for the paraphernalia of power. He led such an inspiring life… I hate it when people bring huge bouquets for me or put my posters.”

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I Don't Like Your Politics – Forbes



Even if they love the product, 45% of Millennials will stop using a brand or company that does not align with their political beliefs. That’s according to an InSites Consulting consumer research study on how customers want brands to respond during turbulent times relating to politics, inflation, the pandemic and more.

More than ever, the U.S. is divided on politics, religion, human rights, environmental issues and many other topics that have people disagreeing and arguing, sometimes to a level of violence. In business, while some vocal customers may try to get a company’s or brand’s attention, most consumers will vote for approval or disapproval with their wallets.

Not all generations feel the same about politics and other issues that have become politicized. While 40% of Gen Z and 43% of Millennials take a strong stance on political matters, 46% of Gen X and 44% of Boomers feel it’s best to stay out of the debate.

But there is a difference between a political or social cause that is important to people and one that causes an angry response. As the old saying goes, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. The contested issues that tie to politics, human rights and religion seem to be motivating consumers to choose to do business—or not—with certain brands that have chosen to be open about their stance on these issues.

Sometimes, believing in something important can be attractive instead of controversial. Environmental issues have become politicized. While companies like Patagonia are known for their stance on sustainability, you don’t read or hear about protestors outside of their headquarters disagreeing with the use of recycled materials in their products. To that point, a good cause can help create sales and even customer loyalty. According to the 2022 Achieving Customer Amazement Study (sponsored by Amazon Web Services), 45% of consumers believe it’s important that a company supports a social cause that’s important to them. And the findings in the InSites Consulting report, especially as it applies to the younger generations (Gen Z and Millennials), have similarities.

Here are some other significant findings that help define the differences between younger and older generations of consumers:

· Gen Z and Millennials believe companies that respond to current events (for example, brands that pulled out of Russia or companies providing new employee benefits amid the overturn of Roe vs. Wade) are doing so because they authentically care about their employees and customers. On the other hand, Gen X and Boomers slightly favor the belief that companies are only doing so to avoid criticism or to follow the pack.

· Gen Z and Millennials want open and frequent communication during turbulent times. They want to be kept informed and appreciate consistent messaging. Gen X and Boomers prefer incentives and discounts to get their business.

· Fifty percent of Gen Z and 54% of Millennials want their values to align with a company’s purpose, whereas many Gen X (36%) and Boomers (40%) feel neutral toward this statement.

· In times of turbulence, Gen Z and Millennials agree companies should “support their employees above all else.” Gen X and Boomers feel slightly stronger that companies should “support their customers above all else.”

So, what do we do with this information?

You could write an entire book with the answers to these questions, but first and foremost, you must understand who your customers are. If you sell to Boomers, many of whom are retired or close to retirement, how you market and sell to them will be different than how you market and sell to the younger generations of customers. Those differences are important to note, especially

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‘We saw what happened in Ontario’: Quebecers urged to vote in provincial election



MONTREAL — An incumbent premier and his party sail through an election campaign as a fragmented opposition vies to capture the attention of voters in the absence of a central rallying issue or tide-turning missteps.

The scenario playing out in Quebec in the lead-up to next month’s provincial election may seem like déjà vu for residents of Ontario, where the Progressive Conservatives won a second majority in June.

Doug Ford’s victory came as voter turnout in that province reached an all-time low — about 43 per cent, according to preliminary results — and some observers have blamed the drop in participation to the lack of a competitive race or galvanizing issue.

In Quebec, where the incumbent Coalition Avenir Québec has maintained a commanding lead in the polls throughout the campaign, some political parties have raised concerns the province could be headed toward a low voter turnout on Oct. 3.

Earlier this week, Quebec Liberal Party Leader Dominique Anglade pointed to Ontario in calling for voters to mobilize against the CAQ and its leader, François Legault.

“Go out and vote,” Anglade told reporters. “We saw what happened in Ontario.”

Meanwhile, the organization that oversees Quebec’s election has broadened its get-out-the-vote message to the social media platform TikTok in an effort to reverse a downward trend in voter turnout, particularly among younger people. In the 2018 provincial election, 66.45 per cent of voters cast a ballot, a drop of nearly five percentage points from 2014. The turnout for those 35 and under was 53.41 per cent, 16 percentage points lower than for voters older than 35.

Like many other incumbents, Ford and Legault have emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic with solid public support, and there doesn’t seem to be a broad appetite for change, according to political experts. Both leaders also saw formerly strong rivals — the provincial Liberal parties — perform poorly, and opposition parties fail to set the agenda or a viable ballot issue, they said.

An election that “looks like a foregone conclusion” may discourage some from voting because they feel it won’t make a difference, said Peter Graefe, a political science professor at McMaster University.

That might be the case this time for Quebecers who usually support the Liberals since the party won’t likely form government, he said. Since the last election, the Quebec Liberals have struggled to connect with francophones and have alienated part of their anglophone base in Montreal by being seen as weak on language issues.

Other voters, however, may be more motivated, particularly those who back the Conservative Party of Quebec and its opposition to the CAQ’s pandemic measures, Graefe said.

Even if the province doesn’t seem poised for a change of leadership, the race for second place may be a draw for some voters, especially as polls suggest the Liberals could lose their status as official Opposition, said Geneviève Tellier, a political science professor at the University of Ottawa.

A Leger poll released earlier this week suggests support for the CAQ was at 38 per cent, more than double that of its closest runners-up. Three parties — the Liberals, Québec solidaire and the Conservatives — were at 16 per cent, while the Parti Québécois was at 13 per cent support.

“It’s still uncertain and so it’s a three-way race with the Conservatives, the Liberals and (Québec solidaire) in popular support,” which could lead to some interesting battles in certain ridings, Tellier said.

“There could be some surprises” in ridings such as Sherbrooke, in the Eastern Townships, where popular Québec solidaire incumbent Christine Labrie is facing a challenge from a high-profile CAQ candidate: former Longueuil, Que., mayor Caroline St-Hilaire.

The fact that five major parties are competing for the first time is also “a big novelty” that may stir public interest, Tellier said.

And without the traditional question of sovereignty and federalism on the ballot, there’s an opportunity for people to vote based on other issues they care about, she added. “And so people will have interest in different topics and that may dictate their choice in a new way.”

Graefe, however, said having sovereignty off the ballot could instead lessen the incentive to vote if people feel the stakes aren’t as high. “In this instance that kind of existential question has been taken off the table, and so it becomes more like an election in any other province,” he said.

Just over a week before the election, Montreal resident Patricia Machabee still wasn’t sure who to vote for — or even if she would vote at all.

Though she believes voting is a civic duty, there isn’t much motivation when the CAQ appears poised to win, she said in a recent interview. “My vote isn’t even really going to count.”

What’s more, none of the other options are appealing this time, she said, adding that her husband is also on the fence about casting a ballot, for similar reasons.

“I’ve been voting Liberal for most of my life, since I’ve been allowed to vote … but nobody’s got me excited,” she said. “I’m going to have to try to figure out what I’m going to do.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 25, 2022.


Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press


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Bill Blaikie, longtime Manitoba politician who served federally and provincially, dead at 71 –



Bill Blaikie, a longtime Manitoba New Democrat whose political career spanned more than three decades and included terms in both the House of Commons and Manitoba’s legislature, has died. He was 71.

Blaikie died on Saturday in Winnipeg, following a battle with metastatic kidney cancer, according to a Facebook post by his son, Daniel Blaikie.

Blaikie was first elected in 1979, as the member of Parliament for the riding of Winnipeg-Birds Hill. After that riding was dissolved in 1987, Blaikie won four elections in the new riding of Winnipeg-Transcona, and two more after it was renamed Elmwood-Transcona in 2004. He did not seek re-election in 2008.

The following year, he entered provincial politics, winning the Elmwood seat for the then-governing NDP in a 2009 byelection. He was appointed to premier Greg Selinger’s cabinet, serving as conservation minister and government House leader until 2011, when he retired from politics. 

During his time in Ottawa, Blaikie sought the leadership of the federal NDP, losing to Jack Layton in 2003

Daniel Blaikie, left, with his father, Bill Blaikie. Daniel Blaikie was elected in 2015 as the NDP MP for the Elmwood-Transcona riding his father previously represented. (Jim Still)

He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2020 for his lifelong contributions to parliamentary service and for his steadfast commitment to progressive change and social activism.

“His legacy stands for itself — it’s a living legacy,” said Lloyd Axworthy, who was a longtime Liberal cabinet minister and later University of Winnipeg president.

WATCH | Bill Blaikie, longtime Manitoba politician, dead at 71:

Bill Blaikie, longtime Manitoba politician who served federally and provincially, dead at 71

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Bill Blaikie, a longtime Manitoba New Democrat whose political career spanned more than three decades and included terms in the federal and provincial levels, has died.

Axworthy was first elected as an MP on the same day as Blaikie in 1979, and the two got to know each other well during their time in Parliament, even though they sat on different sides politically, he said.

“He was a strong believer in social democracy, he was an advocate of social gospel, but he also was a very good guy to get along with and a good person … just to get behind the curtains and just chat [with],” said Axworthy, who spoke to CBC on Friday, after Blaikie had shared a statement that he was entering palliative care.

Their paths crossed again when Blaikie started as an adjunct professor of theology and politics at the University of Winnipeg, where Axworthy served as president from 2004 to 2014.

“For students … with [a] big appetite to know, ‘How do things work?'” Blaikie could bring his practical experience into the classroom, said Axworthy.

“He understood politics and he could take that world of kind of pragmatism and practical accommodation, but always say, ‘But it has to be motivated and driven by some set of beliefs.”

Blaikie was “somebody who clearly all his life, every step he’s made, made a difference,” said Axworthy.

A woman in a blue blazer stands in the House of Commons, with three men standing behind her.
Blaikie, right, stands with New Democratic Party Leader Alexa McDonough as they voted against a pay raise for MPs in the House of Commons on June 7, 2001. (Tom Hanson/The Canadian Press)

James Christie, a former dean of theology and professor at the University of Winnipeg, said Blaikie “had tremendous political and religious insight.”

In an interview with CBC Friday, Christie said Blaikie’s ability to stand out during his time at the university came from his engaging personality. 

“Bill could tell a story that would lead to another story and another story, and we could sit up and just talk, and in my case, just mostly listen,” said Christie. “And he captivated his students the same way.” 

Christie, who worked with Blaikie at the University of Winnipeg for years, also noted his work as a politician, a United Church minister and religious leader, a musician and an author. Blaikie wrote a 2011 memoir titled The Blaikie Report: An Insider’s Look at Faith And Politics

“I looked up at Bill partly because he was much taller than I am … but he was also a man of big intellect and big heart, big dreams, big generosity,” said Christie.

“Just simply one of those people who was larger than life in both literal and figurative senses.”

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